11 on the gross-o-meter

Last week was one long, disgusting Beagle gross-out.

Biggles kicked things off by vomiting a pile of partially digested poo on our hall carpet. Known by more experienced Beagle owners as sh*tvom, this putrescent powerhouse took nearly half a bottle of “Wash and get off” to remove. Later the same day, Beanie decided to take a dump right in the middle of her heelwork-to-music class.

Mid-week, a pile of dirty washing was raided and a pair of pants was subsequently found to be lacking a crotch.

As the week drew to a close, Biggles nabbed a bag of donuts intended for the guys working on our garden. He managed to consume two of them (and by consume I mean basically swallow whole, one after the other) while Beanie got one. There’s no denying that two young Beagles can be a handful at times, but two young Beagles on a sugar high is something else! In a desperate bid to keep our house and our sanity intact, I bundled them into the car and drove off to the beach, hoping that a long walk would burn the sugar off.

When I got there I decided against walking on the beach itself, because the sea washes in a lot of junk and in their hyper state Beanie & Biggles would have grabbed and eaten just about anything. Instead I took them along the grassy embankment that borders the beach. At first it seemed like I’d made the right decision; all I had to contend with up there was frenzied lead tangling and the occasional attempt to roll in something nasty. Then I saw Beanie’s head all but disappear down a hole, while her bum stuck straight up in the air. When she emerged, she’d got something – there seemed to be some string dangling from the corner of her mouth. I opened her mouth, tugged on the string and became the not-so-proud owner of a used tampon. Lovely. Suddenly the sh*tvom didn’t seem so bad.

Once I’d got over the shock I attempted to hurl my unwanted catch into the bushes, but the wind caught it and carried it to within a couple of feet of where Biggles was. Ordinarily Biggles is pretty slow to react to something landing near him, or even on him, but sugar-powered Biggles was much sharper and he pounced on the tampon immediately. I got a firm hold of him, opened his mouth and just managed to grab the tail end of the string before the whole package headed south to join the donuts. I washed my hands pretty thoroughly after that walk, I can tell you.

Happily things went more smoothly over the weekend. Bundy joined us at flyball and did amazingly well, as you’ll see from the photos and video clips below. Just one more Beagle and the Lomond Flyball Club could have the UK’s first all-Beagle flyball team. It wouldn’t win any prizes, but it would certainly be entertaining to watch!

Bundy’s first ever flyball run

A couple of runs later and she’s got it!

Biggles’ steering was a bit wonky last week

This week, he’s like a harassed shopper; gets all the way to the store then forgets what he came for

Beanie has trouble when the ball gets stuck in the box

But a couple of rounds later she’s flying!

Some of the pics. First Beanie in full flight:










Click here to see the full set of pics and videos from Sunday’s flyball session.

Flyball New Year Walk 2010

Great day today! All the regulars from the Lomond Flyball Club met us at Irvine beach for their New Year walk. We haven’t seen them for a while due to the house move, Christmas and of course the recent deep freeze so it was great to get together with everyone again.


Beanie & Biggles were initially a little overwhelmed by the huge gathering of dogs but once the walk got under way they got into the swing of things.

Obviously this was an off-lead walk for most dogs, and we were sorely tempted to let our two run free as well. It’s been quite a while since they’ve been off-lead together rather than singly –  the temptation to go off on their own high-speed adventures is usually too much for them to resist. This time however they seemed genuinely interested in joining their buddies Robbie and Sam, who are both pretty well behaved off-lead.





Surely with them as role models our two would behave themselves? Eh, no.. not really. As soon as Susan unclipped their leads, they shot off down the beach straight past their pals. Little Robbie wanted to follow them but once he got  too far away from his Mum, he turned around and ran back. It could be said that our two did the same, if you allow for the fact that their idea of “too far away” is very different from ours!


The look on their faces says it all. “Yep we’ve been naughty, and it was NICE!”


Of course treats are nice too..


..but that mouthful of chicken comes at a price. Beanie & Biggles, you’re nicked!

That was the end of their off-lead antics for the day, but they still had a good time walking with the group. We even ran into a couple of other Beagles – two boys, both young like our two, but way, way larger. And much, much better off lead!


Yep, well behaved Beagles. Just rub it in why don’t you!


On the other hand, their hunting skills were woefully lacking. They completely neglected their woofing duties when some horses passed by, leaving Beanie & Biggles to do all the work. That’s a heavy burden on young shoulders, but they have a strong sense of duty, our two.

Given that we were walking with fit flyballing dogs there was bound to be some impressive acrobatics:


But even the professionals can get into squabbles about who’s supposed to be doing what!


After the walk everyone headed back to our house for hot cuppas and some nibbles. To avoid the nibbles being nibbled illegally I had to put Beanie & Biggles in their crates. They took this remarkably well, though there was a bit of wailing when the hot sausage rolls came out of the oven. They got even with me when we let them out of their crates though. There were a couple of sausage rolls and cakes left over from the gathering and I fancied my chances of polishing them off, but I didn’t realise I hadn’t closed the kitchen door properly until it was too late.

  • “Hi Dad!”
  • Leap
  • Gobble

And it was all gone.

Flyball starts up again in February, and we can’t wait to see the gang again for our first training session of 2010.


MTB or Die, Part II

Success! I am now able to ride my bike. The breakthrough came yesterday when I did what I should have done when we first got our bikes; I embarked on a major Googling session. I found a US site with an instructional video (cheap but not free otherwise I’d reproduce it here) which spelled out the most crucial bit of advice every non-bicycle-riding adult needs, and it’s not advice you’ll get from someone who learned to ride as a child because the whole process is too instinctual for them.

The advice is simply this: when the bike starts to lean, correct it by temporarily turning the front wheel in the same direction as the lean. That’s it. Once you’ve got that idea loaded into your head, progress comes fast. I spent a little time in a deserted car park last night just practicing the balancing side of things, and ten minutes later I was pedaling. This morning we went for another practice session on a bike trail and by the end of it I was getting bursts of 1-2 mins without any mishaps. I haven’t  collected any new injuries either, though my arse is sore thanks to that medieval instrument of torture which is laughingly called a bike seat. Anyway, anybody reading this who also managed to survive childhood without ever learning to ride a bike will find the following link very useful:


I’ve still got a ton of photos from yesterday’s lure coursing to sort through and process before my next post, but for now here are a few snaps from a flyball demo we attended (but did not participate in this time) at James Lindsay Park, Baillieston. The demo was given by the Lomond Flyball Club, and here are a few shots:






Click here for the full set of photos