According to the people I live with, today is my birthday. This day was chosen as no one really knows for sure when my actual birthday is.
I am something called a teenager as I have hit the ripe age (for a dog) of thirteen. I don’t know what being a teenager entails but if it means that I get loads more tickles and treats, I am hoping I get to be a teenager for ever now. Even Lenny is being nice to me.
To be sensible for a moment I must admit that I am lucky as I am safe, loved and live a good life. I am grateful for these things as there are many other dogs that don’t enjoy the privileges.
Today marks four years since Lenny came to live with me.
I was surprised to see people at the door to my house. I was assailed by a pup of about eight months of age and we proceeded to run around like idiots having fun. When the ladies who delivered Lenny left we kind of looked at each other with some trepidation and then proceeded to run our parents ragged for about two weeks whilst we got used to living together. It was like dropping a furry hand grenade into my life.
He’s been here four years. We have been to all sorts of places, seen many things and met many people. Lenny has settled into his life of safety. He has learned some commands and knows he will get ear tickles and head scratches if he’s a good lad.
Whisper this but I am so pleased he’s here. We may annoy each other and do silly things but I know he’s safe and loved which is the best thing ever. Happy fourth Gotcha Day Lenny Lendog.
I haven’t been on here much recently as I have been busy recuperating from the operation on my cruciate ligament back on 6th January. I know I reported progress around three weeks after the operation but thought I would let you know how I am getting on. That is of course if you are interested.
I was at the vets each Monday for about 6 weeks after the operation. I had laser treatment but I avoided wearing the trendy goggles that are normally used. I had one parent alternating each night staying downstairs with me as I was banned from stairs for over a month. It was extremely boring staying on the ground floor as I was being regaled with stories from Lenny about sleeping in his bed and being able to stretch out, not being hassled by me during the night and getting midnight snacks whilst I wasn’t there. For the first few weeks the only outside time I got was in the garden which only added to me feeling stir crazy. Then during the day my walks started although they were short and slow which was due to me healing. Also my parents said that I was normally an idiot on a walk because I can smell a squirrel/rabbit/fox/deer (delete as applicable) from around a mile away. I went along a quiet road at a slow pace to help build up the muscle wastage that I had suffered over the preceding months. My mum was doing physio sessions with me three or four times a day. My leg was being worked hard but carefully to ensure that there were no relapses. Come rain and shine I was out on a short walk and then back to the house where I shown how to exercise my leg and get stronger. Treats and a peanut butter lick mat may have helped here, so I am not putting it all down to my own will power. Suddenly I was allowed upstairs although at first I was lead walked up to my bed at night. During the day I was still restricted to downstairs but I didn’t mind too much. After a couple of weeks of being accompanied I was found upstairs as I had secretly engaged in a bout of snout jousting with Lenny which had finished with us finding the best spot to look out of the window and check squirrels in the garden. We weren’t in the proverbial good books for a while, especially until they could ensure that I hadn’t done damage to myself.
When I went back to the vets for the last time, around three weeks ago they said I was doing really well, mum was doing a great job on my rehab and physio and I could start to go on longer walks. We had to increase the mileage slowly each week from less than a mile to a mile, a mile and a quarter all the way through to a mile and a half currently. I have been going to different places and its got a bit more interesting. I sill don’t walk with Lenny as he goes for longer walks than me and we tend to compete for scents when we are together. I’ve had a couple of setbacks where I started limping a little and then my front left leg was playing up. With the aid of some medicine and anti inflammatories I seem to be on the right path now though.
I couldn’t have done it without my parents. And even Lenny helped by giving me time and space to heal. He knew I was in some discomfort as soon as I arrived home after the operation although I think that the onesie, Fentanyl patch and me looking spaced out might have given the game away.
Anyway yesterday it was 12 weeks since the operation and we went to the beach in the wind and rain. We met up with our good friend Griff who brought his parents along. We walked and there was chatter with some cake and coffee mixed in. I’d had three walks all over a mile and a half. I didn’t even realise I had gone that far and there are no ill effects today.
