Postcard from London

A few years ago I sent a postcard to my good friend, Raffa the Beagle, who lives near Liverpool. It was a postcard of London with a tick list of sights to see, including Big Ben and the Tower of London amongst others.

I wonder how many I will see?

A couple of weeks ago, we heard from Raffa who said that she was going to come to London to try and tick off some of the sights, and she asked me if we would like to be guides. Of course I couldn’t think of another fur in this house who had been to London so I volunteered my service and took Lenny along to carry the bags.

It came as somewhat of a rude shock to Lenny that we were unceremoniously woken up at 6 am on a Saturday. After a very brief walk locally we were marched up the hill to the train station so we could whizz into London. Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day but it was a bit chilly. After we arrived in London, we strolled through Regents Park towards Euston Station so we could greet Raffa and her mum in true beagle fashion by a huge arooo in the middle of the station concourse. Raffa was in her chariot as she cannot walk as far as she could do when she was a young pup.

We immediately wandered off to find the tube station as Raffa had always wanted a trip on a tube train.

Raffa and her protection on the tube

We got off the tube at Moorgate and strolled to the Guildhall (original meeting place of the Guilds of craftsmen for the City of London), Royal Exchange (the original stock exchange), Bank of England (where Raffa keeps her pennies), Mansion House (official residence of the Lord Mayor of London) and then on to Leadenhall Market (poultry market from Victorian times but now a boutique shopping area) where we made our first pit stop for some coffee to warm up the humans.

We started the next leg by walking down to the Tower of London which was very busy with visitors, and where Lenny managed to see a pesky squirrel but forgot to tell me & Raffa. We then crossed Tower Bridge.

We went along the side of the river, making our way through the throngs of tourist visitors on the south side of London Bridge. We showed Raffa the replica of the Golden Hinde ship (Francis Drake’s ship), the Clink (original dungeon prison in London) and then went on to see the rebuilt Shakespeares Globe theatre.

Now for the exciting part as we crossed the Millennium Bridge, also known as the wobbly bridge, and saw St Pauls Cathedral in its glory directly ahead.

Having strolled past the cathedral we went down Ludgate Hill and into Fleet Street (famous for printing) and managed to get two tables in a pub for some lunch snacks, as well as warming ourselves away from the chilly wind. Suitably refreshed we set off and found ourselves in the middle of a wedding procession coming out of the nearby St Bride’s Church, accompanied by a brass band. This surprised us all. We continued along The Strand and dad managed to stop pedestrians crossing the road, as he told Lenny to “WAIT” and they thought he was talking to them. We continued towards Trafalgar Square to see Nelson’s Column and then off to Whitehall (government area) to stop at Horseguards Parade to see a member of the Household Cavalry, who was watching Raffa to make she didn’t misbehave.

The London Eye across the river was spied, then Big Ben and Westminster Abbey were ticked off before we ended up at Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately the Queen wasn’t at home otherwise we would have popped in for a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich (without crusts of course).

To finish we wandered slowly up The Mall back towards Trafalgar Square and took a London Black Cab to return to the train station at Euston. We woofed a sad cheerio to Raffa and her mum as they boarded their train back to Liverpool and their home.

Our journey home on the train passed like a blur, mainly due to Lenny and I having walked nearly 13 miles in total and being very tired. It was worth being really tired though, as we showed Raffa around London and she ticked off all the sights on her postcard except one. No Yeoman of the Guard Beefeaters were seen at the Tower of London. We hope we did Raffa proud as she managed to see nearly everything on her postcard list.

So close to getting all the sights.

Finally I have to admit that Lenny was so good, given it was his first trip to London. He managed the trains, tubes and strolling around with great aplomb. We took ages getting from one place to the next as so many people wanted to say hello to us and give Raffa, Lenny and I many tickles. He dealt with the sights, smells and noises of London without fright or fear. I am proud ears of him.

Is it four months already?

Since he arrived on 27th April 2019 it is surprising what Lenny has got up to in such a short amount of time. We were thinking that it couldn’t be 4 months since he arrived and turned our lives upside down, could it? However it is true, it’s four months and everything has changed for us all.

So here’s a list of some of his achievements so far.

