No matter how many walks, house and garden play sessions they get, I never feel that the pups have been properly exercised & stimulated unless they get a couple of off-lead romps each week. And what do I get in return for all this dedication to their well-being and quality of life? Nothing but worries for their safety and yet another flagrant display of naughtiness, that’s what.


Obviously I was expecting some level of naughty, but they outdid themselves this time. I was trailing after them up and down the beach for ages, getting increasingly concerned that darkness would fall before I got them safely back on lead again.


Like most Beagles, Beanie & Biggles aren’t at home in the water, but when they’re excited and in pursuit of birds they’ll happily charge into the sea and can quickly find themselves out of their depth. For that reason I always time our beach adventures so that the tide is incoming.


So at least I didn’t have to worry about them getting washed out to sea.


But they just kept on charging up and down the beach, some times covering so much distance that I could barely see them.



Paddling beagle [2A6A2312]

At least I could always hear them. Whenever Beanie made a new attack run on the birds Biggles would temporarily lose her and bay his head off as he fought to catch up.


Every time she passed by I tried to lure Beanie back to me with a handful of chicken, but she was determined to catch her own bird meat!


The sun set and the light started to fade, but still they kept going!


Then abruptly, and for no discernible reason, they were done. They trotted back to me, soaking wet and covered in sand, and got their mouths filled with chicken and their leads firmly attached.

When I got them back home Susan instantly knew they’d been naughty. As she put it: “when even the tops of their bums are dirty, you know they’ve had a good time”. And so they had, but such a total lack of respect for my authoritah demanded some kind of reprisal. “You’re both grounded! No more off-leaders for a week!” I told them. But I don’t think they took me any more seriously than they had on the beach.


I guess they know I’m a soft touch went comes to them having fun.

10 Replies to “Grounded.”

  1. Sue in Texas

    Barney & Jodi want to come live with you and Susan! They are NEVER off leash. Love the pictures especially the one with the ears flying. You get the best shots.

  2. Paul Post author

    Thanks Sue! We’re really lucky to have a couple of relatively safe places for them to enjoy proper freedom, but even then they sometimes get themselves into trouble. It’s as though their first thought on a morning is “must nick some food, tear up the mail and find a new way to almost kill myself”

  3. Joe

    Off-lead? I wish I could. There are a couple of problems letting our little princess off-lead.

    Number 1 – the nose. Hare, some other wildlife scents and birds are guaranteed to send her beagle pulse racing. I’m not sure she would come back in a hurry.

    Number 2 – animal kibbles. Anything produced by a horse, sheep or rabbit is a delicous tasty morsel (yuck) and no treat (even chicken or cheese) will make her drop it. I’ll try liver cake next time but I’m not convinced anything can interrupt this habit!

    Number 3 – If she isn’t eating it, she will roll in it. We have had to throw away one collar for this reason and the Ruffwear went round the washing twice and still didn’t smell clean afterwards. She can drop her shoulder and hit the deck to roll in something at the blink of an eye.

  4. Sue in Texas

    Paul & Joe,

    It’s not so much what they will get into, well sure that’s part of it. But the problem I am afraid of is that they won’t come back. If I had chicken in my pocket, they would never leave my side to go play.

    See the Beagle dilemma? :)

  5. Paul Post author

    @Joe: Yep, those 3 endearing little behaviors are on our list too, but it’s not too bad on the beach. They chase after birds, but that keeps them by the water’s edge and away from roads. They roll in bird poo and the odd bird carcass but that mostly washes off by the time we get back to the car. And of course if horses have been ridden along the beach they have a horse dung buffet, but somehow that doesn’t seem as repulsive as dog poo. On the other hand, there was the dreaded palm oil incident, and that one time when I had to retrieve a used tampon from one of their mouths just before it got swallowed (though the last one doesn’t really count ‘cos they were on lead at the time).

  6. Paul Post author

    @Sue: Yes I certainly appreciate the difficulty, except that our two will absolutely leave us even if we’ve got chicken, which is a mixed blessing!

  7. Susan in DE

    Paul, good for you and Susan finding a place where they can be off leash. It is tough to locate, that’s for sure. I have to pay US $55 for a one hour opportunity for Josie and Lady to be off leash on a private, securely fenced 9 acre farm, and even then I’ve almost lost both dogs ON the property! But it’s worth it, they need the freedom, exercise and mental stimulation (and controlled naughtiness!). We got to go on our romp this morning, and Lady had the biggest, most stupid grin of joy on her face all day long – it was the best!

  8. Paul Post author

    @Susan: That’s it exactly. Once you see those happy, excited faces, and the extra deep satisfied napping that follows, it’s impossible to deny them another fix (even if it does get a bit naughty sometimes).

  9. Joe

    Paul, once something is in our Beagle’s mouth that she shouldn’t have and she doesn’t want to give up it is virtually impossible to get it out. She knows what is coming and attempts to swallow the item as soon as possible. As soon as we reach her she clamps her jaw shut and attempts to wriggle away in order to finish it off.

    We intend to try her on the beach. Whilst we are lucky enough to live in an area which is in striking distance of the edge of the Salisbury Plain, the Cotswold AONB and the Wessex Ridgeway, beaches are a bit more of a trek.

    If we are going off that sort distance, the Black Mountains or Brecon Beacons are far more enticing!

  10. Paul Post author

    @Joe: Beanie’s almost the same – she’ll try to swallow a thing rather than lose it, but if I catch her in time she’ll let me open her mouth without much protest (probably thanks to our toothbrushing routine).

    Good luck with the beach. It was my running drills that helped develop a reasonably safe routine for our two, but if I release them on a regular walk (as in the post) then anything can happen!

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