Ever since Susan started winning against her hip osteoarthritis, other OA sufferers have been enouraging her to write a book. The work on that book started some time ago, but intensified massively over the last couple of months as we prepared to submit to Amazon’s self-publishing programme. Part of this preparation included a photoshoot to illustrate the various physiotherapy exercises, and it was while processing the resulting shots that I realized just how often we must leave the house with our clothes covered in pubic hairs. Not our own I hasten to add; we’re both slobs with zero appreciation for fashion, but we do still have some standards! No, I’m talking about Beagle pubes. They’re white, they’re straight rather than curly, and you could technically refer to them as fur rather than hair, but they’re still pubes. I had to digitally remove a ton of them from the calves of Susan’s leggings in each of the book’s seventy-four photos, and I still haven’t a clue how they all got there…
To break up the tension from all that hard work – in a way that didn’t involve shedding even more short-but-not-curlies – I took the pups on a trip to our favorite destination when the weather is grim: Knock Hill, near Largs.
The very first time we journeyed up the hill we followed the circular route on the WalkHighlands website. This is an absurdly long 13km, much of which is spent on pavements in Largs. We skipped most of the town-based section this time and got straight into the countryside, but still had to run the gauntlet of aggressive free-range chickens on our way through Brisbane Mains farm. Beanie and Biggles really like eating chicken – it might even be their favorite food – but they were very subdued as they came face-to-face with the raw ingredient for all those comestible good times.
After being their staple treat on beach runs for the last six years, the beaglets probably think that all chicken comes pre-cooked, wrapped in foil and buried deep in one of my pockets. Those weird noisy things with sharp beaks? Whatever they were, they weren’t chickens.
The Walkhighlands guide gives the Knock Hill walk a “bog factor” of four out of five. This time around, after days of heavy rain, six out of five would have been closer to the truth. Biggles coped surprisingly well with all the marsh and mud, somehow always finding ground that would support his weight; Beanie – who I normally credit with more smarts – just ploughed straight through it all, going thigh-deep more than once.
Whatever the weather, the views from Knock Hill are always worth seeing. This time around it was the sunny spotlight on the island of Great Cumbrae that really delivered.
After capturing that light show I was keen to stick around on the summit for a while, but with high winds, rain on its way and a desperate shortage of bone-shaped biscuits, Beanie and Biggles didn’t share my enthusiasm. We had a vote on staying but as often happens I lost by eight paws to none.
The last biccie meets Biggles’ chewing gear, along with my thumb
The news that there are no more snacks is not well received by The Beanster
OK, OK, I get it! We’re going!
By the time we got back to the van we’d been thoroughly drenched by rain; on a more positive note I couldn’t see a single naughty Beagle hair on my trousers thanks to all the mud.