He’s visited a nanny and been around the motorway in the car. He’s walked in Ashridge, Wendover, Chesham, Ley Hill, Amersham and Pednor. He’s been to 6 training sessions, had his “ahem” operation and firmly got his paws under the table here. He hasn’t been ill since the first time in the car and seems to enjoy travelling now. He’s been using my Twitter and has found himself some admirers for being a handsome pup. He’s been to a brewery, chewed numerous of my toys and helped to chase squirrels out of the garden. He’s got himself a bed or three, has the use of some of my harnesses that I don’t wear any more and has become expert in chewing sticks and grass in the garden.

When he first arrived we knew it would turn my life upside down and inside out. Boy has he done that. We had no idea what he would be like, whether he would settle quickly or if it would be quite a long transition as it was with me. Fortunately it has been quick, as he has adjusted in around three months. I was ok after around 2 years. Recently he’s been seeking some reassuring cuddles from mum and dad. He seems to be looking at us all and thinking “maybe this is my home, but just to make certain, I will get some tickles”. He doesn’t hassle me as much as he used to and I also give him the right signals more often than before so he can see when its play time or not. For instance I like to scent in the garden first thing in the morning and he used to run after me biting my ankles. He now canters off in one direction whilst I am off in the opposite direction and we can fill our noses with lovely morning smells. Yes we squabble a little afterwards, but its not as intense as it was originally.

Training Lenny at bitey face games

It all seems to have settled down a little now he has become more accustomed to being here and his confidence has grown as he has realised he has a place in the household, alongside me.

We are pleased he has settled more in the car for travelling as this was somewhat of a worry for us initially. We try to get out and about to some different places to enjoy walks. If he had been a worried traveller, this may have restricted the places we could go and show to him. I think it helped that I can travel with him and he tends to lean against me in our travel crates when we first set off on an adventure. Once we have been going for a while however, he lays down and seems to be at ease. It may also have been helpful that when we first went in the car together, I leapt into the boot without thinking. Maybe I showed him there was little or nothing to be worried about with the car. I hope so.

Handsome beagle my brother

We will keep you updated on his progress, hopefully he will come on in further leaps and bounds over the ensuing months and years. All paws are crossed that he continues his great progress.

Lenny’s a little lighter

My beagle brother Lenny had a little, ahem, operation last Thursday 8th August. He left the house wondering why his breakfast was so early and then found himself, half a walk later, in the local veterinary for his procedure to take place. I was out on my walk and only just got back in time to woof cheerio to him. I don’t think he knew what was happening. Mum and dad looked a little apprehensive.

Some time later the same afternoon the phone rang and we were told that he was out and was resting, so we could go and get him soon after. Dad toddled off and brought home the little dazed and bemused Beagle who tiptoed into the house and promptly went to sleep on one of our six beds (yes we probably are spoiled). I was watching him that evening and thought how serene he looked. He was sleeping quietly, without too much twitching and seemed to be calmness personified. It was nice not to have him trying to make my ears look like colanders. However I also wondered if he was alright? Was he in pain? Was he so spaced out with the Metacam that he didn’t really know what was happening. He slept so soundly that we all wondered if this could continue.

Earth calling Lenny Beagle!

The next day he was up and about quite late for him, around 7 am. He seemed to still be a bit confounded as to what had happened. The buster collar, or Donut of Doom, was waiting in the wings in case he decided he wanted to lick the wound and damage the stitches. He was very good though, as he only went near the incision once or twice. It helped that mum & dad were watching him like the proverbial hawks. He was escorted around the garden on a lead which he found quite restrictive. We couldn’t play fight and whilst this was quite dull, it also meant I could catch up on some sleep in relative peace and quiet, which evened out the boredom factor.

He went back to the vets on Tuesday and they were really happy with the way his wound had healed. He hasn’t been chewing or biting, he hasn’t been licking and hasn’t needed the Donut of Doom. The vet said lead walks for another five days which is still frustrating for him but he seems to have got used to being trussed up in the garden. When he came back from his walk this morning, dad let him wander about free in the garden as I wasn’t yet home so there wouldn’t be any incidents of bitey face. He strolled about sniffing. We can’t wait for him to be off lead again very soon. There are many shenanigans to be had, albeit under the watchful gaze of our mum and dad.

