After the passing of my beloved beagle, Rebel, my wife and sons started to conspire to get me another dog. I waived them off.
I tried to discourage them from their efforts. I explained that I had not yet grieved enough for my loss.
I can happily report that they ignored my efforts. They located an Indiana AKC beagle breeder with pups that were 12-weeks-old. After a Saturday "field trip," our home was blessed with the presence of a beagle puppy.
All of life is one succession after another.
This little puppy needs to start on the right track. For that, we needed to come up with the right name. My first beagle, Daisy, was named for the dog my father had. My next beagle, Rebel, was named for the dog my mother's family, "un reconstructed' southerners from New Orleans, had when I was a little child.
The beliefs of my maternal grandparents aside, we all know how "The War Between The States" turned out. Should the successor to Rebel be named "Union," or "Grant?"
Among famous cartoon beagles, Snoopy is far and away number one. However, there was another famous cartoon beagle on "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show." It was professor Peabody with his "wayback" machine and his little human assistant Sherman. Sherman! Famous cartoon character and Union General; that has to be this little guy's name! And so, this little fellow is now named Sherman.
Little Sherman is as cute and wiggly as they come. He comes from a good family with some field champions in his lineage. He readily gives love and happily accepts love. He is energetic and merrily allows his nose to lead him into trouble. He also likes to cuddle at night and lick my face before going to sleep and shortly after waking up.
This little puppy has some awfully big paw prints to fill. Maggy, the red-headed and blue/black speckled beagle I adopted from the local animal shelter two years, is skeptical that he will.
I find that the room in my heart once occupied by Rebel is still dark and empty. However, a new room has been opened and filled with joy and light. I suspect that Sherman will manage to fill those big paw prints as he chases down his own rabbit trails.
Thank you Yvette, Justin, Josh and Jonathan. Thank you for doing what you believed was right even though I discouraged you. Thank you for helping me to remember than in life, one thing always secedes another. Thank you for confirming that the risk of love is the pain of loss. But, then there is love again.
Post Script: Maggy has decided that Sherman might just be OK after all.