Category Archive Harley’s Beagle Blog

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog June 2018

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection – The Diet Years

Hello fans and apologies for not putting pen to paper over the last few very traumatic months. It all began when an article, written by my own personal vet, appeared in our local newspaper under the title ‘Are you guilty of giving your overweight pet too many treats?

Now it did not take Sherlock Holmes to work out that the fictitious dog named ‘Davidson’ happened to bear a distinct similarity to me, the famous Harley and I began to receive telephone calls from friends and fans asking me if I had taken part in this interview or even consented to my name being used.

After consulting my lawyer, a cat called Trudie, it became clear that the chances of me actually winning damages would be slim even though it said that I was carrying ‘an extra 15 kg of padding’.

What the article did do however was to make me take a good look in the mirror, well two mirrors actually, ‘cause I could not fit in one. I bought all the books, fitness DVDs and self-help manuals and never read one of them, cause I can’t read but the low calorie, high fibre food has really made a difference and I am now pooing out at least half a kilo of prime fibre a day.

Harley has just spotted an Opel Manta - The Abingdon Collection
Harley has just spotted an Opel Manta

It has been a difficult four months and so far I have lost six kilos which to put in context is the weight of our cat Trudie.

So in real terms I have lost a full cat in weight. I now have a waist and can almost lick my rear end again without getting a stroke. As of today I am 44 kilos, which I admit is still a bit heavy for a 35 kilo dog but I am going in the right direction. I can wear collars that I had to put in storage, can run miles without panting and can still steal the cat’s food when she is not looking.

My aim is to reach 40 kilos by the end of the summer and enter ‘Slimmer of the Year 2018’. The prize is a year’s supply of dog food and I aim to eat the whole lot in one month. So thanks to my good friend Kieran, the vet for embarrassing me into this life style change and I know that I would not have done it without that initial push.

I intend to write my next book called ‘Diet dogs, does my bum look good in this or how to lick your rear end’ and I will dedicate it to Kieran.

Meanwhile, Dusty is also on a diet but only seems to lose 50 grams a week. I have a notion that she is getting food parcels sent in from outside and stashing them away.

I am currently on the hunt for any spare cat or dog food available so please think of me the next time you have your roast beef dinner. I should have got sponsorship for this weight loss and put it towards my retirement fund or as I like to call it ‘food’.

Anyway, must go as there is a chance that my dinner is nearly ready which normally has the texture and taste of carpet going in and concrete coming out.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog October 2017

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Hello Harley Beagle fans and welcome to the next gripping instalment based on my true life adventures. I have had a very busy month with hundreds visiting the collection, giving me plenty of hugs and kisses and leaving extremely generous contributions for Cancer Research.

Now while I am a very sociable animal my best mate Dusty will never be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize. If she does not like you, then you had better hold on to your ‘crown jewels’ as she will attack faster than any Police trained Alsatian. Dusty is only ten kilos of fat and muscle but if anyone ventures into her domain without her permission, my best advice would be to book yourself in for a two week break at the local hospital.

Dusty is very good at letting you into the property but not so good at letting you out, and unless you can jump over the large gate with ten kilos clamped to your lower leg, unsupervised entry is not recommended. If you have ever tried to run with a fat Jack Russell stapled to your lower thigh then entry is really not a good idea.

The only good thing about Dusty is that because she is overweight, [FAT] she cannot jump very high and therefore has trouble targeting anything above the knee cap. Don’t get me wrong, Dusty is a loving, caring little dog but has a strong dislike of uninvited guests especially at 3.00am in the morning.

I am five times the size and weight of Dusty but believe you me I am no match for this little bundle of fun. A new postman arrived today and not knowing any better actually made it to the letter box to deliver the post.

Dusty waits patiently for the postman - The Abingdon Collection
Dusty waits patiently for the postman

Dusty was inside sleeping on her chair and saw the Postman late. Like a coiled spring she jumped off the chair and hurled herself straight against the window and bounced off on to the floor. Getting into first gear, with tyres screaming, she thundered across the very slippy floor, burning rubber, took the turn and again launched herself at the glass door, barking her head off.

The Postman is now receiving counselling for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and reconsidering his new chosen career. I should hire Dusty out to the Post Office to be used as part of the practical test for new job applicants.

