Just Call Me Beagle.

Yesterday, after taking the little travelers to school, I walked in through the front door and found the beagle standing on the dining room table. To get in this position she has to stand on the couch and leap across the room. I know this because I caught her mid flight last week. The beagle is not a lap dog, the beagle is a mid sized dog. She looks a little inconspicuous when she’s at eye level in the middle of the room.

As I opened the door, she immediately froze. She didn’t move an inch, she just stood motionless as if she was in the middle of a jewel heist and the security guard was making his nightly wander through the halls. Completely motionless, she didn’t blink. Her tail remained in exactly the same position, not the slightest hint of a wag. At this point I imagine she seriously believed I wouldn’t notice there was a tri colored, four legged, mid sized dog with cornflakes on it’s nose in the middle of the room.

I have given up on scolding the beagle for her food issues. I’ve come to accept that she is a beagle and therefore has absolutely no control over food. If we let her, the beagle would eat continuously, she has shown us this on a regular basis. The beagle has eaten an entire frozen chicken and nine donuts only to arrive at her bowl an hour later looking for dinner. I have had it explained to me by a vet, that beagles don’t have the mechanism that others have, to tell them to stop eating. There’s no trigger that says “I’m full”or “that’s enough”.

I think I might be a beagle.

I have just happily eaten four Ferrero Rocher’s without even thinking about it. I could blame it on being sick, on having lost my voice and feeling a bit down but honestly – I reckon I could be as happy as a guy called Larry and still eat four Ferrero’s and not think about it. I have no guilt, no shame and no problem with my Ferrero activities either. Is this wrong? I know I have friends that would find my chocolate overload a little piggy. Dare I say it. Distasteful (it wasn’t, they were really yummy).

As I get older I notice that particular women around me are eating less. None of them are admitting to this, but I can see it. Plates are left half full, orders are cut to half serves. “I ate earlier” is often the excuse. There are two possible reasons for this, their appetites have inexplicably shrunk with age or they find that maintaining their weight is getting harder as they get older.

I understand that choosing the salad is a healthy option but it’s more than that. I watch women scan their menus ruling out bread, potato, pasta, red meat, dairy, sugar and any other food that has been recently been labelled as toxic or unethical. “I’m not eating sugar” or “I’m not doing carbs” is a personal choice, but surely you can still eat? And are you going to be scanning the menu like this for the rest of your life? Surely, you can give yourself a break and allow those extra few pounds that come with age? Please tell me I’m not going to be 70 and still listening to women discussing their weight. When do we get old enough to get comfortable?

I think about Kate Moss and her words of “nothing tastes as good as skinny” and all I can think is Kate, you’re eating the wrong food. How about a nice big breakfast at the markets with a really good coffee? Or a hearty slow cooked Moroccan lamb with a nice glass of red wine on a winters day. Fish and chips at the beach? A green curry with a glass of white (can you see a theme here). Pancakes in bed on a Sunday morning.

I love food but most of all, I love sharing food with friends. I’m not saying let’s get together and eat like vikings returning from battle, but please, let’s eat.

Sign up for the best bits here

Sign up for the best bits from our community of forty thousands expats. Every Saturday morning we’ll shoot you the five hottest topics from the world of expat.

Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Talesofataitai says

    I’m also a Ferrero loving Beagle. I ate 6 in a row the other day. No shame here. No shame 😉

  2. We had a Bassett Hound for several years.  As we eventually learned, Bassetts and Beagles are closely related members of the Hound family and very similar in many of their habits.  Our hound once got into a 5-lb container of doggie jerky and became so bloated that he could no longer fit through the doggie door to get outside. 

  3. I laughed out loud at the image of your pooch on the table!  I am so with you on the food thing–my rule for life is there is very little that bacon and wine cannot improve.  Cheers!

  4. Seana Smith says

    Hello, I’m up for a meal out BUT also believe you can stay healthy whilst still having a bit of what you fancy. Nothing wrong with being older, wiser and a tad rounder, however most of us end up more than just a wee bit overweight.

    Anyway, I am a firm believer in slow but steady and learning to not put weight on. Pass the Ferraros.