We actually found the Bluebird Cafe in Ferring which was an excellent place to go and very, very dog friendly. Today we have mainly been sleeping and dreaming.
I’m on the road to recovery. For a “nearly” thirteen year old beagle I feel bionic but I am being reined in by my concerned parents. There’s life in the old fella yet.
Before Christmas I read about one of my longest known friends who had been diagnosed with a tumour in his leg which was inoperable. His parents surrounded him with love and showered him with attention as they knew that he would be making his longest journey in the near future. When I saw the news my heart filled with so much sadness. It was sadness that this would be his last days, weeks or months and that I knew another of my oldest friends would be leaving us.
Bugsy beagle was born on 7 December 2011 and arrived at his forever home on 9 February 2012. He immediately ingratiated himself on everyone and made an instant impression on his mums heart. He quickly became the chief meeter and greeter at his mums spa in the Midlands. Everyone who worked there, or visited, knew Bugsy was around either through seeing him in the office or hearing him in the office. He made the place his own as you would expect of a cheeky, happy and very much loved beagle.
When I joined social media in December 2013 Bugsy was one of the first dogs that I communicated with. Always happy to lend me an ear, tell me where I was going wrong with training parents or explaining how to use the “eyes” to score extra treats, I knew I could rely on Bugsy to come up with the goods.
He was “best dog” at his parents wedding and then welcomed a human brother in February 2019. He said he was a little confused that there was a new pup who was getting showered with attention although Bugsy did admit that he grew to like his new brother particularly at meal times when the number of snacks strangely increased. Bugsy was at the centre of a loving home and knew his cheekiness and fun would always ensure he remained endeared to all who met him, but specially his parents.
And so it was that I heard the news before Christmas that he was unfortunately quite poorly. The initial few weeks turned into a month and then to six weeks. All the time he was stoic in his attitude ensuring that he upheld the tradition of the beagle by baying loudly, never missing a treat and making sure his family knew where he was. After a course of medicine the final X-Ray showed what had been feared, had actually happened. It was to be his time. Time for the worst decision but the most loving decision. Time for the sadness and reflection to flow and envelope him in the love that had cradled him throughout his life. He made his final and longest journey being cuddled by his mum and he was allowed to sleep his longest sleep.
Bugsy, my friend, travel well and sleep easy. Those who have gone before will guide you to the everlasting meadow where the sun shines warmly upon your fur. There is no more pain, no more suffering for your time here has concluded. You have left the most giant of paw prints on the hearts of your parents who will never let you leave their minds. You will continue to make them smile, to laugh at your naughtiness and to remember your life and all its adventures.
Run free Bugsy. I am honoured to be called your friend. May your path be lit for you to find those who have gone before. Rest easy.
Three weeks ago today I was delivered to my local vets so that my bad leg could be fixed. I was put under anaesthetic and the vet surgeon opened up my rear right knee. He later told us that my “cruciate had completely broken” complementing that with “he’s in a lot of pain” and they couldn’t tell how long I had been in discomfort. I had something called a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy) which I wont describe in case you are squeamish or have eaten your dinner recently. I was placed under house arrest in the vets overnight so they could observe me.
I arrived home the following day to see that I was still under some form of house arrest which was being dressed up as something for my benefit and to avoid any incidents or damages occurring whilst I healed. Lenny saw me wobble into the house and duly retired to his (one of my) bed to observe me from a safe distance.
To be honest I don’t remember much about the first couple of days due to being subdued by various pills, potions and drug patches to help the pain. I didn’t even realise that I was wearing what is colloquially known in the canine fraternity as the Cone of Shame. Imagine wearing a lampshade upside down on your neck and looking like a Frilled Lizard. Indeed, not a good look for a rufty tufty beagle. I did have the use of a surgical onesie, as well as a long sock type object called a Licksleeve. This covered my leg and meant that I couldn’t lick the leg or knee. What with the Cone of Shame, the Licksleeve and my onesie I was trussed up more fully than Hannibal Lecter.