Dusty takes over security duties - The Abingdon Collection
Dusty takes over security duties

Anyway, my mate is better than any burglar alarm system and although she may not be able to run fast or jump higher than four inches, she makes a great deterrent to any unsuspecting unwanted visitor to the property. If Dusty grabs you by the ankle at 3.00am in the morning you will need a crowbar, chisel and pliers just to get her jaws open and a large bandage and tetanus shot just to get you home.

Also keep practicing high jumping over a five foot gate, in the dark with a Jack Russell clamped to your right leg, I promise you… it is not easy.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog August 2017

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Well hello fans and welcome to the August edition of my blog. Things have changed again at ‘Abingdon Towers’ with the addition of another feline friend. Now I am a dog and maybe I am old fashioned but surely dogs and cats are not supposed to get on.

In the good old days dogs chased cats up trees, cats knew their place, hissed back at you and all was fine with the world. Equality has just gone too far and this cat now thinks that it is on the same social level as Dusty and me.

Trudie, the cat, has had a very chequered life. She started life as a kitten at number 12, moved in with us at number 16 some years ago and then after a short time made the decision to move next door to number 18 where she set up her permanent home with our lovely, elderly next door neighbour. So much for loyalty.

She loved and was loved by her long term owner, but this year after a very difficult and sad time, Trudie moved back in with us. Now cats just do not immediately pack up their Whiskas and make the decision to move. They gradually increase the pressure to ensure that gullible humans will feel sorry for them.

First you see them beneath the car and eventually they take the next step and brush against the nearest human in a show of false affection. Having made their presence felt they will sit for hours looking hungry until someone takes pity on them and gives them a tin of ‘my’ food.

Now cats don’t even like dog food but they are clever enough to eat it and then throw it up just around the corner and out of sight. This goes on for a week or so until, by complete accident, the cat runs in while the human is unloading the groceries.

To sounds of ‘ahhhh’, the cat again ingratiates herself with pitiful noises and starts rolling on her back in a false display of affection. The first die has been cast and the cat is in. Attempts to put it out are in vain as she hides behind the sofa and meows and purrs.

Dusty and I watch this pantomime from a distance and cannot believe humans are so gullible. One hour sitting on the carpet becomes two hours on the chair and then four hours on my sofa. The next milestone after about two weeks is the question of where the damned cat will sit permanently.

Now if you have two humans in the house it does not take a mathematician to work out that two dogs and one cat cannot sit beside or on the said two humans at the one time. If we move she moves in a game of musical chairs without the music. She watches our every move like a battlefield general just about to gain a bit of ground. I go for a drink of water or light snack and ‘bam’ when I come back… no chair.

Dusty and Trudie - The Abingdon Collection
Dusty feels distant from Trudie, The Abingdon Collection’s new cat

Now I am almost fifty kilos of Beagle Harrier muscle, but I do not mess with claws. You see when the humans are about she acts like butter would not melt in her mouth, but if the humans leave the room all hell breaks loose. Remember the strapline for the film ‘JAWS’, ‘just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water’.

Well this is like ‘just when you thought it was save to turn your backside to the cat’, it is like ‘The Excorcist meets the Cat from Hell’. Anyway, after traumatising Dusty for a while, back comes the human to purrs and cuddles. The Only good thing about having this cat about is the food. We get crap and she gets ‘Gourmet Gold Chicken Pate’.

She gets feed about five times a day and we get fed our miserable rations of flavoured sawdust twice a day. I lick her bowl until my tongue hurts but only get a slight flavour of the culinary delights she is enjoying. I was caught eating a discarded tin of her food last week and would not give it up.

It is probably not good for a dog eating a tin can but I did it as a protest to make a point about the discrimination in this house at the minute. I even stole a full unopened can from the larder but was caught before I could do much damage… pretty smart ‘Eh’ for a dog that cannot read very well. Eating a tin can of cat food can be painful, and is not recommended, but trying to discharge it out the other end requires super canine ability and an awful lot of luck.

So we are resigned to having another cat in the house but Dusty is definitely planning something to put this cat back in her box. I can see her working out plans of peeing on the carpet and blaming the cat or scratching the furniture just below where the cat is sleeping.

