This is another sorry tale that demonstrates my reasons for now keeping Oscar on lead most of the time.
One day I took Oscar to the beach, it was meant to be a lovely long walk, with some fun on the beach too. However, things went pear-shaped (or more correctly beef-shaped) straight away.
As we approached the beach, near the promenade slipway, I let Oscar off lead. He is usually pulling hard at this point because he knows we're at the beach. Just as I released the lead another dog shot past us at full speed with something in his mouth. Oscar took off after this dog in hot pursuit, he likes nothing better than a chase. As I got onto the beach I could see the two dogs chasing in circles and I could hear the other dog's owner scolding her dog and screaming drop it, leave it at the top of her voice. When I got over to her I asked what it was her dog had in his mouth, and just then he passed and I saw for myself. It was a rancid old moth-eaten lump of rolled beef. Her dog had been scavenging in rubbish bags disgarded by the pub on the prom. Goodness knows how long it had been there!
Both dogs continued the chase completely oblivious to our shouts until her dog must have tired and finally came back to his owner, and promptly dropped the beef joint at her feet. Before I could get there, Oscar quick as lightning, had snatched up the joint and made off victorious.
This is where I felt completely helpless. Oscar will never give up any trophies like this, he has even eaten items of clothing in the park. To date he has eaten, vests, knickers, yes, I did say knickers, though his particular favourite is gloves.
So I knew there was a good liklihood that he would eat this thing too. I shouted, I coaxed, I cajoled but he wasn;t giving it up for anything. Other dog owners watched and some tried to help, Mary and Christine and others offered tempting treats, balls,, anything they could find in their pockets but it was no good. In the end Oscar ate the roast beef joint, which was liberally covered in wet sand by now. Once it was gone he did look proper sorry for himself and was immediately sick! Later that day he got no dinner (I thought it best to give his tummy a rest). I think the after-affects were punishment enough. Now you might say - Oh he'll have learnt his lesson, and he won't do that again. Beagles do not learn, they just follow their nose. It's a good job I love him!
This is Oscar in his off-lead days in the park with the gang-if only I could talk and he could understand he could have all this fun once again.