Paw Paddock runaround

My vampiric little brother, who isn’t an actual blood relation went off to the local, and new, enclosed paddock yesterday morning to test it out for our future entertainment. He appears to have given it a solid thumbs or he would if he had opposable thumbs. We would also be able to break into the treat jar if he had thumbs, but that’s for another blog.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand (or paw). A new paddock area has opened in my village and we decided we would try it out. Since I had shown signs of leg ache from the previous Beagle Derby the parents decided it was wiser to get Lenny to test it out and then I can go along the next day to make sure he was telling the truth.

In
Come
ing
Its fun.

He returned home with tales of fun and laughter, of scents and of freedom to run around like a fool for a while.

On the back of this advice I needed to make sure he was telling the truth so, this morning…

It is indeed fun

I can vouch for his honesty, on this occasion. I had a great time running about, scenting and trying to find field food to eat. We will be going back, of that I am certain. I suspect it wont be together as we tend to get a little over enthusiastic and I find myself a little lame in the hip for a day.

If my current snoring is anything to go by, I think it will be fairly soon. The parents are enjoying the peace and quiet. How rude.

Young in mind, young in body

Don’t you believe it. Awake at 6.30 on a Sunday listening to the chorus of complaint from a certain parent is always a good start. Six thirty he says, does this beagle not realise its a Sunday, he continues. Anyway a well placed kidney pounce from my brother brings a suitable conclusion to the laziness and Lenny and I find ourselves being walked along the old road. Now we don’t usually walk together as we tend to want the same scent at the same time and bitey face snout jousting often ensues. This can only mean one thing, we’re going on an adventure. Turned round halfway along the road only reaffirms my point. Lenny, we are going for a ride.

At the car Lenny leaps in and the boot is shut. Off we go, left along the road, past the roundabouts, through the traffic lights and then left onto the winding road. Left at the pub and then right. We’re here, we’re here! As the boot is opened the smell of freedom fills our nostrils. Paw Paddock, Hello!!! The gates are shut and we are released so stroll about. Sadly the next gate is still shut so it’s easy for us to be grappled and put on the leads and harnesses. Once into the paddock we are strolled part way round and then Lenny is off. With his back legs following the front ones, he’s bimbled across the paddock in no time at all. He returned on pain of missing a treat only to find he’s re-shackled.

Then it was my turn to run free, with the wind in my ears, and the grass a blur beneath my belly. I returned when asked and got a decent tickle with accompanying treat for being a “good lad”. I must admit at this point that I do like a good ear rub. In any case this swapping of free beagles continued for another twenty minutes. Then we heard the parents mumbling something about “well there’s only one way to find out”.

Both Lenny and I found ourselves unleashed at the same time. We stood there for a microsecond to wonder what was this sorcery until our beagle nature took over and we chased each other around the paddock like a couple of possessed idiots (these are not my words). It was surprising how quickly we calmed down and started to merely stroll about sniffing and snootering without annoying each other. When we were told that we were going back on the leads, neither of us complained, too much.

Then it was back in the car and home for breakfast and some well earned rest.

Now, here’s the thing. A twelve year old beagle chasing a four year old beagle around a large paddock for an extended period may cause said twelve year old body to feel a little strained. Having snoozed for a while I got up to find my rear right leg doesn’t work properly and it seems I have overexerted myself and strained my thigh muscles.

Oh dear, I can hear talk of a trip to the v-e-t tomorrow if it doesn’t clear up. Don’t believe the hype about young in mind and young in body. Take it easy and pace yourselves. This getting older lark takes some practice. It’s lucky that I am a hardy lad and won’t be complaining about my condition.

A nostalgic trip to Brighton

It’s summer, the heat is turned up, the people long for a trip away from their daily lives and a visit to the seaside is a British tradition. I have been to the beach on a number of occasions and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Eating dead sea creatures, walking through the tidal mud and sand, and pulling parents across the breakwaters seem to be a speciality. I have even taught Lenny to practice the art of parental misguidance when we are beach bound.