It had even escaped my notice for the first few days that I was not allowed to go upstairs to my normal bed and that I had a parent sleeping downstairs with me. Again to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid, as if it would cross my mind to lick or chew the operation site. Lead walks in the garden, pills at regular intervals, rest, sleep and then more sleep were interspersed with food. Back to the vet on Monday and my pain killer patch was taken off which was a relief as it meant I could dispense with the onesie at least. I was given my first session of gentle physio and was checked over by the vet who performed my operation. All appeared well and I was allowed home, but I was still under house arrest.
Two more vet visits and I am feeling much better. I get physio three or four times a day whilst Lenny gets training elsewhere in the house. The parents are still swapping over each night to sleep downstairs with me until I am given the all clear to resume the normality of being a beagle. I have another week at least of downstairs rest after which I will be assessed further. I seem to be making quick progress with standing on all legs, building up my leg muscles and being more mobile and comfortable walking about. The infernal Cone of Shame is still there, although I noticed over the last couple of days that it is being removed more frequently. I am not chewing or licking my leg as much as was feared so it is hoped that with the wound healing, the fur growing back and my general mobility getting better, I can be without the Cone for ever soon. I even managed some “helicopter tail” for one of my parents when he returned home a few days ago from running chores.
So, why do they love us so much? When I was away in the vet hospital I understand that the house was quieter, there were fewer shenanigans and even Lenny missed me. Both parents were thinking about me and hoping that the operation would be successful of course. But in the first instance they wanted me back home in one piece. Now I am back there is still a great deal of upheaval in the house and I am still not allowed upstairs. I’m not resting as much as they would like and I am being kept from doing too much too early so I can repair my leg properly. They are very happy that I seem to be walking well now. It’s only been three weeks and I am feeling better every day.
One of my good friends, Zack, had the same operation on the same day. He too seems to be recovering well and we have promised each other that we would heal together, repair properly but not make it a race. I suspect his house was pretty quiet whilst he was away having his operation too. Even his brother would have missed not having him around for a day or so.
Maybe its the instinct to nurture that makes our parents feel sad and anxious when we aren’t around. We are very lucky that we are loved and pampered. Is it our cheekiness, our sense of fun as well as our ability to weedle our way into hearts to pull those proverbial strings? Maybe that’s why they love us so much.
A yearly review always seems to be on the cards so I will dispense with the long winded wordiness about what we did and didn’t do this year. Essentially we had fun, went on adventures, lost some dear buddies and remained loved throughout.
We lost my sweet cousin Minnie to the horrid C. Rest easy fur cousin.
For the rest of the month we rested and I felt melancholy.
Lenny and I were accused of being “thick as thieves” as we seemed to be plotting shenanigans after chicanery. Not sure what they meant.
Storm Eunice introduced herself to the UK and Lenny was out the day after to check the destruction she had wrought.
Spring sprung and the blossom bloomed.
We enjoyed the days becoming warmer and the sun on our fur.
We went on separate walks so we could explore at our our own pace.
I enjoyed pulling parents along the lanes.
Vampires slept whilst all around them got on with their lives.
I took the chance to catch up on my sleep as well.
Taking time to survey my patch is always important.
But then we found the Paw Paddock at Horsham (actually its nearer to Warnham). I was a puppy again.
Then we found Paw Paddock Horsham again.
Ok, one more at Paw Paddock Horsham.
We lost Tyrrell, one of the best beagle pals you could ever wish for. Rest easy sweetie.
We also got to explore a place called Whiteways near Amberley. Phew, what a scorcher.
We also lost Eddy. He was one of my oldest friends. We had met a few years ago and strolled about. He was another rufty tufty beagle lad. Rest easy Eddy dude.
We explored the beach at Goring By Sea. We were supposed to be at Ferring but thanks to dad we didn’t get there.
My favourite place anywhere. Just beautiful.
The nights started to draw in and our beds seemed more comfy each day.
