It’s cold. It’s January. It’s cold because it’s January. Even here, in the upstate of South Carolina, it gets cold. And wet. Cold and wet is not a good combo for this former Florida boy. Nor is it good for motorcycling…….for me anyway. So the bikes are in hibernation. The ST is completely covered and put away, quietly snoozing away winter’s dreary days, while the Suzuki is mildly sedated while being slowly transformed to a different style of motorbike. There are no moto trips to write about this time of year. Since this is a motorbike travel blog, what’s left? What’s to fill these pages during winter’s dark, dreary days? Oh I have a couple of motorcycle posts in the waiting, but right now, all that comes to mind is ……… beagles! Yes! Beagles, and how they influenced our motorcycling lives.
When Roo and I met back in 1997, she had a beagle named Molly. Molly beagle. Molly was a pure bred, AKC show beagle, retired. She was short, bred as a “pocket” beagle (under 15 inches tall at the shoulder), but had a huge, very strong personality. Large and in charge, as we used to say about her. Ruth and I hit it off fairly quickly, but there was one little obstacle we had to overcome before we could seriously commit to each other. Molly. Yes, we needed Molly’s approval. No joke. So, one day while walking up the walkway to Roo’s house, Molly came bounding out to greet me. Roo and her mom waited in the doorway in anticipation. What would Molly do? I came up to Molly beagle, squatted down in front of her, she sniffed me a bit, then pushed herself up on her hinders and reached for me with her front paws! I picked her up as she licked my face until I cried uncle! Roo and her mom clapped and high fived as Roo exclaimed, “Woohoo! We got the Molly seal of approval!” Unfortunately, I didn’t have a digital photo of Molly, but she looked similar to this:
Whenever I geared up to go for a bike ride, Molly would run to the door in anticipation of riding with me on the motorbike. Sadly, I always had to disappoint her, but to this day, I carry a photo of her in my tank bag when I travel. Molly is no longer with us, but she is with me on every trip I take.
A few years later, we aquired Duncan. Duncan is a beagle/basset hound mix with a bark that could raise the dead. He was never interested in riding on a motorbike like Molly was. But he wanted to wrench, or at least hang out while I did. Whenever I would go to the garage to do something on the bikes, Duncan would follow. If I was doing some work on my exercise equipment, he would turn and walk away. But if he saw me moving bikes around or working on them, he wanted to be right in there with me. He wanted to do “guy stuff” too. Duncan is 14 years old now. This is a pic of him as a younger man:
When Duncan was five years old, we took Gretchen into our home and hearts. Gretchen is a rescue, and she is a beagle/border collie mix. She is deaf, but came to us knowing hand signals, and learning more under Roo’s tutelage. She is super intelligent and protective (border collie), as well as independent with lots of love to give (beagle). Gretchen has absolutely no interest in anything motorcycle. She is just fascinating to look at, and her blue eye just hold you in a trance as you take in her beauty.
Two years ago we decided we wanted another pure breed beagle. It just so happened that our vet tech was breeding her beagle and asked if we wanted a pup from the litter. Absolutely! A female if you please.The momma, Sweet Pea, was a tiny little beagle. The father wasn’t much bigger. We knew that this was going to be a litter of “pocket” beagles. Out popped the litter, and we picked out the cutest female ball of fur. We had already picked out a name. I have always wanted a beagle named Daisy. Roo wanted to make it a bit more southern sounding, so enter our little Southern Belle, Miss Daisy-Mai:
Daisy-Mai is super playful as well as independent and mischevious. She just loves everybody and exudes happiness in everything she does. She is the perfect little beagle with flawles beagle markings. She doesn’t show any real interest in motorcycles, but I’ll bet when we get a sidecar rig, she’ll be the first one to jump in to try it out.
So there you have the history of the beagles and their significance on this blog. They bring such joy into our lives, as much, or maybe even more than motorcycling!