Jan 26
Bum-end No More?
icon1 Paul | icon4 01 26th, 2015| icon311 Comments »

Bum snuggles are dead easy to get in our house. For example, this morning in bed I had a big white bum in my armpit, and all I had to do to get this was open Biggles’ crate, wait for him to trot over to my side of the bed, and lift the covers a bit. Pretty much anytime I feel like a nap on the sofa and leave a bit of space for a Beagle, it’ll be the bum end that’ll be closest to my head. Now don’t get me wrong – given the choice between a bum-end Beagle snuggle and no snuggle at all, I’ll take the bum end – but it does have its drawbacks:

  • Beagle farts are more keenly experienced when delivered close to one’s nose
  • During a stretch there’s a higher risk of getting a foot in your mouth
  • A tail going up your nose can be quite tickly

Head-end snuggles avoid most of these problems, but historically they’ve been very difficult to come-by. This last week however, Susan has been consistently achieving head-end cuddles with the Bigglet, and I’m jealous.

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The head-end cuddle: truly the holy grail of Beagle snuggling

She’s given me the opportunity to “borrow” a cuddle she’s set up a few times, but mostly our attempts to switch places without disturbing his lordship have failed; Biggles comes out of his snooze, does a 180 and I get left with the bum again. On one occasion it went smoothly, but Beanie saw what was happening, became jealous herself, and we ended up having a three-way tug game with Biggles’ blanket.

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Beanie may be the most cuddle-averse Beagle in the history of Beagles, but when Biggles is getting something she isn’t, then there’s going to be trouble!

Perhaps if we can make her jealous enough, even Beanie may succumb to the head-end snuggle eventually. For now though we’ll just have to be satisfied with stealth hugs when she’s licking spilled food off our clothes, or is otherwise occupied with her suspicious chicken toy.

 

Jan 11
Weather Apocalypse
icon1 Paul | icon4 01 11th, 2015| icon311 Comments »

If the storms we had before Christmas can be called a “weather bomb”, then what we’re currently enduring has to be a “weather nuke”. Here’s what nearby Troon looked like at high tide the other night:

Troon does the ice-bucket challenge [IMG_0902]

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Of course the thing about having doggies – especially doggies who like their exercise – is that we can’t stay huddled up inside, hoping that the roof stays attached to the house. Nope, we’ve got to get out there and give the little beggars their walkies!

I’d always rather run than walk when the weather is foul, and over the last week I’ve had the dubious pleasure of jogging along the beach against 30+ mph winds, and that’s at the calmest times of the day. Ordinarily Beanie & especially Biggles really like windy outings – they get extra frisky and have loads of madcap chases when I let them offlead. Unfortunately the current winds have also been accompanied by near-horizontal rain and hail, and that is something that our two Beagles aren’t so keen on. On the return leg of our most recent run they were pressed against each other and trying to use me as shelter as we struggled to back to the car. Little surprise then that Biggles has been pulling a disappearing act at walkies time!

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Where’s Biggles? Hiding in the spare duvet in our wardrobe, that’s where.

Even ordinary walks have become difficult. The roads and pavements are strewn with rubbish from overturned bins and Beanie considers it her solemn duty to pick up and attempt to speed-swallow every last bit of it. Every few yards I have to stop and whip off my gloves to extract Beanie’s latest acquisition from her jaws.

We’re free of such problems if we stick to the country lanes, but then again they have hazards of their own. The other day we were picking our way through some fallen tree debris when Biggles suddenly reared up on his back legs, his little face filled with horror as he held up one his front paws, barely daring to look at it. Remember that scene in Terminator 2 when the T-1000 loses his hand to the liquid nitrogen and regards the stump in open-mouthed shock? That was Biggles. For a second he had me convinced that he’d really injured himself, but then I remembered the last time we saw such an extreme reaction from him. Yes, I’m talking about the fateful day Beanie’s squeaky squirrel tug toy briefly wrapped itself around one of his legs during a play session. Now I don’t want to imply that Biggles is hopelessly soft, but suffice to say that theĀ  paw situation was resolved by extracting a small piece of twig from between his toes and rubbing his tootsies better for a second or two.

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Even as Biggles recuperates from his encounter with the demon twig, the forecasts warn that the stormy conditions will continue well into next week. What new horrors lay ahead for my stoic little boy?

Dec 26
Christmas 2014
icon1 Paul | icon4 12 26th, 2014| icon37 Comments »

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Why is it that someone always has to stick their tongue out for the group photo?

We’ve had some seriously rough weather over the last few weeks. It’s been so bad TV presenters have been using the term “weather bomb”, shoppers have been evacuated from the local supermarket by flood rescue services, and Beanie has taken to using the indoor toilet. Unfortunately, and contrary to one of my previous posts, that doesn’t mean she’s been hopping onto the porcelain throne. Nope, she’s just been trotting down the corridor near our bedroom and squatting for a whiz on the carpet. I’m pretty sure this isn’t because we’ve somehow missed her requests to go outside, and I don’t think they’ve been “protest” widdles either. I think she simply decided it wasn’t worth braving the raging storms outside when she could just “go” in the comfort of her own home.

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Is it really so bad to pee on the carpet? I mean, Mum & Dad always clean it up afterwards..

Thankfully all that changed on Christmas Day. The rain, hail & wind stopped and the sun came out, the carpet dried, and there were presents. This time around we went for a mix of actual presents, and left-over cardboard boxes wrapped and filled with treats. The boxes went down very well; what Beagle doesn’t enjoy a bit of wanton destruction every now and then?

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Wrapping paper was torn off in a flurry of paws and teeth

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Treats went flying and boxes were worn on heads

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And inside the boxes? Yet more boxes, also filled with nice edibles

Somewhere in that orgy of destruction and snacking, the actual presents surfaced. Both Beanie & Biggles are partial to chomping on plastic bottles, so we got a couple of bone-shaped chew toys which have a (hopefully) resilient but squishy outer casing with a crunchy bottle-like inner core. I’m sure they’ll be enjoyed once our pups try chomping down on them, but so far no-one has shown much interest. I think a bit of peanut butter might get smeared on them in the near future to get things started.

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Biggles briefly studies his new toy

Box demolition must be almost as tiring as consuming vast amounts of Christmas pud, because after dinner I was joined on the sofa by the Bigglet. We both dozed off watching the crap TV (do the channel chiefs deliberately put on tedious repeats because they know everybody’s going to sleep through them anyway?) and about half an hour later we played the traditional game of BattleFarts. It’s hard to say who won, but since we’d both had Brussel sprouts with our Christmas nosh, I can tell you it got pretty bad. In due course we headed out to nearby Portencross for some fresh air and a leg stretch. This normally quiet little hamlet was surprisingly busy, which was great for Biggles because he loves getting his ears fondled by passers-by. Beanie of course did her level best to mug everyone for treats, and while she didn’t actually get any, she did get to leave some muddy paw prints on people so her time wasn’t completely wasted.

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Finally, here’s a short video showing Susan’s abortive attempt to cover The Bigglet in wrapping paper. She’d seen a cute time-lapse video of someone wrapping their cat, and figured that if a wriggly cat can be wrapped up, surely the same thing can be done with a Beagle? Well, it seems not, at least not if that Beagle is Biggles.

Wrapping Biggles from Paul Roberts on Vimeo.

 

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