House arrest is so boring

There won’t be any little versions of Lenny running about but that doesn’t matter to me. He’s my pal, my beagle brother and my buddy. He’s in a good place. That’s what matters to me.

Glad he’s my brother

Cyprus Beagles

As people will be aware, little Lenny was adopted from Cyprus Beagles. Now he is well and truly esconced in the house with his paws firmly under the table, we thought it would be a nice idea to try and find out some more about Cyprus Beagles. As he is the main recipient of the kindness and love of the ladies at Cyprus Beagles, I am going to let him loose on the blog, so over to you Lenny.

Hello again friends, I am honoured to be asked to do a blog on Dexter’s behalf. He asked me what I would be interested in finding out and I, of course, said the lovely people who rescued me.

There are two ladies who organise the rescue of Beagles from Cyprus. Erin Scott (ES) in Cyprus and Joanne Mason (JM) in the UK. I am proud to ask the questions Lenny Beagle (LB).

My first question was “When did it all start?

(JM) In July 2013 my mum posted a picture on Facebook of a lovely Beagle that was in danger of being PTS she simply wrote “number 5” as we already had 3 Beagles and a Sausage! I managed to get in contact with Erin who was the author of the Facebook post. I told her we were going to be out on holiday and would like to help if welcome. It turns out Erin knew my mum as she used the vet clinic Erin works at. We arranged to meet and Wilson became our first foster. He arrived in the UK on 17th September 2013. I didn’t keep Wilson, he was rehomed. I know where all our dogs are and I’m in touch with all but one.

Wilson

My love for the breed started in May 2011 when I got my first Beagle puppy (Mabel), having done no research and quickly developed a love for the breed. The rest as they say is history. Hank quickly followed Mabel in Februry 2012 as a 6 month old pup that had already had 2 homes.

Fostering isn’t always easy on the heart, each and everyone holds a very special place in my heart. Some you bond with more than others, for instance one thing I’ve learned is that if you let them sleep on your bed, you’re done for. Some of these hounds have been through so much and have every reason not to trust a human ever again. Yet they love and trust us. It’s an absolute privilege to be the UK part of Cyprus Beagles.

(ES) I started working as a vet nurse in Cyprus in 2008. I saw many cases of abuse and neglect, particularly for the hunting dogs here. However it also made me realise what amazing characters they have. I adopted my first rescue Pointer mix, but sadly he was poisoned (a fairly common occurrence here) a year later. I then adopted another, and feeling that she needed a friend, I decided to adopt a buddy for her. Having dealt with Beagles in my job, I started looking for one, and along came Jeremy Beagle. It was then that my love for Beagles began. Thereafter I went on to foster a few dogs for other rescue groups, and also created a Facebook page to share the many posts of Beagles needing homes in Cyprus. I rehomed 2 Beagles in Cyprus, prior to meeting Jo. Wilson came along, I met Jo, and Cyprus Beagles came about. In the beginning it was a learning curve, ensuring that we were doing everything correctly in terms of travel, preparing our dogs and making sure they were as healthy as possible. For example, even though blood testing is not a legal requirement we still do it. There was never a question of cutting corners or not doing things properly. We also had to find a way to fund our venture but still make it an affordable option for UK adopters. We are extremely lucky to have the support we do now, but in the beginning it was sometimes touch-and-go whether we would have the funds necessary.

(LB) Thank you for the extensive responses, I have a question on the airlines that carry the beagles to the UK. It sounds a little strange, but was there any problems with arranging the transport? Was it fairly straightforward thanks to the “connection” between Cyprus and the UK?

(JM) No problems whatsoever. The staff at the ARC’s (Animal Reception Centres) at Gatwick and Heathrow are fantastic. They care passionately about the dogs, they are always let out of their crates, allowed to go to the toilet and clean bedding etc is put in their crates before they are released to their owners or consignee. I know most of the staff by name and they know me which helps to build a good relationship.

(ES) Flights are always booked through our fabulous flight coordinator. That way we get group booking/rescue rates. I can only imagine the work and juggling involved for her especially, recently, with airlines going bust and others imposing new rules at the last minute. Check-in here usually goes OK from our side of things, with most of the staff quite interested in all these dogs turning up.

Sherlock arriving at Heathrow.

(LB) How many beagles have you rescued and re-homed to the UK?