When the revolution comes dogs will prevail. All food parcels still being gratefully accepted although I do think that Dusty is putting on a few pounds, either that or she is having pups again… I suppose I will get the blame for that too.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog May 2017

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Welcome all Harley fans to the next instalment of life at THE ABINGDON COLLECTION. First of all some sad news, as my good feline friend ‘Midge’ passed away on Easter Monday at the grand old age of twenty-two. I will miss the extra food as I always carried out raids on her supply of Whiskas and I will even miss the near misses to my nose and back side from a strategically aimed paw.

Even in her last days, she was prepared to defend her food to the last and now I have to find other ways to supplement my meagre rations. I am already losing weight and it is not easy sneaking up on Dusty to steal her food as she would snap the bollocks off you.

Midge - The Abingdon Collection
Midge, The Abingdon Collection cat

On the collection front we have now taken delivery of a very well restored 1945 Ford made GPW Jeep which is fully loaded with everything you need to invade the French coast. It carries a 30 Cal Browning, Thompson Sub Machine gun, M1 Carbine, a full radio set and period equipment.

It is already proving a great hit in the exhibition for visitor photographs and carries the logo,’Ole 30 Cal Gal’. So why not pay us a visit in 2017.

Between 1941 and 1945 Ford a total of 277,896 GPW Jeeps with production taking place at five separate plants throughout the USA. Willys built a total of 361,349 Jeeps at their Toledo plant. This Jeep in the collection is chassis number 271,698 which suggests that it is within the last 6,200 jeeps produced for War time service.

There is very little space now available for any other additions to the collection but if you are looking for a day out with a difference then give us a call on 028 8224 3373.

We are now taking bookings from clubs and individuals and we think that you will not be disappointed.

Must go and look hungry again and I may get another scrap of food from the table. All food parcels still gratefully received.

Signing off.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog March 2017

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Hello fans and apologies for the long wait in receiving this latest instalment of my life in the ‘fast lane’. The last four months have been difficult for me as my usual long country walks have been curtailed somewhat, to a quick saunter down a public road.

I, of course, have been getting the blame for this change in walking policy but I regard this as totally unfair and a breach of my own conditions of use.

The facts are that the guy I own has bad knees and arthritis and has without fail walked me for five years three miles a day over some pretty rough ground and I have been blamed for wearing down the cartilage on his knees. Now I have to admit that I am no doctor and my medical expertise only comes from a quick visit to the Vet’s but I always thought exercise would be good for his knees.

Anyway, in November 2016 the female of the house decided to travel 300 miles and go shopping with a crowd of her golfing friends… a big mistake. I was left to take the ‘guy I own’ out for a walk leaving poor Dusty behind as she had only had sixteen hours sleep and was not really up for the challenge.

So off we set in the car to visit my favourite mountain retreat in the Glens and all went well for the first 200 yards. I then decided, as usual to take my morning dump and quietly stopped and produced a half kilo of prime steaming and good quality poo.

My jailer, being a very conscientious individual stopped to fill up a poo bag and I wandered on tied to five metres of lead. As he bent down to pick up the steaming pile my attention was drawn to a small rodent passing in front of me, so as any good hound would do I bounded forward at full pelt to check out this new found furry friend.

As I bolted forward my companion was squatting down and had just picked up a steaming handful of good quality manure which had only recently been resting in my rectum. It was like a ski jumper going off the end of the jump. I raced forward, the lead tighten with a twang and 100 kilos of human being and a full bag of poo were projected forward by 48 kilos of Harley Beagle in full flight.

He did try to stop but at that point his Achilles tendons decided to pop and he gave out an almighty howl and shouted a load of expletives. So picture the scene, one large hound bounding forward and one weakened human with burning legs, tears running down his cheeks and still attached to yours truly. ‘STOP, STOP, FOR GOD’S SAKE STOP’ echoed around the forest but fell on deaf ears..

I had only walked 200 metres and we still had four miles to walk and this was my traditional route and nothing was going to stop me going in only one direction…. Forward and upwards. Well we spent the next two hours with the wind blowing in my fur and the odd words like ‘BAST…’ and ‘BUGG…’ getting lost in the swirling air.

It was a bit like the film ‘The Revenant’ except he did not have a big bear skin coat on and no stick. only me to help up the mountain and down again. I guess that makes me some kind of rescue dog and hero but I don’t like any public out pouring of appreciation.

So two hours later and after a very slow walk, I managed to pull him to safety and get back to the car… did I hear any thanks from him… No. He cursed me, he cursed his wife and then he cursed me again… Some appreciation, Ehh?

