Headline

There’s a lot of bad news around at the moment: Terrorist attacks, conflict, political upheaval, state capture etc. It’s all rather unpretty and wholly depressing.

Oh, and death. There’s always death.
Look, we’re all going to shuffle off this mortal coil at some point, so if you’re going to go in the midst of such dark times, why not go in a way that at least generates an interesting headline:

Indeed. Tragic tale.

Thus, if you come across a Sky News story headed:

Underrated Cape Town blogger dies after mysterious late night beagle incident

in the near (or distant) future, then you’ll know where not to come anymore.

Dirty Dogs

As a microbiologist, I’m very much against the beagle being anywhere near my family licking my face.
I don’t allow it. You simply don’t know where that tongue has just been.

And so that’s just another of the many, many reasons that the above situation could (thankfully) never occur Chez 6000

And before you ask further household/canine hygiene based questions:

1. Lots and lots of hand-washing.
2. No. Not in the bedrooms.
3. No. There’s no point in having the 5-second rule, because:
a) It’s based on crappy science, and
b) The beagle eats anything that gets dropped on the floor within 5 seconds anyway.
4. No. Of course I can’t reach them. It’s just a cartoon. Jesus.

All good? Great. Happy to have been of assistance.

Day

It’s Father’s Day today, but my first experience of the day was waking up from a horrible dream of being taken before sunrise, to a wine farm, which was closed, and at which there were over 50 beagles.
It could have been the virus I’ve got, but there were cold sweats all round.

Then I realised that this wasn’t a dream at all. The wine farm really was closed and there really were more than 50 beagles in attendance. This was a Beagle Run, and we were in the midst of it. With a beagle.

The cold sweats returned. And they were very cold, because Paarl is very cold on June mornings before sunrise.

The Beagle Run is a fortnightly (or so) opportunity over winter for Beagle owners to get together and wonder why the hell they got a beagle allow their dogs to run as a pack while chasing a scent trail. Which is basically what beagles are meant for.

Some beagles are very good at this. Those beagles win prizes. Other beagles (and here I include our beagle) are less good at it, and cower pathetically on the start line as the pack heads off, before glancing up half apologetically, half questioningly at you as if to say “Well, that was quite an exciting moment, wasn’t it? So what do we do now, then?”
What we do now is walk, beagle in tow, to meet the beagles that have done things correctly, and then repeat the process four or five more times until – covered in mud and disappointment – we get back to the car.

It was good exercise, in fresh air, with wonderful views. And then we came home and I got showered with Father’s Day gifts. I’m still a bit (very) bleugh from my virus, but I’m lucky to have such an amazing family, and the beagle is very lucky to have us too. Other families would have left it at the closed wine farm in disgrace.

Most of the photos were taken by Mrs 6000 because I was trying to find the beagle most of the time and the light was terrible.

Canal Beagle

No, not a trip to our local waterway with the dog, a black bin liner and a couple of bricks.
El Canal Beagle  – The Beagle Channel – is a waterway right at the bottom of South America. It’s named after Charles Darwin’s vessel, which took this route between Argentina and Chile between 1826 and 1830.

Notable things about the Beagle Channel:
1. It’s got the infernal dog breed in its name.
2. It’s got a lighthouse:

3. There was a Beagle Conflict. This in itself is weirdly amusing, but – and how cool is this? – one of the major incidents in this conflict over a disputed border line occurred in 1958 – and involved three lighthouses.

Named the Snipe Incident after the uninhabitable rock which both sides claimed they owned [rolls eyes], it involved the Chileans building a lighthouse on the rock. The Argentinians quickly destroyed the Chilean lighthouse after it’s completion and replaced it with their own Argentinian lighthouse. This Argentinian lighthouse was removed by Chilean forces and taken to a nearby Chilean naval base. Those Chilean forces also reinstated the original Chilean lighthouse, the remains of which the Argentinians had thrown into the sea. The following day, the Argentines used heavy artillery to destroy that lighthouse (again), before placing some soldiers on the rock to claim sovereignty.

The ensuing military build-up was fortunately curtailed by a truce. The terms of this truce were that there should be no military personnel or lighthouses on the rock. So, exactly as it was before the three lighthouses and the mini invasion then.

Sabre-rattling deluxe.

Since a further treaty in 1984, there have been no disputes over this (now) Chilean territory. There is now a lighthouse (not the one pictured above – that’s the Phare Les Éclaireurs and definitely belongs to Argentina) on the Snipe islet.

Note: This post is about Beagle Lighthouses and has nothing to do with Lighthouse Beagles, who are responsible for promoting and developing the dreaded breed throughout Europe.

No.

Note to family:
Under no circumstances must Colin be allowed to see this video.

Quite aside from the chances of horrendous damage to the piano and the god-awful noise, our beagle would turn in its metaphorical grave upon seeing the title of this video.

“Buddy Mercury”? Really?

The dog’s name is Buddy, but you couldn’t think of a better choice of musical individual to put in the title than Freddy “Buddy” Mercury*?

If only there had been an actual famous musical star with the first name Buddy.
Then you could have used that name instead and it would have been ever so much better.

* I take this back unreservedly if the annoyingly-voiced lady recording this is called Mrs Mercury, obviously.