  5. I have to comment on this as I am and have always been a bit of a health nut. 
    I remember in my twenties my oldest sister snorting a comment once about me having issues about not eating steak and chips for breakfast, or any greasy unhealthy food for that matter. As far back as I can remember I have been a healthy eater.
    My sister is now in her 50’s, she has a body like Madonna (and always has – great metabolism) and eats salads, fat free food and ensures that everything on her plate is healthy. Why? Because she has high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was just overall unhealthy, thin but unhealthy. She now says how fabulous she is feeling with her new way of eating (with a glass of wine in the one hand – can’t give everything up!)My husbands mother died at 53 (my sisters age) from clogged arteries and other health issues, my mother contracted diabetes (every Sunday was hot white roll day smeared in butter), Steve’s Dad had high cholesterol and blood pressure and had to go on a fat free diet at 60 and start exercising, – see where I am going with this. I love my food too and my wine (as you know) and to top it all off I am a sweet lover and chocoholic, but I have always had the knowledge of what an unhealthy diet can do to you especially as you get older. I was 10kg’s heavier at University, and so very unhealthy. I hated the way it made me feel about myself, and generally I was just sluggish.  I lost the weight and vowed never to put on that amount of weight again, even my pregnancies were kept at a moderate weight with healthy sized babies from healthy eating. I am still at pre-pregnancy weight, I don’t have a body like a super model and never have, but find that not eating bread or fatty foods makes me feel so much better overall. If I don’t exercise my endorfin fix is not met and I feel like I have missed out for that day.Don’t get me wrong, sometimes my body says give me “bad” and I do and in most cases I get stomach ache and sick. Which is good because then I remember why I eat and live healthy :)I think everyone should be happy with how they feel about themselves though, if eating anything and no exercise makes you happy then that is great, but likewise if you love to be healthy and fit then go for it! I hope I am that woman on the bicycle riding 100km cycle races into my old age 🙂

  6. So for all the Cupcake fans this message appeared on FB from Red Velvet Cupcakery: Today being 15 March!!  We love secrets- Be one of the first fifty to whisper “Rich ‘n’ Smooth” at the register today for a free cupcake!  So off you go and enjoy!
    And after my long comment below, yes I do love Cupcakes but only every now and then 🙂
    Kirsty loved Roxy on the Dining Table, was in stitches!

  7. Agree with everything you’ve said Denise. My issue isn’t so much the food it’s the amount and the obsession. I agree it’s better to be healthy (but I also want to be able to splurge on chocolates if I want to). We often talk of young women and their obsession with weight but I wonder if now that we have more Demi’s e.g. more over 50’s that look in their 30’s that older women are more obsessed with their weight than ever? I will never be a regular exercise person such as yourself, I’d much rather a walk on the beach or a bit of a swim, I hold the world record for beginning the couch to 5km program and therefore will always remain a curvaceous size 14. I’m okay with that. I guess my main fear is that I’m going to be 80 and sitting with starving women who are eating a dry biscuit and a thinly sliced tomato for dinner while they pretend they ate something earlier.

    I hope you’re riding 100km cycle races into your old age as well, just don’t get hit by a bus 🙂 That was a joke, you know a metaphor about being hit by a bus. xx

  8. Hmmmmmm bacon. 

  9. Yep. We often arrive home to see a visibly fatter beagle and then discover remnants of food that she has removed from the pantry all over the kitchen floor. Bassett’s are so cute, they seem a little more relaxed than beagles.

  10. Oh yes! I adored part I about the Beagle. She may be related to the Labradoodle who has a distinct height advantage and can often be found with her paws on the table or kitchen bench. And then you move us to women and food. Le sigh. 
    I am surrounded by women who are 40+ and very very thin. Teenage girl thin. And I presume that to be this way (for many) it literally has to be a virtual full time job. And as a woman who is not by any measure thin it makes me feel the sort of pressure that I would have loved to have left behind a good 20 years ago.
    I also note that these women, 50+, with their cheerleader bodies are often found attached to men who have very comfortable bodies – actual pot bellies!

