It’s Thursday morning and I’m busy doing what beagles do best – chewing. There are three dogs in the house today – we have been joined by Benson, a miniature schnauzer. Nana gave us all chews when we returned from our walks. I was a clever girl and scoffed mine in double quick time. Then I waited for one of the older dogs to tire and snatched his treat away while he was distracted. Very nice it is too.
I’m not sure what I think of the sleeping arrangements here. I was preparing to bed down with the humans last night, when Nana sent me to my basket. I left immediately but she put me back in and sat with me until I settled. I waited for an hour, then sneaked back over to the bed. Nana picked me up and put me back again so I stamped my paw and glared at her. She stroked my ears which made me feel sleepy so I let her think I was going to be a good beagle princess and went to sleep for a few hours.
I woke up after a lovely dream in the small hours. It was dark but I was wide awake so I bounded over to the bed and jumped right in the middle of Nana and Grandad. Grandad made growly noises so I squeezed into Nana. She sighed sleepily and gave me a little cuddle. Grandad barked again and stomped off to the toilet. He was very cross. Nana scooped me up and we spent the rest of the night snuggled up in the spare room. Silly Nana. She should have done that in the first place. I always get my own way. I am a princess.
I woke Nana up at six thirty this morning with a little lick to her nose. She was very obedient and let me straight out for an early morning wee. I chased a few birds around the garden then came in for a quick snack. Nana wanted to go back to bed so I let her sleep for a little while but insisted she got up at 8am. She gave me breakfast, then took me for another lovely walk.
My training regime is going very well indeed. Nana is generally responsive to my whims. She needs a little more work on her silly ideas about me sleeping in my basket at night, but all in all, I’m happy with her progress.
Wednesday morning and I’m all packed up for a three day stay with my Nana. She collects me from home and I listen in the back of the car while she chatters away about her plans for the next few days. The countryside walks sound great, but if she thinks I am going to sit quietly while she spends two days writing, she is in for a rude awakening. I am a princess and I expect all of her time to be spent with me.
She parks the car and invites me onto the front seat so it’s easier to put my harness on. I decline. I have been taught not to move around inside a vehicle so I remain in my basket, paws crossed in defiance. Nana calls again, muttering about her weak wrist and my lack of cooperation, but I am Bella the belligerent today and no means no. Nana sighs, leaves the car and opens the rear door. I smile benevolently. It shouldn’t take long to train her. She puts on my collar, then my harness. I jump from the car in a frenzy of excitement. It looks like an off-lead walk across the fields is on the cards and I am trembling with anticipation.
Nana pulls the lead and I come to a halt, baffled. What is going on? My lead is between my legs. How am I supposed to walk like this? I sit down. She pulls. I lay down. She pulls. I shake my head in disgust and only then does she realise she has put the harness on upside down. Nana scans the area furtively, hoping nobody else has witnessed her error. I hang my head in shame. There are a couple of Labradors coming towards us and I don’t want them to judge me on my badly trained human.
She corrects the harness before it gets too embarrassing & I tear off, lead fully extended. This is more like it. We reach a meadow near Oldacre playing field when there is a loud, whirring noise overhead. I don’t pay much attention at first; there are so many exciting smells. But the noise gets louder and the air churns. Before I can collect my thoughts, a bright green helicopter descends from the sky and settles on our playing field. Nana is agog with curiosity. She walks the entire length of the field watching men in orange boiler suits as they leave the helicopter and walk into the nearby estate. She hasn’t looked at me. Not once. I scamper across the field looking beautiful, with my beagle ears streaming behind me and my elegant tail tall and proud, but it is all a waste of time. Her head is turned in the other direction. We carry on our walk across fields and down tracks. From time to time Nana meets other humans and they gossip about the helicopter.
Presently, we come to a road. I slow down and look anxiously at my Nana. She knows I don’t approve of traffic noise so why she has bought me here? But then she turns into a close and I find myself in doggy heaven. Oh yes, the pet supplies store. I love my Nana. She talks to the human behind the counter while I take advantage of the low level treat displays with a lick of the merchandise here and there. Then Nana spots me and removes a snack protruding from my mouth that I sneaked from the stand earlier. She buys half a dozen sturdy chews and I begin to look forward to my visit.
We arrive home and Nana’s aged Border terrier greets her with an enthusiastic bark. He sees me and his shoulders slump before he turns away in disgust. I am a princess and don’t allow grumpiness so I jump at him and try to engage him in play. He raises a warning lip and snarls. Nana sighs. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a tasty treat. Only 9.30 am and I’ve already had a lovely long walk and a delicious chew. It’s going to be a good few days.