When Susan created Beanie’s special cave-like living room bed – known in these parts as “The Abode” – it made Beanie very happy, and it made me happy too; it dramatically reduced the number of “cover me with a blankie!” demands I had to handle when I was concentrating on work. I still had to deal with lots of seemingly urgent outside loo requests that were really about getting access to the kitchen, and sometimes the blankie requests kept coming because Biggles had parked his big white bottom on The Abode, but still, most days that bed made my life a bit easier and made Beanie a bit snugglier. Unfortunately this last week The Abode was rendered temporarily unavailable due to a messy barfing incident, and we were thrown right back into blankiesville.
Honestly this couldn’t have come at a worst time. I was snowed under with work, and it was extra cold and windy outside; absolutely the conditions in which a small Beagle girl (and boy, for that matter) wants to be covered by a blankie. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the blankie requests had come at say, hourly intervals, but they were much, much more frequent than that. If I didn’t place the blankie just right, there would be a loss of containment during the “let’s go round and round” dance that precedes settling down, and another intervention would be required almost immediately. If the postman or a delivery guy went anywhere close to the house, a long orange blankie slug trail would be left on the way to the window or door, and I’d be up and out of my chair to fix things again. If either me or Susan got up to make a coffee, the possibility of kitchen access would lead to another shedding and subsequent re-application of the blankie, as would trips to the water bowl, trips to the loo, mention of a food trigger word (trust me there are a lot of them!), and of course visits to the toy box because someone decided that a mid-afternoon squeak would be a good idea.
Look Dad, it’s not our fault that you said something that sounded like “chew”
Biggles’ blankie requests involved raising a front paw and looking pathetic, but if I was late in responding he’d just curl up and snuggle down anyway. Beanie however was relentless and impossible to ignore. She signaled her needs with a noise like slightly muffled fart, repeated at random intervals between five and twenty seconds; it was the Beagle re-imagining of Chinese water torture. Pretty soon my exasperation at the frequency of the requests became apparent even to Beanie, and being such a smart and empathetic little girl, she realized that she had to give me a break from the “fart-gone-wrong” signal. So instead, I got this:
and in particularly desperate cases, this:
No noise, no raised paw, just a silent unbroken stare. Even from across the room, this was way more distracting than any vocal request. I tried to fight it, looking her right in the eyes and saying “No Beanie, you don’t need a blankie!” but she just stared right back at me. “Seriously, I need to concentrate. Go see your Mum and get her to do it.” Still there was that unbroken stare in the corner of my vision, commanding my attention. When I finally challenged her with “No Beanie, I AM going to win this one!” she knew I was close to caving in, and held on that bit longer.
Days later, I’m now happy to report that The Abode is back in action (even though it took a double scoop of Napisan to get it properly clean), so I’m no longer getting the stare treatment from Beanie. As for Biggles, well it seems he’s now having to deal with his own blankie requests from his best pal, Monkey.