Beanie had her seventh birthday at the weekend, which is kind of amazing on three counts:
- She’s a suicide machine on legs. Beanie’s eaten scores of things she shouldn’t, including soft plastic that turned sharp and rigid in her gut, whole packs of sausages (still wrapped), toxic palm oil washed up on the beach, and somehow, a cats claw. These items were all extracted from her via surgery and induced vomiting, and incredibly, she’s still here. But swallowing inappropriate things is only one way to get oneself killed, and Beanie’s tried other approaches, like chomping through a laptop power cable, attempting to dive off a high harbour wall to grab a seagull, and unhooking her lead for a three hour solo romp around a mist-covered mountain. How the hell has she made it to seven?
- I simply cannot believe how fast the time has passed. She was barely two years old when we moved to our current home in Ayrshire, and it doesn’t feel like we’ve been here for five years. Where has all that time gone?
- Lots of people meeting her for the first time still think she’s a pup because she’s so wiggly, waggy and full of life!
If anything, Beanie’s become even more puppy-like over the last few months. Susan and I have changed our fitness training this last year, and now most of my running is done with the dynamic duo. That’s meant they’ve been getting 3-4 longish runs on the beach per week, each with a short off-lead section to allow them to get even more dynamic. By the way, when I say “short” off-lead section, I mean that’s always the intention, but sometimes the furballs have other ideas. Regardless, they’ve been getting fitter and that’s raised their energy levels. In addition, the decision to shift our main business from software (stress!) to photography and websites has made me more relaxed, and there’ve been more impromptu play sessions to break up the day. The upshot of all this is that Beanie & Biggles are playing together more, and “mad hour” has been reinstated. In her very first year with us, mad hour involved Beanie sprinting endlessly round the sofa. Six years later, mad hour now means grabbing various objects and excitedly parading them all round the house until someone engages her in a game of tug.
Anyway, getting back to her ladyship’s birthday, it began with an early-morning hop into our bed for a cuddle, during the course of which Biggles decided to mark the sheets with a little fragrant juice from his anal glands (thanks Biggles, but all things considered I’d rather just stick with your farts). Then we took a trip out to a brand new local Pets At Home store to purchase some exotic edibles.
Understandably we spent quite a while in the mix and match biscuit aisle
Beanie discovered that although the store is new, biscuit leakage down the back of the shelves has still occurred. She was happy to provide cleanup services for free however.
And the staff should note that the lids on the biscuit containers aren’t very secure…
After due consideration, we emerged from the store with a medium sized box of dried tripe. I opened it in the car park and immediately my nose was hit by the stench of a crusty old dog poo that’s been out in the sun too long. Revolting stuff. Beanie and Biggles loved it!
Of course when it’s your birthday, there has to be a birthday toy. Meet the bandit-mask-wearing “suspicious chicken”:
I selected the chicken after carefully reading through scores of reviews on both the UK and US versions of Amazon. The consensus was that it was deceptively tough and a particularly good choice for dogs that like to shake their toys. Beanie has always enjoyed a good shake, so I gave it a go. On first inspection I have to say I was quite disappointed; from the description I was expecting it to be only lightly filled with stuffing and very floppy, but in the flesh it was chunky with only the wings and legs able to flap about. However, I’m happy to report that once Beanie got hold of it, she loved giving it an Olympic-level shaking and it held together really well.
In fact she shook that chicken so much she almost gave herself a black eye!
I don’t think the stitching would survive a tug session for very long though, and the wings seem to invite intense chewing. So it’s not perfect, but it made my little girl happy, and gave me a break from repeatedly re-stitching the limbs onto her bottle-filled green monkey.
As for the Unbirthday boy, well his toys are still going strong so I got him a chicken-flavored nylabone chew instead. It always takes him a while to get started on a new chew; I have to entice him to take that first chomp then hold it for him for a few minutes, but then he’ll grind away at it quite happily for a while. However, this time around the chewing got interrupted by a sudden desire to have a sexy roll on the carpet with it. I’ve no idea what strange Biggly thought process led to that, and frankly, I think I’m better off not knowing. Still, I think everybody had a good time on Beanie’s special day!