Phew, what a scorcher. Again! This is getting repetitive and is far too warm for us beagles. Thankfully our parents take us out early morning so we can avoid the worst of the summer heat which can be extremely dangerous for us dogs.
In any case we managed to wake the parents early this morning and watched as they wandered about the house getting ready for the day ahead. I got told off for shouting at a squirrel running along the fence in my garden. I had no idea that the neighbours might not be awake at 7 am. After all, if I’m out of bed, why isn’t everyone else? Lenny and I had our first part of breakfast and then we got walked a really short distance up a local road before returning to the house. We had suspicious ears as this usually meant something else was on the cards. Mum got some water and our travel bowl whilst dad opened up the car to make sure it wasn’t too hot. Lenny saw immediately what was happening and he cowered a little by our side gate. I decided to show him that this was adventure o’clock and leapt, salmon like, into my car travel crate. He was gently coaxed toward the car and then leapt into his travel crate, to the sound of much encouragement and congratulation. It should be noted that I didn’t get any such congratulation. Off we set, turn left, turn right, down the fast road, stay left, turn up a sharp corner and then park under a big shady tree. Come on you two, out you get was the cheerful instruction.
We were somewhere new. I looked at Lenny, who looked at me and then we both looked quizzically at the parents. What was this sorcery? Dad made sure mum had the water bottle and travel bowl. Off we go onwards and upwards. We strolled along the gravel track and then turned a corner and followed the track up a small hill to another corner with a predominantly chalky trail to follow. We wound our way along the rising path for about twenty five minutes when we were told that we have just conquered Chanctonbury Ring. The views were lovely and we seemed to be so high we could touch the sky. However we were more interested in the critters that live in the long grass and wild flowers along the edges of the footpath. We initially went past the wooded area on the crown of the hill but then returned to stroll through the wooded copse. The smells in the Beech trees were much more interesting than listening to our parents chattering and enjoying their walk. Lenny and I had to regularly remind them that we were still there.
The sun was getting higher in the sky and we were getting warmer so our parents decided that we should go back to the safety of some shade and shelter, so we didn’t overheat. Returning to the car we were pleased to see that it was still in a cool and shady spot and, this time, Lenny leapt straight into his travel crate without being prompted. We arrived home just in time to see our second breakfast being served. We even managed to sit nicely as dad prepared our food.
We decided that we would return again to Chanctonbury Ring. Apparently it is the site of an ancient Neolithic fort atop the hill. The original fort was thought to originate in the late Bronze or early Iron ages. The “fort” was a low earthen rampart surrounded by a ditch which gradually became unused. In 1760 the local landowner wanted to make the top of the hill more beautiful so he planted a large number of Beech trees. They survived until the Great Storm of 1987 when winds over 100 miles per hour destroyed many millions of trees across the south east of the UK. Subsequent replanting has allowed the hill top to recapture some of its beauty. The hill lies on the South Downs Way so if you’re in the area, try walking to the top and enjoying the views.
We liked it, and we don’t think you will be disappointed.
I’ve been a bit ill recently. No, you’re not getting any pictures of me recycling my food as that is personal. Of course my illness had nothing to do with me raiding the kitchen bin and finding all sorts of goodies in there including tea bags and bits of kitchen roll which needed to be shredded, chewed and in the case of the teabags eaten. Unfortunately at 5 am this morning, I decided I needed to be sick and my parents were left with the clean up operation. I feel better now, thanks for asking. Also a while back my diet was changed as it seemed that my belly couldn’t handle the food I was eating and there were many and varied trips to the garden at plenty of unearthly hours of the night. Maybe my body is trying to tell me something?
I have been thinking quite a bit over the last few weeks about me slowing down too. Since we moved into our new house, I have these new fangled stairs to negotiate and I seem to be using up more energy every time I go up, especially when I am chasing Lenny. Then when I get upstairs I seem to seek out the bed under the desk in mums office or try to lay snoozing on one of the spare beds. This of course relies on Lenny not finding me and trying to bite me. When we are outside in the garden it may be smaller than our old one, but I seem more content to just stroll about and try to eat bees. Yes I know that is pretty stupid and I am regularly squirted with the water gun that has been bought just for this eventuality. However the bees seem to buzz around and I cannot help but try to catch a few of them. I have yet to succeed, much to the relief of the parents. Lenny and I seem to understand that the garden is smaller and that I like to have more time to sit on a bench to watch the birds land on the fence and then listen to the sound of the cars and trucks outside in the road. I suppose it is because I am allegedly 11 now that my body and mind is telling me to take things easier.