We ensured that at least one parent had to sit on the edge of the sofa.
We lost the most beautiful and wonderful Nut beagle. Rest easy sweetie.
We soaked up the last warmth of the sunshine.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.
Time for more thoughts about what lies ahead.
And with that the year ends. I am fortunate to be loved and safe, to have a multitude of friends and to have a happy life. Sometime in early January 2023 I am off to the vet to have my leg fixed so I can try to run around again chasing Lenny like a “fur possessed”. Shenanigans will have to wait sadly.
Best wishes to all for the coming year, may you all stay safe and remain loved.
Off to the vet I went yesterday. My leg isn’t getting any better and the current trial of pills to try and alleviate my ailments isn’t working. After the ignominy of being starved from 10 pm the night before I was taken to the local vet orthopaedic centre so I could be examined, prodded and poked. All the while I would be away with the fairies, sleeping and dreaming of squirrels to chase. The vet said that my stifle (knee) looked very swollen and I was in pain. He looked at the X-Rays and told us that there was a problem which needed fixing.
The outcome is that I am going to have an operation to repair my right cruciate. The operation is a Tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy (TPLO) and involves the vet opening up my leg, doing some alterations to my bone and ligaments and then sewing me back up again. Apparently I won’t feel a thing until I come round and then hopefully come home the following day. Then its rest, more rest and then some rest to make sure I have rested enough. Also I will get some physio and maybe hydrotherapy to assist in my recovery. There are tails (see what I did there!) that the operation is fairly quick and successful so I am confident that I will be back up and running quite quickly after I have been diced and sliced.
It’s not quite the present we wanted this year but I will hopefully be in a better place early next year once the operation and recovery are complete. I will let you all know how I get on. I might even let Lenny take over my blogging whilst I am recuperating.
In the meantime I think there might be some turkey which I need my begging eyes for.
On 19th December 2013 I was safe. I had been adopted and found a good home which was warm, dry and had two people who were prepared to do their utmost to give me a good life. Essentially everything that I needed. I had no idea what Christmas meant and looked quizzically at the green tree covered with lights, in the corner of the room but I knew I was safe.
Now I have been here for nine years and I have gained a brother, been on so many adventures and got too many friends to mention. I now realise that it is Christmas and every other celebration every day.
It’s my Gotcha Day which, for a rescue, is the most important day in our life.
I may have suffered some fur fade, and one of my legs may not be playing nicely at the moment, but I am safe and loved. That is the most important thing.
I’ve been struggling recently as age is catching up with me in its many and varied disguises. I have not been on here as much as I would have liked as there are issues with my health that needed dealing with first.
As the avid reader will be aware I am a rescue dog and no one really knows how old I am. My chip says 2010 but that doesn’t necessarily mean I was less than a year old when it was put in my shoulder. When people ask, they are told I am “about 12 and a half”. I may be older however.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago it was noticed that I had started to wander about and stare into space, as if I had seen or heard something. There wasn’t actually anything there. I would be staring at a wall or an empty chair. I sat looking at the door in the utility which is the normal escape route for our escapades and shenanigans, however I was staring at the hinged edge of the door despite having been out of it hundreds of times. One of my assistants wandered past and I never even noticed him standing directly in front of me. I have been scratching my right ear far too regularly and to such an extent that I had cut the inside with my toe nail. I have been hearing sounds that I had never reacted to before and, equally, been silent to previously reactive things. I didn’t notice any of the fireworks this year which is strange as I normally try to hide behind a chair or dig holes in the carpets around the house. Certain sounds that I was hearing were making me anxious to such an extent that I was being ill. My brother kept on sniffing either side of my face as if he can tell that there is something not quite right which is true, as he normally sniffs me before biting my ears. Combined with this is the arthritis in my scar leg and I am, in the words of my parents, a “bit of a mess” at the moment. I had the shakes in my leg, and I wasn’t putting it down on walks, even though the said walks are getting shorter it seems by the day. The muscle is wasting away because I cannot use the leg as much as I would like to.