(ES) The numbers are high, but there are always more beagles waiting. So far we’ve re-homed 56 Beagles, and one very special Jura Hound. If you include those that never left me it’s another 4, plus Snoop, who we sadly had to have put to sleep here because of his medical issues. Currently I have 2 fosters here in Cyprus, being 1 hound and 1 Beagle. So altogether it’s 64 dogs rescued under Cyprus Beagles.

Todd, Henry, Wilson and Daisy

(LB) Apart from being in love with the breed (who can blame you!), is there any other reason for focusing on Beagles?

(ES) A reason to be a breed-specific rescue is for the sake of my sanity. The number of stray, abandoned and abused dogs here in Cyprus is prohibitive. I had to find a way to limit our focus, as it was driving me slightly crazy not being able to save every dog. We still can’t help every needy Beagle that we are informed of, but we try and help those most in need or in danger.

(LB) If you could change something, what would it be? For instance, do you think the authorities in Cyprus do enough to protect the beagles on the island?

(ES) Cyprus needs to enforce its existing law on microchipping and registration, and be much tougher on those flouting the law. The permissable ‘standards’ for how to keep a dog should be raised, especially for hunters dogs. It’s common to see metal cages in the middle of the fields, housing 1 or many dogs. The cages are often full of poop and only a bucket of green water for drinking. The dogs are mostly only taken out to hunt. Pet dogs are often kept on chains in yards. There needs to be a positive drive for neutering. Every day I’m aware of a Beagle in need and it makes me upset. Those that obviously have Leishmania (*see footer note*) we just cannot take on, as the chances of rehoming are very small, and the potential expenses very big. I can only keep so many myself and those I have already have problems, which cost me a fortune! Thankfully we had space to take on Bosley, knowing full well that he was a serious case, but it seems that Watson is not a rehoming prospect either, which leaves me with 5 permanent dogs.

Fred (sadly no longer with us)

(LB) Do you think that any changes will actually be undertaken to alleviate the suffering and subsequent re-homing of the Beagles?

(ES) I don’t think the authorities will be making any positive changes soon. There have been rumours of new legislation but it actually doesn’t address the major issues.

(LB) Finally, what do you think would be the most help to you, outside of additional donations and funds.

(ES) What would help us most? This is a tricky question really. As we are, with Jo and myself doing what we do, we are limited as to the number of dogs we can help. However this keeps it more personal and I really see the two of us and our adopters and of course the Beagles as a big Cyprus Beagles family. If we had more people to foster, in Cyprus and the UK, we could potentially rehome more dogs. But I’m not sure we would be as successful.

(JM) I totally agree with Erin on what would help us. Because we are so small we can have a much more personal relationship with our adopters. They really are like family to us. A lot of the Beagles come back to me to board when their new mums and dads are on holiday. As such I truly believe we are as successful as we are, because we are so small, and we are extremely lucky to have a very lovely group of supporters.

Lola. Now living her life in Northampton.

(LB) So it’s a case of having more people to give homes to Beagles like me then? That’s more than reasonable. One final, final question. You mentioned two of the Beagles who couldn’t be homed here in the UK, can you let us know a little more about them?

(ES) BOSLEY. At the end of November 2017 I was tagged in a post for a very sick little Beagle. I knew straight away from the pictures that he had leishmania. I also knew we had to help him. He captured people’s hearts and due to the amazing donations that our supporters sent we were able to give him the best treatment possible. Bosley pulled through but has been left with limited vision. He has also had a couple of seizures. Leishmania is a lifelong disease so he will most likely be on medication for the rest of his life. But he is the most Beagly, stubborn, greedy little boy there is, and he lives his life to the fullest!

Bosley (when he was initially rescued)

WATSON. Watson was an inmate at a local pound. No-one claimed him, so he came to us. His nose was cause for concern, and after a lot of investigation we found out he has lupus, an autoimmune disease. It’s a constant battle to keep on top of his nose problem; currently he’s on a grain-free diet and two kinds of supplements, as well as steroids. We’ve also fixed one ruptured cruciate ligament, with the second one to be done also, but it’s a balancing act with his treatment protocol right now. Watson is a strange little Beagle, but his zest for food and walks is second to none.

