Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Beagle Book

Regular readers of this blog know that I've been collecting rare and unusual books for years now. A few weeks ago while my sister was visiting we spent an afternoon wandering through resale stores and I bought an old book for $1, The New Complete Beagle: New Edition by Noted Beaglers, originally written in 1956 and republished in 1971. Regular readers will also know that I have a beagle. A rather infamous dog known as "The Talking Beagle" who once upon a time was the subject of my first blog.(That is her in the pic to the left).

A recent conversation with Paul's sister who is also a beagle owner revealed what we already knew...there is no stranger, stubborn, or funny dog than the beagle. As we shared stories of their never-ending quest to find out what food might be at the source of everything they smell, their ability to escape backyards to follow a rabbit or squirrel and their need to be part of a family "pack" I remembered the book I had recently bought. I decided to read through it and see if there was any wisdom when it comes to this unusual breed.

While the book has great photos and drawings of beagles as well as chapters on the history of the beagle, the ideal build and temperament of a beagle and tips for training them for hunting and field trials, the book is not written for the family who owns one as a pet. So for anyone who has a beagle or is considering adopting or rescuing one, here are a few things that make them the coolest but strangest dogs you can imagine.

  • Beagles will eat ANYTHING. 
  • Beagles will do ANYTHING to get to food to eat it. 
  • Beagles are incredibly intelligent. My Beagle learned how to open the refrigerator door to eat everything inside. I now have a steel lock on the refrigerator door. And no I'm not kidding. 
  • Beagles never learn. Did eating that box of cereal they grabbed off the table make them ill? Did they get sprayed by a skunk when they approached the animal in the bush? They will do the same thing over and over again no matter the outcome. 
  • If you are not alpha to a beagle than you are in their pack. Good luck changing the hierarchy.
  • Beagles are wonderful family dogs and excellent companions.
  • Be prepared, they are the most stubborn, exasperating dog you will ever have.
  • They are undoubtedly worth the trouble, when they are not eating, smelling or sleeping they are pure love. 

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