I have not been to one of the most famous beaches in Britain however and, looking through some of my grandads photos, I saw something that intrigued me. Here are some pictures taken in 1963 and the place is almost deserted compared to the hustle and bustle of today.

Tickets please.

I can say these were taken in 1963 as the Volks Railway opened on 3rd August 1883. The train pictured proudly states its the 80th anniversary. It is still operated as a historical seafront attention running between the Aquarium and Black Rock. Check the suited chaps on the deckchairs taking the sea air.

A stroll along the promenade was a popular way of getting some clean air, away from the smoke and grime of the big cities. Brighton became popular in the late 1700’s when the King, George IV was a regular visitor. The arrival of the railways in 1841 undoubtedly assisted further in its rise in popularity, as people with a few pennies to spare could escape from London for the day and spend their time at the beach.

Along the coast to the east

I enjoy the contrast in this picture. See the gent in the long coat and hat, and then notice the man and child just coming out of the water; the deck chairs filled with people in suits and dresses. I think it is roughly where Brighton Marina is now.

Many things have changed since these photos were taken. Many things. For good or bad? I will leave that to you to decide. I want to go to Brighton one day, maybe I will see these places and find out how much they’ve really changed.

I’m back

I am wholly aware that I haven’t blogged in, what is for me, a long time. Even us furry wannabe bloggers get writers block sometimes; feeling that there is little or nothing to report which may be of interest. In any case I digress. Today I realised that there had actually been some things that had happened.

In late June Lenny and I were treated to another one of those things we like so much, a surprise trip out. We had no idea where we were going. All we knew was that we were being incarcerated in our travel crates and off we go on a magical mystery tour. I looked at Lenny who looked at me, we shrugged our collective shoulders and laid down to await our release. We arrived at our destination, a large gate was opened and then shut firmly behind the car. We looked out of the car and it resembled one of the scenes from the Great Escape. Out we got once we were on our leads and we were marched into a large semi grassed paddock area. Round the perimeter we walked, with the parents muttering to one another about safety, holes in the fence and keeping a close eye on us. Still we weren’t dissuaded that we were to bump into Ives, Big X and Hilts. Suddenly Lenny was released from his lead. He stood there, looked around and then strolled off. He was free to roam around which he duly took advantage of. I was still shackled so couldn’t join him in bitey face shenanigans with additional running around singing the song of the breed. He strolled, mooched and wandered. He was called back and duly returned for which he was given hefty congratulations and a gravy bone. Duly re-harnessed he then watched as I was unclipped from my lead and allowed to roam free for a while. I should countenance this by commenting that I heard both parents mutter under their collective breaths “this could be interesting and I suspect he’s not coming back on command”. Just to prove them wrong I wandered off, sniffed, ran about, bayed loudly, ran about some more and then came back upon recall.

This is fun

I was then re-harnessed and Lenny was released again. This went on for just shy of an hour and I have to admit it was great fun. Returning to the car we both slept until we arrived home and breakfast was supplied. Apparently we are going to go again to Paw Paddock near Horsham.

A puppy again.

It’s hot out there. Our walks seem to have got earlier as the summer has progressed but I wont complain. I am still going on separate walks to Lenny so we don’t encourage one another to pull and jerk on our leads when trying to get to the same place. I have mainly been strolling past the stables in the early morning when the sun hasn’t had a chance to scorch the grass brown. Lenny has been up hill and down dale past the little church, going either to the next village or down in the cool shady lane toward the woods. It’s ok actually as I am slowing down significantly now. I prefer to sniff and amble along so, not having Lenny to annoy me, is pleasing. He likes to go at his own pace which is apparently akin to a snail sometimes but he gets his enjoyment out of not being on my sniffari. Once home we are then confined to the house and garden during the day so we don’t have the chance of overheating and falling ill.

Pffft, too warm.