If only that were the case when we are out on our morning walk though. I seem to be permanently pulling at the end of the lead trying to get to the critters in the fields and hedges.
I am not saying that I am old and infirm, far from it. I think I am beginning to realise that when I am in the house and garden, I don’t have to run around like a hound possessed all the time. I have a good life and generally I am very healthy, it is just that there seem to be more occasions where my bones feel a little weary and my mind is telling me to relax and not chase that squirrel on the fence.
What’s that noise? Oh good grief its pouring with rain and thrashing against the window. Time for a longer snooze I think. Suddenly Lenny is past me and has stood on dads kidneys so it seems we will be waking up now. Tea and no sympathy seem to be the order of the day thus far. After a while we are duly harnessed and stand ready for the shenanigans of the day to come. It’s ok though as the rain has eased and we might only get a little soggy. Upon leaving the house we watch as our travel beds are loaded into the car, but strangely we are shepherded away from the car. What is this sorcery? Up the road and back once we have done what we need to do and the car is unlocked. At this point I looked at Lenny who was cowering away from his travel bed and crate.
It seems that his fears of car travel have returned as we haven’t been out in the car for some time. This is going to take some gentle persuasion on the part of the parents although I am concerned to see that treats weren’t considered necessary to coax him into the car. I tried to show him the way to do it, but he sat there shivering and cowering away so mum gently picked him up and put him in his crate ready to go.
Out of the house and down the road. We wound our way to an adventure. I watched out for my brother to make sure he wasn’t feeling too bad. We stopped and the boot was opened. The fresh and windy sea air filled our nostrils so we knew we were just about to have some fun pulling our parents along the seashore for a while. Just as we leapt out, it poured with rain again so we strolled quickly into a shelter on the promenade to wait out the shower clouds. Then we were off in earnest toward the sea so we could try to find the best stinky stuff to lick, sniff and hopefully roll in. Immediately we came to some seashells which were tasted before moving on to find the remains of a cuttlefish. Lenny seemed to enjoy this and was quickly forgetting about the car journey. I saw the dead crab stuff first but, as usual, Lenny barged in front and was getting up close and personal with the crustacean. We pulled and jerked on our leads for a few miles as we strolled along the sandy foreshore, up and over the little breakwaters and then back up to the pebbly section near the promenade. We had to walk along the prom for the last bit as dogs aren’t allowed on that section of the beach. I am not sure why we aren’t allowed on that part though. We don’t drop litter, break glass, leave tin and plastics everywhere or barbecue stuff and make it all thoroughly untidy. Our parents pick up after us so I am wondering if humans should be banned from the beach instead of dogs. Anyway, we followed the rules like the good boys we are and strolled along.
As soon as we were getting into our stride we were turned around and headed back toward the car. We saw some other dogs running in and out of the sea chasing a ball and we aroooed them. We saw some dogs walking nicely along the beach and we aroooed them as well. We even saw some dogs playing on the little green spaces near the promenade so we might have aroooed them too.
Back to the car just as the sky opened again and this time Lenny leapt freely into his travel crate so it seems he had forgotten his fears of the car.
Once we were home it was back to the routine of food, snoozing and running around the garden chasing pesky magpies. I did hear talk of doing another trip next weekend if the weather is agreeable. I wonder where we can take Lenny next time?
Yesterday was my birthday. Well, officially I am an orphan and no one really knows when my actual birthday is, but please stay with me on this. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, birthday. I am now eleven. Apparently. My chip says 2010 so even rudimentary Beagle maths makes me two years away from becoming a teenager. Bad luck mum and dad.
I have been pondering as one does upon the life I live and what, if anything, I would like for my birthday. I am not a particularly materialistic type of dog and as I looked around the house and garden it struck me that I have everything I need or could want.
Beds? check. Brother? check. Safety? check. Food? check. Walks? check. Friends? check. I don’t do toys any more.
