Last night’s final walk didn’t go to plan at all. I had trouble getting Beanie & Biggles’ leads on, and I virtually had to drag them out of the door. I thought things might improve once we got a little distance from the house, but I was wrong; Beanie was preoccupied throughout the walk and Biggles kept dragging his heels and looking back over his shoulder towards home. At one point they both made an attempt at gobbling up some crisps some kids had dropped and Biggles tried to pee on a lamp-post (and missed) but it was all half-hearted. However, when we eventually turned around and headed back home all that changed abruptly; suddenly their enthusiasm returned and Biggles began tugging ahead on his lead, trying to quicken the pace. By the time we turned into the road to our house they were both pulling like trains and I’d had enough of trying to fight it. I broke into a jog, then a run, then a sprint. Biggles let loose a jubilant howl like he does when we’re doing our speed training on the beach and made a playful grab at Beanie’s ear, and the three of us got faster and faster as we approached our front door. The reason for this extreme departure from normal walking protocol? Chicken soup!!!
Eyes almost as big as his bowl, head mostly still while his lower half wags and trembles for all it’s worth! Biggles is more like a Disney cartoon character than a real Beagle when chicken soup is coming his way!
When I say “soup” it was really chicken meat and rice simmered together for hours in the juices of a left-over chicken carcass. Beanie and especially Biggles always seem to know when something is being cooked specifically for them, and they didn’t want a silly walk to come between them and their five star dining experience.
As it turned out that was the second walk to go awry this week. The first was at Loch Doon. I’d been wanting to give the pups a stimulating country walk and when I saw what appeared to be a brief spell of clear sunny weather in the Dalmellington area there was no hesitation; I hurriedly crammed the pups and my hefty camera backpack into the car and off we went. Things were looking great until the final ten minutes of the drive when the sky clouded over and the wind picked up, but I still had high hopes. My goal was to head up the Craiglea trail and get some nice panoramas of the Loch, and I as parked up I was expecting a colder, winder and cloudier version of this, our previous visit:
Unfortunately, what we actually got was this:
Although the temperature was only around freezing, the wind-chill was fierce and surprisingly thick snow covered all traces of the path as we got higher. Beanie was loving it; she quickly adopted a dolphin-like leaping technique that let her cover ground quickly without getting bogged down by the snow.
Biggles and myself were rather less keen on the conditions but we let Beanie’s boundless enthusiasm carry us (drag us, to be more precise) further up the hill. In due course we reached a plateau still some distance below the true summit, and I decided to call it a day at that point; I was chilled to the bone and unbeknownst to the pups my treat pocket was almost empty. It was the right call, but it wasn’t the most popular decision I’ve ever made, at least not for Beanie.
No! Let’s keep going Dad! Higher! Higher!
I hung around shivering my arse off while Biggles wrote his name in the snow using his special yellow ink (Beagle spelling is different from ours, but Biggly assured me that he got his name right), and then I had to wait even longer for a wrestling match to complete, but eventually I got our party turned around and we began our descent. As has happened before, the snow actually made the walk down much easier and once we hit the tree line the wind was all but gone. But Beanie was still not happy about being cheated out of a summit!
At least we’d had a good workout, and we got a nice long nap in the warmth when we got back home!