The Blog of Zakspade

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  Darwin and Moving House
Thursday 29 November, 2018

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Darwin Beagle

As you might possibly tell, my beagle is a jolly clever beast. Here is another of his pieces.

Since he wrote his observation of house moving, I have disposed of his ‘kennel’ because he rarely used it. There was many a time when he would venture out into the garden to lie in the sun only for a heavy shower to come along and drench the garden and everything within it.

Unfortunately that always included Darwin because rather than go into his playhouse/kennel, he would venture up the garden and silently sit on the patio outside the rear door – getting very wet in the process.

It was when the unused building attracted the attentions of a nest-building wasp that the decision was made to dispose of the structure.

Darwin had these words published 10 March, 2015 and that pesky wasp caused the loss of his home less than a month later . . .

- o - O - o -

I recently heard my owner talking about moving house.

In my opinion, I don’t think he is up to it.

Last summer he moved my house from the side of the garden to the end where it is now sited. As a result, I can chose whether I sit in or out of the sunshine, while being able to see the whole garden and – most importantly – have a good view of the kitchen window. That way I can bask in the sun while staying alert to the possibility that food is available.

My house is a child’s wooden playhouse that has been converted to a dog house by making a beagle-sized doorway in the main child-sized door at the front. I remember the day it was moved. It took my owner all day to heave my house off the slabs underneath; transport the slabs, one at a time, to the new location; then wrestle my one-room domain across the garden and into its new position.

Now, although I trust my owner to provide food for me, I’m not sure I rate his chances of a successful house move; at least, not by himself. No, I figure he would need the help of a couple of much stronger men to haul it to another position in the garden.

If he were to ask me for advice I would say this: get rid of some of the stuff in the living room because that way the house will be lighter and easier to relocate. I wouldn’t be able to help much with that, but I am sure I could assist with making the kitchen lighter by eating some or all of the food within.

The thing is this: I reckon that my house now occupies the best site in the garden and I am not willing to give up the spot. That means he will have to settle for somewhere over by the roses. He can have that – I’m not keen on roses.

  Darwin and Knowing
Sunday 25 November, 2018

Darwin Beagle

S’funny how things change over time – like what one does, or does not, know.

This piece was published as Darwin Beagle, 13/01/2015, and shortly afterwards I read how cats and dogs see the world – and I discovered that dogs are not colour-blind but that they merely determine certain colours with less acuity than we humans.

- o - O - o -

I’ve had quite a number of people come up to me and ask, ‘what does a beagle know about Leighton Buzzard?’ Yes, well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say they come up to my owner and ask the question.

And therein lies a problem: no one thinks I am worthy of consideration or inclusion in local matters.

I agree that I may not be 100% up to date with current affairs: be they local, national, or international. Much of the reason is that my reading level is quite low in that I cannot reach any decent quality papers on the newsstands for I am only a medium-sized dog. Additionally, dogs have eyesight that requires frame rates to be in excess of 70 images per second (as opposed to the comparatively meagre 16-20 images humans manage) before seeing more than multiple 'stills' instead of a continuously moving picture. This means we dogs cannot watch the news on television.

The radio has to be my main source of news. However the radio at home lacks local coverage because I find the tuner too fiddly to operate with my paws. Therefore it is stuck on Radio One – and my owner wonders why I appear deaf at times.

However, when one's view of the world is from below human knee height, it is a very different place. With my nose so close to the ground, a walk along a residential street is a journey that allows me to learn and know who (and what) lives at any particular house. I can tell you a cat lives at number 15, and its colour – except the last bit is not true as we dogs are colour-blind.

I know who has been indulging over Christmas. I smell the mince pies: the crumbs over which countless feet have walked: those same feet now spreading their scent over the roads and streets of Leighton Buzzard.

Forget having working CCTV in the high street to watch for errant motorists driving through the bus-only section near Leighton Middle School. Walk me around a car park or two, and let me sniff a few wheels, so that I may identify the culprits . . .

  Darwin and the Grass
Thursday 22 November, 2018

Darwin Beagle

I had a dream last night. It went like this:

After getting up from bed this morning, I uploaded samples of my published writing to my Blog – starting with pieces written as my beagle.

So here I am – uploading works written as my beagle. This one was originally published 25 November, 2014.

- o - O - o -

Life as a beagle means keeping one's nose close to the ground. It drives my owner nuts when any scent I detect becomes more important than anything he ends up shouting at me.

All those commands, what are they worth when a good sniff is available?

I was out taking a morning constitutional when I ventured upon the site of the Leighton Buzzard beach that has now been removed. Since it’s going, a circus came to town and set up on the same area.

It was glorious! The smells of activity! So many feet going so many different ways!

My owner commented to a fellow dog walker how the grass was making such good progress in covering the scar left by the artificial beach. Meanwhile, I was following a trail left by someone holding various foodstuffs as they walked, and possibly seeking a good place to sit and eat it while being entertained.

Meanwhile, I hoped to find them and give them a dose of my big brown eyes and sad-looking face.

Probably a fruitless task given that the circus upped and went a few weeks back. Only someone foolishly over optimistic – or a beagle – would dare think that the person with the food was still to be found in Parsons Close.

Naturally my hunt for the potential food donator had me nose down, nostrils open, and ears firmly closed. My owner shouted himself silly trying to get me to return to him so as to be put back on my lead.

But what can be more important than a morsel?

Finally I felt sorry for him so I returned to him with my tail wagging.

A nice old lady stopped to admire my amazing good looks, and she and my owner again commented upon how well the grass is taking over where the giant enclosed sand pit had temporarily stood.

Lead back on and home we walked.

When we got in, off came the lead and I went on a hunt around the house in the hope of finding some food that someone – anyone – may have dropped accidentally.

‘Darwin, where are you? Darwin, come here!’

It crossed my mind that he'd be good in a circus now he was a little hoarse.