Anyway, after four months of short walks I now have a very nice dog walker called Mitch from Tyrone Pet Services who takes me out on long walks twice a week and is a lot better looking than the guy I own. He is getting out of shape and I am still the boss.

I have lulled Mitch into a sense of security and she now thinks that I am putty in her hands… Just wait, I am biding my time for the revolution when Dusty and I will strike back and make the big bolt for freedom.

Signing off now as Dusty has to turn over and I am thinking of raiding the cat’s food again.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog August 2016

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Hello fans, Harley Beagle here again and could I first apologise for not being allowed to write my blog for the last few months.

The man I own took it upon himself to produce some absolute rubbish about classic cars and motorcycles – my usual literary brilliance was sidelined and I was not impressed. I write to you all to let you know that ‘Harley Beagle’ has broken out and will continue to spread the message and ensure equality for all canines and especially hounds.

I write this having had a very trying and difficult week. On Thursday, on what my human laughingly calls a ‘long walk’, I found on returning home a trail of blood on the tiled floor. Being a brave Beagle, I did not pass out, but carried out the ancient medical dog ritual of licking my paw as hard as I could.

I could easily have survived this war wound, but no, the next morning me and Dusty get bundled into the back of a fast moving car and got shipped to the Vets. I was promised a long walk but instead found myself at the ‘Gates of Hell’ where no dog should have to go.

Harley the Beagle with bandged paw - The Abingdon Collection
What a life! Harley with a bandaged paw and now a diet

They made the mistake of getting me out of the car for a quick pee and then expected me and my mate to simply stroll up the steps of the Vets… Suckers… are they mad? The last time I went up those steps I got chloroformed and left a day later minus two very important bits missing.

For the past four years I have avoided going up those steps and not even a team of wild horses and a tractor is ever going to get me to the top. I was conned… a Vet comes down the stairs, grabs me like a sheep and the next thing I know I am in God’s waiting room with a diabetic cat and a Springer Spaniel on drugs.

Into a treatment room and ten minutes later I end up with a leg bandage that would look better on a horse and hobble out to reception. The Vet informs me that I am overweight… I am not overweight! I am just not tall enough for a dog my weight… Is it my fault that I am not tall enough??? This is a height issue, not a weight issue.

Anyway, I get stuck on the weighing scales and they announce to the world that I am 48.5 Kilos and need to lose 18 Kilos… are they mad? I am a Beagle Harrier not a Chihuahua or whatever they are called.

To lose 18 kilos I would have to cut my head off because there is no way that this Beagle is going on any fad diet, eating rice and grain… I am a meat eater and do not need the opinion of any Vet to tell me I am overweight… Come to think of it he could afford to lose a few pounds himself but I ain’t going to tell him.

Harley the brave Beagle with bandaged paw - The Abingdon Collection
Harley the brave Beagle with bandaged paw

So here I am with a bandage round my leg and a diet sheet at the bottom of my bed. No more cans, no more stealing cat food, no more begging, just crappy dried food and water. I would go on hunger strike if I wasn’t so hungry.

To rub salt on the whole episode, the Vet said I may put on weight on this diet at the start as the body gets used to it… What is he on? Fat chance… For me to put on weight on this meagre diet I would have to eat Dusty and the cat.

I think my bones are starting to show through and I may consider a phone call to the ‘Dogs Abuse helpline’… If you get this message please send food parcels as I now think that I have contracted one of those slimming disorders.

Signing off now to have a chew at the bandage and get a drink of low calorie water.

Visit me at The Abingdon Collection… but hurry, I can only hold out for a short time.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog March 2016

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection – Collecting

Those of you who have signed in to read Harley’s regular words of wisdom are going to be disappointed, as this month he has given the human he owns a chance to say a few words about a subject close to my heart, namely ‘COLLECTING’.

Many of you are aware that this particular collecting disease came out of one single item given to me at the age of fourteen by the father of my girlfriend who was later to become my wife, Hazel.

This item happened to be a fairly rare Mk.1 Lee Metford bayonet. Not the usual gift, but one which would have a major influence on my life, my interests and more critically my bank balance which would rarely be in the black for the next fifty years.

If you do not collect you will read this article not understanding the fascination that comes from searching out an item that adds another artefact to an already crowded space.

However, if you have the misfortune to be blessed with the collector’s genes then you will know how all consuming this hobby can be. While there is no cure for it, we at least need to admit to having a problem and I can confirm that I am a militaria collector among other things and definitely have a problem.

