Beagles have very good internal clocks – they always seem to know when it’s time for a walk, for breakfast, for tea and so on – but I don’t think their internal calendars are up to much. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure Beanie knew that something special was happening this weekend due to a series of strange deliveries and even stranger activities. Whether she knew all this was about creating a posh present for her sixth birthday is doubtful, but it certainly piqued her interest..
A box full of this stuff arrives (it’s not even edible BTW)
Susan slaves over a hot sewing machine..
And with four legged critters forbidden entry to the kitchen, all Beanie can do is peer through the door at the proceedings.
Ever since we got her, Beanie has preferred sleeping under a cover. Most afternoons she can be found on the sofa, tightly wrapped in one of her blankets. Sometimes she can wrap herself up – it’s a pretty cool thing to see. She carefully pokes her nose under one edge of the blanket, deftly tosses it over her then winds round and round until it’s nice and tight. Other times, actually most of the time if truth be told, she has to request human assistance: a paw on your arm accompanied by an intense stare right into your eyes or a pitiful whimper. As an aside, a number of recent TV shows about dogs have featured the use of a blanket to assess intelligence; you cover the dog with a blanket, and the speed with which the dog extricates itself indicates its IQ. I wonder what the scientists would make of a dog that not only enjoys having the blanket over her, but even requests a recovering if her bottom is sticking out of one end?
Anyway, we figured Beanie would appreciate a “day bed” that comes with it’s own cover. This of course is exactly what “Cozy Cave” beds are supposed to be, but looking at the beds available in the UK, we couldn’t see anything that would be just right for Beanie. They were all either too small, or the wrong shape, or not practical from a washing point of view. So Susan decided to make one specifically to meet the Beanster’s exacting requirements, as a present for her sixth birthday. The end result is kind of like a big fur-lined sleeping bag/bed, with a removable memory foam mattress.
On first viewing, Beanie found it very comfy to lie on but didn’t realize she could actually get inside it.
Then the penny dropped! The beauty of this design is that you can retreat completely inside if you’re having a Greta Garbo moment..
Or keep watch from the entry if you think there might be some food in the offing..
Or be half-in, half-out if you’re feeling more sociable!
Of course that wasn’t the only good thing about Beanie’s birthday. There was also the obligatory run on the beach, even though my legs were still killing me from a heavy squatting and kettlebell session the previous day:
Incidentally, it’s hard to see from all the camera jiggling but that final onlead running section in the video is actually a stealth attack on some birds further up the beach. Beanie’s idea of “stealth” differs significantly from the military concept of stealth, in that it involves baying loudly and splashing as you approach your prey. In the six years she’s been using this technique to stalk birds, the number of successful captures remains at zero. Still, maybe next time will be different.
After the run we had a joint present opening for Beanie and Biggles, who of course was having his unbirthday at the time. This was a bit of cheat because we just filled some old treat dispensing toys with posh nosh like dried venison pieces and wrapped them up in spare Amazon boxes, but the pups were delighted nonetheless.
The present opening commences..
Biggles gets off to a flying start, ripping his box open in a few seconds…
But then disaster strikes and he ends up going for a blind, bumpy tour of the room with the box stuck on his head.
In fact all we really needed were the Amazon boxes. Both Beanie & Biggles were so utterly engrossed in their destruction that it took them ages to notice the food in their toys, but eventually their noses put them back on track. Beanie set about her toy with great enthusiasm, but unfortunately the treats inside were too large to fall out on their own, so her usual tactic of rolling and throwing the container around didn’t get her very far. Biggles on the other hand immediately power-chewed the whole toy to break everything into nice small pieces. He’d virtually emptied his toy by the time Beanie liberated her first treat!
Eventually I caved in and joined Beanie in her efforts to get food out of that devlish blue cyclinder. We worked as the perfect team; I crushed the treats under my knee and carefully extracted the pieces, and she ate them. It kind of reminded me of how it used to be with my boss when I was employed as a software engineer.
Anyway, once all the treats had been dealt with – MORE treats! or to be precise, some personalised “pupcakes” from The Beagles Bakery:
So I reckon that was a pretty good way for Beanie to celebrate her sixth birthday. I’m just hoping that in the days to come, that new day-bed of hers saves me from having to break my concentration every twenty minutes to go fix her blanket. We shall see..