It’s been a fortnight of highs and lows for our little boy. It all started when his occasional bouts of reverse sneezing became an almost daily occurrence and were sometimes accompanied by a small amount of regurgitation. After some research and careful observation of his Biggleship, Susan figured he was suffering from acid reflux. There are plenty of home remedies for this condition – both for humans and dogs – but we decided to take him to the vet just to make sure there was nothing more serious going on. After all, he’d cost us very little in vet fees compared to his sister (apart from that time with the half kilo of grapes) so he was entitled to a bit of medical TLC.
The vet agreed there was probably nothing to worry about – even commenting on what an otherwise unusually fit little Beagle he was – but still prescribed a rather heavy handed and ridiculously expensive drug that reduces acid production in the stomach. We dutifully gave Biggles his medication and for the first day it seemed to completely eliminate his problem. The second day didn’t go quite so well, but by the third day he was genuinely unwell, vomiting and off his food. Susan felt very strongly that the drug was to blame, but off we went to the vet again.
This time Biggles received a gloved and lubricated finger up his bum, an anti-sickness injection and three day’s supply of bland, tinned dog food. Of those three, the tinned food was definitely the winner. He got his first taste of it once the sickness jag had taken effect, and it was awesome! It was the kind of food that makes you wag uncontrollably, announce your good fortune to the whole world with joyous woofing, and boing up off the ground with such power that you nearly KO your Mum as she’s serving it up. We had instructions to serve the food in regular small amounts, and over the next three days Biggles felt like the luckiest little Beagle boy in the whole world. Any time Susan emerged from the kitchen he immediately stopped whatever he was doing (even if it was something really important like receiving a quality chest massage and tummy tickle) and ran to meet her, because more often than not, it was feeding time.
And then – suddenly and without warning – it was all gone. He was back on regular kibble. To be fair he still wagged uncontrollably, woofed and boinged at mealtimes because, well, that’s what furry boys called Biggles tend to do, but I could tell that inside his little bubble had burst. As his reflux showed signs of returning we introduced a small topping of natural yogurt and cider vinegar on his breakfast. This held off all the reflux symptoms, but something else was needed to distract him from thoughts of what he’d won and lost. Something big. Really big. Like.. a mountain!
The mountain in this case was Ben Dubh. It wasn’t new to us, but what was new was how we tackled it. Instead of doing the whole visit in one day, we drove to Luss in the evening, spent the night in our campervan and did the climb the next day once some of the mist and low-lying cloud had lifted. A few things went a bit wrong on this first proper outing in The BeagleMobile: we had a gas leak that left us without heating and cooking facilities; our fabric travel crates proved impractical and we ended up spending the night all squashed up together on the bed (just like always!); and finally on the drive home the Erskine Bridge was closed, forcing us through Glasgow in rush hour traffic. I’m still having traffic queue nightmares from that last bit, but in two ways the trip was a huge success: firstly and most importantly it distracted Biggles from the loss of his bliss-in-a-tin Royal Canin food; and secondly, I finally got a decent pano of the so-called “Arrochar Alps” from Ben Dubh.
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