There is no AA or GA for us and most of us suffer in silence, counting the cost and wondering where to put the next item that without question you do not need, cannot afford but must have.

Shopaholics are nothing when compared to collectors and they will travel thousands of miles each year searching for the illusive item that must be bought.

Thomas M. Johnson, in one of his excellent volumes on collecting Edged weapons, quotes William Melmoth who said …

An object in possession seldom returns the same charm that it had in pursuit.

Thomas M. Johnson quoting William Melmoth

Perhaps this is the essence of all collecting as we scour antique shops, militaria shows and the internet for that one item that must be had.

I was very saddened to read about the death of Roger Evans [1943 – 2016] who was one of the pioneer bayonet collectors who influenced many young collectors.

Growing up I relied heavily on the written expertise of John Watts, Peter White, Fred Stephens, Anthony Carter, Jim Maddox, Bob Richardson and others to provide knowledge in a very limited pool before the World Wide Web. Roger Evans was one of these teachers who fed the interest of his knowledge hungry audience with skill and an expertise that only time and experience can muster.

I have hundreds of collectors and students visit the collection each year and the variation in knowledge is obviously immense; from the collectors who surpass my meagre knowledge to the teenager just starting out but eager to learn.

Collector’s starting in the 1970’s relied heavily on the written word which was scarce but they also relied on networks of other collectors who had handled edged weapons in the past and built up an authority that only experience can give. It worries me today that we rely on the Internet for everything and books will only be used as a last resort.

Collecting friends have built up massive libraries of reference books but what will happen to these when the time comes to pass them on? It takes time to build up even a basic knowledge base in any collecting subject and Militaria collectors have such a wide area of interest to cover that we can never hope to achieve full knowledge of our subject or the history that surrounds it.

Writers like Roger Evans provided an education to collectors searching for basic knowledge on this fascinating subject and I sincerely hope that others will follow in his footsteps in the years to come.

We all know that we are only the custodians of these collections and artefacts and I sincerely hope that young collectors will put the time, energy, finance and knowledge into keeping living history alive.

I invite those interested to visit The Abingdon Collection in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to see what one item given as a gift some fifty years ago can turn into.

Collecting is a disease but I am so glad I contracted it at such an early age.

Philip FaithFull, The Abingdon Collection

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog February 2016

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Hi Fans, Harley Beagle here with another exciting adventure in the life of Dusty dog and me. I have complained before that my life revolves around sleeping, eating, playing, walking, more sleeping and trying to set a new world record in building mountains of ‘poo’ in the back garden.

There has always been something missing in my life and while Dusty can offer moral support she is never actually going to be the love of my life. She is about six inches in height off the ground and I am a good three feet when on all fours. February, I have been told, brings with it St. Valentines day and with it Beagle Harriers thoughts turn to love.

One major problem of course is that as a young dog I was kidnapped, imprisoned, drugged and underwent medical procedures without my consent. I ask you, is this fair or even legal? I am now forced to wander the wastelands like Mad Max with no chance of ever having any puppies of my own.

That is very sad and I never even got a chance to try it. I just moved from being a puppy to being a confirmed bachelor. At least Dusty got to see what all the fuss was about all I got was the chance to smell the rear end of a Golden Retriever. So much for adolescence, walks in the country, meals out and the companionship of a partner for life.

So when you buy the roses and chocolates on St. Valentine’s Day spare a thought for me, my love unrequited and if you feel bad enough just send treats to Harley Beagle at The Abingdon Collection. Your donation to the escape fund ensures Dusty and me another year of living in luxury, with no worries except which ball will I play with today.

It’s not a bad life but I do feel that I missed out on something… I am just not sure what.

‘Time for bed and more dreams’ said Dusty.

‘Time for food’ said Harley.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog January 2016

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Hi fans, and can I wish you all a very happy New Year. Well, Christmas is over for another year and I just hope that you got better presents than I did. You know that I do not normally complain but I need to call a spade a spade… in fact, a spade may have been a more useful present than what I actually received.

Imagine all the hype and excitement in the build up to Christmas morning, decorations to destroy, turkey to steal and presents to tear apart. I decided to be good this year and see what bounty would be bestowed on a well behaved Beagle Harrier.

