Friday – unbelievably good weather, so it had to be time for the beach again. The only problem is that good weather brings out picnickers and as we’ve learned from past experience, off-lead Beagles and picknickers are not a good combination. With that in mind, we went a really, really good distance up the beach before we unleashed Beanie and Biggles.
They’re off-lead now.. how long before they scarper?
10 minutes into the walk and they still haven’t done a runner…
When we take out treats and call them, they come without hesitation…
It’s just not natural… are they ill?
We spent the first part of the walk on edge, fully expecting the two of them to dart off on a mission of extreme naughtiness any second, but it didn’t happen. We strolled for a nearly an hour without any problems. Occasionally Beanie and Biggles would scamper off a little way, then just as quickly turn around and run back to us for another round of treats or a drink.
It’s all yours now Beanie. I just dropped a big lump of eye snot in it!
We passed sunbathers lying face down on their towels with unprotected bags at their sides, and still our Beagles were not tempted from the path of goodness. Susan wondered if it was just too hot for the level of exertion that naughtiness requires. Eventually Beanie’s halo did slip a bit when we encountered a pile of smelly junk.
Stig Beanie of the dump
To be fair we were able to call her away from it fairly easily, but we figured it was as good a time as any time to head back.
On the return journey we encountered quite a few dogs that were happily swimming in the sea. Beanie and Biggles looked tempted to join them, but even after all the swimming practice they’ve had they just didn’t have the guts for anything more than a shallow paddle. Until that is they saw one of these things:
Biggles reaction to the horse was sadly very predictable…
.. and more aaarf
Beanie followed him of course, and together they headed into the water to chase down this huge aquatic purveyor of tasty poo. The pursuit didn’t last long though. I don’t know whether it was the depth of the water or the realization that a horse is a very big thing compared to a Beaglet, but Beanie lost heart and ran back to land. Biggles toughed it out for a little longer, but soon he too broke off the chase and returned to the safety of the beach.
With about a mile to go before the end of the walk, we decided it was time to get our two back on lead. The walk had gone amazingly well, and we thought it was time to quit while were ahead. We were wrong. The time to quit while ahead had already passed, because as soon as we called Beanie and Biggles to re-lead them, they took off at full speed. In seconds they became nothing but little dots in the haze, and then even those dots disappeared. Since they were wearing their Retrieva collars I pulled out my phone and started tracking them.
By the time I’d got a couple of fixes on their location and worked out where we were in relation, Susan spotted them heading back to us. We treated them and I got a lead on Beanie, but Biggles somehow evaded capture. He ran a hundred yards beyond us, clearly not wanting his great adventure to end. Calling him would have been pointless and counter-productive (you don’t want recall to be associated with the cessation of fun) so we turned our backs and started walking. Like a sulky school kid he reluctantly followed us at a distance. He dragged his heels for another hundred yards or so, getting steadily closer. When I felt we were soundly winning the battle I took out treats and called him and he came running, shedding his sulk as readily as he sheds white fur on dark clothes.
So we’d got them safely back on lead, but what havoc had they wrought in the few minutes they’d been absent? As we walked back to the car Susan asked likely victims if they’d been Beagled, but apparently there’d been no lightning pocket raids (Beanie’s speciality), no stolen socks or shoes (mostly Biggles) and no speed-swallowed sandwiches (both of ’em). Good news certainly, but I’d still love to know what they actually did get up to on their private adventure.
Anyway, when we got home I went to the freezer to retrieve a couple of frozen yoghurt and beef jerky-filled Kongs I’d prepared earlier. After all, we’d denied Biggles and the Beanster a taste of the ice creams we’d had at the start of the walk. It was time to even the score.