Beagles are definitely becoming a more popular breed choice – we seem to bump into new ones at the park every couple of weeks. On Friday we met Oscar, an eight month old boy. I was impressed by him immediately – he’s got an athletic build and a gentle face with lively eyes. In fact if you made a male version of Beanie I reckon he’d look pretty much like Oscar. It turns out Beanie was impressed by him too, although I didn’t realize just how much until they met off-lead at the puppy field yesterday.
Just before he arrived, Beanie had been looking like she was about to wander off on a long sniff so I’d broken out her “special” tennis ball (I cut a slit in it so that it can be loaded with treats). It doesn’t always hold her attention, but when it works, it works well. Biggles doesn’t really get it yet; he seems to forget that there are treats inside and loses interest after a few seconds, but that doesn’t really matter because if his sister doesn’t get the wanderlust then generally he doesn’t either. Anyway, Beanie had a loaded tennis ball in her mouth when Oscar caught her attention, and they set off on a chase together almost immediately.
Normal Beanie chase etiquette dictates that it’s the holder of the MacGuffin (stick, ball, squeaky chicken, poo bag etc) that is the chasee, but Beanie was apparently willing to ignore the rule book for Oscar. They ran all over the field together, with the ball forgotten, though still lodged in Beanie’s jaws.
After a little while Oscar took Beanie over to see his Mum. Beanie gave her tennis ball a good squeeze, perhaps in the hope of sharing its treats with her new beau…
Soon the chase was back on, but this time proper etiquette was observed and the ball holder took the lead.
They went round and round Beanie’s favorite bush. Biggles tried to get in on the action..
..but the two lovebirds just changed direction and left him out in the cold.
He had an adventure of his own though when a playful little pup called Murphy caught his eye. Given that Biggles has honed his playfighting skills against Beanie,I was surprised to see Murphy getting the upper paw for the first few rounds.
But then Biggles turned it around. He used his superior weight..
..along with one of Beanie’s favorite dirty tricks, and one of his own, to even the score.
Beanie fighting technique #1: the surprise nibble from underneath
#2: the bum bite. This is 100% pure Biggles
Beanie and Oscar came over – initially to spectate – but Murphy was so much fun that Beanie was drawn into the action. While she was rolling around on the ground with Murphy, Biggles got the opening he’d been waiting for. Beanie’s tennis ball was lying unguarded in the grass. He grabbed it and ran to a secluded spot. I thought the penny had dropped and he’d soon be squeezing the ball to release its tasty treats….
Not a chance! He stood there with ball in his mouth for a few seconds, then something else caught his eye and he dropped it. Our little boy is strong, handsome and very affectionate, but I don’t think he’s going to win the Beagle version of Mastermind any time soon.