Lennys Appraisal for 2020

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.

Pednor in the sunshine

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.

I hope Dex is alright?

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.

Beach dawgs

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.

Brothers in arms or thick as thieves?

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.

Practice makes perfect

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?

Enjoy the bluebells.

Fighting weight

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 and 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.

So tell me all about your day.

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!

A path trodden by few.

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.

That was fun.

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.

What’s up there Dex

What’s up there Dex?

Up where, Len dog.

There?

Stars matey.

Stars? what are they?

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.

What’s 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?

New paths, new friends and old foes.

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.

Apparently its just around the corner

Turning round we walked back toward home. At this point dads hand 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.

Was it something I said?

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.

I’ve worked hard today

Mission accomplished. Time for a nap I think.

Spring seems to have sprung

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.

I aroo like to be beside the seaside

There was nothing out of ordinary to alert us as to what was in store for Lenny and I yesterday. Waking up as normal, I stretched and climbed out of bed to go and see mum who is the gravy bones dispenser. My tongue was duly crossed with the brown bones of tastiness and I sloped back off to my bed for a snooze. I think dad was pleasantly surprised there was no kidney pounce. In any case breakfast for Lenny and I was taken in the Utility Room once the parents had decided to get out of bed.

As soon as we realised it wasn’t raining we were quickly on our toes and pulling our respective parents along the road. Suddenly we were turned around and marched back towards home. We had hardly started our walk. What was this sorcery? Dad opened the car and we were cajoled into our travel crates. Lenny and I looked at each other quizzically, what was going on? It wasn’t time for the v-e-t visit, surely? Then we were off the driveway and headed down the road, turn right and then turn right again after a mile or so. The road went left and then right, we were getting lost now until we pulled up at somewhere familiar. When the boot was opened, a scent filled our noses that told us we were in for a fun time.

It was the seaside! I could hear the wind, and the waves as they gently crashed upon the sandy foreshore. Come on Lenny, let’s go. As we tried to leap out of the boot, we were swiftly caught mid boing, harnessed and told to be good. How bothersome of our parents to cut short our attempted shenanigans. We crossed the road and pulled our parents across the stony section of the beach toward the softer sandy section. We had visited this place before but we hadn’t been on this part of the beach so we were in for a treat.

Of course you can trust me to behave.

As we wandered along the top of the pebbles we saw the seawater tempting us away to our left. Mum and dad had little choice but to go to the edge of the water so Lenny and I could find dead crabs, seaweed and cuttlefish pieces washed up along the sand. This was fun, we walked along with grins on our faces and the wind in our ears. The scent was high and Lenny was taking it all into his scent factory. Behind us another beagle strolled past so we took the chance to bay. Loudly. Very loudly. So loudly in fact that people on the promenade heard us and started smiling. Further along the sand Lenny found a dead crab and picked it up. He suddenly realised that seawater tastes disgusting so dropped it immediately and went to grab some seaweed instead. He spat that out too. We strolled along, saying hello to people who all kept their distance from us, so keeping everyone safe whilst the quarantine is still in place. The another beagle came strolling toward us and we met him in customary fashion, proceeding to tangle our leads and try to play bitey face with him. Duly embarrassed at our uncouth behaviour, mum and dad continued to walk away whilst apologising to the other beagle owner. He just laughed. We walked all the way along the beach to a river which we couldn’t cross so we returned to the car, all the while running in circles, tangling our leads and generally making mum and dad laugh. When we got back to the car something strange happened. Dad told Lenny to “Hup” into the boot and he did so immediately. Lenny doesnt like travelling in the car as he still gets some travel sickness but he had just leapt in freely. My brother was so happy from his walk that he had apparently forgotten about his travel sickness. I followed him into my crate and we both laid down for the return home which was nearby. What a morning we both had.

It was as much as we could do to raise our heads later in the day to eat our food. Ok, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but, we were tired and happy. We had been to the beach, we had been sensible when we encountered people and we had a good time. Hopefully everyone follows the rules and Lenny and I can go to the beach more often. Maybe even get an ice cream.

We need to talk about Lenny

Same breed, different dog. This is a phrase I have been hearing quite often since we have moved kennel. Apologies, since we have moved home.

My parents have been pondering on the difference between Lenny and myself. Specifically the time it has taken Lenny to settle into his new environment, which was about thirty minutes, and myself who hasn’t properly settled after three weeks. Lenny seemed to walk into the house and explored as soon as the external doors were closed. He strolled about sniffing and checking every room with the result that, after thirty minutes or so, he was asleep on the sofa. I strolled about with him, again checking every room. However I seem to be of a mind that this is still a strange place. As a result I haven’t really slept properly since we have arrived, every time someone leaves or enters a room I want to know what’s happening and if a parent happens to be outside the building I pace around the room and then lie very close to the door, awaiting their return. According to some this isn’t very helpful as, opening a door with a beagle behind it, seems to be a hazard to health and human access. Who knew? Lenny just lays in a tight ball, nose tucked under his tail, almost as if he knows that he is safe and secure.

