My life has been punctuated with pets. Except for the college years, when I lived in New York, I have always had a pet. I am, hands down, a dog person, but that’s not to say that I don’t like cats. I would argue that Baby Gray was the coolest cat that ever lived.
But my persistence finally paid off, and Steven relented to adopt a dog, under two very strict conditions:
“First of all, I don’t want no wussy dog!” he stated firmly. “No little fluffy thing that you carry around in your purse. Nope. No way.”
“But, honey, I don’t even carry a purse,” I reminded him. He just held up his hand for my silence.
“And second, let’s just remember this was your idea, which makes it your dog. You get to do all that crazy dog stuff that dog people do. Don’t expect me to go out picking up poop. Nope. Not happening.”
I just smiled and kissed him. “Whatever you say, honey,” I agreed, then retreated to the office to start looking for our new dog.
Over the next few weeks/months, I scoured the internet for local shelters and rescues. We agreed right away that we wanted a rescue dog. Why perpetuate the cycle of overpopulation when there are millions of wonderful dogs who have been abandoned and are just waiting for a family?
We discussed breeds, temperaments, size, and decided that our house and yard would be best for a medium-sized dog, one that would adhere to Steven’s No Wussy Dog Rule, but would be small enough that it wouldn’t take over the house and feel crowded.
When Steven off-handedly remarked that he always thought a beagle would be a pretty cool dog, I jumped at the suggestion. I’d gotten so used to him just shrugging his shoulders and saying, “Eh, whatever you want,” when I would show him photos of cute adoptable puppies, that I’d begun to suspect that he really was going to leave the decision entirely up to me. Now that he was actually expressing an interest in a beagle, I finally had something to set my sights on. With a few clicks of the mouse, I was on Arizona Beagle Rescue’s website, oohing and aahing over photos of the happiest little dogs I had ever seen. It didn’t take much to convince me.
I’d never had any beagle experience. My dad and Grandpa Felker had several hunting dogs growing up, but they were all labs or lab/retriever mixes. I’d gotten my shih tzu, Angel, as a Christmas present in 8th grade. According to everything that I was reading, owning a beagle was a whole different ballgame. Driven mostly by their insatiable appetites and their keen sense of smell, beagles can be a handful for people who are not prepared, scouring the countertops and tables for food left unattended, knocking over garbage cans and eating the contents. But, overall, a beagle seemed to be just the dog that Steven and I were looking for–medium size, loving, playful, energetic, extremely loyal and intelligent. We were a little concerned that most experts recommend never letting beagles off-leash, as they have a tendency to run off if they catch a scent to follow, but the positive aspects of the breed far outweighed the negative.
Thus began the adoption process.
To be continued…