Beanie’s Eighth Birthday!

For a few weeks out of each year Biggles gets to boast that he’s just as old as his sister – in integer years at least. Maybe it’s my imagination but I do think he gets an extra swagger about him during this time. Unfortunately Beanie’s just had her eighth birthday and now he’s back to being her little brother again. It’s not so bad though, because birthdays generally mean food and fun.


The big day started with a trip to our local pet shop. The instant we got out of the car Biggles somehow knew where we were going, while Beanie was a little more concerned about purging the nearby parking spaces of all dropped food remnants. That and rolling in a bit of seagull guano. Nevertheless we eventually made it into the store, charged past the rabbits and guinea pigs with our heads down (‘cos those rabbit things are really scary) and made a beeline for the toy aisle. Once there – and just in case any of the staff had failed to notice our entrance – we had a really loud and extended woofing session at a big Humpty Dumpty toy on a distant shelf. Clearly the owners of the shop were unaware that Humpty-Dumpty is a well known villain in the Beagle world. Now that the Metropolitan Police have dropped their 24/7 guard on Julian Assange, maybe they can send someone along to Ayrshire to deal with said Mr. Dumpty?

Somehow amid all the woofing, pulling and meticulous floor licking we found suitable things to spend our money on. As is her wont, Beanie did her special biscuit summoning dance at the checkout; it was particularly successful this time, netting two servings of gravy bone biccies each for her and Biggles.  We exited the shop with two new collars (genuinely needed, as their old ones were getting really tatty) and two other items that were ridiculously expensive but have already proved a huge hit with both our pups. I can’t remember what the mystery items are called and the packaging is long gone, but they look like this:


They’re made of flavored nylabone-type material, with a slot on each arm that can securely hold a clip-in treat. With no opposable thumbs available, the waggy recipient of the toy has to get to work on it with their teeth. I fully expected Biggles to be the best at this due to his amazing chewing powers, but it was the birthday girl who was first to liberate her treat from the plastic.


Susan figured it was just pot luck that enabled Beanie get her treat out first..


..But I think Beanie’s success had something to do with her superior ability to hold things in her paws


Holding the toy at just the right angle, she was able to pop the bone-shaped treat out in about a minute


The Bigglet’s approach was much less sophisticated. He tried licking it for a bit..


Then settled for good old fashioned brute force. And it worked. Eventually.

The best thing was that even after the treats had gone, the two of them kept on chewing – to such an extent that Biggles’ toy was already looking worse for wear when we finally took it off him. Still, chewing up that nylabone material is supposed to help clean teeth, so it’s all good. What’s more, there’s no need to keep paying for more of the clip-in treats, because a dollop of natural yoghurt and some time in the freezer works just as well.

Needless to say there was cake too, and after a long walk involving an extended blackberry picking session, we all cosied up to watch the return of zombie drama “The Walking Dead”. As the episode ended, the heroes were in a bit of a pickle due to the zombies being attracted by loud noise. All things considered, it’s not too surprising that the show has never counted Beagle owners among the survivors of the zombie apocalypse.

8 Replies to “Beanie’s Eighth Birthday!”

  1. Susan in Delaware

    Happy birthday, Beanie!! So glad you have found chewie things to keep the two entertained. Ringo will gnaw at the occasional Nylabone or antler, but usually only as a follow up to a session of utterly destroying one or two fluffy squeaky toys. Lady was initially fascinated with the antler, but after 30 minutes of chewing, she walked away in disgust since she wasn’t able to ingest it. She’s never touched it again. I’m thinking of looking into a puzzle toy where they have to use some thought (as opposed to brute force, although I’m sure that will be attempted) to extract treats. I’m going to have to start spending time training Mr. Ringo, since he really is clueless (the life of a recently adopted, previously abandoned young hunting dog), and Lady will need something to keep her busy so she won’t be upset that she’s not getting snacks when he is.

    Oh, and we would be immediate zombie victims if they were attracted to noise. I have to be careful how early or late Ringo goes out, as he will wake the dead (or attract the undead) if he catches scent or sight of rabbit/deer/cat, etc. A neighbor texted me last week to see if he’d been in an accident or fight from all the yelping. When he gets really excited, the sound can be confused with a dog being boiled alive, unfortunately. ;)

  2. Paul Post author

    Thanks Susan! If you find a puzzle toy that actually elicits calm problem solving rather than an increasingly desperate series of brute force attacks, please let me know! In the past we’ve tried multi-layered wooden spinning puzzles, rope-in-a-bottle toys and so on, but in the end it’s always come down to good old fashioned Beagle brutality and determination, and sometimes in Beanie’s case, emotional blackmail (“Dad, if you loved me you’d help me get the treat out of this thing.. whimper”)

  3. Susan in Delaware

    Paul, now you’re making me rethink spending the money. I once got the bobble toys for our former beagles, Josie and Jordan, which they had to knock around until the treats fell out. Josie’s reaction was exactly as you described Beanie. Jordan smashed it around so much I was afraid he was going to dent the kitchen appliances – and then the next day he had a “sports injury” from repeatedly whacking it with his right front paw, and he limped for 3 days. Hmmm …

  4. Paul Post author

    @Julie: Thanks Julie! Beanie may be 8 but she seems to be having a second puppyhood right now :)

    @Susan: Yep, only a Beagle could get a sports injury from a new toy!

  5. Sue

    The toys look pretty neat, I will have to see if PetSmart sells them. Yogurt and the freezer is a nice touch.

    Hope she had a wonderful birthday!

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