Watson (in the pound before rescue)

(LB) Ladies, thank you for giving us a better insight into how you do the rescues, why you do them (of course its obvious) and that you will continue to do them. And from a personal point of view, thank you for rescuing me. I am now in my forever home with my brother and parents with whom I am happy and contented. Without your efforts, I would be probably still be a street dog and I much prefer my life now.

If you would like to find out more about Cyprus Beagles, please visit their Facebook page and contact the ladies directly. I am sure they will be glad to hear from more prospective adopters for Beagles like me who need a new home with love and tickles. And food.

*Leishmania* is due to protozoan parasites from the Leishmania species. You get leishmaniasis from being bitten by an infected sand fly. The parasite lives and multiplies inside the female sand fly. This insect is most active in humid environments during the warmer months and at night, from dusk to dawn. Symptoms can include Skin lesions – particularly near the head and pressure points, Lymphadenopathy – Swollen lymph nodes, Enlarged spleen, Weight loss, Fever, Abnormal nails, Epitaxis Renal disease symptoms, Anaemia

Big brother is watching you, Lenny

I’m getting used to this being a “big brother” idea. Ok, so I am not his brother in the strictest sense of the word. However he needed help settling in and as the senior beagle, I could step in.

Once we had recognised more fully that Lenny’s initial position was pretty much the same as mine when I arrived, the ideas started to come back to us. For instance how had mum and dad handled walking me? Did that work? If not, let’s see if there is something different can be done. How did they resolve the walking? What happened when I didn’t want to sleep in my bed, but on the big bed? How did they sort it out. How long did it take for me to become used to waiting for my food instead of diving straight in? Could I help or hinder their attempts at ensuring Lenny wasn’t the same as me. Hang on, what’s that last one all about!

There is a significant difference though. When I arrived there was no other dog to greet me and to show me the ropes as it were. I wandered into mum and dad’s life and apparently turned it upside down. We were all learning as we went along and we all made mistakes along the way. However there were also little triumphs which became more and more frequent. When Lenny arrived on the scene I was in a position to lend mum and dad my expertise in handling rescue beagles. Whether they wanted to listen to my woofs of wisdom, I don’t know, but I offered them anyway. It seems they already had a pretty good idea of handling a disruptive influence so they were able to use some of their knowledge on little Lenny. Hang on, that’s another slight on me isn’t it? Ugh good grief.

His training has helped him understand that he has a home for life here. He has to brush up on some manners such as not snatching treats from mum and dad’s fingers as well as waiting for the ok before eating his food from his bowl. He is doing really well on these, and even I have impressed ears for him. This also means he is more likely to listen to commands, unlike me on most occasions. Dad said that Lenny had understood “leave” very quickly when he was at training last week. I know they are practising regularly as I hear “Leave” and I even I have to double check the command isn’t for me. Having said all this, I am ahead of Lenny in some respects. I do know to sit at the kerb when crossing the road and waiting for my food bowl to actually be placed on the floor before I inhale my food. I know to walk close and I do know about not pulling hard when we go down slippery slopes. These are just some of things I have learnt, as I am often times told that I am a good boy when I do the right thing. I think it comes from repetition and knowing that I will get a tickle or some treats for being good. Lenny will have to learn these things too, along with many other new tricks it seems. Not that I am enjoying watching him being put through his paces each day, of course. No, not me.

Did someone say “Leave” or “Dinner time”?

I have been watching mum and dad since Lenny arrived and it occurred to me that the relaxed aura which had come into our life recently and prior to Lenny was regressing a little. We had become much more accustomed to one another and I was relaxing sufficiently to ensure that they weren’t on the edge of their seats every time I went out into the garden or wandered off to lay on a bed in another room. Now some of the concern seems to have crept back into their lives. I suppose it doesn’t help that Lenny and I usually follow each other around the house, trying to nibble each others ankles and ears to provoke the other into a squabble. We are reducing the number of times we start picking on each other for a squabble though. He is gradually understanding that he can stroll about and snooze in whatever dog bed he wants to, or lay on the rug and sun puddle. I think that, once the training has taken more effect, he will be able to wander around without thinking that he is being watched all the time and without mum and dad wondering where the little tyke has got to. Again though, they are relaxing with him as he is becoming more comfortable in the house and garden.

