Tag Archives: Beagle puppy photo

Beagles Who Need Beagles

Just like that, he swipes the napkin from my lap and races with sheer, urgent joy into the living room, flying like only a 9-week-old Beagle puppy dragster can.

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The Bearded One and I are eating lunch in the midst of puppy chaos, and the very least of my concerns is a paper napkin — may it occupy him for a minute.  It doesn’t even make the growing list of puppy taboos, aka the Dogma.

“Would you like another?”  The Bearded One graciously hands me the napkin basket and I accept and dab it graciously to my lips, our universal skit of refined civilization out here in the sticks.

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“Did you hear that?”  Now Arly is at the front door whining which, at this stage of life, could mean that he has to pee or poop.  Like any second.  But didn’t he just have a long, lavish pee outside for which he was lavishly praised?  Our perfect new puppy has pooped in the house every day since I told my daughter he hadn’t yet.

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I put down my soup spoon and herd Arly across our tiny living room, past the pile of shredded napkin, to the back door and easier access to the yard.  I hold open the screen, but it’s raining and he hesitates.

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“Come on.”  I step outside and circle to the other side of the door, but Arly’s still not buying it.  “Do you have to pee or not?”

“Garfield is yowling,” says the Bearded One from the kitchen table.  “Sounds like he’s upstairs.”

I can see the upstairs balcony deck, which is Garfield’s refuge these days — Arly isn’t allowed upstairs — and Garfield is not there.

“No, he’s not,” I say.  “Is he inside?”

The Bearded One wipes his mouth with his napkin, which is on the table and never in his lap, rises and scales the stairs to check.

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Finally Arly steps outside and I shut the screen door after him.

“Not here!” the Bearded One shouts down to me from inside, upstairs.

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“He must be in the cat condo then,” I yell from outside, downstairs.  The cat condo’s what we call the enclosed front porch.

The Bearded One comes back down the stairs to check.

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From my perspective on the back deck, I see Garfield streak from the front deck and under the house.  “He’s coming around!” I call.  “Gar-field!”  Arly looks at me.  He’s forgotten why he is here and so have I.

I am here, I tell myself, because I want to live my life in the company of animals.  People who play with beagles are the luckiest beagles of all.

Suddenly Garfield climbs up the back stair railing and Arly and I both startle.

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I open the door and Garfield streaks in ahead of Arly, who barks.  I shut the door and join the Bearded One back at the lunch table, where he is just returning, readjusting the ice packs on his sacral, which was skronked after sleeping downstairs with Arly his first three nights here.

I unfold my new napkin.  Arly approaches, tail wagging.  Ready to go again.

“Ha, fool me once!” I say, and smoothe down my huge new bib.

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Arly

I park in the short driveway in front of the wire gate at a farmlet much like ours.  It’s 1-1/2 hours southeast of us in the foothills of Mt. Rainier. Which is hidden in clouds as usual. The Bearded One and I are fifteen minutes early to pick up our new puppy.

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Two tabby cats, the twins of our own Garfield, trot out from the house to meet us.  Yay!  Maybe the new puppy will get along with Garfield.

Soon a young ponytailed woman named Kayla comes out and greets us.  We follow her around to the back of the house where I see the chickens and horse pasture.  And there they are — 3 black, white, gray and brown 8-1/2 week old Beagle puppies, two girls and one boy.  We’re here for the boy, who looks just like he does in the Craigslist ad.

Snoopy on Craigslist

They call him Lucky because his momma, a 5-year-old Beagle who stands nearby, had a difficult delivery and Lucky came by C-Section.  Which was no doubt expensive and why I feel better about paying $350.  It’s a lot of money, but also pretty much normal based on the looking we’ve been doing.

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I cuddle him against my chest all the way home.  He is a little pudgy because he was eating a lot of his sisters’ food as well as his own. His ears are velvet, his brown eyes impossibly engaging.

We briefly consider keeping the name Lucky, but decide on Arly, after the Bearded One’s paternal grandfather

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who was an Oklahoma farmer and potash miner.

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At home, we put Arly in the backyard and the goats run up the hill like a mountain lion has leaped the fence.  All five hens are up on their toes and close behind the goats.

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Garfield is inside, in the kitchen.  We hope this goes well.

Right off, Arly walks toward Garfield and puppy barks a huge hello.  Garfield hisses.  This is just defensive.  He hisses again.  I try to comfort Garfield, but he slinks to the stairs and zips up to the lone refuge of the second bedroom.

Now it’s Monday afternoon and Arly’s fourth day here.  Garfield is not especially pleased with this new critter.  The Bearded One and I sit together in the sun watching Arly race from grass blade to twig to dirt hole to my shoe.

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He bunny hops after Ruby’s old Kong ball.  His favorite toy, however, is also Garfield’s, the mouse-on-a-string-on-a-stick that the Bearded One made.  If they both use it, it’ll mingle their scents.

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I bring Garfield outside to enjoy the sun, and he sits under the house on the lattice wall and sulks warily.  He watches Arly closely.  Sometimes they are only 4 or 5 feet apart.  This is good.  He is sticking around.

*   *   *

“Getting a puppy is like catching the flu,” says the Bearded One, exhausted and sore from three straight nights of “sleeping with” the new pup.  It’s only for the first 3 or 4 days.

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“I thought you knew puppies,” I say, reminding him of his Alaska stories of raising and training sled dogs.  “Yes,” he says and grins, “I tried to warn you.”  We laugh.  He’s right, though.  I’m the one who wanted the little howler.

Getting a puppy reminds me of how much work babies are.  Everything else goes by the wayside.  I haven’t even marked out the last two days on the calendar.

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The Bearded One and I are both bone-tired.  Tonight Arly sleeps alone.

*   *   *

Early that evening Arly is passed out beside the Bearded One in the man cave, watching a football game.

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Garfield arises upstairs and stretches a huge cat stretch.  He pointedly catches my eye.  Watch this.  He saunters unconcerned down the stairs and turns into the den.  Light as a feather he leaps up onto the Bearded One’s leg, maybe a foot from Arly.  He stares calmly down at the sleeping pup, turns away oh-so-casually and hops back down to the floor.  Welcome to the farmlet.

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