On Sunday we went back for another dose of Beagle racing at Kincardine. Beanie was much more focussed on catching the lure this time and managed to outrun one of her adult competitors. After the final there was one more race – a complete free-for-all with all Beagles squeezed onto the start line. It was great fun though somewhat chaotic; a few Beagles had a go at eating the lure once it had stopped, while a couple more ran out of the race enclosure and gave their owners some unexpected and unwanted exercise. But again, Beanie hadn’t finished last – not a bad achievement for the smallest and youngest there, and what’s more it was only her second time. We had to leave before the raffle and dog shows though, because we had an appointment with a potential permanent playmate for Beanie.
We’d been thinking about getting a second Beagle for some time. At first the plan was to get another pup when Beanie was older – say five years or more, but gradually we came round to the idea of getting another playmate before Beanie reached adulthood. We contacted Beagle Welfare and heard of a 13 month old youngster, Lilly, who lived just 20-30 minutes from the racing venue and was looking for a new home. We just had to go see her.
When we first met Lilly it was in her home, and she didn’t appreciate Beanie encroaching on her territory at all. However, once outside the tension dissolved and the pair got down to some playful wrestling – surely a good sign. We arranged to take Lilly on trial for a few days, and headed back home with two Beagles.
We let both of them play in our garden for a while before entering the house, and everything still looked promising.
Unfortunately once we went inside, things went downhill very quickly. Lilly was extremely gentle and affectionate with us and enjoyed walking and playing outside, but she made it very clear that she wasn’t happy about sharing her new home with Beanie. Furthermore she wasn’t happy about us showing any affection towards our little pup. We tried to diffuse the situation by keeping them separate, but the antagonism between the two dogs continued to grow every time they met each other inside the house. Later the next day, after consulting our dog trainer and Beagle Welfare, we decided this just wasn’t going to work, and took Lilly back to her original home.
This story has a very happy ending though. Lilly’s family missed her so terribly while she was away that they resolved to have her back whatever the difficulties. So little Lilly is back in her original home for good, and we’ve had the sobering lesson that even Beagles don’t always get along. What’s more, it sounds like Lilly and her family will be coming along to the Beagle Races next Sunday, so Beanie and Lilly will be able to play happily without any territorial or pack hierarchy pressure.