Some days ago we took our cheeky monkeys to another little town on Ayrshire’s coast called Seamill. It’s a lovely place; so lovely in fact that I went back later the same day and got this beautiful shot of Arran still covered in a blanket of snow:
Parts of Seamill beach are very rocky and Beanie & Biggles had a great time scrambling over all the lumps and bumps. They also at various times had things in their mouths that shouldn’t be there: shells, pieces of driftwood, burst tennis balls, and bits of seaweed. Beanie seemed particularly enamored with one piece of seaweed and Susan – who was wearing gloves – pried open Beanie’s jaws to investigate. Unsurprisingly the “seaweed” turned out to be a piece of sea-washed, sun-dried poo and said poo was now all over Susan’s gloves. We both made a mental note that those gloves would need a wash and continued with our walk.
The next day it was time for my weekly 10k on the beach with my two furry running buddies. I got changed into my (very) cold weather running gear and went through my pre-run checklist:
- Harnesses? Yep.
- Tape extending leads for more scampering fun? Yep.
- Running belt pouch filled with poo bags, dog biscuits and a few lumps of chicken? Yep! (By way of confirmation Beanie tried to grab my belt and scarper off with it down the corridor)
- MP3 player & earphones? Yep.
- Beanie (my running cap that is, not the Beagle of the same name)? Yep.
- Thin but surprisingly effective running gloves? Nope!!
I couldn’t find my gloves in the usual places so I asked Susan if she’d seen them, and it turned out they’d just been washed but weren’t yet dry. This was not good news as it was cold and the inevitable wind-chill on the beach would quickly render my hands incapable of controlling the extending leads. Fortunately I discovered a pair of gloves in the boot of the car as I loaded the Beaglets into their crates, so finally we were good to go.
Once at the beach I got out of the car, uttered a couple of expletives to no-one in particular about how cold it was and headed down to the strip of firm sand right down by the water, deftly navigating the pups past the shell fragments dropped by seagulls, the McDonalds wrappers dropped by humies, and the huge piles of poo dropped by horses. I turned on my MP3 player and as AC/DC’s “For those about to rock” started up the three of us began our run. As tradition demands ten steps later we stopped our run, and I dug around in my running pouch for a poo bag while the other two members of our party emptied their bowels. I deftly navigated the woofers back through the gauntlet of poo, wrappers and shells to make our deposit in the nearest poo bank aka bin. Then we turned around, passed through all the hazards for the third time (third time lucky for Biggles because he snagged a gobful of horse muck) and got under way again. This was it: 5k out, 5k back and nothing to detract from the fun.
Nothing that is, apart from my gloves. Yep, the gloves I was wearing were the ones smothered in poo from the previous night. I only found this out when I used them to flick drops of sweat from the end of my nose and experienced an unpleasant but all too familiar odor. I made a mental note to only use certain cleaner parts of the gloves for future sweat clearance operations, but when I’m running with the pups I get so engrossed in doggy management that everything else is forgotten. You know that phrase “Here’s mud in your eye“? Well in my case it wasn’t mud. Anyway when we got back home that pair of gloves finally went for a good wash and I went for a good shower!
Sometimes on our weekly runs we do the outward half on the sand, and return via the dunes above the beach. This is great fun for me and the Beagles because the track is narrow, winding and goes up and down like a kid on a pogo stick (or Biggles trying to grab the bread from the kitchen worktop). On our most recent outing I took along my head camera, and the result is below. You’ll notice that at one point Beanie & Biggles get offlead for a short but crazy sprint workout of their own. I’ve found that as long as I do this after we’ve got a couple of on-lead speed drills under our belt, they’re reasonably well behaved (though it also helps if the beach is clear of distractions and I’ve got a sizeable lump of chicken in my belt pouch!)
Now that was a workout!