As I don’t “need” stuff, I asked my friends on my Twitter account to post a picture of them or their buddies having a good day, doing something they enjoy, getting some love or generally being somewhere that makes them happy. Whoa! what had I unleashed. At the time of writing my request has generated 397 pictures and 1,221 likes. This is unheard of and is truly wonderful. I know there will be people who will say “yeah, I get that regularly so what?” and they would be correct. However, for one day my Twitter account went off the scale with pals and their parents putting up photos of happiness, joy and contentment. Social media did a good thing, I think. I have friends who are really struggling with mental and physical difficulties and they tweeted pictures that made me, and others, smile. One of my friends was at the veterinary with her dog who seems quite poorly, and she posted a lovely picture. For one day the world seemed a little brighter and less populated by hate, fear, pandemic, brutality, death and hunger. Fine you may say, it was one day only. However that brief interlude made people smile for a short time, maybe only for a minute or so.
I truly did not expect to see the reaction I received to my tweet. Maybe twenty to thirty friends would post. I could smile and feel happier than I normally do and my birthday would have been good. I was and remain truly humbled by the response.
As he has been here for yet another year, I thought I should conduct Lenny’s appraisal. Thankfully I didn’t allow him to have one of those new fangled 360 degree appraisals. I don’t want him spreading false rumours about me. Anyway, sit back and make what you will of our chat.
So Lenny, 2020, what did you make of your first full year?
Well Dex it was very strange wasn’t it? We started the year off quietly, then too many people broke the rules. After that those who are in charge didn’t take action quickly enough so we went into three further quarantine periods. Thankfully we had each other, as well as our parents, in our own little bubble. We seem to be on the right path now, so I just hope everyone can continue to be careful and not become blasé.
Then we had the strange goings on when we were barred from bitey face in the guest room because loads of boxes appeared. Our parents never told us about the new kennel. All we saw was them disappear now and then, to suddenly reappear a few hours later. When the guys came to take away our possessions I was a bit worried, especially for all the toys that suddenly weren’t strewn across the floor in inappropriate places for mum and dad to fall over.
Do you miss our old stomping grounds then?
I do. Sometimes. When I arrived in 2019 you were kind enough to show me quite a few excellent walks from a couple of miles to a really good 10 miler that I did with dad once. I actually think we took a wrong turn and he just couldn’t admit that he’d gone the wrong way. Apart from that I enjoyed walking around the many places and seeing tons of really nice views. The deer and squirrels helped to make our adventures interesting. And, of course, we got to travel into London on the train or tube which was fun. I can see why you enjoyed the big field around Botley as you can see for miles from the tree line. As for the regular Pednor trips, yes I do miss them as I got to know plenty of other furs and people. It was nice to have some routine and, I suppose, regularity to life.
I do like it here though, as we have plenty of new places to visit and we’ve already been to the beach. The deer are bigger here too, although thats a bit scary if I think about it too much. There are many places we haven’t been to yet so I am looking forward to those. Also we haven’t been to the pub yet, and that is always interesting.
What do you think to the new house?
Oh I like it as it is very different to the previous one. Firstly it has these strange “stairs” that we can run up and down, whilst we chase one another. Also it has many different rooms in places that I need to get used to. I keep on doing things like chase you into the living room, only to find its actually the kitchen. A downside, if there is one, is that the garden is smaller than the previous house so I can catch you more quickly so we tend to shorten our garden exercise. I suppose the fact also that there is a water gun to curtail our over exuberant shenanigans is also a bit of a downside too. Dad is far too good a shot with it. I feel like I have settled really quickly here. I just feel like it’s safe and warm, I suppose. Also I have you and the parents so I feel safe in that regard, knowing I have you to rely on.
Did you find it strange that for a large proportion of 2020 we were under a degree of restriction regarding moving around and meeting people?
No, not really. We were lucky that we had the lovely walks almost on our doorstep. Combined with that we were sensible and stayed clear of people as much as we were able. If we met people when we were out dexploring the countryside we were able to greet them in typical Beagle fashion whilst staying at arms length. When we were allowed some freedom from the restrictions we didn’t really venture too far. It was almost like we knew that we were in the middle of a storm and were just riding it out. We did see Raffa’s mum in September when the rules were relaxed slightly but then people in general didn’t really behave properly and we went back into quarantine. I think as dogs we just followed our daily routine of walks, eating, sleeping and shenanigans in the garden. We had the freedom to do that without having the human worries about the virus, money, work and life in general.