Chewing on an after dinner stick

I am not sure I am the model big brother for Lenny. We do tend to mess about quite a bit and the squabbling and silliness can continue for some time. We enjoy our time out in the garden. Once the rough and tumble of play fighting has eased we can do our own thing which usually means me sniffing for squirrels and Lenny chewing sticks. The first walk in the morning is sometimes the best as we are both scenting all the intruders in the garden from the previous night. Sometimes I want to play and other times I am lending mum and dad a paw when they are trying to teach Lenny to calm down and rest for longer periods during the day. I am quite excitable sometimes and this may have an adverse effect on him. As I said a short time ago, we are getting better at leaving each other alone for longer and the level of play fighting has subsided. We can wander around the garden minding our own business. We eat together and don’t try to steal each others food (as much as we originally did) and we can snooze in our beds close together. Often I lay and watch Lenny when he’s snoozing. I wonder if I was like that when I was a pup, if I was pesky and always wanting to find out where the boundaries are and how far can I push those boundaries before getting told off. I wonder if I can do things differently to help mum and dad with Lenny’s settlement into the house and routine. I know what they would say to that.

I wonder if he is happy? What I mean by “happy” is, content in his heart and knows that he is safe and loved, rather than just thinking “its a nice garden and there are beds and food so this should be alright”. I hope he does know that he is safe and loved because that is precisely what he is.

He’s alright I suppose

Yes even by me, his naughty big brother.

Farewell Port Hunter

It is with sadness that I must write of another beagle friend who has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Port Hunter lived in northern California. I never met him, but I was honoured to be able to communicate with him regularly and call him my friend.

His love of life, his sense of adventure and spirit of freedom always shone through. His life was full of fun and adventures. His mum was his rock, and PH was hers I think. They were inseparable, as often as possible being out on the hills and trails enjoying the sights and scents of the countryside. PH became ill over the last few years and soldiered on despite being poorly. He was determined to enjoy everything he possibly could at his mums side.

Lovely poppies

I patrolled in his honour today. I walked the fields and byways near where I live. I smelled the scents, admired the views and peered from the top of the hills just the same, as I know PH would be doing on his patrols. I even managed to chase a squirrel up a tree. I hope he would be proud of my efforts.

In your honour PH dude.

It is a privilege to know friends like PH. I never met him but I feel as if he was a good friend. We spoke on many things being good, bad or funny. Always polite, always approachable and always as happy as possible, he will be missed.

Farewell dear, sweet Port Hunter, travel well to the Rainbow Bridge. We shall meet in the future and be able to patrol together. In the meantime rest easy dear friend, for your time down here is done. Gone from our sight but never absent from our hearts. Always farewell and never goodbye.

Why?

I have sad ears.

Oh brother! Lenny, wherefore art thou.

I have briefly taken over Dexter’s blog to introduce myself. I had better hurry along before he notices that I have borrowed his computer.

Here goes. I was found as a stray in Cyprus. The people that found me said I was a stray on the streets. I went to the municipal pound who then phoned the nice Cyprus Beagle people. Anyway it only matters that I was found and rescued by Cyprus Beagles. I wasn’t in rescue in Cyprus long before I got a plane ride and found myself in the UK looking for a new home with a family to watch over me and make sure I have a life full of fun, direction and treats. I must not forget treats.

When Dexter and his mum and dad came to see me, I had no idea who they were but I could see straightaway that Dex is a good lad with a kind heart. I introduced him to my friends and we played a while in the garden. We went out for a walk whilst the humans chatted about things and I introduced Dex to the local park. I told him I hadn’t long been in the rescue lady’s house but I knew the park well. Dex and his parents left fairly soon after arriving and to be honest I went back to playing with my buddies. It was only when I was put into the car the following Saturday did I wonder what was happening. I was on the motorway and we were going somewhere new.

