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Along the Lakeshore: catching a cold, beagling, new recliner

The temperature variations through the holidays have ranged from 65 degrees down to 5. Some folks think that leads to colds, coughs and discomfort of all sorts. Not having had a real cold for three winters, I’ve sort of considered weather-related claims as being right up there with “the shaman says.” I feel that I have profited from early flu shots in mid-September over the last 20 years, during my semi-annual visit to Dr. Louis.

However, while visiting friends and family over the holidays, I got too close to a long-standing friend with a cold who said, “I don’t think I am still catching.” You know what? I caught it like Willie Mays robbing somebody of a hit in centerfield.

Mr. Lemon went visiting and he had a steady walking partner for six days who has a nice little 13-inch beagle lady. The boy said they seemed to enjoy each other’s company. Beagles like other beagles and are very happy with a whole truck full.

I read some books about beagling in England. It is the canine sport of rabbit hunting, with the humans on foot and whippers-in on either side of the pack to keep them focused. It is necessary to have at least 14 couples (that’s 28 dogs) and maybe a few spares. That’s what you need to make an adequate pack. You also have to have your man on a bicycle run them out 11 miles and back every other day to get them in good trim for a six-hour “go” on the weekend outing. You know how round Mr. Lemon’s trim is these days. Beagling is just a daydream for him.

I was up around the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown school area some years ago. I went out for lunch and there was a pickup with a full-length bed and cap and I saw a whole sea of motion through the windows of the cap. I peeked in and there were about 12 beagles inside. They really seemed to like to be all bunched up in the truck. The beagle-man said he just backed the truck up to the kennel door, opened the door, and they all jumped into the truck. They were on the way to a training run close by. The man said that he took them out two or three times every week to tune them up for Sunday’s snowshoe rabbit hunts.

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