Sleep well my little protege.

At my last kennel (sorry my last home) I was almost the same behaviourally when someone left the house, or went to retrieve something from the garden, garage or even another room. It is a difficult thing to quantify really but I think I have some inner fear of being left behind once more. When I first adopted my parents back in December 2013, I had been in and out of a home and rescue so I didn’t know what to expect. We worked hard to help me overcome my initial fears of belonging to a place I could trust and rely upon. I had my moments where I could relax and was sometimes found sleeping with a “silly grin on my face”. I suppose I was getting used to the daily cycle and starting to relax when, like a hand grenade, Lenny was dropped into my world. He seemed to feel at home almost immediately whilst I didn’t know what had just happened and was readjusting to a new aspect of my life.

Good grief.

Fast forward to the current home and Lenny wanders in, sniffs, strolls about and then leaps onto the sofa for a snooze. I wander with him, sniff, stroll about, sniff some more, whimper when someone leaves the room and then lay on a chair with my eyelids drooping shut whilst I try to keep them open just in case something is happening. It’s not even as if we have different things here. We have the same sofas, the same chairs, the same beds all over the house, the same blankets, harnesses and leads and the same food in the same bowls. The routine of eating, snoozing, going for a walk and bed time remains pretty much identical. Lenny’s brain seems to just switch him off like the proverbial light, whilst my brain is asking “what’s next, what am I missing, why is this happening”. I think my parents fear I will not be able to settle, that my brain is so “hard wired” that even if I am so tired I can hardly stand on my paws, my brain will still try to tell me not to sleep properly in case I miss something.

Wake up Lenny, something might have happened.

The conundrum remains unanswered. I will have to stay awake and alert for more clues. Lenny, stop sleeping as you are supposed to be helping me.

Well, that was all a bit exciting

After I had experienced the theft and then return of all my toys, beds and food, it was apparently time to settle in to my new home. I call it my new kennel but my parents insist it’s a home. In any case it is warm, comfy and very different to my previous kennel, sorry I mean home. For a start its on two levels and has these strange things called stairs. Lenny and I have wasted no time in chasing each other up and down these strange stair contraptions that take us to another place called “upstairs”.

Lenny and I also wasted no time in taking our parents out to explore the local area to try and sample the delights it has to offer. So it was that dad woke up with a beautifully executed beagle kidney pounce nice and early on the first full day and he was dispatched to make a cup of tea. We don’t want him slacking now, do we? Within a short time we were exploring the village and met a beagle who lived close by. He was very well behaved and wasn’t on a lead which was both surprising and disappointing. Surprising that he was well behaved and equally as disappointing that he wasn’t up to shenanigans. I suppose we will have to make up for his polite behaviour. Not yet however as we still had to scent where the local critters lived. We went down the road, across a road, up a road, across another road, under a bigger road, over the bridge, along another road and then found another road to walk along. All the while our noses were no more than 5 centimetres (that’s 1.9685 inches to old money aficionados) off the ground. We had to take in all the new smells that the village had to offer us. We had to be careful though as street lights were in different places to those we were used to and we found ourselves too regularly almost upon them. We returned home and rested whilst mum and dad did some unpacking of their belongings. Our stuff had already been unpacked and put away in cupboards, so it was good to see them get their priorities right. We went out a couple more times on the first full day and fell into our beds for a long lazy snooze. In fact I was so tired that I snoozed on Lenny’s bed which was a bit dangerous as he is a bit of a vampire. I think he was equally tired so didn’t bother trying to attack me.

Hope Lenny doesn’t notice!

The peace and tranquility was shattered on the first Sunday we were here however. We went out across the fields and were having a great time exploring and seeing new places to enjoy in the future. Suddenly Lenny was pulling and jerking on his lead whilst all the time baying at the top of his voice. Whatever could have possibly caused this commotion. As I looked up, there were seven Roe deer prancing through the field in front of us, maybe 100 yards away. It would have been rude of me if I hadn’t joined in the general commotion so I duly obliged mum and dad by doubling the volume of baying. I am not sure they were all that impressed as we were swiftly turned around and we walked a different path all the time listening to mum and dad muttering something about “why didnt we get Labradors or Poodles?” Then we went out on our final constitutional of the day and a fox must have wandered past the front of our home a short time before. We managed to bay, pull and jerk for the entire walk around the block whilst conveniently forgetting that we had “things” to do. We were quickly reminded of our duties however. Apparently it’s lucky we don’t have neighbours yet.

To be explored.