Christmas morning dawned and the humans got very excited over a load of old tat, but what was there for me and Dusty? The humans unwrapped the blessed things for us not even giving us the satisfaction of tearing the paper apart. The parcel opened and what glorious gifts do I get?

Answer… another bloody red dog collar!!!

Well excuse me for not being overwhelmed by the generosity of the people I own but this is simply rubbing salt in the wounds… For five years, pup and dog, I have been subjected to this form of indignation in having to wear a leather shackle around my neck and been pulled around places I did not want to go.

So, a new collar?… I looked at it in disgust and then someone said  – ‘look his name and telephone number are engraved on it, isn’t that cute’… ‘CUTE! CUTE?’… I know my name is Harley and if my memory serves me well I have never had to phone home once in my last five years on this planet… not only that but if I was phoning myself it would be pointless as I would be the one making the call to myself…. Do they never think these things through?

So what does Dusty get that I can steal… you guessed it another daft collar with her name and telephone number on it… great! Now if you think I don’t need to phone home spare a thought for Dusty who up to eighteen months ago had never even seen a phone let alone used one. So what now? Well if we are ever apart I guess we could phone each other provided we had eyes in the back of our heads to actually read the phone number.

What a waste of money… I wanted a big T-bone steak or at least a couple of burgers and all I get is a stupid red collar… life is so unfair. Dusty ended up also getting some coats for the cold weather… do humans not realise that we already are supplied with fur coats that have done us well for the last few thousand years.

Dusty looks like a very small, fat Superhero when they dress her up. They would have been better equipping her with a set of small training wheels underneath her stomach to keep it off the ground when she walks. Oh no… They are trying to fit her into a mini Santa suit and cap now.

Don’t worry Dusty, I will save you!!!

I also got two Christmas stockings full of treats, a lot of food and a lot of hugs and walks… maybe this Christmas lark is not so bad after all.

Anyway, must go now to devour the remains of the Christmas turkey. Dusty and I wish you all a very Happy New Year and don’t forget to visit us in 2016. My New Year resolutions will be to lose weight, do more exercise and be more tolerant of the people I own. Going for a well deserved sleep now ‘cause I only got twelve hours last night.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog December 2015

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

First of all, apologies to all my followers for not writing my blog for the last two months for as some of you know Hazel’s mum died in October from a brain tumour and my heart was just not in it.

Anne had known me from a rescued pup and used to nurse me until I was almost as heavy as she was… Dusty and I will miss all her hugs and kisses.

Anyway, life must go on and, this month I am going to teach all dogs how to avoid obeying your owner’s commands. First of all, lull them into a false sense of security by doing the usual paw trick and even the ubiquitous ‘high five’. Humans will laugh at this for no apparent reason and it’s a good ice-breaker for them and you may get a few much needed treats.

Now let’s start with the walk. Play the obedience card and act all excited as they put the lead or harness on you and say soothing words like ‘good boy’. You can even nonchalantly get into the back seat of the car without too much fuss until you get to the wide open spaces of the forests and glens.

This is your time to shine if you haven’t pee’d in the car already or been sick. Let them get out of the car first and play dumb until your car door is open. They will probably grab the lead while trying to adjust their gloves, radio, keys or mobile phone.

Now is the time to strike… As soon as any daylight shines through the car door take off like a ‘bat out of hell’. Best case scenario, you will jolt the lead out of their hands and make your attempt for freedom dragging your lead behind you.

Worst case scenario, you dislocate their shoulder in screams of pain as they try to lock the car with the other hand and try to keep the swear words acceptable to the amused masses watching the performance unfold.

You are off and running, pulling as hard as possible as the human tries to remain upright and smile as the onlookers wave him goodbye from the safety of their picnic tables. A good racing start is hard to beat and it is always nice to know that he has no option but to follow you at twenty miles an hour because he is shackled to you on a long lead.

I particularly love going downhill as the brakes on the average human leave a lot to be desired. Also try making a ninety degree turn at the bottom of a hill particularly in the snow as this will generate centrifugal force which can catapult the victim in a beautiful arc to the accompanying screams and curses that I cannot repeat. This sweeping act of movement would grace any ballet stage and the look of terror on a humans face, who is about to go headfirst into a snow drift, is a sight to behold.

If he survives this, try the old ‘pooping trick’… this involves relieving yourself in a well ordered steaming pile and obediently sitting, waiting for the plastic poo bag to be filled…  Just at the right moment as he is trying to tie the bag and ensure clean hands, bolt like blazes and make a run for it.

