Biggles has just had his fifth birthday! For five long years now he’s been aarrfing, warbling, farting, nicking gobfuls of my lunch, producing and eating poo, peeing on my DVD collection and on his bed, boinging, cheating at lure coursing, getting emergency trips to the vet for consuming half a kilo of grapes and getting his tail pulled by his sister and his tummy tickled by us. How on earth do you reward a little Beagle boy for all that tireless hard work? Well, you can start with a scrambled egg breakfast!
Unlike normal breakfasts, this one came before the morning walk not after, and this radical departure from normal routine threw the Beagle community into chaos. Beanie was the most confused, due to her rigid and wildly mistaken beliefs about how mealtimes work. In her head, bowls of kibble only become accessible to her and her brother if she sits very neatly in exactly the right place in the corridor leading to our bedroom. There’s an invisible kibble release plate there, you see, and the only reason she and Biggles haven’t starved to death already is because she knows to sit on it. But where on earth do you sit to release a scrambled egg breakfast served before the morning walk?
In desperation she took the shotgun approach, parking her bum in various places in the hall in the hope that she’d land on it by chance. Biggles was thrown for a loop as well; the scrambled egg came in his “Woof” bowl. Did that mean he should woof for his breakfast, or that the woof was already provided by the bowl and he should stay quiet? He woofed, then he stayed quiet. He boinged, then he sat still (apart from his tail which couldn’t stop wagging). It was all very, very confusing.
Should I woof? Should I sit? What do I have to do to get this?
Fortunately, and just in the nick of time, Beanie’s bum must have found the scrambled egg release plate because the “Take it” command was given!
Yes! A new world record for speed eating is about to be set!
After an appropriate pause for digestion and supplementary napping, the morning walk provided a welcome return to routine. Then the world got turned on its head again by some special bone-shaped biscuits from The Beagles Bakery. Beanie & Biggles have had personalized biccies from there before, but this time they were much, much bigger and covered in dog-friendly chocolate!
I’d intended to get some shots of our two sitting neatly as the biccies were served up, but all I got was this:
The truth is that as soon as they got a whiff of those biscuits, Beanie & Biggles went beserk. It was a much stronger reaction than we got for the scrambled egg, stronger even than we’ve ever had for fresh cooked chicken. We managed to get control for maybe half a second then Biggles lunged at the box and by sheer luck grabbed the biscuit with his name on it. There was nothing to do but let Beanie have hers as well. I suppose it’s only fair that the rules get relaxed a little when it’s your birthday (or unbirthday, as in Beanie’s case).
Next came the presents. Even though they weren’t edible they were received very enthusiastically – so enthusiastically that Biggles fumbled and knocked his onto the floor!
Noooo! My pressie! Must chase after it!
Both Beanie and Biggles tore open their packages but then completely ignored the actual presents, preferring instead to run off with the packaging and tear it up some more (Beanie) and mop up any remaining biscuit crumbs (Biggles).
Once those important duties had been completed the presents finally received some attention. We’ve often described our two Beagles as cheeky monkeys, so I’d bought them a pair of cheeky monkeys of their own. Beanie’s monkey is a tug toy with a single squeaker in its head, whereas Biggles’ is more of a cuddly toy with eight – yes, EIGHT!!!- squeakers inside. Biggles loves squeaky toys but for some reason the squeakers always stop working within a couple of minutes. I figured that with eight of them on-board, his monkey might just last a bit longer.
Biggles gently picked up his toy and took it onto the sofa for an in-depth examination.
It squeaks when I bite it here Dad!
Beanie put her toy to use as well. First there was tugging, then squeaking, then ripping. In a minute or so, there was a gaping hole in her monkey’s head and I was retrieving the broken squeaker from her mouth.
Bereft of life it rests in pieces. It is an ex-squeaker. It has ceased to be.
Even though it would never squeak again Beanie was still very happy with her toy and joyfully paraded it around the garden.
Biggles chose to stay on the sofa with his monkey. All eight squeakers were still functional, and the monkey’s head made a very comfortable chin rest.
Later in the day when Beanie’s monkey was in a drawer with a sickening head wound and a severe case of PTSD, Biggles’ monkey was still intact and able to squeak. My little boy likes destroying boxes, toilet rolls and crisp packets as much as any doggy, but now he’s a little older he seems to be surprisingly gentle with his toys. Happy 5th Mr Biggles!