The forecast for Saturday told us to expect a hot sunny day, and for once the weathermen got it right. We decided to take advantage of the good weather by taking Beanie for a walk up Ben Lomond.
Ben Lomond is one of the most accessible mountains in Scotland – it has a well worn, gently winding path – but the walk to the summit and back takes a good 4-5 hours, so we packed extra water and treats for ourselves as well as Beanie.
We got there a little later than planned but happily still managed to get a parking place, and set off. From the start all the way up to the summit, Beanie positively charged up the mountain. I don’t know why, but she really loves to climb – it’s much more than just the lure of fresh, free-range sheep poo that keeps her going onwards and upwards.
After a while though even she started to feel the heat. We stopped for a breather at one point and Beanie found a pool of muddy water. Rather than standing at the edge and drinking from it as she usually would – and given a choice between fresh clean water and a mucky pond, she’ll take the pond every time – she waded right in up to her neck. When she emerged she was coated in mud, though thankfully she shook off the excess before she came into contact with anybody else. I suppose there’s a first time for everything :)
On park walks I often tell people that Beanie is virtually self cleaning, though I’m sure they don’t believe me. Well, here’s the proof. This is Beanie at the summit:
We didn’t wipe her down, and she didn’t lick any of the mud off, but it’s nearly all gone! It must be a combination of her short coat and whatever oils she produces. Whatever the reason, it’s a good thing.
On the way up, Beanie really was an asset. She often found little deviations from the path that were easier on the legs, and she was pulling strongly enough that whoever was holding her lead noticeably quickened their pace, regardless of fatigue.
The path back down from the summit may have looked inviting…
..but it was just as punishing on the legs as the climb up, and a pulling Beagle doesn’t help when you’re trying to keep your balance. Beanie’s path finding abilities were still useful though. She took us on a couple of grassy shortcuts that were much easier, faster and probably safer than the standard rocky trail.
Although there wasn’t really any point on the walk when Beanie seemed to be tiring, when we got back home she flaked out completely. Ordinarily that would have given us a chance to get on with household chores in peace, but we were cream-crackered too and just vegged out in front of the telly.