I don’t know if this is a common Beagle-owner trait or something that’s peculiar to me, but some weird part of my brain always times Beanie and Biggles when they go for a dump. Though I couldn’t put an actual number to it, I have a sense of what constitutes a normal squat time; if this is exceeded I become concerned, sometimes with good reason. At the very least, a long squat can indicate the presence of what a software engineer might describe as improperly terminated output. If that “output” is left to dangle there for too long, the afflicted Beagle will almost certainly try to remedy the situation by scooting on the ground, leaving a skid-mark on their fur that is as unpleasant to view as it is nose-unfriendly. At the other end of the scale, an overly long poo attempt could indicate a more serious issue such as a blockage. Consequently when the Beanster assumed the position for way too long on a recent beach run, she got my attention.
As I headed to her she came out of her squat and ran to me, but her gait didn’t quite look normal and she kept pausing every few yards. Given that she’d only just returned to full off-lead activity after a shoulder tweak I wasn’t sure whether to be more concerned about that or the overlong poo. As it turned out, I soon discovered that the two symptoms had the same cause. When I’d unclipped her lead just a few minutes ago, she’d had one tail, but now she had two. One was long, furry and mostly brown with a white tip, while the other was only six inches in length, and mostly white with random streaks of brown along it. Immediately identifying the second one as the imposter, I prepared for the extraction; a poo bag went over my hand, and I gingerly grasped the redundant tail and gently began to pull on it. An inch of extra tail came out of Beanie’s bum hole making it seven inches long in total, then another inch, and all the while I felt certain that I was about to reach the end of it, but it just kept on coming. As it passed 10 inches in length I imagined myself as an old-school magician pulling an endless stream of handkerchiefs out of a pocket. At eleven inches I was expecting to see the ears of a rabbit beginning to emerge out of Beanie’s orifice, but finally at twelve inches the thing – which appeared to be the remnants of a plastic bag – came free from Beanie’s magic bottom. She was very relieved to get that out of her, and so was I, though I was left puzzling over how it got in there in the first place. The rest of our beach run went without incident, but the day still had one little surprise to spring on us.
After the run I bundled the pups into their crates in the car, picked up Susan from the gym and parked up at our local supermarket. We have a policy of never leaving our Beagles unattended in a vehicle, so while Susan went shopping I kept watch over the furry types. Biggles settled down for a nap almost immediately, but Beanie sat up in her crate to snoop on the other shoppers. Suddenly I heard something tap the roof of the car, and Beanie sprang to attention, while Biggles started to snore. I checked the mirrors but saw no-one in the immediate vicinity. Just as I was about to dismiss the sound, it happened again, and again. Something was on the roof of our car, and it was moving! Beanie sounded the alarm and her excited movements caused the car to rock slightly on its suspension. This disturbed the visitor on our roof, causing more tapping, which in turn prompted yet more baying, but Biggles remained curled up and snoring through it all. My ears were starting to ring from the noise and clearly it had got too much for our visitor also, because whatever it was shifted to the roof an adjacent car finally allowing us to view it: a particularly fat seagull. Seeing the cause of the disturbance didn’t stop Beanie’s baying frenzy, but its tone did at least switch from alarm to outrage. The noise soon attracted the attention of passers-by and I couldn’t help but chuckle, at which point Captain Vigilant in the crate next to Beanie woke up, let out a startled woof and sprang to his feet. Some days my little boy has the reactions of a drugged Sloth, but this day he wasn’t anything like that fast :) The baying continued for short while even after the seagull had departed, and as often happens I was left wishing I had a sweatshirt with “I’m not with these Beagles” printed on it in bold letters.
Finally, here are a few shots from a less eventful day out at our local park.
This next shot is a near-duplicate of one I took over seven years ago. Apart from some white fur around the eyes, the pups haven’t changed much!
Beanie and Biggles as they are today
And as they were seven years ago