I went off to the vet to see what they said. Apparently I had quite a bad ear infection which may have been the cause of me not sleeping properly, scratching my ear and hearing some sounds and not others. Drops are being liberally applied to said ears. Of course I am going deaf with my age. My eyesight is also waning so I am starting to stare at more things more often, if you see what I mean. My leg is arthritic and even though I am on medication daily now, it isn’t getting any better. There is a physio option for me which will be discussed when I go back to the vet. The pain relief quantities have been increased so I can hopefully grumble less in my sleep. I heard my parents speaking today about the difference in the muscle tone of my rear legs. The rear left is strong whilst the muscle on the right has pretty much wasted away and my hip bone shows a bit more. My walks are becoming shorter and shorter as I am struggling with the lack of mobility in my leg which, in turn, means I don’t exercise it. My brain still seems bright and my senses are somewhat strong. Each time I see a squirrel, smell a deer or I am aware of a cat, I still try to chase after them baying as I go. This clearly doesn’t do my leg much good as I strain at the harness. I am off to the vet again tomorrow for a check up and see what can be done, if anything, to alleviate my current malaise. I will let people know how I get on.
Please look out for us as we do depend on our parents. This isn’t a sympathy post today. I wanted to purely place in words that we do get old, we do get wobbly and we do need our people to look out for us and make sure we are living as comfortably as possible. You are our lives, we rely on you for so much throughout our lives.
In other news, dad put up the Christmas tree yesterday.
There appears to be an enduring thread running through many of my blogs over the last few years. Sadly the thread is not about holidays, extra treats or shenanigans with my younger brother. It is that another of my original friends has made their longest journey.
My friend Nut was rescued from a hunting pack here in Yorkshire, UK. She came to her forever home in 2012 and never looked back. Nut followed a line of rescue beagles including Bean and Boo. She was loved and cherished from the first day and she quickly adapted to life on the sofa, the big bed, other beds, more sofas and maybe a chair or two. When I joined social media in December 2013 Nut was one of the first pals that I chatted with and she seemed so happy and content with her life. We met up when I visited Sheffield in December 2016 and I had the pleasure, nay privilege, of strolling about with Nut, her little brother Oggy and many other pals. We had a great day despite it being quite soon after Boo had made her longest journey.
Nut ensured that her house was made to be welcoming and friendly. This is shown by her letting Oggy come and live with her. Oggy arrived from a horrid testing laboratory in Europe. Nut stepped up immediately and took him under her paw and made sure he was looked after and got to know all the best things about being rescued. After Oggy’s arrival it was another two years before Oscar arrived, from Cyprus Beagles. Now the more observant of readers may notice that my little brother also arrived from Cyprus Beagles but I was assured by Nut that Oscar had no vampiric tendencies. Oscar was welcomed with equal love by Nut.
Nut enjoyed her life. Even after she had managed to injure her ligaments in one of her back legs and knowing she would need an operation she still wanted to do all the beagle things we are known for. The doctors were worried about the operation as Nut had been diagnosed with stage 3 heart murmur but she bravely went for the op as she knew she still had shenanigans to do, little brothers to watch over and a family to look after.
And then on Monday this week I heard that Nut’s body told her it was tired and couldn’t keep going. Nut started on her longest journey surrounded by the love she had received and given to others since 2012. The room is quieter and there is a feeling of sadness that pervades. Oggy and Oscar are wondering where their sister is which is wholly understandable as they come to terms with Nut being held in their hearts and not stealing their toys or the eggs that Oscar so delicately looks after.
So it is that I say farewell Nut. Sweet Nut who made the lives of many so much better, more fulfilled and enriched just by being herself. Travel well and feel the warmth of the everlasting sun upon your fur in the never ending meadow where the squirrels run slowly. Seek out those who have gone before and join the growing pack of those dearly departed.
Farewell but never goodbye, for one day we will meet again. Until that day I shall hold you in my heart.