Is it four months already?

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

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

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

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

Training Lenny at bitey face games

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

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

Handsome beagle my brother

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

Return to Ashridge.

Today we decided that we would take Lenny to Ashridge. This is a National Trust estate between Tring and Berkhamsted, so quite close to where we live. We have visited Ashridge before Lenny arrived and given that it is now 2 weeks since his little operation, we thought it might be a reward for him not licking or chewing stitches whilst he’s been under house arrest.

Setting off in the car, I just dived into the boot so Lenny could understand that the car isn’t bad and, usually, there are good things when we stop and are let out to run around on the end of leads. He’s still a little sheepish about getting into the travel crate, but when he’s in, then he’s fine. In fact he is travelling better now and tends to lie down for a chill and relax. Mum and dad noticed that sometimes we sit up in our crates and lean onto each other as if to reassure ourselves that everything is ok. We are gradually getting Lenny more accustomed to travelling in the car. It was twenty five minutes to Ashridge this morning and he was really good.

When we arrived and the boot was opened I could immediately smell familiar scents. I told Lenny in no uncertain terms that this was going to be fun and it was a pity that we would be on the end of leads, as we would be able to run for hours. However we had to make do with pulling mum and dad around for a while, so this was almost as acceptable.

This is ace.

Across the common and round the edge of the woods we went. Lenny was enjoying all the scents and sights I had told him about. We were looking out for critters in the long grass, but I think they had been warned we were around today. The only downside was that we weren’t allowed in the woods as this was deemed to be “too exciting” for us. We were panting like a couple of steam trains but this doesn’t excuse mum and dad’s meanness at banning us from the woods. I mean, what could we possibly go wrong with a pair of beagles in the woods?

Wonder if that’s where the deer live?
Told you it was fun, didn’t I?

After a couple of hours it was decided we should return home. We slept most of the way back home so we had a great time and it was a good way to show Lenny another place we can enjoy. We took a slightly longer route home so it would test Lenny a bit more in the car. Forty minutes or so and he passed with flying colours.

Lenny’s a little lighter

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

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

Earth calling Lenny Beagle!

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

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

House arrest is so boring

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

Glad he’s my brother

Where’s dad, I need a tickle.

Over the last few months, I have been looking after my new little brother, Lenny, who has come to live in my house. He’s alright, is little Lenny, and we are starting to get on better the longer he’s here. I am hopeful he will be here forever to be honest. I am getting readjusted to having him here. Its been interesting for me, mum and dad to see how each of us has adjusted individually and collectively to the new furry pupster in the house. We have become calmer in our actions, the longer he’s here. This is particularly striking with dad as he struggled considerably when I first arrived.

In any case, dad and I have been having little chats over the past few weeks and months. We’ve always had quiet chats with each other on numerous matters. Mum also has many serious and fun chats with me, but on this occasion I am going to pick on dad and make him blush by telling you some of the things we speak about. At this point let me woof that I am his first dog so dad has had to learn from scratch what it is like to have a canine companion, with the accompanying upheaval it brings. According to some people, mum and dad picked one of the most difficult breeds to rehome, however I have no idea what these people mean. I am mums second dog as she had a beautiful Weimeraner when she was younger, and she loved Jade very much.

Dad has told me how proud he is of me, for altering my life to allow Lenny to come and live here in late April 2019. I have been an only child since December 2013 so to have a pup come bouncing into my life is a big change. Its been mighty disruptive but I think I am doing ok. Dad told me the other day that I have changed an awful lot since I first arrived. Apparently it was touch and go if I was staying after the first few weeks and months when I wouldn’t settle, I couldn’t relax and I was permanently on high alert for anything that I didn’t understand. I didnt listen to commands, and I did my own thing pretty much permanently. For goodness sake, I escaped three times in the first 12 months and gave them kittens. I don’t mean I actually presented small cats to my parents but you know what I mean. My routine gradually, and I mean very gradually, put paid to my tearaway lifestyle as I settled and found a rhythm to live my life here. After a while I knew this was my permanent home and I did manage to relax. Now of course, I feel safe, loved and I am very content. They tell me that it is wonderful to see me more relaxed and comfortable within my own fur. These are all the traits I am trying to pass on to little Lenny. I think he’s taking my guidance on board, but sometimes it’s quite a struggle to get him to understand things. Then it occurs to me that, in some ways, he is quite like me when I first arrived. He’s a little confused, skittish, without routine and wanting to explore everywhere and everything. In other ways however, we are very different.

