No, not some perfume which has probably been tested on beagles and then sold to unsuspecting people, but apparently something that applies to me.
I am a beagle, you may have noticed. Lenny is also a beagle and, again, this may have come to your attention. In that case, my parents want to know, how are we so different when it comes to certain small furry creatures which run along the fence at the back of my garden sending me into some delirium in the process. Of course I refer to squirrels. The grey variety that hitched a ride over from the North American continent and which now plague woods, forests and my garden so successfully. I would like to thank whoever it was that thought they would be a good idea, but I cannot do so.
They have been cavorting all day and I have been unable to control my whining and pacing in and out of different rooms to get a better view of them. As my view improves the whine goes up a decibel or ten, with associated baying when I cannot get to them. I move from a chair in the living room to the kitchen, back to the living room, off to a bedroom overlooking the garden, return to the kitchen, push the closed and locked door in the (vain) hope it will open and then stand in the living room once more noisily whining at whichever parent is closest. It would appear I am tormented by them (squirrels not parents). According to said parents we are not going to live in a cave whereby any and all views into the garden are shut out with curtains, so my view is panoramic around the garden. As soon as I am released into the garden to chase off the pesky critter it merely leaps into a nearby tree and pulls faces at me. I return to the warmth of the living room and watch as the squirrel descends from its lofty perch and continues its efforts are sending me doolally.
Then Lenny decides to wake up and see what’s going on. I cannot believe that he has missed the entire squirrel bothering episode because he’s been sleeping soundly. Does he not understand that these creatures are our mortal foe, they represent everything that makes a beagle obsessed with shaking it warmly by the neck.
These pictures were taken about four seconds apart. He’s just awoken from his nefarious slumber. I had been like this for the previous ten minutes, gently whimpering at the scoundrel running amok in my garden. I really don’t understand how he can be so relaxed about having squirrels in the garden. Is he truly a beagle? Maybe it’s me? I think I need to have a bit of a lie down in a darkened room.
Apparently I am obsessed with squirrels. I have no idea what this means. According to the people who make my dinner and get taken for a walk by myself and Lenny, I am forever walking between vantage points in the kitchen and dining room so I can spot when the grey furry invaders dare to enter my garden. In order to prove their point, one of my parents has watched me almost continuously today. If he hasn’t, it certainly feels like it. So, here begins the story of one day in the life of a Beagle (Harrier).
I woke up, got dressed and was immediately introduced to the overnight scents in the garden. About forty five minutes later, the scent of the first breakfast wafted upon my nostrils and I decided I would grace Lenny and the parents with my presence. It was somewhat of an unwanted interruption from squirrel scenting but sometimes needs must and all that. Having eaten my porridge and kibble (it’s actually quite nice) and then the obligatory marrow bone biscuit, Lenny and I were harnessed and off we go for our daily constitutional. Lenny went off with Dad separately today so I was off to pull mum around the fields. We reconvened at home and my baying at deer was duly reported to dad. Second breakfast was taken in the kitchen and we are supposed to go and lie down to sleep off our shenanigans. Herein lies the first problematic area with the request to snooze. Lenny being the goodie four paws goes and lays down and is quickly snoozing off his exertions. On the other paw, I always get this feeling that there is an invader in my garden. My favourite window pane has plenty of nose art on it. As I cannot see all my garden from a single vantage point I have to move around to the other window so I can see transversely towards the trees. It is at this point that certain parents want to know why I cannot just lay down and go to sleep like a certain younger brother of mine? And how was I to know that dad had a breakfast bowl full of cornflakes (other cereals are available, kids) when I decided to “stand under his feet”. Anyway, there wasn’t any movement in the garden so I retired to my bed on the sofa. Twenty minutes later I thought I might have heard something in the garden which would need investigation. I managed to wake up Lenny as well which meant there was double the quantity of parental eye rolling at our ability to stand in the wrong place at the wrong time. Use of “the” eyes is thus required to allow our release into the garden and we find ourselves running up and down the garden in pursuit of a squirrel that might have been there, some twenty or thirty minutes before. After a further thirty minutes or so, we decide that it is time to scrounge some training treats from a pliant human so we stand dolefully and quietly at the door waiting for our paws to be wiped upon entry to the house. Well, Lenny was quiet whilst I aroooed at the top of my lungs just out or dads reach. Sadly I didnt see the squirty water bottle with which I was squirted very expertly by dad. We retire to our beds once more and peace reigns. Suddenly its lunchtime which can only mean one thing. Off my bed and to my favourite window pane, I see a squirrel, arooo and whine constantly until I am released and I can chase it out of the orchard. I am tricked once more, this time by the scent of my most favourite snack of beef jerky. I am extremely obedient when beef jerky makes an appearance. Ok, I must admit that lunchtime is often when I can snooze for more than twenty minutes or so. The squirrel obsession count was five or six wanderings to the favourite window pane and five sessions of “annoying” whining. All before lunch, I was quite proud. Not sure where they get this obsession idea from though.
On to the afternoon and it is clearly time for the windows to be checked, both vantage points assessed and ensure that the garden is clear. There might have been a squirrel so this means I have to patrol and bay at the top of my lungs for forty minutes. Back in from the garden, I lay down in mums office and then I hear a noise that may be within a five mile radius. This means it may be in the garden, which means it may be a squirrel. Dad has to let us out again and then gets the blame when we arooo loudly and mum is trying to concentrate. This may have happened twice more before our dinner was served, somewhat late as usual. A quick snooze and I am back to the window pane for squirrel bothering and whining until I am released again. This time the garden patrol is only around twenty minutes so I can retire to my bed for a short time before Lenny and I are both released pre-teatime for our standard run around. Today it was a bit different as by the time we were ready to return to the house, dad had closed the curtains which means that my sight lines are closed off and I have little choice but to admit defeat for the remainder of daylight hours.
So ends the story of the day in my tormented life. I don’t think I am obsessed with squirrels, despite needing to chase them or at least try to spot them, every twenty minutes or so during daylight hours. Sadly Lenny doesn’t seem to share my love for all things squirrel shaped as he just does the bare minimum in chasing them off. Then he’s off to chew a stick or trying to annoy me with unplanned bitey face. I remain a bit worried by his apparent lack of concern for the squirrel invaders.