Occasionally we watch those “new life in the sun” programs which follow people who’ve permanently left the UK to live and work abroad in warmer climes, and we wonder what it would be like to have long stretches of consistently warm sunny weather. Thanks to the recent heatwave we don’t have to wonder any more: neither us humies nor our Beagles cope well with prolonged heat. It hasn’t even been that hot here on the west coast of Scotland; when more southern bits of the UK were sweltering in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees celcius we were only in the low twenties, but even that was too much.
The gps data from all my recent beach runs with the pups tells part of the story. Intervals of faster-paced running have disappeared, replaced by slow steady plods through the shallows. When we’ve got home after a run nobody – whether in possession of a tail or not – has been fit for anything but napping.
I must concede that a post-outing nap or three has never been unusual for our Beagles, but the quality of their recent dozing has definitely been affected by the heat. Both of them like to be covered during daytime snoozes, and Biggles has driven me nuts by requesting a blanket, struggling back out of it after barely a minute, then repeating his request again once he’s cooled back down. Ironically Beanie has been less of a blankie pest than usual, but only because she’s sought refuge in our bedroom – the coolest room in the house – for much of the day. I know that her sleeps have been just as interrupted as those of the Bigglet however, because one day I was making frequent trips to and from the bedroom to put washing away and I saw her in a different position and state of duvet coverage every single time.
At first I called my pups crazy for still wanting to be covered, but I’ve realized that both Susan and I are exactly the same; we just can’t sleep as deeply without a cover, but any time we do pull the covers over us we’re hurriedly casting them off seconds later. We’ve been waking up nearly as tired as when we went to bed, yearning for a top-up nap to recover from our last one. This presumably is what it’s like to be a Beagle all year round.
Just the last few days the heatwave has backed off a little. There’s been rain and cooling breezes, and almost instantly our beach runs have become more vigorous, post-run napping has been more contented and snory, and blankie request have been replaced by this:
It’s play time Dad!
I think we’d better make the most of this more comfortable weather, because forecasts indicate that the heat is set to return.