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Sunday, May 19, 2013
Sooner HoundsPosted Wednesday, February 10, 2010, at 9:20 AM
My mother often referred to beagles as "Sooner Hounds."
She would explain that, "They would sooner be on the couch than on the ground."
In typical mom fashion, she's right.
My wife and I resolved that with our new puppy, Sherman, the furniture would be off limits. Now, we have tacitly surrendered on that issue. After wresting for a while with Sherman and Maggy, they will both jump onto the couch or a recliner. (Maggy already had the bad habit) and give you their sad hound dog eyes as they nestle up with each other. It is hard to say no and tell them to get down.
When we got home, Sherman was pretty much all ears and paws. He has grown into both fairly well. (Why is it that everything on a puppy is needle sharp? Why is it that you always get reminded of this when expecting love and least expecting blood loss?)
Sherman and Maggy have also grown into the best of friends. They will run, wrestle, and play for hours. Finally, they will cuddle up with each other and take a nap. (If you are thinking of getting a beagle, consider getting two so they can keep each other busy and get their exercise while you go on about your business).
They were actually bred to hunt in pairs, called "Braces" as well as in packs.
Beagles would sooner be in pairs than alone.
It may be a decision later regretted, but my wife and I have decided that Sherman should sleep in bed with us at night. It was a pragmatic decision. If he sleeps on the floor, he is likely to wet the carpet or worse. That doesn't happen in our bed. Once he is on the bed, he immediately goes to the fluffiest or most comfortable place. Once there, he is reluctant to move. Maggy immediately reminds me how unfair it is for Sherman to be up there while she is on the floor. It is hard to say not to those hound dog eyes and floppy ears. Beagues would sooner sleep on the bed than on the floor.
While it is hard to not find the appearance of beagles cute, they also make the best companions. Beagles prefer to love and be loved by the whole family. They are not one-person dogs. I allow Sherman and Maggy in my law office, as they also want to love and be loved by every visitor and can help sooth a stressful time. Pretty much everyone who comes to see a lawyer is having a stressful time. Beagles would sooner be where the action is than left alone.
Beagles and children go together like ham and eggs. It is hard to imagine any creature with more energy or playful mischief than my 5-year-old grandson fueled with sugar. However, Sherman is generally up to the task and Maggy is not far behind. Beagles are playful, tolerant, happy-go-lucky and ready to take a nap when play time is over. Remarkably, even in their sleep, you will often find a Sherman or Maggy wagging a tail. Beagles would sooner play with children than hang out with "Dad."
All dogs like meal time. From time to time, we make our own dog food from meat that has been in the fridge a little too long, rice or pasta, veggies and doggie vitamins. When this food is dished out, Maggy and Sherman will laterally dance on their hind legs much like Snoopy when he was overjoyed. Beagles are highly motivated by food. By teaching them that the word "treat" means they get something tasty from the fridge, I can get them to come home if they get loose, even if chasing a rabbit, by yelling that magic word. Beagles would much sooner have people food than dog food.
Beagles are not robots or drones. While intelligent, they have their own minds. As a result, they are often thought of as being stubborn. If you ask them to do things that are not interesting to them, they will often try to find something more interesting to do like sniffing out some creatures that trespassed on their turf during the night. Our Labrador is quite easy to train, but not nearly as good at solving problems on his own. Sherman and Maggy are extremely intelligent, which is why they are not as easily trainable as other breeds. Beagles would sooner do what they set out to do than join you doing stupid human tricks.
Maggy and Sherman are happy, snugly, optimistic and will literally howl with delight. They give love and happily accept my love. They have their own minds, goals and personalities and pursue their objective with determination. They nourish my soul.
I would sooner have them exactly the way they are than any other way.
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