Friday, December 24, 2010

Dogless No More!

Daisy (left) and Baxter (right), our new beagles.

  I haven’t had a dog since Tuffy passed away in September and it’s been depressing. The rest of the family has tried to pitch in. Kathy and I would go for a walk in nice weather but it just wasn’t the same, especially when we’d pass dogs on our walk who used to bark at Queenie and Tuffy, but now just ignored us. The closest thing I’ve had to a dog has been our house rabbit, Oreo. He’d follow me around for food just like Queenie and Tuffy used to. I like Oreo a lot and will hold him on my lap and pet him while I watch TV, but it’s not the same as having a dog. I don’t think Oreo would last very long if I took him on a walk.

  I wasn’t in a hurry to get a new dog. I figured God would bring a dog to me when the time was right, but it was depressing nonetheless. In October, my mother in law sent an email about a young homeless beagle in a shelter with raw muzzle marks on its face. I called and it had already been taken.

  Tuesday, my wife showed me an ad for a male and female beagle puppy. I called and left a message but got no answer. My wife figured I didn’t leave a nice enough message so she called on Wednesday. Her call got answered yesterday morning and last night Kathy, Matt, and I drove 30 miles to a farmhouse in Toledo Iowa in the snow to look at beagle puppies.

  We met the lady selling the beagles. She has a lot of different dogs on the farm. The puppies and their mom (named Red) were in a travel carrier on the back porch. Red was a very long and lean beagle and mostly brown with a little white, but the puppies were tri-colored.

  There was one female and 2 male pups. We had decided we wanted a female dog. She seemed nice enough, a little quiet and shy, but that may have been because they were farm dogs and not house dogs. We decided to get the puppy and then the owner said that she couldn’t sell one of the male puppies because his mom had chewed off some of the toes on his back foot and he had a lot of trouble walking and that if we knew of a good home for him, they could have him for free. Kathy, Matt, and I all looked at each other and thought that we have a good home and we would take him. Having 2 dogs worked out pretty well with Queenie and Tuffy and the little boy dog would learn to walk just fine on his foot with one toe.

  Once that was settled, we met the puppies’ daddy. He was a beautiful show dog, tri-colored with a big broad snout like the beagles you see on the dog shows on TV. We said our goodbyes, and on the drive home went to work on names. Kathy had already picked out Daisy for the girl, and Matt picked out Baxter for the boy.

Puppies can be a real handful, but the joy far outweighs the inconvenience.

  We got home, showed the puppies to Ben, played with them, and settled down for the night. Baxter and Daisy went to sleep on the bed we bought for them in our room, but they woke up at 2 in the morning and kept Kathy and I up most of the night playing with them. Occasionally, one or the other would go to sleep for a bit, but for the most part, there was no sleep for the adults in the house. No big deal, though. It is great to have dogs back in the house and the inconvenience of potty training, chewed belongings, and some sleepless nights is a small price to pay. One day to go and already this is the best Christmas ever!