As I have got older I have got into a habit of burying my head into dad’s chest when he gives me ear tickles. He gently rubs my chin and says he can see a little smile of satisfaction on my face when he does it. My eyes close slightly and I go all soft. It makes me feel secure when we can connect like this. It makes me feel loved.

He does great belly rubs when I am in the garden on a warm day. I can roll around on the lawn and then this pair of hands descends upon me and I can forget any cares for a while. I get to wriggle around and give myself back scratches. I am then pounced upon by dad who manages to scroffle my ears and give me belly rubs at the same time. I do wonder sometimes how many hands he has, but I don’t mind as it’s great. Usually I lay there, ears akimbo with a silly grin on my face. Sadly I am still not allowed to roll around on the grass when it is cold and wet and the garden is all soggy. Spoilsports.

He puts his bonce on mine and tells me that I am the best, most handsome Beagle Harrier that lives here. I think I am the only Beagle Harrier that lives here. I hope so. In any case, I can quite happily jump up onto him when he’s chilling out and I get gentle ear tickles. He can feel my heart beating when I get a cuddle, and when I rest my head on his chest, I can hear his heart. I think it’s full of love for us all, to be honest. Apparently I have the softest ears in all of beagledom so, sorry Lenny and every other pal.

Anyway that’s enough embarrassment for dad at the moment.

I said earlier in the blog that Lenny is different to me. We are the same breed but he has had a thing about human touch and attachment from the off. When I arrived I was, well, maybe a little aloof or rebellious and didn’t really have the contact and bonding feelings toward mum and dad. We were living with each other, they fed me, I walked them and we all got along together, pretty much. It was only after a fair amount of time that the bonding became more apparent and I felt I could be happy being stroked and tickled or sleep with my head on someones leg. Lenny on the other paw seems to have arrived, walked into the house and wanted to get strokes, belly rubs and ear tickles immediately. He will quite easily fall asleep, for instance, with his head under mums arm whilst she is working. If I am getting belly rubs, he will nonchalantly wander over and walk straight in between the tickler and me. I wonder if the difference is that I spent the few years without direction, guidance, love or affection and Lenny has been lucky with being rescued after a shorter period of time. Maybe he hasn’t missed out on so much of his puppyhood, however we don’t know what it was like for him on the streets in Cyprus. He has learned quickly that mum and dad will proffer head scratches, belly rubs and ear tickles quite readily when we are good. He has learned that if he does something right at training, he will get a sausage treat and a rough tickle. Maybe I missed out on this, maybe if I had gone to training, maybe if I had been rescued earlier, things might have been different. Maybe I am just learning to live with another dog, and finding out that I can share mum and dad with Lenny and I should just accept what I have and love them all.

Now, where’s dad? I need a tickle and a belly rub.

He’s growing on me. I suppose.

It’s been eight weeks since my little brother arrived in my house. Eight long weeks of getting used to each other and giving Lenny a chance to find his paws in a new home. When he arrived, no one really knew what was going to happen. In fact it’s still like that, sometimes. However, even I have to admit, that things are changing albeit gradually.

We are his first proper home and he would need some time to adjust and settle. Indeed we would also need time to adjust to having a lively young pup in the house. I have regaled you all with the early days of trials, tribulations and shenanigans as well as Lenny getting his first experience of training with local professional trainers. Dad is included in the training and we still aren’t certain who exactly is being taught sit, stay, down and leave it.

