Mounting

Do settle down with a drink and a treat, Readers, as this will be a long blog. The Olympics has finished so I will do my best to entertain you for the evening instead. This promises to be a bumper issue as so much has happened to me recently. Most of it was good.

The last blog I wrote was all about my cottaging experience in Hampshire with the family. It was a splendid weekend, as you will have read – however what I forgot to mention was that before we set off for the cottaging weekend, She had foolishly packed my food in the front porch and then left the house. Neither Lad nor Young Lad had the wit or wisdom to shut the inner door when they went out – ergo I was able to access my box of food and ate at least four dinners’ worth in one go. Readers, I was very bloated and made a lot of smells but it was great. Now, I was travelling to the cottaging weekend in a large Range Rover as this is the kind of lifestyle I expect these days – the boot of the large Range Rover is VERY high, Friends, and I simply cannot jump that far. New Buddy had thought of this and bought me a dog ramp – really just a piece of grey plastic up which I was meant to climb. We had tried this out once before and I was having none of it – however, New Buddy is quite persistent and wanted me to climb up the ramp as we set off for our weekend. Readers I showed him exactly what I thought of his flimsy grey plastic, and KICKED it, yes KICKED it out the way with my paws. New Buddy had no choice but to pick me up and lift me into the boot, which is what he should have done in the first place.

Believe it or not, I have just come back from another mini break. I know! I am a lucky dog, but I feel it is well deserved as I lead such a stressful life. What annoyed me though, Friends, was the ridiculous amount of fussing around that was deemed necessary before we went on our second mini break. Last Friday I was taken to the Evil Vet so that my itchy ears could be checked, and my anal glands squeezed. This was because we were going in the camper van, and She said it would smell like a tin of old sardines if I had leaking anal gland problems. Once I had finished at the Evil Vet’s I then went home and had to have a bath so that I was ‘clean’ for the camper van. It was a camping holiday for goodness’ sake! Who cares?!

So we set off on the Sunday morning for somewhere called the Peak District. I had no idea where this was and couldn’t care less. I was very comfortable in the back of the camper van on my bed, attached to a special dog seat belt so that I didn’t slide around . New Buddy is very kind and thinks of everything. I was having a lovely sleep when we stopped for a coffee – really, we had only been going for an hour and a half! And no, I did NOT need a comfort break thank you very much, I was quite happy. But while She went to Costa at the services, New Buddy dragged me round a patch of grass with all the other dogs who were on car journeys so I obliged him by having a long pee.

I had JUST got back to sleep, or so it seemed, when we stopped yet again, this time for brunch at the OK Diner. Readers, I would have LOVED brunch at the OK Diner but dogs weren’t allowed in so yet again I had to wander around a small patch of grass then sat in the camper van while they went for brunch. I was given a chew but I would much have preferred the full breakfast or club sandwich. Humph.

Things looked up though,once we arrived at the lovely town near our campsite. She and New Buddy were peckish again and in need of more coffee, and on the way to a lovely-looking cafe we spotted a special pet shop. This pet shop had LOADS of snacks, treats, bones and cakes for dogs – it was heaven! She said “let’s get him something so he shuts up while we’re trying to eat” and so I was bought a long chicken stick thing. It took me twenty minutes to eat, which just about gave them time to eat a Bakewell pudding or Hunstman’s pie in peace. This was a clever ruse on their part, and was repeated several times over the next few days.

Then we went for a long walk on a disused railway track. We do seem to like a disused railway track, Friends. I was very tired after all this excitement and couldn’t wait to get back to my bed in the camper van.

My first experience of camping was wonderful – the campsite was large and green with many, many smells of barbecues and food all around me. It was sensory heaven. I cocked my leg on lots of different things to make it clear that the territory around our camper van was mine. I was not going to let ANYONE get too close – they would have me to deal with! Yes, a melancholy beagle is not to be messed with, Friends. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Whilst She and New Buddy pulled down the bed in the camper van, I had the whole front seat area to myself with my comfortable bed on it – to be honest, I was so exhausted that I could have slept on a rock. I couldn’t even be bothered to attempt climbing onto the double bed with big sleeping bag and two bodies – that will show you how tired I was.