Is there anything that you would do differently looking back over the last year?
Erm, no not really. I think the virus made everyone think a bit more about their local area and their life outside of their regular workplace. Maybe I would like to have had more days out on the train or tube, meet ups with pals and trips to the pub with our parents. Wow, I sound like I am desperate to go to the pub!
I think there were days when I could have done with a bit of a scenery change and had something different to look forward to. You did some trips into London the previous year up to March 2020 with dad which I would liked to have done but couldn’t due to the travel restrictions. Also now we have moved and we are much further away from a train station it would prove to be much more of a challenge getting to and from the station, let alone wandering around the big city saying hello to people. I am hopeful though, if people behave themselves, that I can still get to do some additional dexplorations, especially if I can do them with you.
Is there anything you think you have got better at?
Yes. Walking nicely on the lead and playing bitey face with you. I have learned from the Master of Bitey Face so I think I had no choice but to get better. Dad has worked harder with me when we have been out and I do listen more to him when he wants me to walk nicely or stop eating disgusting stuff. Well, most of the time I try to listen but you know how difficult it is. Mum is a bit more cunning when she wants me to obey commands whilst dad is a bit more direct. I suspect both their training styles have had effect on me. They both still roll their eyes when squirrels or rabbits are in my view though. I probably have to work harder with mum though, as I am not sure she believes I can walk nicely.
If you could bring one thing from the old house to the new one, what would it be?
Easy. The garden. It was like an adventure playground for us. Once I had been living in your house for a few months and had the chance to fully dexplore the garden, it just kept on giving up more secret places and scents to me. The new garden will be ok but it isn’t as large and there aren’t as many scents or nooks and crannies at the moment.
Apart from that, it’s really nice here in the house. This underfloor heating stuff came in handy when it was a bit chilly for the first month or so when we got here. And carpet instead of hardwood flooring in some rooms? Luxury as we could lie on the soft carpet and feel the warmth coming through.
Is there anything here that you would change?
Yes. I would stop the oven and hob from bleeping and upsetting you. I don’t like seeing you leave a room or go and hide in the study upstairs when the kitchen is in full flow. You look so worried sometimes, although you have got much braver recently and returned to make sure dad was ok when he is cooking. However I would still stop the bleeps.
Have you got a favourite walk yet?
I like the circular walk through Thakeham via the church on the hill, down the farm track, past the church, past the next farm and then back via the gravel track. It’s about five miles or so and is a good stroll. Also I have to admit the walk I did recently with dad when we went to the top end of Knepp Country Park was great fun. It was over seven miles and we saw the biggest deer I have ever clapped eyes on. And I was very tired when we got back although I think that was dads plan, the meanie. I hope to be finding some more favourite walks soon.
What are you looking forward to doing in the next twelve months?
Ugh good grief, where do I start? Now we are far more settled I am looking forward to the beach, walks to the pubs and seeing pals as often as possible. Summer is on the way and I hope to get to walk to many places to experience different things here. I haven’t tried this “ice cream” yet and you promised me that I would get to taste yellow snow in the winter, so I am looking forward to those treats. Apparently we are close to the South Downs so I want to go walking over those. And our fur cousin Minnie doesn’t live too far away now so, if I am lucky, I will meet her too.
Do you feel safer, or more secure, now?
Yes, I do. Now I have been living with you for two years I do feel much more part of the gang. As we said last year I was feeling my way around at first, maybe taking some liberties with your toys, beds and food until I understood better what was yours and what was mine. Now I can see that I am safe and loved, I feel more relaxed and I am happy in my fur. I have got used to being your little brother and it’s good as we knock along together quite well now. Often times we can do our own thing, and then meet up afterwards for a chat and snooze. I don’t feel like I have to compete for space any more and we can share things either in the garden or the house. We still squabble over the ownership of that bouncy orange ball but I haven’t seen it for some time so I assume it’s appearances are being limited.
I noticed recently that when you go into your cave bed which is next to mine, you curl up closest to my bed?
