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.

Mia the beagle

Incoming beagle news from the… the… ag, I don’t actually know what it is he does really. Some say he’s not too sure either.

But I digress… often.

Here’s the clip he sent – it’s a beagle called Mia, adhering to the rules of the Global Beagle Management Crisis, namely that there are no rules, and if there are, then you should break them. Mia – running a timed and assessed dog agility course at a dog show – finds plenty of rules and regulations and then promptly and effectively breaks them all.

Seriously, who enters a beagle in anything competitive that requires any sort of obedience? What on earth was she thinking? Those things are for clever, agile dogs: collies and terriers. Not beagles.
Beagles are good at winning the Westminster Dog Show by looking noble and such (naughty language on that link). They’re not good for agility courses. It’s like getting a toddler to do the Olympic high jump, or putting a jellyfish in goal in ice hockey’s Stanley Cup, or asking a bunch of carrots to [that’s enough now. Just get on with it – Ed.]

As the commentator tells us before we even reach the 11 second mark (demonstrating not just the reputation that precedes the beagle, but the speed with which it reverts to type once asked to do anything vaguely taxing):

Don’t be a beagle. Don’t be a beagle. Don’t be a beagle.

Also, don’t get a beagle.

[What? Three times? No, once is… it’s not a difficult concept: they’ll understand.
We really don’t need to… oh… ok, whatever…]

Also, don’t get a beagle. Don’t get a beagle. Don’t get a beagle.

Got it? Good.

 Thank you, The ….

Don’t blame Donald

Some of the adjectives used to describe Donald Trump in the lead up (and now aftermath) of the US Election have been… “choice”, shall we say?

But what if there was a hidden side to President Elect Trump?
What if his seemingly angry, outward persona is merely as a result of deep, lasting trauma?

I’m certainly not saying that the manifestation of that persona is excusable, merely that it might be more understandable if we could pin it on some difficult experience he had suffered.

I’m talking about this photo, obviously.

4ebbc8ab-1334-4759-b388-46f59f49acac

This is the side of Donald Trump that no-one has ever seen. This is the moment that has scarred him for life. See how he tries to pose for the cameras, tries to appear cool, attempting to grasp a probably-wriggling beagle.
See how it refuses to look anything but profoundly disappointed.
See how it has (almost certainly) chewed something important of his.

This isn’t behaviour specific to its proximity to Donald Trump.
We’ve all been there.

And these things can affect a man. I don’t profess to wanting to build a big wall or have individuals of a certain religion removed from my presence. And I’m certainly not defending those views. Not at all.

I’m merely suggesting that being near a beagle can change a person.
And not in a good way.

Those commentators concerned over Trump’s new democratically-given access to the “Big Red Button” controlling America’s significant nuclear arsenal (and the implications thereof) would do well to glance to the bottom right of the image above and the wide selection of baseball bats. None of which he has used on the beagle. This sort of evidence of extreme restraint will obviously come as some comfort to you hysterical individuals.

Like it or not (and I suspect I could likely gauge the majority public response from my readers) Donald Trump is the new POTUS.

But don’t ever be fooled: the beagles are still in charge.

Dead penguins

I have not one, not even two, but THREE dead penguin stories for you today.
Now there’s something that other blogs never give you. (I would imagine, anyway.)

First off: Penguins killed by Penguin Malaria.

Yes, sad news, but avian malaria – causal agent Plasmodium relictum, and spread  by mosquitoes like other malarias – is actually fairly common around the world, even in the UK. Ironically, the only place that birds are safe from avian malaria is Antarctica, famous as being the big cold bit down at the bottom of the world, and frequented by… er… penguins. At the last count, Longleat had lost 25 of its 34 Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti). Let’s hope their efforts to save the remaining 9 are successful.

Secondly: Penguins killed by Caracal (Caracal caracal).

Yes, sad news, but… hang on… haven’t we done this one before?

Well, yes, we have. Here:

A spate of penguin fatalities has occurred in Simon’s Town over the past two weeks. The City has identified the predator by installing trap cameras in the area. The images confirmed the presence of a large caracal.

But that was in July, and that caracal was captured and relocated (we told you about that bit, too).

But Disa (for it was she what was eating all of the penguins) was radio-collared before her relocation, and this time around, it’s not her. Because when one caracal is moved, another will happily take its territory. Especially when that territory features large numbers of lovely plump penguins.

The City of Cape Town urges residents and tourists to support and assist efforts to capture a caracal which is currently preying on endangered African penguins in the Links Crescent and Froggy Pond areas of Simon’s Town.

Disa was quickly captured and successfully relocated, but as we now see, that did little to help the penguins. Assuming that the authorities can work their magic with this new caracal equally quickly – and that things follow the same pattern – I’m hopeful that we can report on more penguin predation before Christmas.

And then there was: Penguin killed by Beagle.

Yes, sad news, but etc etc. This photo was sent from home this morning:

dead-penguin

Happy Feet, it ain’t.

The beagle was found upstairs (the beagle is not allowed upstairs), chewing this penguin chick from our daughter’s bed (the beagle is not allowed to chew the kids’ toys). Essentially, that white cloudy stuff you can see there is spilled penguin brains, and I now have the difficult task of performing some sort of surgery on this juvenile Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) before my juvenile daughter (Homo sapiens) sees it.

Any retribution on the beagle – while satisfying – would sadly be logically pointless as dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are pretty stupid and can’t associate punishment with the actual crime unless they are actually caught in the act.

Either that or they’ve just made us humans think that’s how things work, in which case, they’re actually pretty clever. And devious. And destructive. And oh, why, oh why did we have to get a beagle?

Tickled

I get sent a lot of jokes via email.
Generally, they’re not very good, but this one tickled me, so I’m going to share it.

A Tall Klipdrift Fishing Tale

I went bass fishing this morning at Groendal Dam, but after a while I ran out of bait. Then I saw a puff adder with a dead lizard in its mouth. Lizards are good bait for bass.

Knowing the snake couldn’t bite me with the lizard in its mouth, I grabbed it behind the head, took the lizard, and put it in my bait bucket.

Now the dilemma was how to release the snake without getting bitten. So, I grabbed my bottle of Klipdrift and poured a little brandy into its mouth. His eyes rolled back, and he went limp. I then released him without incident and carried on fishing, using the lizard as bait.

A little while later, I felt a nudge against my foot. I looked down and there was that same snake with two more lizards in its mouth.
Life is good in Africa.

Numerous disclaimers here: I’m not sure that lizards are good bait for bass (or anything else), I’m not sure that a puff adder is unable to bite you if it already has something in its mouth, and I’m not sure how a puff adder (or the SPCA) will react to Klippies being poured down its throat.

Maybe it’s the fact that it involves brandy. But I think it’s more likely that I just liked the idea of a snake more obedient than our beagle. I’m actually making a list of things that are more obedient than our beagle, and so far it turns out that everything is more obedient than our beagle.