Christmas 2013: Snake attacks and Duckicide

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!




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.


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.




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


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!

8 Replies to “Christmas 2013: Snake attacks and Duckicide”

  1. Dr. Liz

    Gorgeous photos (as always)! In my experience, sometimes a squeaky duck (or five) have to sacrifice themselves for the Greater Good and Domestic Harmony. ;-) (BTW, Biggles, Abby applauds your handling of the duck – sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!)

    -Dr. Liz (who is just trying to figure out how to take ‘real’ photos, and not Fiona the dog, who would also applaud the duckicide)

  2. Julie Gill

    Fab pictures again Paul!! You obviously had the same weather as us on Christmas Day – sunny and windy. Our two go mad when it’s windy; think they get the wind up their tails! Happy New Year to you, Susan and the beagies xx

  3. Jill

    Will you ever change your blog title so that it now include Biggles? Just curious. And are you and your beagles on instagram?

  4. Paul Post author

    Thanks Liz & Julie!

    @Jill – because he’s in the (visual) header I never even noticed he wasn’t in the page title !! :( Fixed now – my poor hard-done-by boy finally has equal billing with his sis – cheers. And no, we’re not on instagram just now. TBH I don’t really “get” things like Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram etc – much prefer the blog format.

  5. Sue in Texas

    Love the pictures as well, ours shy away when the camera comes out. Our pictures are usually blurs. TBH I don’t get them either Paul. Hope you had a great holiday.
    Hugs to the Beagles.

  6. Joe

    I bought the fox from the same range of toys at the end of last year for our then 12 week old beagle puppy. Like Biggles with his duck, the fox seemed to awaken her inner hunting instinct. Following some violent shaking and chewing it was deceased in around twenty minutes. Not three minutes, but not bad for a puppy.

    Happy New Year to you all.

  7. Paul Post author

    @Joe: Yep that’s a promising start for a pup! Once he/she has killed a few duvets and cushions I reckon three minutes will be in reach :)

    Happy New year!

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