Beanie’s Agility Class

It was a busy day for Beanie and Biggles today. Beanie had her agility class in the morning while Biggles went for a good romp around the park with his buddies. Then after a quick lunch we headed off to Allers Farm for another¬†“Hydro Fun” session (a kind of doggy pool party)¬†with the Glasgow Dog Training Club.

Beanie is turning into a real water baby. I jumped in the pool and she dived straight in after me . She didn’t even wait to be led down the ramp! We had a hard time getting her out when her half hour slot was up. Biggles loves the water too, and was a bit miffed that he was only allowed in the pool for a couple of minutes. He’ll start building up his swimming time in a couple of weeks time when he turns 6 months.

Last week at Beanie’s agility class our instructor filmed the dogs during the training. The following short video features dogs from the beginner class (that’s Beanie’s class) through to novice and intermediate. Beanie’s little moment of fame is near the start – second dog to run. It’s interesting to watch the more advanced dogs as this is what Beanie will be doing over the coming weeks and months.

http://www.clearrunagility.co.uk/apps/videos/videos/view/1990603-training-classes

Soggy Sausages and Sick Biggles

Over the last couple of days Biggles has had a chesty cough, and this morning he was really off color: weak, shivering, breathing fast and shallow and not particularly interested in food.

Earlier in the week Beanie had been uncharacteristically lethargic, and Biggles had appeared genuinely concerned about her, staying close but not trying to engage her in play. She quickly threw off whatever had been troubling her, but this morning she didn’t feel any need to return Biggles’ gentle treatment. Instead, she just tried to eat his breakfast. Actually that’s probably fair enough since most mealtimes we have to stand guard over Beanie’s bowl, ready to repulse Biggles’ lightning fast raids on her kibble.

Anyway we took our little boy to the vet suspecting kennel cough, but apparently it didn’t quite fit the bill. The treatment was pretty much the same though: an anti-inflammatory and a course of antibiotics to fight the infection and bring down his high temperature. Within an hour of treatment Biggles was more like his old self and got so excited about his breakfast he left a little trail of pee en route to his bowl. It was great to see him back on his feet, but he had to miss the hilight of the day: another trip to Allers Farm for a Glasgow Dog Training Club pool party.

This was the second pool party Susan has organized for the club, and this time around the dogs were in the pool in pairs for 20 minutes each. Beanie was quite eager as she waited for her turn..

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..but as usual her enthusiasm waned once her harness was on. To help restore it we had a plentiful supply of sausages and a secret weapon – a tennis ball with a slit cut into it.

I’ve been using this in the park – loaded with tasty treats – to try to get Beanie more interested in ball games. It’s been working well, and it proved even better as a target for agility practice when we had another session at the barn earlier this week. With a sausage placed half way into the ball Beanie got a target to chase, an immediate reward for completing the circuit (the bit of sausage hanging outside the ball) and an incentive to stay put until we arrived to liberate the remaining piece of sausage from inside the ball. Could the slit tennis ball also get Beanie playing in the swimming pool?

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Absolutely! She seemed to forget that she was in the water, and went sprinting after the ball every time it was thrown. Not once did she look bored or try to exit the pool to raid the treat bag. Whenever she caught the ball, she got a little taste of sausage with the promise of more once she dropped it in Susan’s hand.

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There were some near disasters though; a couple of times the ball took on too much water and sank leaving a distraught, sausageless Beanie circling the pool and giving serious consideration to diving down after it. Fortunately Jennifer, the resident hydrotherapist, always came to the rescue with her pole-mounted fishing net.

When the session ended Beanie almost needed to be dragged out of the pool and seemed keen to get back in there even after I’d dried her off with a towel. I think we’ve finally got a way to combine all the health benefits of swimming with the fun of a run in the park!

A Big Day For Biggles

We decided to swap the normal park visit for a swimming session today. Biggles is too young for a proper swim, so still needed a morning on-lead walk, and since we were running low on his food I combined it with a trip to our local pet shop. Dogs are allowed inside and it was incredibly exciting for him to be within nibbling distance of so many tasty treats. While he was in there a very large dog of unknown breed came in with his owner. He must have been four times the size of Biggles, and yet he was clearly terrified by the sight of our little boy trying desperately to hold the sit position even though his tail was wagging like a turbo-charged windscreen wiper. Serious loss of street cred for the big dog, big ego boost for Biggles. On the way back I had a seven kilo bag of Burns Minibites tucked under my right arm and a food-crazed Bigglet nibbling at it in the hope of getting an early tea.

No sooner had we got back home than it was time to head off to Allers Farm Kennels for Beanie’s swimming session. Normally she’s pretty relaxed about the whole swimming thing, but today she wasn’t too impressed by the temperature of the water. It was a little cooler than normal due to the heating having been turned off during the festive period. Beagles are supposed to be hardy all-weather creatures, but Beanie has grown too used to the life of a pampered princess and a luke-warm swimming pool is just not up to par.

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We are NOT amused!

Of course with Biggles there she had to put on a brave face, and a few chunks of dried liver helped her to “rise above” too.

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Biggles also got to dip his paws in the pool briefly, and showed that he hadn’t lost the instinctive swimming ability he demonstrated last time.

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And of course if you swim, you get liver treats. Them’s the rules.

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It was all very stimulating, and our little boy hit the sack in his own inimitable fashion when we got back home.

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But the fun wasn’t over, because a little while ago I caught Beanie and Biggles playing with something. I’ve been doing a little computer open-heart surgery recently and it sounded like they’d found a little metal case screw, so I quickly intervened to get it off them. It wasn’t a screw though. It was one of Biggles’ baby teeth!

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This may sound kind of sad, but I was really pleased to get it. We never saw any of Beanie’s – I guess she swallowed them (along with a quite a few other things). I suppose the tooth fairy will have to leave Biggles a little present for tomorrow morning :)