Eight years ago a hamster-sized mostly white Beagle boy popped out of his mum and almost immediately began an illustrious career in the field of noise pollution. About seven weeks later we saw “Shercroft Overture” (or Biggles as I named him) in the flesh for the first time. He was curled up on the seat of his breeders’ van, totally exhausted after having spent the entire morning sounding off. I handed over a cheque, and that little white pudding of a puppy was transferred to the crate in our car alongside Beanie. We had absolutely no idea what we were letting ourselves in for.
I don’t remember much of those early days with him, other than the noise. Soon after getting him, we took him and Beanie on a sponsored walk for a doggy charity. He hadn’t been immunized yet so we carried him in a purpose-made puppy carry bag, and that bag was wailing and jiggling about for the entire walk as Biggles made it clear that he wanted out. Back at home, playtimes between Biggles and Beanie were deafening, and when we put him in his fabric crate he would cry and bounce it around the floor until sleep finally overtook him. I remember feeling almost panicked the day he broke through the zip on that crate and I realized we no longer had a way to contain him in the living room…
Eight years on things have changed, but not that much; Biggles is still by far the noisiest little boy in town. Everybody knows when the postman comes to our house. Everybody knows when one of our neighbors’ dogs is out in its garden without Beagle permission. And most especially, everybody knows when it’s mealtime. He’s even noisy when he’s asleep; I’ve never heard a congested walrus breathing, but I’m willing to bet a tenner it sounds just like my boy during a snoring session.
Fortunately that noise is a price worth paying for all the good stuff that he brings, not the least of which is cuddles. Some mornings if I go back to bed after after opening his crate, Biggles wiggles his way into my arms and goes to sleep with his head under my chin. He’s also an excellent companion for watching sci-fi films at home, at least until the popcorn runs out.
So, how do you celebrate the eighth birthday of the cuddliest noise machine on the planet? Well you start by taking him for a run on the beach with his sister and a handful of chicken, and on the way back you deliberately follow a horse’s hoof prints right to a big pile of poo it left on the sand. Then you get him back home and serve up sardine cake and pressies.
Yep, I know it looks like we’ve just given them a pair of old boxes, but those boxes are packed with little treats to eat, paper to rip up, and a new toy!
Unfortunately getting all those nice things out of the box can be difficult, especially if your head gets stuck in there.
Beanie’s already eaten all her treats and is checking out her toy. And Biggles?
Yep, head still stuck in the beer box.
Lately I’ve been quite good at guessing what toys my boy likes, but sadly this time I got it wrong. A soft squeaky fabric football might seem like a good idea, but it’s a non-starter if it doesn’t easily fit in your mouth.
Beanie’s squeaky lamb went down much better!
Still, the football flop was quickly forgotten thanks to a helping of Pedigree Tasty Bites (“Cheesy Nibbles” flavor), and they helped him deliver one of his best portrait sessions ever.
Happy Birthday Biggles, and sorry about the football!