Buddy the Gentleman Beagle
Back when I worked at the local alternative newspaper, several writers on staff liked to bring their rescue dogs to the office. Scooby sacked out almost daily on the couch in my work area. Radar, the bat-eared Chi-weenie made occasional appearances. Two beagles, Blossom and Buddy, clocked in rather often.
Today’s post is a Q&A with my talented and funny writer friend David, aka Buddy’s buddy for life.
What is Buddy’s story?
Diane, my wife, and I fell for a beagle that a relative brought to a Christmas gathering. Bo, the beagle, is handsome and friendly — a good ambassador for the breed. In fact, we were pretty bummed when we didn’t get to see him the following Christmas. It’s probably not a coincidence that we adopted Buddy less than two months after our Bo-less Christmas. Buddy’s been with us since Valentine’s Day 2009. We think he’s about eight years old. (He and Bo play really well together, by the way.)
How did you know he was the dog for you?
Diane found a picture of a tubby beagle with a sad countenance on PetFinder. He was being fostered by one of the volunteers at Furry Kids Refuge. Apparently, his original owner had developed dementia and could no longer care for him. We met Hunter, as he was known then, at a Furry Kids event in Lee’s Summit. We took him to the back of the pet store, where he sat in Diane’s lap. We signed the papers and took him home. “Let’s call him Buddy,” Diane said during our first walk around the neighborhood.
What is a typical day like for Buddy?
If he’s with us all day, we take him on three or four walks. He dozes when he’s not on a leash, eating, being cuddled or securing the perimeter of the backyard. We’d be lost without our wonderful neighbor Missy, who dog sits. After a shaky start — on his first visit, he hid so well that we thought he had escaped — he’s emerged as something of a camp counselor over there. There’s a chihuahua who never lets him out her sight.
Does Buddy help you accomplish writerly things?
He likes to lie down on the hardwood floor in the office, especially during the warmer months. It keeps you focused, because if you stir in your chair, he’ll stir, too. Diane and I love his sleep noises. She talks about making a white noise machine that records his snores.
What is Buddy’s most awesome trait?
His sweet nature. For instance, he enjoys spending time with Missy’s grandchildren. He’s patient when her granddaughter brings out the Fisher-Price doctor’s kit. At first, he ran from a puppy, Myla, that Missy adopted after someone abandoned her at the veterinarian’s office. Eventually, he warmed up to Myla. Now he lets her nibble on his ears, letting out little growls when she plays too rough. A fellow client of Missy’s calls him a “gentleman.”
What is Buddy’s most annoying trait?
He can be ornery. Some evenings he requires a lot of activities — walks, belly rubs and, of course, a sufficiently large meal. He’s been known to position himself by the television so we don’t lose sight of his sad face. Man, this dog can stare. During walks, his keen interest in squirrels and rabbits means it’s hard to keep the focus on exercise. His pace is usually best described as “pokey,” especially after he hurt his leg rousting a rabbit out of a blackberry bush in Missy’s backyard.
Do you have any sage advice for people interested in bringing a beagle into their lives?
Sometimes it feels like we mind two creatures: Buddy and his nose. He loves to track. A fence line is as interesting to him as a good book is to you and me. He’s a terrible jogging partner because he likes to put on the brakes and sniff. So there’s that. He’s not as noisy as a lot of beagles, but he’s got a pretty good howl. He’s also stubborn and food-obsessed, traits other beagles share. Judging by Buddy, the perfect home for a beagle is with an active family that has another dog that’s of equal or smaller stature. Beagles can be challenging, but I can’t imagine having a dog with a better personality than ol’ Mr. B.
You can read David’s ruminations on sports, politics and life with Buddy over at his blog Beagle Minded.
Do you have a beagle story? If so, share it in the comments!