Oh, erm do I? Ah well erm. Ok here goes. I feel really settled and secure here. That is due entirely to you and our parents. As I am not allowed to sleep on the big bed, despite being found on there some mornings, I like to curl up next to you as I feel like I am safest when I am with you. I know I was like the proverbial hand grenade when I arrived into your house, and you all accepted me and made me feel really welcome. I just try to repay your trust by being nice. Yes, I know that’s difficult to believe when we are rolling around in the garden playing bitey face, but its a true story.
Ok, last question. What will you like to see and do in the coming year?
I want to go out more often and explore plenty more paths around here. I also want to go to the hills which I can see from my house. Then there are the beaches which are now much closer. If I can meet grandad more often we can take him with us as long as he behaves himself.
I would like to improve on my technique of creeping up on you from behind to play bitey face. I seem to permanently get to you just as you roll over and see me. I think I need to make my approach a little quieter. I do suspect that you know I am advancing upon your neck so I will have to work harder.
Hmm, yes that is something you need to improve upon. However I think that we can conclude this appraisal by confirming that I will allow you to spend the next year living with me so I can continue to train you as my apprentice.
Erm thanks Dex, that’s really kind of you. I will try not to disappoint you. Now, can I go and get some food?
Lenny and I went to the vet last week. We moved house and needed some tablets to make sure that worms don’t live for too long in our guts. I know its disgusting and I apologise if you are having your tea but that is what we did. We were tricked into going by a mean parent who only said that we were going for another walk. Anyway the vet asked to see us so we could be weighed and quickly checked over. Due to the current quarantine restrictions we were allowed into the vet practice separately and dad had to sit outside. As he was the mean parent who tricked us, both Lenny and I wanted it to be raining so dad would get wet. Sadly it was dry and bright. I went in first and sat on the scale like the good boy that I am. Thirteen point nine kilos dad was told, whatever that means. Then it was Lenny’s turn to sit on the weigh bridge, sorry scales, for his quick check over. Fifteen kilos, the vet nurse said to dad, who was taken aback somewhat at the number. This got dad thinking on the way home and he was quick to speak with mum. A plan was hatched and Lenny was none the wiser thankfully. Lenny is going out with dad for longer walks and he will get a little less food in his bowl as well as fewer biscuits are treats.
So it began the following day when I was attached to my mum and Lenny to dad. We started off in the same direction and after a couple of miles I was turned around to head for home. Lenny and dad were heading for the hills it seems. They disappeared around the bend in the road and I was left wondering what was happening. I found out soon enough that Lenny had taken a longer route through the country estate that we had so enjoyed a week or so before. I was feeling bit jealous until I saw Lenny’s breakfast was smaller than mine and he hadn’t noticed. As usual he had dived in and inhaled his food, much in the fashion that a Labrador is alleged to inhale their food. I say alleged as Labradors are bigger than me. The following day Lenny was hooked up again to dad and they took off in a separate direction to mum and I. Again he came back with a grin on his face and recounted where he had been and the other dogs he had met. I didn’t feel as jealous this time as, again, his food bowl didn’t look as full as it used to and he hadn’t noticed. The weekend arrived and we went back to walking as a group. This time we went around the country estate together and Lenny showed me where he had seen the long horned cows as well as where he had scented the deer. We took the long route to the pub yesterday and Lenny and I were allowed to pull and jerk on our leads quite a lot. When we got home we both realised how tired we were from all our lead based shenanigans and it occurred to us that maybe there was a method to us being allowed to mess about so much.
Lenny is going to get longer walks, fewer biscuits and a little less food in his bowl. We are also going to get less cheese that is “accidentally” dropped when food is being prepared. Apparently I don’t need long walks every day as I am getting older and I seem to be getting more stiff joints and cramp when I don’t drink enough water or go too far on a walk. I actually quite like not going too far as it means that I can come back and relax for a while before the hooligan hound breezes through the door and bitey face begins in earnest.
I hope this new routine doesn’t make him even more ravenous for my neck!
Today we decided to try out a path less travelled. Lenny and I had the usual wait for the parents to get themselves ready. We were fed our first breakfast on time and then waited for what seemed ages for the staff to finish faffing about.
