Walkies

Its great to have a human Paw Assistant who is at your beck and call for walks. I am very lucky to live close to woods, fields and parks. So, today I decided that I would take my dad on a walk for 6 miles through the woods.

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Chasing squirrels whilst attached to my double lead and to the immovable object (aka Dad) is one of my favourite things to do. Along with chasing pigeons, chasing rabbits and chasing deer.

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It was a lovely day for a quick stroll from home, to the next Underground station. Through the woods and past the church, down the lane with Dad in tow. Through the field and into the next woods, past the sheep and along the bridle way. Squirrels squirrels everywhere, come and play.

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I wasn’t even tired yet, but I could hear Dad puffing along behind me. This is Beagle Harrier paradise. So many sniffs!

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We arrived at the station only to see the train coming into the platform. Quick Dad run, run, run. Safely on the train returning home. This was fun, I liked it, can you tell?

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Thanks Dad, I’m very lucky. I wish all furs had the chance to walk for miles like I do.

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Dexploring in the Ponds

I was rudely awoken at some un-dogly hour of the morning and was marched around the garden. It was only when I saw that the travel crate was already in the car, that I realised I was going on holidays again.

The miles passed quickly (dad was driving), and we found ourselves in Eskdale after stopping off for a wander around Birker Fell.

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I remembered Eskdale from a few months before. I had enjoyed a most excellent week of fun and shenanigans then and I was determined to have another great week. Unsurprisingly we retired to the pub to make sure we were ready for the next day.

We had arranged to meet with some pals from the northwest and Cumbria at a place called Cockermouth on Saturday. We went out for an explore early in the morning around Eskdale and I was taking the air and enjoying the new scenery. I met with Bridie first as she lives in the house we were staying at. She’s an older gentle lady fur and we got on really well. I then met Oscar the black Labrador who I remembered from last time. We spent some time woofing with each other. He’s a cool fur. Off to Cockermouth and we parked, only to see Raffa & her M waving at us. Soon after, we were joined by Betty the BT, Sprocket & Fergus da Brave.

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We were quickly on our paws and walking through the fields and alongside the river, woofing as we went. It was great fun meeting up with so many pals on the same day. We were taken to the pub for the humans to have coffee & beer. We even got squeaky toys from Raffa’s M as well as sausages from Sprockets M. We all woofed our thanks. We finished the day with dinner and then saw Raff & auntie J off to their lodgings for the evening.

After our morning constitutional on Sunday we met up with Raffa & auntie J for a stroll around Miterdale. We wandered through the lanes and then up into the forest for a lovely view back across the valley toward Birker Fell. It started raining after a while but our spirits weren’t dampened and Raffa & I strolled along happily woofing. Raffa can’t walk as far as me so we agreed that we would only do 3-4 miles which was fine. We then ended in the Bowerhouse Inn for some lunchtime drinks and nibbles. Sadly Raffa & auntie J had to go home but it was great to see them both again.

Monday arrived with the threat of rain. Dad & I went out for a stroll around the Eskdale valley and then we were into the car for a trip to Keswick. Of course the first place to go was Podgy Paws and I managed to leave with 2 new harnesses. Strolling around, greeting as many people as I could, I enjoyed my day shopping. We left and then decided we would go to the pub for the evening. I met with most of my new human pals and one lovely lady gave me gravy bones, which were very welcomed.

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Tuesday dawned and I saw a red squirrel on my walk. I aroooed and aroooed until most of the valley must have known I was there. The weather was still a bit drizzly so we decided that we would walk along the riverside path to Dalegarth. It brightened up a little and we were enjoying ourselves through the forests and along the river.

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I was getting really muddy and wet but for some reason, mum & dad kept on rolling their eyes at me.

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The weather was better on Wednesday so we agreed that we would walk up Miterdale towards Burnmoor Tarn. I had never been to Burnmoor Tarn. It was a journey full of squirrel and deer smells.

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We took the forest road and I had to be lifted over 2 cattle grids which was interesting.

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We even met some cows on the way and had a great day, all finished off in the Bowerhouse Inn.