My camping holiday carried on for four days – though by day two I had climbed up enough hills to last me a lifetime. I dug deep, Friends, and showed willing. Every day we had to stop to admire the view with lots of oohing and ahhing – to be honest the view bored me rigid. I developed a very annoying habit, allegedly, of needing a large comfort break at the foot of every hill. Now, there are no dog poo bins in the Peak District as dog owners are politely asked to take it home with them so She said it was REALLY irritating to have to carry the little black bag – not so little at times, quite full and occasionally more than one was needed – up a large hill and back. It also didn’t help one’s balance and coordination when one was trying to scramble up steep stony paths.

Readers, I am ashamed to say that on one of these occasions, at the foot of a mahoosive hill called Stanage Edge, my comfort break was large and smelly and She decided it was too unpleasant to carry all the way to the top of the hill and back. To my utter disgust She decided to hide the black bag by a rock on the way up, and remember to collect it on the way back. New Buddy agreed with this plan, which surprised me as he has High Standards of conduct unlike She. I was worried out of my mind that they would forget the black bag on the way down, or fail to find the right rock, and become the sort of people who leave dog poo in black bags in the countryside.

Thankfully they found the rock and retrieved the bag. It was still extremely smelly and a lot of fuss was made about having to put it in the camper van, so while New Buddy drove to the nearest public toilets (quite a long way away), She hung the black bag out of the window. We passed a cyclist with panniers on his bike and a suggestion was made about dropping my black bag into his panniers, but thankfully this was just a joke. My black bag was deposited in the nappy bin of the public toilets and a swift exit made.

The title of my blog today is a whimsical play on words – not only were there lots of mounts as in big hills, but something about the Peak District air made me feel things I haven’t felt for a very long time. I tried to mount several dogs, Friends, over the fours days and my absolute favourite was a handsome young grey labradoodle. There was just something about him! You know when you’ve met someone special, Readers, and I couldn’t resist climbing onto his back, or his front – I wasn’t fussy really. New Buddy says I am gender fluid but I have no idea what he means. I just know that I felt a little frisky and tried it on with several dogs over the mini break.

As I said earlier, there was a cunning plan to keep me quiet every time they wanted to eat, by giving me large bones or chews. This backfired a little on day three, however, as I had some fairly explosive comfort breaks which were tricky to clear up from long grass. Never mind. In the dog-walking field where this happened, I met another beagle – a lemon beagle – called Milly. She was a soft whitey/fawn colour. Well she was, until she ploughed through some wet mud and had what looked like four black wellington boots. Milly looked silly.

I did produce some awful gas in the camper van that night. There were some loud noises from my backside whilst I was asleep and She was worried that I might have passed something, but of course I hadn’t. I am far too well brought up for that.

So it was a truly lovely camping holiday, Friends, and I can’t wait to go again. I felt my behaviour was impeccable and everywhere we went, people adored me and said “is it a beagle?” I lost count of the the number of people who stopped to make a fuss of me – it was all day, every day. She said She doesn’t understand it as I look suicidal the whole time, but clearly this is an endearing expression and attracts a lot of attention. New Buddy was a dab hand with the Cadac barbecue set, and always cooked an extra piece of bacon or sausage for me. I was less enamoured with the veggie bacon but She seemed to like it.

And what of Lad and Young Lad, I hear you cry. What were they up to whilst I was on my camping mini break? Plenty, Friends. Plenty. Let’s just leave it there.

I’m still very tired from all the walking and my toenails hurt (yes really). I had to go back to the Evil Vet and she cut my claws. The Evil Vet also said I’ve put on weight. How on earth this can happen when you’ve climbed every hill in Derbyshire I do not know. In my case the lack of weight loss might be due to all the bones and snacks. In the case of She it might be the Bakewell puddings. In the case of New Buddy it might be the Aspalls Cider. Who knows and who cares. In this strange old world, in these strange times Friends, we need to take happiness wherever we can find it – and we found plenty in the camper van in the Peak District.

If you’re up there in the near future, you might want to give the public toilets near Stanage Edge a miss though. Certainly until they’ve emptied the bins.

Golly I’m exhausted.

See you soon,

Russell