Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Beagle

Turtlebean the Beagle
I am not 100% sure why, but Turtlebean the beagle has the most nicknames, including "the beagle". He is THE beagle, the hound and one of the loudest and occasionally most obnoxious, of all the dogs. Yes, I love him, but he's a beagle. He doesn't snuggle, he steals food, he has selective hearing, claws like a wolverine, is especially stubborn, and he's kind funny looking in his old age. He's a character.

You may think that puppies never make it into rescue, but we found him on petfinder.com as a two month old rescue of beaglerescue.org, over 11 years ago. I can't remember why we wanted a beagle, I had one growing up and that didn't seem to sway me, but I will say, beagle puppies are SO darn cute. It's no wonder that they have made it into many a movie, Disney cartoon and shoe commercial. What all that wonderful propaganda doesn't tell you is that these are dyed in the wool hunting dogs. They were bred to follow their nose and to make a lot of noise while doing it, both traits that don't  really adapt too well to city life.

When he sees someone walking down the street, he bays. When he is happy to see you, he bays. When he is hungry, he looks at you, then he bays. Don't even get me started about when a fire truck screams by, it's best to cover your ears and wait. Now, for those who have never heard these  musical dogs, the hound group is as close as you will get to the Carusos or Pavarottis of the canine world. They were, after all, meant to make a lot of noise chasing game, so hunters could follow them over hill and dale. It surprisingly a lot of depth and volume for a little dog.

Another by product of this selective breeding (and inbreeding) is unfortunately a little less pleasant. He is epileptic, and at one point we had to remove a 1 pound grapefruit sized tumor from his chest. We called it his uni-boob, and so, he also obtained the new nickname of "Tumor". 

So, as -Smeagol, Beast, Bee, Boo, Turd, Stinky, Tumor, Boob, Dog, Sneed, Nosy, Butt, Beagle- is sure to attest, this breed is not for everyone, but I wouldn't give him up for anything.