For our last full day in Eskdale, we knew it would be raining so we took the Esk Trail which goes to Muncaster Castle. It started to rain, and then it just poured and we were getting very wet, but having great fun. Mum & dad saw a deer before I could so my fun was spoiled. I was doing my best to try and spot squirrels and deer but for some reason they didn’t want to come out and play.

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We returned and dried off ready for our last night in the Bowerhouse. I was just starting to settle into the week, and suddenly we were having to go home.

I had a great week of Dexploring in Eskdale and everyone was kind and friendly and lovely. It was so much fun that I didn’t want it to end.

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The nagging doubt

As a Beagle Harrier rescued at at early age, I missed out on a large chunk of my formative years both socially and in puppy training.  This proved to be quite disruptive when I first arrived in my forever home. No one really knew what to expect of each other, so it was almost like a stand off. I knew it was warm, I knew it wasn’t draughty and I knew that I got walks, food and some play time. Oh and my beds, I knew all about those. But there was this nagging doubt; was this permanent or was I just in another temporary home whilst these 2 gave up on me after a few months or so.

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After the initial efforts at Dog Training School it was clear that it wasn’t for us. I was confused, I was skittish, I was directionless I suppose. I needed a purpose, some regimentation. I did not need to be dominated, shouted at and told off which was the routine at Training School.

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The walks in the early days were very helpful in getting some energy out of my paws and allowing me to rest a while when we returned home. However I was still anxious to know what was going on and where. Every time a door was opened or someone left a room, I wanted to know where they were going and why it didnt involve me. Settling was clearly a problem. Play time was great but when it finished, I wanted more and didn’t understand that it was down time. Toys were shredded in frustration quite regularly. While this may have been funny to see the dismembered soft toy stuffing strewn like a crime scene across the rug, it probably hid an underlying feeling of anxiety that I had to make the best of this house, whilst it lasted. I was trying to find my way through life, I had been in a home, as well as the rescue centre twice, and I didn’t want this one to be just be another home on an ever growing list.

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I could see these two people wanted to succeed in getting me to settle down and they were learning at the same time as myself. They clearly wanted to work with me, and when the training came along I took to it well. They were very canny however, as the treat based training didn’t go over board. There was significant use of praise to show me what was good, bad or indifferent. My mind wasn’t really occupied at first. Walks, tearing toys and sleeping remained the primary objects in the early stages. However when the training was increased and became more varied, it gave me something to actually think about. And to do something right, getting praise for it, was good as I could see the happiness for the humans too. I could feel my life changing. I was occupied with all sorts of activities and I was settling. When people left the room, now and again I stayed where I was. Sometimes I would get up and follow, but mostly I would stay where I was. The over riding fear of being moved on again was going, almost imperceptibly as I relaxed into my forever home.

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I knew I wasn’t going anywhere without these two. Doubts? What doubts?

Adopt dont shop

When I see the dogs & cats all waiting for a new home, it makes me wonder sometimes if people really do care about us.

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We watch tv programs and see articles on the internet and in the printed news about cruelty, starvation and abandonment amongst other fearful acts. Dogs being abused, beaten, tested upon, left for dead having been shot, garrotted or had their muzzles taped closed with duct tape. There are stories of cats being beaten and abused, also being tested on and deliberately tortured. All truly horrible things to see and hear.

Then you see designer dogs and cats being promoted by the popular press as being the “next accessory”, the “must have” in your house.  Dogs & cats being bred for their looks or size to make someone happy or so they can show off to their friends. What happens when they aren’t in fashion any more?

There are thousands of dogs and cats out there, all waiting for a home, all wanting a stroke of the neck, a tickle on the tummy, a walk, some food and a bed. We don’t ask for much, but pay back your love and kindness in spades. I’m lucky. Very, very lucky. I have found my forever home. I’m safe warm and very much loved.

You could make this much of a difference to a stray or abandoned animal. From this…

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To this…

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Rescue, stray & abandoned animals aren’t vicious and scary in the main. We are missing love, affection and the kindly human interaction of friendship. We have the paw of friendship, waiting for someone to take it.

