The last few days have been memorable for three main reasons:
1) Biggles has started cocking his leg! So far he only does it when marking territory but in my book he’s a proper little boy now, and still only five months old. Susan just doesn’t get why this is such a big deal. Maybe it’s just a guy thing, but if it hadn’t been raining so much I’d have a big photo of Biggles with his leg raised stuck above my monitor already.
2) Today we went swimming and this time I went into the pool with Beanie. We had a great time – Beanie really loves swimming after her sausage-loaded tennis ball, though she still hasn’t mastered the art of swimming and chewing at the same time. Each time she got hold of the ball and bit off a bit of sausage she started to sink!
3) On the way to swimming, the car suddenly filled with a really foul smell. Now bear in mind that we’re well used to our two Beagles merrily farting away on almost every car journey, AND we’re both still on reduced sniffing power due to colds. So, when I say this was a foul smell, I mean it was a really stomach-churning, wind-the-windows-down-even-though-it’s-raining-horizontally power-stench. I looked over my shoulder at Biggles and he seemed to be in a hunched position, so I assumed he’d been caught short and was taking a dump. However when we finally stopped and investigated, we were faced with a mystery. Biggles’ crate was clean (well, as clean as it ever can be with a Biggles inside it) but there was a pile of something loose and brown on the floor in front of the crate. The smell suggested poo, but to deliver it outside the crate Biggles would have had to hold his bum tight against the crate bars while the car was moving. It could have been barf of course, but then why the poo smell? After considering this conundrum for some time I can only think that Biggles barfed up some poo he’d eaten just before being put in the car. Truly the best of both worlds. Does anyone with a deficient sense of smell want to buy a second-hand car?
Anyway, after only a day or two of trying alternative parks to keep Beanie from swallowing more junk, we ended up returning to our usual haunt. We have made a few changes that will hopefully reduce the chances of her doing it again though:
- We’re getting there earlier, which means Beanie and Biggles are meeting different dogs, and that’s helping to keep Beanie’s attention away from potentially dangerous junk.
- We’re keeping moving much more than before. Previously a “walk” involved a brief march to the puppy field, followed by a lot of standing around while the dogs do their stuff. Now we do circuits of the field whenever Beanie and Biggles aren’t involved in chases, hopefully avoiding the quieter moments when Beanie would ordinarily start looking around for things to pick up and chew.
- We’re working much harder on training. We kind of let things slip when we got Biggles but now we’re having daily sessions with the clicker again, and using extending leads for part of the park walks so we can do recall training without the risk of failure.
To help make us more fun to be with for our pups, we’re also playing more games at home. Perhaps the most successful is “hunt the biscuits”. One of us holds the two of them while the other plants biscuits in various locations, and when they’re absolutely straining at their collars, we let them loose. The beauty of this game is that even after all the biscuits have been found and eaten, our pups keep on hunting until absolutely every possible location has been thoroughly sniffed.
It takes a long time before Beanie gives up the hunt
Biggles tends to be less persistent
But when it looks like Beanie is on to something..
..he just has to join in.