The poo bag usually flies into the air and the well recognised swearing, that no Harley beagle should ever have to hear, wafts through the air. On occasions like this I have even been called the ‘Son of God’, which is very flattering.

On the way back to the car keep going forward and then turn ninety degrees in a different direction… it works every time and can lead to an extended walk or a broken wrist.

Back at the car just refuse to get in as this creates hours of fun for onlookers as the ‘boss’ tries to lift forty plus kilos of dead weight dog into the car… Oh what fun!!!

In the car just ignore the curses from the sweating driver who vows never, ever to take you out again… it’s all in the game and you will win every time…

So until next month have a great Christmas, eat a few slippers, pee on the carpet and practice howling at 3.00am in the morning… It’s a dog’s life but worth the effort.

Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog September 2015

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Hi fans, Harley Beagle here again. This month I thought that I would give you an insight into the world of cats and how they differ from dogs. This may help you if you are ever attacked by a rabid, Zombie cat in heat.

I grew up with two cats Mini and Midge, but Mini died last year just after Dusty arrived on the scene (no connection). Anyway, Midge is now over 20 years old and lives in luxury in her own room, on her own bed with room service on demand. Hazel found her in a hedge as a kitten in 1995, brought her home and she has been a permanent feature since.

She has food on tap and has a tendency to visit it a little but often. My idea of food is to visit once and scoff the lot. I often organise raiding parties into Midge’s room just to check on her well being and to ensure that her food has not gone off.

She sleeps on a fur pedestal. I just sneak in, devour everything and leave… but not last week! I opened the door, ate what ever was available and turned to leave…

Midge was lying blocking the door with a grin on her face, to say ‘caught you dog, just try to get out of here’. Now I am a forty kilo killing machine and she weighs about three kilos on a good day but I have fought ‘Ninja Killer Cats’ before and never won the battle.

So Harley Beagle goes into stealth mode and I make myself as small as I can and lie down for the long wait. She will get fed up first, move and I will run out the winner of this battle of minds… two hours later I am still sitting there and now feeling a bit peckish… All rations gone, cut off from the troops and surrounded by a black and white pensioner cat.

Midge fell asleep through boredom, but I have seen this tactic before and if I had advanced to the door my rear end would have received a counter attack. I now needed a pee. Cats have litter trays and all dogs get is grass… life is so unfair.

After another hour I was rescued by human intervention with the usual cutting remarks about being scared of a little cat… I take this in my stride as I know that cats have the power to inflict pain on places that big dogs need to protect.

So, until the next time ‘moggy’ when Dusty and I will raid together… Dusty will be the advance party and the rear guard action force. Not even cats mess with Dusty.

Where Beagles Dare - The Abingdon Collection
A still from my new film… ‘WHERE BEAGLES DARE’
Harley's Beagle Blog - The Abingdon Collection

Harley’s Beagle Blog August 2015

More thoughts from The Abingdon Collection

Hi fans, Harley Beagle here again. It’s been a quiet month here at the Collection and Dusty and I have had to amuse ourselves. We don’t have a lot of toys left because Dusty has a tendency to eat them, so we end up with tennis balls.

Now let’s be honest, six tennis balls out in the garden are not much good unless a human throws them. My goal in life is to bark as loud as possible until someone picks up the ball and throws it. I will fetch it, bring it back, bark and wait for it to be picked up and thrown again… this is the way of the World, when everything is in balance…

I bark, they throw, I pick up, I bring it back… SIMPLES.

Seemingly, not for humans, as they seem to have the attention span of the flea!

I can do this for hours but they get fed up after the first fifty throws. I have been training the human I own for five years now. All he has to do is pick it up and throw it but will he keep doing it? No… and they say dogs are hard to train.

Dusty loses interest after an hour or so and goes to bed. I wish she had a bit more ambition in life than just trying to maim the postman every morning.

Visitors from all over the world flock here to see me… I am going to start to charge for photographs if they don’t soon bring me some treats… it is difficult being a superstar and I hope soon to star in my first film the follow up to Marley called…

‘When Harley met Dusty’.

Anyway, must go for a walk now and meet a few of my adoring fans.

Give me a call on 028 8224 3373 and all contributions to the Escape fund will be gladly accepted.