Jan 25

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Beanie & Biggles have just signed up for their second space adventure! Their first was to Mars; NASA rover “Curiosity” is still carrying our two intrepid Beagles’ names in its belly as it goes walkies on the red planet. This time around though the destination isn’t another world but a potentially Earth-impacting asteroid called “Bennu”. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is going to travel to it, hang out on it for 500 days or so, then send a poobag full of scoopings back to Earth sometime in 2023. Just like Curiosity the craft will carry the names of anyone and everyone who declares an interest in the project, even if they have waggy tails and big floppy ears. If you want to sign up either for yourself or for your dogglets, here’s the page to visit:

http://www.planetary.org/get-involved/messages/bennu/

Participation is free and you’ll get a downloadable certificate that looks something like these two:

Bennu

Not many people know this, but in addition to his keen interest in space, Biggles is always looking for ways to improve daily life for his long-suffering humies. He’s modified countless socks to increase ventilation and keep our feet from overheating on long walks, he’s nibbled the tops of my wellies so that I can easily tell them apart from Susan’s, and he’s always collecting dirty cups, knives, forks and spoons and taking them down into his corridor ready for transportation to the kitchen. His latest idea puts all that in the shade however, because he’s found a way to make all Beagle bottoms self cleaning. Like all great ideas it’s simple and uses materials that are readily available in most households:

  • Step 1: Obtain a towel. These can usually be sourced from washrooms, unattended sports bags, or the “to be washed” pile in the utility room (assuming you can sneak in there without being noticed, and let’s face it, any dog who can’t do this doesn’t deserve to be called a Beagle)
  • Step 2: Cut out a portion of the towel using your chewing gear. You can go with pretty much any shape you want, though Biggles himself prefers ellipses. Just make sure you get around 5-6 square inches of material.
  • Step 3: Swallow the portion of towel you’ve cut out.

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In true Blue Peter tradition, here’s one that Biggles prepared earlier.
Along with a stray cup and fork of course..

That’s literally all there is to it. Once that towel portion makes it way through and out the other end, you’ll have a sparkly clean bum-hole without any further effort. Yeah, I know what you’re saying to yourself: “That’s so simple it’s genius! Why hasn’t anyone thought of it before!!??” Well, that’s the kind of innovative, labor-saving idea that Biggles comes up with any time we don’t keep a good eye on him.

Jan 11
No More Woof!
icon1 Paul | icon4 01 11th, 2014| icon38 Comments »

The “Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery” has developed a device that reads the brain activity of doggies and translates recognized patterns into human speech. They’ve called this device “No More Woof”. Apparently it’ll come with a selection of different dog characters – each with their own voice and phrasing style – so you can pick one that more closely matches your own dog. However, looking at the characters currently on the No More Woof website I see a bulldog, a terrier, various toy dog breeds, a poodle, a whippet and so on, but not a single Beagle. I wonder why this could be?

  • Is the NSID anti-Beagle?
  • Is it because Beagle brainwaves are too hard to read?
  • Is it because Beagles spend so much of their time contemplating high level concepts that such a puny device couldn’t possibly translate? (Unlikely, if you ask me)
  • Could it be that endless repetition of certain stock phrases could make the device particularly tiresome to Beagle owners. For example, how many times a day do you think you’d end up hearing the following:

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I want your food!!

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I’ve just farted and I don’t care!

One other possible reason for the lack of a Beagle character could simply be that Beagles are the potty-mouths of the dog world. I’m in no doubt that Beanie & Biggles use way more foul-mouthed expletives on a daily basis than even I do. Whatever Beanie keeps saying to the overweight Collie at the local farm, I’m sure it isn’t printable. And the other day when Biggles tried to slurp out of Susan’s coffee mug but found that it was too hot and growled at it.. well that growl wasn’t saying “fiddlesticks” I can tell you. And don’t get me started on what he says about the neighbors and the postman. Yep, I reckon if there’s ever a “No More Woof” product for Beagles it’ll come with a PG rating, an advisory note about foul language, and the voice of Gordon Ramsay.

 

 

Dec 27

Last year we spent Christmas Day shivering around the so-called “Arrochar Alps”. This time we went for a less adventurous Christmas; Susan prepared the nosh while I took our two munchkins out for a cold and windy but otherwise very pleasant run on the beach:

Usually high winds make Beanie & Biggles hyper and they sprint about like crazy during their mid-run offlead play, but this time they were pretty quiet. I suspect they were still somewhat pooped from the previous night’s walk in Troon. It had been really windy then, almost gale force windy, and the two of them had been darting about all over the place on their extending leads, covering probably 6 times the distance of the actual walk. At one point Biggles fell behind to examine something disgusting, then – as often happens – he got the idea of sprinting back up to Beanie and shoulder-barging her.  Unfortunately a sudden gust gave him unexpected acceleration and he nearly ended up embedding his head in Beanie’s bum. He’d have been on the receiving end of some cross words if she hadn’t been so obsessed with speed sniffing that she didn’t even notice the rear-ender.

Anyway, back to Christmas Day. After a thorough feeding and a short nap, it was time for the presents. Choosing presents for people can be tricky enough, but it can be really tough to get it right when you’re buying for doggies. Obviously food always goes down well, but when it comes to things like toys, you can never be sure how they’re going to be received. Some things can go down a storm, while others barely get a sniff. Since squeaky yet robust soft toys had worked out pretty well earlier this year for their birthdays, we followed the same formula for Christmas; Biggles got a heavily stitched squeaky duck, while Beanie got a 3 ft rope-filled snake with a squeaky head and rattling tail. The snake – Susan’s choice – was an instant hit with the Beanster!

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She just couldn’t get enough of Hissing Sid, and despite some serious rough-housing on the day and in subsequent play sessions, he’s still going strong and is her favorite toy by far.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of Biggles’ duck. As soon as the wrapping was off, Biggles grabbed him and took him out of the room and into the “corridor of doom” with a very purposeful trot; the kind of trot that’s usually reserved for socks that are about to be, er, heavily modified. Susan went after him and ushered him back in within a minute, but the duck had already lost his supposedly tuggable rope tail.

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Biggles is normally pretty gentle with soft toys, but apparently this duck had awakened his hunting instincts. He drew back onto his rear legs and pounced. The tail-less duck was shaken mercilessly, its stitches were pulled apart, and it’s soft felt-like back was ripped open.

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After barely 3 minutes of frenzied play, Mr Duck had to be confiscated for safety reasons.

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Yep, The Bigglet can be a fearsome killing machine when he wants to be. Duvets respect him, smelly socks fear him, and many freshly cooked peanut butter cookies have met an untimely end in his deadly maw. Rest in peace Mr Duck, your sacrifice gave my boy an enjoyable if brief play session, and left a mercifully small dent in my wallet.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone who isn’t a squeaky duck!

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