Man’s Best Friend?

We own a beagle. She’s a beautiful dog. Most beagles are. They have that classic hound look – droopy eyes, fat paws, short, barrel like bodies. They can melt you with a well-timed gaze.

But, as nice as they are to look at, they are stubborn, selfish beasts. I love my dog and I’d like to think she loves me back, but beagles are soulless manipulators. All they want, all the time, is FOOD. They’ll do stupid dog tricks for food, but only for food. They could care less about pleasing their human owners.

The dog even went so far as to eat my kid’s dinner (though to be fair, my kid left her food on her bed at beagle eye / jumping level)

Now, a Labrador Retriever or a good Terrier (there are tons of types of terriers!)? They thrive on keeping their humans happy. They will do sweet, cuddly, kind things to assure our affection. They reciprocate something like love. They want you to like them and this (mostly, but not always) even transcends food.

Eager to please…Sweetly disposed..Content just to lay by your feet and follow you around… You good dog owners know what I’m talking about. You probably take it for granted sometimes (go pet your dog and appreciate the little sucker).

But when you have a beagle?

Ugh.

This may not apply to ALL beagles. It is possible there is a loving, human-pleasing beagle somewhere, but we’ve owned two, and spent some time at beagle rescues observing their behaviors, and, well, they all seem pretty similar to me.

Our last beagle, the super-cute Oliver is way awesome in retrospect (he died getting stuck in a gate in 100 degree+ summer heat while trying to squeeze his fat butt through iron rods to get at a Koi pond – ;-( he didn’t deserve to go out like that). He put himself to bed around 9pm every night, waddling off to his crate. If the crate’s door was closed, he’d use his paws like hands and open it right up to let himself in.

He was sweet too. He didn’t have a mean bone in his squatty, little body.

But, now that he’s gone to doggie heaven (lots of humping and eating I’d imagine), it’s easy to forget how BAD he was!

Escaping, digging, knocking plates of food from the dining room table and then wolfing down as much food as he could before we could scold him. Oliver, God rest his soul, was far from angelic.

So it goes with our latest headache – Lola. Say it with me. Low-la. It’s fun. I make it more fun and call her, Low-low. She’s gangsta. She’s about five years old and she’s mellowed some, but she’s still a pain the butt.

Escape? Check.

Digging? Check.

Sleeping on couches she is forbidden to jump on? Check.

Laying on said couch like a fat turd, staring defiantly while chastising her to “Get down!” Check.

 
(Nefarious! Devious! Unassumingly…difficult!)

But, then, as much as she infuriates me, she makes the cutest little grunts and groans, and when she pants and her tongue hangs just so and her brown eyes squint ever so slightly, she looks like she is smiling at you. She looks too happy to not think, now, that is one cute dog.

Don’t be fooled, Loyal Reader. It’s pure survival. Hound dogs, an obnoxious breed if you’re not into hunting small game, have been bred with purpose. That they’re cute is mother nature’s way of sparing them. A dog that irksome has to be cute or their line would die off. Folks wouldn’t put up with their crap.

Since we’ve given away one dog, Furio, (a Lab / Chow mix, and a real people-pleaser named after Furio the enforcer from Italy from The Sopranos, is currently brightening up a 12 year old’s world – our friend Jenna took him for her son, Tai), and our WONDERFUL cat, Pericles, passed on, Lola has actually been happier. She needs to be the only dog or she gets too jealous and acts out.

Acting out usually involves cleaning something up.

My wife and I swear we are never getting another pet. They’re messy. They smell. They add more responsibilities to an already hectic life. You gotta worry about them. You gotta love a creature that might not love you back. You gotta love, unconditionally, an animal that given the chance, and starving would probably eat your face right off.

Ugh (again).

Still. Let’s take some odds, Loyal Reader – though betting against me would be stupid, because I assure you, no matter how we protest, we will end up with another pet. I know my wife too well. When she says, “We are never getting another pet ever, ever again!” what she means is, “We are never getting another pet ever, ever again, right now.”

Which is fine by me. I may agree and add, “Never, ever, ever!” but what I really mean is, “Never, ever, ever, until the right little beast gives me the right look, and the price is right, and my girl holds me tight and coos adorably until we’re pulling out hair out, teaching a creature the difference between defecating on grass as opposed to soft carpet or clean floor tiles.”

Whatever happens, it’s all about quality of life. The thing inside of me that turns my back on English Bulldog puppies (apart from balking at the $1000+ price tag) is just sense being sensible. When we jump again, we gotta make sure we can give the pet 100% of our time, effort, and love. Their lives are short and it’s our job to make it as awesome as possible. Nothing’s worse than a lazy pet owner (guilty, but working on it).

Philosophically picking it apart, pet ownership can be pretty deep stuff.

Okay, time to stop thinking. Unplugging in 3…2…1.

Woof! Woof!

Poor dog! Don’t worry – you’ll get your revenge. One day, you’ll eat your owner’s face off!

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