Finally for now it was highly amusing to see Lenny’s face last week when he was escorted to the vet for his annual check up. He was prodded, poked, jabbed and had kennel cough vaccine sprayed up his nose. The vet said he was in fine fettle and he was given a five day course of antibiotics for a little inflection he had. Thankfully that has now gone. Anyway I tried not to laugh at him when he came dolefully through the door into the house, complaining about being tricked into going to the vet and grumbling about parental chicanery. Like I say I did try not to laugh, kind of.

Go away, I’m not happy.

So now you’re all caught up. We cannot wait to get back to the relative freedom of the Paw Paddock but I think Lenny s counting the days until the next annual vet visit. He’s muttering something about going on holidays when that date comes around.

A change of scenery

I am aware that I haven’t blogged any of my adventures recently. In order to rectify this situation I made sure I was accompanied by a responsible adult and they took some pictures.

It was a bright and warm morning to explore the lanes to the west of the village. We set off at a quickened pace to ensure we didn’t miss any rabbits, squirrels or cats that may want to stroll across my path. We turned right at the end of the road, avoided being run over by the Sunday morning traffic and then right again onto the lane which took us to the edge of the village and beyond. We are lucky that there is a belt of greenery around the village and once past the houses, we can look across the fields toward the South Downs. Along the lane we marched, all the while with my nose no higher than 3 centimetres from the ground.

Up the hill we went, one of us scenting and the other puffing. Past the church and turn right again at the top of the hill.

This is where we would ordinarily continue to Thakeham which is the next village along. Here the instruction was given to me that we would only go to the first gate. I would usually squabble and pull a bit, however I was already warm and feeling a bit tired so I compliantly turned for home. I did managed to eat some greens though.

We managed a quick view of Chanctonbury and then descended the hill and back toward the village.

A sharp right meant a quick stroll through the village itself and I could try to introduce myself to a certain tabby cat that sits in a garden. Sadly he wasn’t around so the walk went without a hitch.

We returned home and a quick session of beating up Lenny ensued before our breakfast. It must be my age though, as I was pretty soon fast asleep on the floor.

A good walk was had. I wonder where I will go tomorrow.

Same breed? Really?

It has recently become more obvious, to me at least, that Lenny and I are very different.

We have been going on our walks and meeting various other four legged pals around the village. We have some new buddies called Bear and Loki who are a Chocolate Labrador and a Caucasian Ovtcharka respectively. At this point you may need to look up Loki’s breed as I am not sure how to describe him, apart from fun, large and boisterous. Bear is a big lad and a friendly happy dog to boot. I don’t mind happy pals and I’m content to try and play rough house with them, albeit whilst shackled to one of my parents. Loki is only four months old but is already twice my size and twice my weight at thirty kilos. He is going to be an even bigger lad than Bear. In any case, I met both Bear & Loki yesterday and I was quite happy to see them. Fast forward to this morning and Lenny is out for his stroll with dad. As they turn the corner of the road, Bear & Loki are coming toward Lenny. He sounded the alarm immediately and tried to hide behind dad when Loki came to say hello. The fur near his tail was raised and Loki’s mum gently put Loki back on the lead. Lenny doesn’t like boisterous dogs, either puppies or adult. Yet he is quite happy to be boisterous with me, as can be seen from previous blogs where we spend the majority of our waking hours have extended snout jousting in the garden. Yet he meets Bear and Loki and retreats behind his human for safety. We are still trying to work out the difference between rough housing with me and with other pals.

That’s just one example. Another occurred yesterday when Lenny watched a squirrel run across the road ahead. He stood and watched a squirrel, without a sound, without a leg quiver as it scampered left to right, five metres ahead of him. I would have been doing an impressive impression of the Town Crier if the tree rat had been in front of me. Now, whether he knew he couldn’t get to it or he was just stunned to see one, I don’t know. I will be having words with him though.