Then, during the week, we found the lane which leads to the path which leads to the pub which isn’t open yet. Mum and dad seemed happy to have found the path to the pub.

Lenny, that’s not the pub.

We have behaved ourselves really well so far, even if I do say so myself. There has been quite a bit of disruption to our daily routine. There has been so much unpacking and moving things about that we sometimes didnt know if we were coming or going. We haven’t yet been allowed out into our garden as the turf and soil need time to bed in apparently. It is tantalisingly out of reach for another week or so.

Garden racing will have to wait I suppose.

Excuse me, why are my beds and toys disappearing?

I noticed something strange happening a while back, maybe in late November. Whilst Lenny and I were snoozing or running around the garden like a couple of hounds possessed, things were going missing in the house. A little freaky but I thought I would keep an eye open in case it kept on happening. Which it did, and I thought I should investigate.

During the course of my attempted reconnaissance I was unceremoniously shooed away by both my parents when they were hiding things in boxes, including our toys, leads, harnesses and some treats which would store for a while so they wouldn’t need them. This only raised my suspicions even further but every time I went to investigate I was told to go and lay down and stop being a trip hazard. Apparently humans cannot see very far when they are carrying boxes and crates around the house. I had no idea. One of the rooms in the house looked like a storage warehouse which was concerning as its a house and not a storage warehouse facility and I am banned from snooping around the boxes.

The weekend has passed and the box numbers have increased. Plenty of stuff is now being put into boxes and then carefully stacked in the rooms that Lenny and I are not allowed to play in. My parents are numbering and labelling everything and more rooms are now being filled with boxes. I never realised they had this much stuff.

My parents seem to be getting more excited, or is it agitated, over the increasing number of boxes which are appearing in my house. These infernal things are starting to block the race tracks that Lenny and I have had around the house for some time now. This is grossly unfair. How am I supposed to chase after him?

The latest weekend has finished and it has snowed so my focus has been on watching Lenny enjoy himself in his first taste of snow. Sadly I have not persuaded him to try yellow snow but I am working on it. In any case a number of boxes have been added to the packed ones stored in the bedroom that Lenny and I are not allowed to enter, let alone play in. This is getting very strange indeed. I will get to the bottom of this mysterious parental activity.

Yawning as I awoke from my slumber on a rainy Thursday morning I am surprised to see the parents already out and about, with more boxes being added to the already groaning stack. Suddenly knock knock, arooooo bark aroooo and we are once again shooed out of the way, put onto our harnesses and kept quiet whilst three men come and steal all our belongings and put them all on a big lorry. We’ll be back tomorrow to get the rest of the stuff, they cheerfully tell us as they leave. I searched around the house and could only see bare rooms, bare walls, bare floors and everything echoed. What was this trickery? I had no time to think about it as my parents were quickly into their stride and cleaning and dusting and making the house look spick and span, whilst all the while being empty. Ok, I will sleep on this and try to work out what has gone on. I was rudely awakened once more on a rainy Friday when three men returned to remove the rest of my belongings. Dad was busy helping them steal our stuff whilst mum held on tight to Lenny and I. We just looked confused at each other. The house was empty, utterly bereft of anything except walls, floors and ceilings. And a roof, of course it still had a roof. A final whizz around with the vacuum cleaner and the lorry doors shut with a clank. And that was it. We were hurriedly bundled into the car and off down the road we went. Two hours later we sat outside another very smart looking house whilst my parents spoke to a man about the house. Then the guys who stole all my belongings were giving them all back to me. I had very confused ears and three hours later, Lenny and I sat in a new house surrounded on four sides by boxes. Mum and dad were there thankfully as they finally explained to us that we were now going to live here, in a new kennel that they had purchased. I had to explore as I wanted to make sure that my treats pennies had been wisely spent. Having wandered, sniffed and nosed about in every place I could find, I think they have spent my treats pennies wisely so I approve.

Lenny and I took the parents for a stroll to have a sniff and to investigate our new local surroundings. Mum and dad were of course extremely grateful that we made sure they walked us whilst it rained and we all got wet and had fun. There are so many walks that we will find here that I am looking forward to checking out the new area. It’s going to be fun as we had already found the muddiest track really close by so that’s a bonus for us. There are plenty of other dogs around here and we even saw a fellow beagle on our first full day. He was very friendly, as you would expect, and was very well behaved, which was a bit surprising.

Hopefully I will be able to explore more places and find more fun things to do. I am looking forward to this, the new chapter in mine and Lenny’s life. We have to wait for the garden to dry out before we can go racing around out there like a couple of possessed hounds. Apparently the turf is very new and the soil is very squashy so we need a dry few weeks. The garden is frustratingly out of reach.

Firstly however we need to find out where all those pesky squirrels live so we can do some serious bothering.