Beanie is now a double-digit Beagle and while her advancing years haven’t exactly slowed her down, I have noticed some changes.
The most welcome development has been a growing appreciation of human affection. She has always been – on the surface – the most outgoing of our pups, greeting passers-by with full-body wags and a two-legged dance routine, but this was akin to celebrities smiling for cameras and signing autographs to keep fans happy. Away from the public gaze, Beanie has traditionally been a rather cuddle-averse and intensely private little Beaglet. More recently however she has become surprisingly accepting of strokes, kisses and snuggles. It started during trips in the Beaglemobile, where being moderately fondled on someone’s lap was a price worth paying to gain a better view of the outside world. This progressed to actively seeking cuddles during scary events like thunder, fireworks and beeping noises on TV shows, and in the last couple of months I’ve had some wonderfully soppy Beanie moments for no obvious reason at all.
There’s nothing soppy or affectionate about her style of play however; if anything, she’s become even more of a vandal. The above birthday hotdog lost its strip of green “lettuce” almost immediately and would have lost much more if she hadn’t switched her attention to the squeaky smiley face. She’s even tried to win Biggles over to her destructive ways, encouraging him to rip open a soft fabric bone and spit out the squeaker. At least he felt toy-wrecker’s remorse after his orgy of destruction; Beanie just goes looking for the next victim!
At the same time, she’s become much more tolerant of the attention of other dogs; even just a couple of years ago she would have cross words for any dogs that pestered her excessively on beach runs. Now she just ignores them – even the really pesky small ones – and she positively enjoys seeing the local farm dog, even though he has a strange obsession with sticking his nose right in her earholes. Actually maybe it’s not all that strange – I’ve caught myself rubbing my nose in her ears as well, although I don’t make quite such pronounced sniffing noises when I’m doing it.
Speaking of beach runs, both Beanie & Biggles have generally become much more manageable during offlead sessions this year, though Beanie did something very out of character this morning when we encountered a rather handsome, younger Beagle. He was also offlead, but trotting smartly just a few yards in front of his owner. Biggles – who was on an important mission at the time (the ultimate goal of which never became clear) – totally blanked the youngster as he sprinted by. Ordinarily I’d have expected Beanie to do the same, but instead she made a bee-line directly for the little fellow, picking up speed all the time. At the very last instant she veered around him, woofed jubilantly, then shot another 60 yards down the beach, dived onto her back and engaged in a particularly vigorous rolling session on a bird carcass. Smelly break-dancing notwithstanding, this was essentially a classic Biggles fly-by maneuver. He does this to Beanie all the time (often incorporating a shoulder-barge), but this was the first time I’ve ever seen her do something similar. Obviously Biggles’ technique is superior due to years of diligent practice, but still I’d have to give Beanie a score of 6 out of 10, especially as this was her first attempt. I can only assume it’s some kind of flirting. Is my ten year old girl turning into a furry floozy?
I’ll finish with some shots from last week’s visit to Loch Chon in the Trossachs region. The autumn colors hadn’t reached their height, and recent harsh weather had already stripped some trees of their leaves, but it was still a very attractive place for a stop-over in the Beaglemobile.
One of the few dwellings by the Loch – Frenich Farm perhaps?
The sniffage was of the very highest quality
And abundant heather offered endless possibilities for picking up ticks
Cow ears are the usual in-van treat, but on this occasion a big red sausage made an acceptable alternative
I expected it to be swallowed in seconds, but it was surprisingly chewy and long-lasting
Beanie seemed particularly taken with hers, even finishing it ahead of The Bigglet
Happy Birthday Beanster!