Anyway they postponed the second training session by a week as the weather was really bad and as the session is outdoors so everyone would have got very wet. Dad decided it might be a good idea if Lenny went to visit his grandma. I have met her quite a few times and she is really nice. She even has tasty ankles which I always try to lick. It makes her laugh and I know she loves me. I told Lenny to get her ankles if he could as she would laugh and love him like we do. So, they set off in the car only for dad to notice after 15 minutes or so that Lenny was drooling and looking quite frightened and trying to pace around in the car boot travel crate. When they arrived at Grandma’s I am sorry to report that Lenny was ill and was very eager to get out of the crate. This didn’t bode well for the return trip. However he managed to get home without further problem. Mum and dad started looking up what might be wrong with him and it seems most likely that he gets motion sickness. They also asked some of our many friends if any other beagles suffered from motion sickness. If so, how did they get round it. There were some very helpful replies especially from other Cyprus Beagles parents. So mum and dad decided they would block out his peripheral vision in the car in time for his next visit to the training sessions. Dad reported that Lenny seemed far more comfortable and happy travelling this time. Lenny even half heartedly wanted to get into the car for the return trip from the training. I think it helped that they had a full on session so his brain was probably quite tired from all the thinking he had to do.

Proud ears at learning new things

It seems that pups are fairly susceptible to having motion sickness and we hope we have gone some way to helping him in his plight. This is a shame and I want him to grow out of it. I have woofed with him that he isnt allowed to have this motion sickness as we have way too meet ups with friends for him to be being ill. He woofed he will try to get better.

Now that was funny.

In the meantime we have been tearing around the garden like a couple of banshees, chasing everything we can find and generally being very beagley about life. We are getting on with each other far better than we were a few weeks ago. He’s even managing not to bite my ears so often, so that’s all good.

A beagle centipede? No, just my brother in hot pursuit

Time and patience. We march on.

Lenny’s learning – yes he is.

As you may know, I have a little brother. I say little but this isn’t true as he is as tall as me and has longer legs than I do. We actually think he is related to a giraffe.

We believe he’s around 8-9 months old so his puppy-ish brain should be capable of processing information and instructions given to him by the various people who now run his life, or believe they run his life. Since he has been here, we have tested different methods of possible training for him. One of the current methods is being loose lead walked by mum each morning, whilst I am dragging dad around some of my favourite places and getting my hunting fix. Lenny is then taken out for more loose lead walking around lunchtime so that he can remember some of the things he has picked up on the earlier walk. Mum says it’s quite frustrating sometimes as she has to stop every time he pulls hard on the lead but often times he can walk quite nicely. There are always distractions such as squirrels, cats, people and cars on his walking route so it is taking some time for him to understand what is required of him. He’s getting there but its just a bit slow sometimes.

Come out and play all you rabbits

However we are ratcheting the pressure up somewhat as he is going to training school for the next 6 weeks with dad and he has no idea. I mean Lenny has no idea, not dad. Although maybe I need to hold that thought until the training school has done their thing to both of them. I think that mum and dad are looking forward to seeing Lenny become better able to understand basic commands and actually react well to them. Apparently it is too late for an older beagle in the house, but I have no idea who this other beagle is.

Wonder if I can hide from training in here?

Lenny and dad have come back from their first training session and dad is smiling. My little furry brother, however, seems to be quite tired. Somewhat disconcertingly his breath smells of treats so this requires some interrogation. Am I allowed to do waterboarding if he doesn’t admit he’s been fed copious quantities of sausage treats? Dad said it was very interesting, good fun and he’s picked up some good tips and ideas. This all sounds a little ominous for my brother. Should I tell him though?

He’s going to be clicker trained, has learnt sit, down and basic recall. Also he’s going to be socialised as much as possible every day. Dad was advised that Lenny needs to be walked toward other well behaved dogs and their owners to try and get him used to being around other furs and not over-reacting or baying and pulling. This could prove interesting as there are also cats and squirrels on his circuit walk and he always pulls and yelps at them.

Concentrating on my “down”. Ooh a leaf, delicious!

What will he make of it all when the training days are finished in five weeks? We will just have to wait and see. I will keep you all updated, I promise. In the meantime there are regular training sessions in the garden when mum and dad teach him to sit, recall and lay down. Even I have worked out that if I sit, lie down and come back when called, I can get treats too.

Do the training, blag some treats.

Win win.

Farewell Port Hunter

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

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

Lovely poppies

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

In your honour PH dude.

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

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

Why?

I have sad ears.