  11. I like to think that more woman are concerned about their health now than they were in the past.  I have friends who never did any exercise in their 20s or 30s and have started cycling or running in their 40s and are loving it. If I take a spectrum of my friends they are certainly healthier than any of their parents ever were and I think that is great progress. For those ladies snacking on dry biscuits, a salad and protein will keep you healthier and keep the weight off. Too thin results in more wrinkles, just by the way, so best they invest in botox to look younger too 🙂  lol
    And now I am imagining the 80 yr old Kirsty Cartoon Character with a table of food laid out and an anorexic lady sitting next to you giving you the evil eye ….. and Roxy VI tucking in too!

  12. Absolutely agree! Healthy eating definitely has its place, but not when it’s an unhealthy obsession. Life is about so much more than being thin. Being healthy, enjoying life and food and wine, yes. Being thin, no. Dogs and men have a much better idea of this than women, most of the time! We could learn something…

  13. Kathlockett says

    Just four Ferreros? Hell, try four  Cadbury Creme Eggs and you’ll be in my league!

    Yep, ate four in a single afternoon of hard writing. Yep, I felt sick afterwards and yep, I’ve done it more than once!

    My  husband once said to me, “You’re fit and have a fine layer of cocoa butter on the outside, which is just the way I like it.” Who wants to go out with a bag of bones who won’t eat anything?

  14. bywordofmouth says

    I am sure that my husband married me because on our first date I ordered a prime rib, potatoes (and salad) and ate it all .. with wine, and if I remember correctly, with dessert.
    I think he hoped I had a voracious appetite – nudge nudge …
    I get the more healthy part, its the obsessive bit that escapes me!
    (and in Boca I am surrounded by it)

  15. Yeah people who are on tedious fad diets really get on my nerves. For the love of God we may be eating less but we can still eat well balanced delicious meals.

  16. Linda Sand says

    I have a small stomach so I actually can’t eat a lot without feeling sick. But you’ll never find me eating a dry cracker. There’s always room for chocolate. And bacon. After all, I have to get my calories somewhere, right?

  17. Dove Chocolate Easter bunnies are on the shelves again..4.5oz of chocolate that says it’s 3 servings never makes it past the one serving fix for me.  sit on the computer with the tv on and the next thing I know the whole bunny has disappeared.  No worries, I’ll just wait a week to buy another one.  Now that I’m in my 40’s I think about exercising because it seems that just looking at pasta or junk food causes the pounds to pack on, but alas, the treadmill continues to collect serious dust.  Someday..someday..I will get up the energy to hop on it for more than 10 mins.

  18. Ah, a serious post, and a worthy one. But hey, I was here for the giggle about the beagle and the adorable pic! We grew up with beagles, (owned 5 throughout our life) and they are gorgeous and infuriating with their food, digging, escaping and constant hunt for food, often disgusting things found in the backyard too! Ahh, thanks for the memories!!

  19. Love your beagle! We have an English Staffie and he has that same ‘OMG YOU CAUGHT ME’ guilty look as well. Today I came home from school drop off to find he’d ripped an entire cushion apart – I totally busted him in the act as he was sitting with foam chunks all around him. He looked desperately like he wished the earth would swallow him up when I caught him, lol.

    I’m a big believer in eating whatever you want, in moderation. Life’s too short to eat boring food!

  20. Christine Gerber Rutt says

    My general rule of health is never eat anything that tastes bad, it’s not worth the calories. That leaves much more space for the really good calories – like Ferreros. 

  21. YES!  Words of lovely wisdom.  Well done.

  22. ‘When do we get old enough to get comfortable’ says it all. And then so many women wonder how their daughters end up with eating disorders. Seriously, where is the brain in all of this?

  23. Only 4? Really? Compared to me, honey, you exercise admirable restraint.

    Just wandered over via Sara Salley’s Facebook Wall – nice to meet you!

  24. I’ve just discovered your blog and also own a food obsessed beagle! Caught her on the table, she’s eaten entire loaves of bread, stolen bags of easter eggs…but never a frozen chicken, that had me laughing out loud!!

  25. I also am a Beagle owner. When I picked up our puppy the owners of the kennel gave me the most amazing piece of writing that explains a beagle’s character to a T – here is the link – http://blog-jacana.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/its-beagle.html

Speak Your Mind