Out of the house and turn right, then left, under the road and sharp right up the slope toward the woods. Lenny and I made ready for our noses to go into over drive as soon as we got to the edge of the trees. We weren’t disappointed as we both picked up scents straight away but were surprised when we suddenly veered left through the woods, along a path and next to a field. What was this sorcery, surely our normal path is to follow the road and then cut into the field slightly? We weren’t complaining, merely wondering what was happening. As we approached the first gate we heard the parents tell one another that this was all new from here on and it would be an exploration. For me it would be a Dexploration. As we quietly said good morning to the horses we wound our way past the farm, along the edge of the trees, over the brook and then back into the woods. It was at this point that we realised we had been hoodwinked. Listening to the parents, they had seen a herd of eighteen Roe deer in a field about half a mile back and they had decided not to tell us, for fear of a continual noise which would “awaken the dead”. This was clearly unfair. We happened upon a path and then a narrow lane which lead us back to the next village from our home. We managed to jerk and pull our parents for the entirety of the lane so that we could remind them of our presence at the lower end of our respective leads until the narrow lane became a road and the cars increased in number. Turn right and up another lane, through the edge of the woods and returning under the road bridge we found ourselves, all too quickly, back at home.
We had adventured and had fun. Here’s to another set of adventures in the very near future. Lenny is duly sleepy so I can escape being bitten for a while.
Well, I think most of them are planets outside of the solar system that we live in.
So, how far away are they?
Ugh, a long way little buddy.
A long way? Like, further than going to grandads house?
Oh yes, much further than grandads house and probably further than you came from Cyprus.
Wow, that was quite a long way Dex. Can we travel to these planets or stars.
No, we cant. They are so far away that not even the humans can get to them.
Do you think humans will get to other planets one day?
Probably, but not in our lifetime. I don’t think they will get to the far away stars as they are something called light years away. A light year is about a thousand human years. We usually live for about 12-15 human years.
So, these stars which are planets, does anyone live there?
No not as far as the humans know. They think they are all incapable of sustaining human life as there isn’t any air or water or food.
But that doesn’t mean that other creatures don’t live there, you know these alien things that people speak of.
I think you’ve been watching too many films young Len dog.
So, how did the planets that are stars become planets and stars.
Well, that is quite a long story but I can woof that I think it was about 100,000,000,000 years ago there was a load of rock and debris all floating around being molten and hot in outer space. Then there was a big explosion and all the bits of the explosion started forming together and made planets. We live on one of those planet things but ours became habitable as it got these things called an atmosphere and water, air and plants.
So this 100,000,000,000 years, is that older than our human dad.
Very good Len dog, but yes it is older than dad. Don’t let him hear you woof that.
Dex, do you think there is intelligent life out there, you know, in the darkness in between those stars and on the star planets?
I am not sure, little buddy. If you mean intelligent compared to humans, then possibly. Compared to dogs though, I have my doubts.
Hee hee, dont let them hear you woof that Dex.
So how come they are all twinkly at night but all disappear during the day, Dex?
Well, thats because the earth goes around the sun and we have this day and night stuff. We run around all day being silly and play and then we are supposed to go to sleep at night when its all dark and quiet. Our planet goes around the sun which is that big orange thing that keeps us all warm. Going around the sun is called orbiting it. Whilst orbiting the sun we also spin around our own axis so we have night and day. During the day time we are facing the sun and we cannot see the stars, but during night time we are facing away from the sun so the stars show up and we can see them.
So the stars go to bed during our day time then, Dex?
No silly. The stars don’t have things like bedtime or dinner time, they are always there, it’s just that we cannot see them.
So, what about the ones that fly across the sky?
Well, those are meteors or asteroids and they are usually really big bits of rock that have broken away from their planet and decided they want to go on an adventure. I think they get a bit warm when they fly across our night sky which is why we see them.
So if one of them hit the earth, what would happen?
Oh that’s easy. Depending on how big the meteor is, it would either just crash land into the earth or if its really big, it would blow us up and we wouldn’t be here any more.
So whats the one called that I see most nights?
Ah, that’s called the Moon. Its always there and man has been to that one and stood on it. They had to wear a special suit so they could breathe as there isn’t any air up there. It took them ages to get there, about three days I think. No one lives on that one, its like a big round rock that is always there, held by our gravity.
