It’s funny how Beanie & Biggles get frightened by completely different things, despite having lived with us since early puppy-hood and gone through much the same socialization process. From a fear point of view Biggles is definitely our most robust Beagle. He’ll happily sound off at much larger dogs and cattle/horses even though one might some day break free of its restraints and pay him a visit; he isn’t the least bit wary of cars and large vehicles (I kind of wish he was); and he isn’t even all that troubled by thunder or fireworks.
He is however very much afraid of fire, fast flowing water, and gappy floor surfaces. Quite often when the local farmers have a bonfire going we have put our heads down and sprint to get past it without any panics. On our recent visit to Castle Stalker it took us a good five minutes and numerous biscuits to get across 50 yards of unevenly planked bridge.
I should also mention that he once got scared by Beanie’s squeaky squirrel toy when it wrapped itself round a leg during a play session.
But big vicious green and yellow alligators? No problem for The Bigglet.
By contrast, Beanie has a much longer list of things that put her on red alert. Loud fireworks and thunderstorms are in joint first place, but below that we have: people dressed as Santa Claus, wheelie bins on the move, flapping bin bags, indistinct figures moving in foggy / misty conditions, and our uber-powerful vacuum cleaner which we refer to as The Sniffy Monster.
The world can be a scary place if your name is Beanie
Just recently two new things made it onto her list. The first, rather oddly, is the sci-fi movie Interstellar. Now I should point out that the Beanster has long been my most hardy movie watching companion. She’s grumbled, snored and farted her way through the director’s cut of The Exorcist. Paranormal Activity didn’t bother her in the slightest, and Insidious couldn’t distract her from the pile of monkey nuts I was snacking when we saw it on DVD for the first time.
No amount of Paranormal Activity troubles The Pupplet, and The Exorcist just reminds her of that time she ate far too many frozen peas
However Interstellar – with its paltry “12” rating – had her making a hasty departure from the movie sofa to go and sit shaking on Susan’s lap in another room. The emergency evacuation came shortly after a spacecraft launch sequence, so I figure it was down to a particular sound frequency in that scene. Maybe she thought it was thunder, yet film sequences containing actual thunder don’t worry her at all. Go Figure.
So Interstellar is actually a horror film, but it’s still less scary than Beanie’s other new phobia: devices beeping intermittently because their batteries are dying. It’s happened twice in recent weeks.
The first occurrence was with a smoke alarm in our house; I was immersed in work and that periodic water-torture “beep” was going off for maybe an hour before it finally drove me to do something about it. When I did I discovered little Beanie sitting still and tense, backed into a corner by the front door. I felt bad that the alarm had been troubling her for all that time, but a couple of weeks later the battery in our carbon monoxide detector died and we weren’t even aware of the beeping for half a day or more. Beanie presumably could hear it every single time it went off. Instead of cowering by the door she became very clingy, wanting to stay by Susan and sit on her lap. It was only when one of us happened to visit the utility room (home of the detector) just as a beep went off that we realized what was worrying Her Little Furry Highness.
Needless to say I now have a stockpile of long lasting 9v batteries ready for future emergencies, but some bright spark needs to create ear-defenders that worried little Beagles can wear whenever there’s a scary noise.
I’d be quite happy for Beanie to borrow my ambient-cancelling headphones..
But they just don’t fit that well over silky Beagle lug flaps. Poor design if you ask me!