A dog may not be around for all your life, but you will be around for the dogs life. Imagine the pride you could have from helping a stray or abandoned animal get back to feeling some love.

Thank you.

Dexter

Sleep

One of the most important things for a Beagle Harrier is sleep. It lets me recover from my walks and supervising in my grounds.

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When I am sleeping it allows me to dream and wonder what my life might have been like if I hadn’t had the fortune to chose my human M&D.

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I know I wouldn’t be as comfortable and looked after as much as I am here. I have six beds so I have enough places to sleep and think about how lucky I am.

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Sleep is very important, I need plenty of it. And I intend to get as much sleep as possible. I have many shenanigans to do, So I’m off to bed.

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Friends

Its good to surprise friends sometimes. I’m a very lucky Beagle Harrier, you might have heard me mention this before. I have so much in my life to be happy about, what with a warm and safe home, beds, tickles, fields to roam and love from my 2 human Paw Assistants and my pals, both human and furry.  And my garden, I mustn’t forget my garden.

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My life without my friends would be much less exciting, I think. And I love to surprise them sometimes. When we found out that there was a Beagle Welfare Fun day in Cirencester, we decided we would go along and see who was there. We got there and all jumped out in the lovely sunshine on a warm Sunday afternoon. Within 2 minutes I had announced my arrival with an almighty aroooo as I fairly bounded onto the premises to see my friend Raffa and her mum, auntie & one of my favourite aunties from my twitter account. They all seemed very pleased to see me. I got tickles and some biscuits. I showed Auntie K that I did paw and she looked very impressed ears.

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I watched Raffa try to arooo as loud as she could, which made me laugh.

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We met another rescue beagle called Daisy, and we woofed for hours before I was told we had to go home again.

I enjoyed my day so much, I love seeing friends and I love knowing I have friends who I can rely on. And best of all they know they can rely on me.

 

In this world, we all need friends.

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An Eskdale Tail – the last day

The day dawned in Eskdale and I began to realise that this was my last full day here. I had sad ears, as the sun was shining again, the birds were singing in the trees and I was falling for this valley and the surrounding area. I woke mum & dad up and went out with dad for what was to be my last patrol around Eskdale Green. We were all a little tired after our week of fun and wanderings. We decided that we would go around the valley to a place called Nether Wasdale. There seemed to be quite a few paths there and they weren’t too hilly. A gentle days walking was ahead.

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We arrived and parked quickly to get out and about on adventures. We strolled through the village and onto  some farm land. Sadly I was a bit lively and still had some zooms in my paws, so the field with cows and a bull was definitely out of bounds to me. Not that it mattered, as the detour took us through a farm yard and out onto another road with spectacular views to the head of the Wasdale valley.

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I was drinking in the views as I walked, as I had been listening to mum & dad say that they would miss these views from tomorrow. We went on a circular walk, and got back in the car to drive to the Wasdale Head.

On the way to Wasdale Head, we stopped again by Wastwater itself, to take in the views and the fresh air. It was brilliant to see the water stretching away toward the hills in the distance.

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When we got to Wasdale Head, we strolled past the church of St Olaf, which was small enough that even I think I would have to duck to get in the doorway.  Sadly, there were cows & bulls in fields through which we were going to walk and it wasn’t really a good idea to take me close by. I would have to come here more often so I can get less excited around them.

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We ended our visit to Wastwater and retreated to the cottage. Mum & dad started packing things away and tidying the place. I went and lazed in my bed, so I could think about what I could write in my blog when I got back home. My ears were becoming sadder as the day went on, as I didn’t want to leave.

We went to the Bowerhouse Inn for the last time, they had some food and drink and i had gravy bones and a laze on my settle mat. Tomorrow was going to be an adventure, but I wondered if it was going to be as exciting as the last 6 days.

Early in the morning we left in the car. The motorways went past us like a blur as we headed south. No one wanted to go home, all of us had enjoyed the time.

Eskdale in Cumbria, in the words of Arnie, I’ll be back.

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