Algae Agony

A terrible tragedy has befallen Beanie and Biggles. Actually, since they haven’t run out of dog food, rawhide chews or dried fish pieces I suppose you could argue that it isn’t that terrible a tragedy, but it certainly is cramping their style. You see their favorite beach is out of bounds due to high levels of toxic algae in shellfish on the Ayrshire coast. The local councils haven’t made a big deal out of it; there are little paper notices up at the beaches warning against eating shellfish, but you have to look for them, and I’ve seen many dog walkers out on the sand as normal – either through ignorance or choice – apparently without any dire consequences. None of them have Beagles however.


Even if I kept our two out of the water and on lead while running at (for me) a decent pace, both of them would still manage to grab shells and assorted washed up sea food. Any time Biggles drops behind for a second, you can pretty much guarantee that he’s just picked something up, or is having a pee, or both. More often than not when I look round I see little crab legs dangling from his mouth, or a razor shell getting crunched in half in his jaws. As for Beanie, well she’s become so fast at snatching and swallowing things that if I don’t spot a hazard while it’s still two yards away, it’s going down the hatch.


I did my best to explain to them what algae is, but I don’t think they really understood, as evidenced by their joint suggestion on how to defend themselves against it.


While blankies work well for fireworks and thunderstorms, they’re totally ineffective against marine toxins

So I’ve used one of those cloud-based page-watch services to alert me when the local restriction on shellfish is lifted, and we’ve just finished our first completely beach-free week since the dreaded palm-oil problem last year. In the meantime we’re making up for the loss with extra trips to the poo-filled dog enclosure at Troon (best avoided when I’m due to brush their teeth later in the day), runs on the grass at the beach-park, and play sessions on our rear lawn.




So it could be much worse. But lets just hope that sea food is back on the menu soon, or we could be facing protests from the furry party.



2 Replies to “Algae Agony”

  1. Susan in Delaware

    Yeah, keeping known hazards out of their cavernous maws is a challenge, let alone the unknown. While your waiting for the all clear to return to the beach, couldn’t Beanie and Biggles be employed in ridding Ayrshire of those pesky moles? :)

  2. Paul Post author

    You know I keep asking myself the same thing, but they’re both completely hopeless. There are hundreds (not an exaggeration) of wild rabbits and squirrels on one of our regular walks, and each time a critter crosses our path Beanie & Biggles keep their heads down, staying really quiet & pretending not to have seen it. They’ll merrily gob off at workmen in fluorescent jackets and other dogs, but their natural prey doesn’t get so much as a muffled grumble. I mean the fact that we have a mole in their own garden is a statement about their lack of hunting prowess in itself. One of our neighbors has a terrier and there are no moles in his garden, that’s for sure :)

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