Finally, for the time being, I submit the following evidence that my brother is a strange sort. He has just had his dinner and is now curled up snoring in the cave bed you see in this picture. He likes to be covered and have the sunlight removed so he can snooze. I actually wonder if this confirms my fear that he is a vampire.

Compare that to this picture where I cannot handle being covered in any way, preferring instead to remain in the sun, with merely a blanket and a throw to keep me comfy.

I have never liked being covered by blankets or have clothes put on me. Only if its freezing cold or pouring rain will I reluctantly allow a jacket of some description to be attached to me. Sometimes I am not sure he’s even a beagle.

Strange boy my brother.

Suns out!

As it will soon be Spring properly here in the UK, it seems appropriate that the weather has decided to play ball and get a bit warmer during the day. The early mists are quickly dissipated by the sun which means we can get out into the garden to relax on our soft beds on benches. Anyone would think we are spoilt.

It is supposed to get a bit chillier next week so I, for one, will be enjoying the warm early Spring weather whilst it lasts.

Now all I have to do is wait for the seeds and bulbs to be planted so I can accidentally dig them up again.

It’s dry, let’s go.

Lenny decided that he would take dad on a mystery tour on Friday. We split up as usual and Lenny pulled across the road toward the village whilst I ensured mum and I made good time on our way toward the stables. I shall let him tell you about his little adventure.

Along the lane and up the hill toward the church which sits looking south toward the north flank of Chanctonbury. Normally we turn left and descend into the hollow amongst the gnarled trees replete with squirrels and rabbits. I decided that we would turn right and explore the lane leading to the farm at Thakeham. There was the expected grumbling about it being muddy, having the wrong footwear and me having four-paw drive, that I knew this may only be a temporary detour. Only to the first gate I was told.

It’s dry, let’s go.

As I strolled along, pulling the reticent parent behind me, I saw that the quagmire that used to resemble a track had dried out. The farmer had filled in some of the larger holes with broken house bricks and, thus, the path was navigable. Oh joy of joys, we can go through and get to Thakeham for the first time in around three months.

Lovely Raffadils

Through the gate, along the track, through the next two gates and finally we are back on the tarmac and I can see St Marys church sitting resplendent to my right.

St Mary’s Church

I resumed some serious pulling on the lead as we strolled along the little back lane toward the green.

On The Green

Left onto the green and then down the steep steps and we are back on The Street. I was determined that we wouldn’t turn for home as that would be really boring so, trying not to listen to the constant grumbling about “only going as far as the little path”, we turned right and headed toward the end of the village. We went through the small wooden gate onto Woodland Walk and I made myself ready to stroll quickly down toward the mushroom farm. Foiled again, there was a big tree across the path. This gave dad the excuse to turn around, which he grabbed gleefully of course.

Ugh good grief

Retracing our steps, we marched briskly along The Street and thence back through the farm toward the wonderfully named Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Warminghurst. Before we got to the church I wanted to take another detour to have a look over the brow of the hill, so I dragged dad around the edge of the field to see if the view was any good. It was ok, I suppose, but was obscured by a large and overgrown hedge. My tummy was rumbling by now so we headed for home.

Once I had got home, I couldn’t wait to tell Dex about my adventures. However he was more interested in playing snout jousting so I gladly obliged, of course. I had a good day with a decent walk that I will repeat when the weather improves enough for the track to be passable every day. Hopefully I will be able to go along the lane with Dex next time.

What a let down

Today I noticed that Lenny seemed to be eager to get out and about on his walk. Its strange as he is usually somewhat hesitant about getting his harness and double leads clamped around his person in the morning. It’s something to do with feeling restricted and uncomfortable in his harness. Apparently it’s for his own safety and so he doesn’t run off “like an idiot”. Yesterday he went to Knepp and saw some big deer and he was keen to see them again. Dad took his camera in the hope of getting a decent picture, instead of the grainy images we have become used to.