Gravity is the stuff that keeps you on the earth. It’s like the atmosphere around the earth, the air that you breathe and it pushes you down to make sure you don’t float away into outer space. A man called Newton invented it, when an apple fell on his head. Sorry, he discovered it, silly me.
Thanks Dex. I am still none the wiser, but its fun listening to you sometimes. I think I need to rest my brain. Shall we have a game of bitey face first?
It was chilly this morning once we were out and about on our paws. We managed to prise mum and dad out of bed at a reasonable hour and we were quite impressed with our efforts. Come on, they said, we will take a stroll a little further than we have been before. We were intrigued with the lack of clarity over where we were about explore.
Out of the house and along the road, we soon found ourselves in the lanes through the countryside. We had walked it a few times so the views seemed to arrive quite quickly. The scents also came thick and fast and we had to slow down to make sure we got as many sniffs as we could. Past the church, right, then left, through the gate, along the path, through the next gate, along the track and we find ourselves standing at the lower end of a wonderfully quaint and very quiet Sussex village. Lenny and I decided that we shouldn’t make ourselves known to the residents until we knew why we were there. Mum and dad clearly had a purpose for coming this way as they were looking left and right as we walked all the while dad saying “I’m sure its just here on the left”. We continued along the narrow lane for another few minutes and dads face lit up as he realised they had found the pub that they had wondered about ever since we had arrived four weeks ago. It wasn’t open due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown as well as the more prescient fact that it was 9 am on a Sunday. Having satisfied their interest we all strolled on to the end of the lane fulfilled now we knew the purpose of our walk today.
Turning round we walked back toward home. At this point dads had slid down my lead and I was told to stay close to him. Being an obedient Beagle Harrier I always listen to him, despite it being extremely boring when I cannot explore at the end of the two metre lead. Lenny then let out a long arooo and as I looked up there was another beagle walking toward us. We greeted this fellow beagle in traditional fashion, with all the humans feeling very embarrassed at the loudness of our greetings directly in front of someones house. We found out that our fellow beagle had been rescued by Beagle Welfare and rehomed about eighteen months ago. She was now living a wonderful life with walks aplenty, a comfy sofa or two and multitudes of scent possibilities. We parted company after a few minutes and felt happy in heart and soul. We agreed to say hello the next time we were in her village.
Lenny and I made sure that the “beagle brakes” were liberally applied most of the way home so we could enjoy the scents of the hedgerows for as long as possible. Happily for us a cat ran across the road in front of us toward the end of our return home and we managed to ensure that the feline fiend knew we were in the area. For some reason we don’t get on with cats. Whilst we were trying to introduce ourselves to the cat, it appears that we had invented a new pastime of “Beagle wrangling” so it sounded like it was worth while taking our stroll today.
We suffered a cold snap last week when temperatures barely lifted themselves about zero Celsius for swathes of the UK. I know this isn’t as bad as other countries have endured however, for us, its a perennial big news story. The allegation is that if London gets more than 1 centimetre of snow, it grinds to a halt. I’m not so sure.
In any case, the sun seems to be showing its face this week making a welcome return as far as I am concerned. Lenny and I have been exploring the highways and byways around our new home. The ground is drying out so we can go careering across fields and along bridle paths at top speed. Actually thats not strictly true as we could go careering along if we weren’t shackled to parents. The flowers have started to flower and the tips of the shrubs and trees are due to burst into their Spring coat in the near future. This means the smells and colours will be ours to enjoy very soon. I like Spring. It’s a sign of the rebirth and regeneration of the life which has lay dormant for the Winter months.
We’ve been doing quite a bit of relaxing in our new home. I mentioned in a previous post that Lenny seems to have settled far quicker than me. This still remains true to a large extent however it has been noted that I am beginning to chill out much more readily during the day which is always a bonus for everyone concerned. I got some very helpful and thoughtful comments and advice from many friends to my post about my inability to relax here and I am thankful for each one. I assure you that I am feeling more at home now, even though its taken a month and I am still scared of the bleeps on the induction hob when its switched on. We can work on that though.
I’m off for a snooze. My brain and nose have been filled with the scent of flowers, trees and squirrels today. I even stood in awe as Lenny spotted a herd of deer prancing across a field today and yelled his head off. I am proud of my protege.