5 And A Beagle
"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Almost 6 years to the day, this big guy came to live with us. He was a reluctant addition to the family and his first impression on most of us was not the best. I went alone to pick him up and his first greeting for me that day was a snarl and snap at my hand as I tried to pet him. His owners at the time helped to load him and all his worldly possessions into my van and as they sadly waved, we drove away. With Miles probably wondering what was going on as two familiar faces faded into the distance and me beginning to wonder if I'd survive the drive home should Miles decide he didn't like me.
When we arrived in the driveway of his new home, Miles greeted #4 with what became his signature "first meeting - hello". A snarl and a snap. But #4 persevered. She grabbed his leash and took him on a walk around the block - or rather, he took her for a walk. I'll never forget how #4 looked like she was being pulled by a locomotive while Miles took off to explore (at breakneck speed) his new neighbourhood.
It didn't take long for Miles to realize we were his new family and instead of the snarl/snap, we were greeted with a wildly wagging tail and yelps of excitement. Unless of course, one of us happened to change our appearance and he didn't recognize us. #3 came home one afternoon with a drastically new haircut and Miles tore after him as if he were attacking an intruder. Poor #3 had to leap up on the sundeck rail to escape the wild beagle.
Miles had his own dog bed, updated through the years after each skunk encounter, but that was only for the occasional daytime nap. His true place of honour was on either one of the girls' beds. Who needs a hot water bottle in the winter when you've got a big ol' beagle to cuddle up with.
Miles was always ready for a game of catch although he'd slowed down in the past few years, and he was ALWAYS ready for a walk. If dogs could do a happy dance, he surely did one each time his leash was picked up off the front door table.
Sadly, I write of all these things in the past tense because Miles left us this afternoon. #5 and I came home to an unusually quite house this afternoon and I'm only glad that I was with #5 and she didn't have to happen upon him while she was alone.
I like to think he died a very painless, peaceful death while resting on one of his girls' beds. I'm sure somewhere he is still chasing squirrels and doing his happy dance at the prospect of a much loved walk. Just remember....stay away from the skunks, big guy!