Chasing Rabbits

Tired BeaglesCurrently at the farm we have: 4 turkeys awaiting butchering; 2 Astrolorp hens, neither of whom are laying right now and may actually have aged out of that process; a Guinea hen who loves to hide her eggs; 2 Campbell Khaki ducks who each give an egg a day; 2 fluffy white Silkies and a Barnevelder(?) who should be laying soon.  We also have 1 cat, 1 bunny and an elderly Guinea Pig.

To our menagerie I have added 2 middle aged Beagles, Pete and Pickles, ages 6 and 8. A mother-son pair I adopted from the SPCA.

At first blush they are a success. Generally calm, not noisy. They have accepted the Guinea Pig, are being teased by the bunny, and slowly the cat is acclimating. At night Pete sleeps in my Grandson’s room and Pickles has her bed in my room. During the day they curl up together in Pickles bed.
I am trying to acclimate them and myself to a morning walk schedule so that they will be good on the 3 days a week I have to leave early for work. Today was day two.
Yesterday afternoon and evening I had success putting young Pete on the leash and letting Mamma Pickles accompany us. I made the mistake of attempting that this morning. As we walked past the garage, a wild rabbit who had been calmly munching grass, high tailed it for the woods, with Pickles in full voiced pursuit. This is the first time I had heard Pickles make any noise other than snoring.

My daughter came running out of the house thinking one of the dogs had been hit by a car or something equally awful. Beagles, or at least these Beagles, have a most distressing bark when they are on the scent trail. It is not the mournful, full throated howl of the hound, rather it is a sharp, sad, repeated, barking. Not like a little dog, but more like a klaxon horn in pain. Sort of like geese. It is called baying. Needless to say none of my neighbors needed an alarm clock this morning!

Pete tried to take off after her, but was held back by the old lady at the other end of the leash (me). Since Pickles seemed to have come to a stop in the woods (probably the rabbit hole) I consented to forging through the underbrush to find her, sensibly dressed in shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops. At last Pete dragged me through to where she was (I do not go under the under-brush as well as a 12 inch tall dog), and to my relief I could see the field behind my neighbors house close by. We could walk home on a pathway! Just as Pickles turned to come to me, she scented the rabbit trail again and headed back down it toward home.

Oh well. Pete and I were going home via the path – just as soon as I waded through these raspberry thorns!

As I came into the backyard I saw Pickles just ahead of me. Oh good! Oh no- she just spun around and followed that trail back into the woods. Alright -Pete goes inside, and I will wait for her to run out of steam and come home!

She did come home in just a few more minutes and ran right into the house at my call. The two are currently snoring away on my bed while I write.

 

A walk in the woods is a great way to start the morning

and get some fresh air and exercise!

Tomorrow I will be better prepared.