Off they set along the road and down the lane, whilst mum and I went in the opposite direction for a few miles of sniffing squirrels and rabbits. Lenny said the scent was high as they strolled along the lane, past the stables and the farms and then across the little bridge over the river. Turn right into the farm yard, say hello to the horses in their stables and then the fun was to commence. Dad told him to shush as they didn’t want to frighten the deer although he seemed to have forgotten that he was wearing a bright yellow jacket so the drivers could see him and Lenny as they walked along the road. In any case, they ventured through the big gate, along the stony track and turned left onto the bridleway. The scent was still high as Lenny pulled this way and that, with dad trying to keep as quiet as possible. With his hand poised on the camera they trod carefully, scanning side to side for signs of deer. They went along the track to the lookout landing which people use to have a hidden view of the wildfowl on the little lake. Nothing, not a sausage, was seen so they decided to retrace their steps back to the farmyard. As they exited the big gate they looked at the sign which had been pinned up after Lenny and dad had gone adventuring which said “Keep to the paths, Deer cull in operation”. That would explain why they deer weren’t coming out to play this morning. Sadly they plodded back along the road and after a seven mile walk returned home downcast.

I tried not to laugh at their misfortune but it was difficult. There was only one thing left to do, sun puddle and sleep off our exertions. Oh well, maybe another day.

The aftermath

Having survived the wind yesterday, we decided we should go and explore the lanes to see if there were any trees down or blocked roads. We know there was a tree that fell over close to our house yesterday afternoon as we heard the chainsaws chopping it up. The pieces of trunk were stacked, Jenga style, alongside the road as we left this morning. Our parents decided that Lenny and I should go our separate ways and I went with mum toward Knepp whilst Lenny accompanied dad southwards along the lanes.

At this point I will hand over to Lenny as dad took some pictures whilst mum was busy taking me for a walk and ensuring that we avoided trees which might be a bit loose rooted or had already fallen over. So, with much trepidation, Lenny it’s all yours.

Hello everyone. I decided to take dad for a walk along the lanes today to see if I could find some fallen trees to play amongst. Don’t worry, I was on lead all the time and he was very careful. Anyhow, we wandered along the lane and hadn’t reached the top before the first large tree piece was laying in the road. It was surrounded by cones but wasn’t being chopped up and removed. Maybe the authorities thought that the cones could chop up and remove the trunk?

The super chopping up cones.

On we plodded, up past the church, and we were just about to drop down into the dingly dell when the next branch was laying in the road. This one had been pushed to one side a little so it was easier to get past. I wasn’t allowed to explore it to sniff out squirrels because it was on a dangerous corner of the road and dad doesn’t want me getting run over. He’s no fun.

I hope we can get past the trees.

In any case we turned the corner and saw a tree with loosened roots so we quickly walked past that one and down the lane.

I wonder if Hobbits live there?

There weren’t any trees down but there were plenty of branches and tree tops that had been removed by Eunice yesterday. As we made our winding way past I made sure I sniffed all the tree pieces to see if there were any traces of squirrel. We turned for home just as we reached the bottom of the next small raise in the road. This was my chance to double sniff all the places I had walked past. As we started to climb the hill toward the church I spotted a squirrel and started to pull on my lead. I didn’t need dads encouragement to “squirrel get it, go on, get it” but it was welcome anyway.

We retraced our steps passed the debris and back along the lane past the church. As soon as we got back to the edge of the village I caught scent of a c-a-t which sent me into wild eyed overdrive. At this point I think dad decided we had scented sufficient creatures and it was best for me to get home quickly so I could rest. I didn’t agree with him however he’s bigger than me and I was attached to him.

We saw Dex and mum just as we approached home so we had an impromptu bout of bitey face snout jousting. Dex & myself I mean, not our parents as they are quite dull really.

We hadn’t been in long before the rain started. I can sleep and dream of my fun morning walk. I need to recuperate and then tell Dex what to expect tomorrow. I think we are swapping over our walks.