We arrived at Dexter’s house, went in and I immediately ran out into the garden, with Dex in hot pursuit. My eyes nearly popped out of my head. This was great, there were flowerbeds, grass, trees, hedges, a log store and a shed. There was even a gravel patch. Wow. Just wow. I raced around at breakneck speed with Dex, trying to take in all the sights and smells. All the while he wanted to know who I am and where I was from. It felt like we didn’t have time to relax on the lawn so I just whizzed about, enjoying myself. Then the ladies that brought me here said goodbye and told me to be a good boy. And they were gone! I was here, in a new house with new people and a new friend. I had no idea what was going on so I raced around the garden a bit more. This was all new to me, and to Dex as well. He was a little confused at this new young tearaway suddenly arriving in his house and disrupting his routine. It was a lovely sunny day so we spent a large amount of time in the garden, mainly engaged in play fighting and bitey face games.

Getting to know my brother better.

Only when we were both sufficiently tired did we retire to the living room and took the chance to have a nap, before commencing bitey face again. These extensive sessions of play fighting would be a recurring theme for a while, unfortunately. When it came to bedtime, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that I had a bed all to myself with blankets and even a cushion base. Dex had the grace to show me which bed was mine. What a good fur.

When I awoke early the next morning I had to check around me to see if this was happening. Indeed it was real as there was Dex in his bed sleeping away with his leg hanging out of his bed. This was a sight I would have to get used to. I thought it might be fun to wake him up, however this proved to be a bad idea. He was already awake. Not only did we start play fighting but it also woke up Dexters mum and dad who weren’t best pleased with the early morning beagle alarm. At this point I can only confirm what Dexter said in his blog about the water spray bottle being wielded precisely by mum and dad. We were both soaked quickly. It was effective though, as we stopped for a while. I had a walk in the afternoon with Dex and he showed me one of his favourite walks in the fields behind his house. This was fun. I could get used to this. In fact, I have got used to it.

The first week went by in a flash to be honest. It was all new to me what with a routine that was being implemented and new things I needed to learn. In amongst all the routine and rules, Dex & I were squabbling for considerable periods and this was causing mum and dad to become worried. We were new to this “living together” lark and we didn’t know what we were supposed to be doing. Dex had been an only child for the first 5 years in his house, and I came from a background with no real system, routine or rules. Both Dex & I heard the humans speaking to the ladies who had delivered me. There was concern in their voices and I think the travel crate was in the car ready for my return. Maybe this was the reality check I needed. I could see they wanted me to settle, to succeed in making this my home and to enjoy life with a new brother. Both Dex & I could see that we needed to change something, but what?

The following day Dex and I were in the garden. We started play fighting and the water bottle didn’t make an appearance. We must have gone on for an hour or so and only when it got a little heated did either mum or dad step in. However no water bottle at first. We were letting off steam, sorting out our differences if you like or clearing the air. When we went a little too far in the play fighting and the water spray did appear. Eventually we both relaxed on the grass, albeit some way apart from one another.

Hello brother.

Gradually there seemed to be a better understanding of the routine. As each day passed I got more of an idea that there are meal times, down times, training and walks. At the end of the second week, there was another phone call and this time the tone was better. Once they had finished the call, I got tickles and back scratches from mum and dad who also told Dex and I that we are now brothers so we had better start behaving nicely. I was staying. Excellent news. We looked at each other and knew it was up to us now to make it work. Dex had been at this stage before, he told me, and he didn’t want to mess this up for me.

So, you’re sleepy as you’ve read all those books?

When we were out on walks together we would be alongside each other for a while until one of us got a scent and went on our merry way individually. I was pulling on the lead and harness trying to copy what Dex was doing, where he was going and what he was smelling in the hedgerows and fields. Apparently this couldn’t go on so it was decided that I would be walked separately to Dex and I was also to get some training in the garden and local roads, where there are fewer distractions. I have been booked on some training sessions which, apparently, I am going to enjoy. It seems that one beagle who pulls a lot is quite sufficient in this house.

I am three weeks into this new adventure, I am settling down and the routine is becoming more like normality. Dex and I still get to play in the garden and house, but we are also becoming accustomed to each other. We have proven, thus far, that we can live with each other. I have a great chance to make sure this is my forever home and I don’t want to mess it up. Dex is a good fur and an excellent brother. Hopefully I won’t let him down. His mum and dad are now my mum and dad. I feel loved and wanted so all is good.

Giving me a cuddle, or pinning me down?

I will update further when I get a chance to borrow his computer. In the meantime I’m going to try and be a good brother to Dex. Wish me luck.

Is he talking about me again?

Look out he’s coming back.