Unfortunately due to a "technicality"/communication error this wonderful story came to an abrupt halt and after looking at all the options they were aware of they decided it would be best for the boys to be handed over to Beagle Rescue to find them a loving home as soon as possible. When we received their surrender forms something told us to double check this one - we emailed Bernt to double check whether he would rather consider a long term foster to give time to eventually get the dogs over there. He explained that they had thought about it long and hard and tried to set aside their own emotions and thought due to them not being very old and an amazing pair that they would easily find another loving home rather than putting them through living with a foster for a year or more and then tearing them away from that.
We met and picked up two very gorgeous Beagle boys on Saturday 24 January 2015 and even just after 5 minutes in the car with them their magic swept over us. They just took these two complete strangers, full car (all their beds and food etc) and Bailey (our little rescue meeter Beagle) in their stride - like it happens every day. They arrived here at the BnB to 4 more hounds also as though its something that happens every day. It was almost as though we could feel their owners in them - it was evident a lot of love, care and attention had been given to these two - we have never seen two such well balanced (and I seriously mean NO "niggles" of concern of any behavioural issues. Well except for Boris's occasional humping ;-) )
We decided that the only place for the boys is with their family and so the ball started rolling. First a Whatsapp convo with Hester who advised us to just double check and make sure these boys are wanted in the UK (one never knows - sometimes people can tell very creative stories to make themselves feel better about their decision). Second - another e-mail to Bernt. Third a phone call from Bernt which established that they would be absolutely over the moon to have the boys back with them but unsure whether they could accept such a big gesture. After some convincing him that he could be assured - the Beagle SA community's main interest is seeing Beagles back with their families he thanked me and started doing even more research on pet travel to the UK to look at the best/most viable/safest options.
A little bit of background
...and so it started
Every day spent with these boys just made us more sure of what was being done was the right thing - despite it being questioned by some. Each and every day was special and amazing and somehow they taught us so much without even trying. They enriched our lives and the BnB and they got along with every single hound that came through our door. Very very special boys that just take absolutely everything in their stride.
A community comes together
It didn't take too long and we reached our target and the boys could be booked on their flight.
Once again the boys showed their unbreakable stride to cope with anything thrown at them. Complete and total trust in their faces that whatever we were doing "must be good" if we were doing it. They weren't weirded out or freaked out and and just looked up at us as though they were saying "see you later" tales wagging - no questions. The reports from the people from Animal Travel Services and airplane staff was that the boys were in good spirits the entire time and very well behaved. This was the report from staff at the other end too.
the beagles have landed
reports from handlers
a lesson in everything
If this is not a humbling experience I don't know what is.
On a serious note: To each and every owner or potential owner out there....teach your furkids to be balanced, expose them to the world, other people, other places, anything you can think of. DON'T make them so incredibly and absolutely dependent on you. I know it's lovely when they want you and only you. Even when separation anxiety can be a pain, most of us don't really do anything to help our hounds "unlearn" the behaviour and we inadvertently pander to it and make it worse - even when we don't mean to. It is up to us to nurture balance in these animals and not expect too much of them or burden them with our personal woes and emotional baggage. They do not deserve to carry our loads and we see it so so often where owners are far too dependent on their hounds for their own emotional and mental well-being. This is unfair to expect of them. They care for us naturally and it is us that need to be responsible with what we "put on" them.
Never in my life have I ever seen two such bomb proof dogs (including our own) and this was clearly down to responsible, caring owners that put none of their emotional baggage, dependency and needs on their animals. They are different dogs from different breeders, completely different lines - yet they both have those same traits. We cannot compliment Bernt and Natasja enough for obviously naturally giving these dogs the absolute best they could (I'm not talking about loads of toys and chew things or the fanciest beds and collars or even hours and hours of undivided attention; clucking and fussing over them) - just understanding, acceptance, balance, communication and love.
Thank you Bernt and Natasja for inadvertently introducing these two boys into all our lives. You have, without setting out to do so, changed (whether big or small, momentarily or for a life time) so many of our lives.
Boris and Mackie...........thank you for everything. Even if I don't get to cuddle or scratch or kiss you again - you changed my life in so many ways and on so many levels. I will never ever forget you. I love you very much.