Dear Goddamned Beagle,
I’m just going to come out and say it: You were horrible last night. There’s really no point in denying it, Beagle. You were incessant and annoying, and frankly disruptive.
You climbed as we sat in the dining room, trying every option possible – and a few not actually possible – to get onto the table. You chewed on my hand if I dangled it behind my chair. You played innocent with the company (as if she couldn’t see the rest of what you were doing), peeking your head up under her arm, coincidentally landing your face just below her plate. You humped my leg, my dangling arm, the Thing when he came home. You howled, Beagle, like I’ve never seen you howl, a full, double-ears-flipped call of your people, often in the hall, sometimes pointing toward the door, and eventually right next to me. You sat beside my chair, head back, howling insistently, over and over and over again as your rheumy red eyes bugged toward me, sometimes stopping for a moment to see if I was going to comply or if I’d caught on, demanding… what?
Nothing worked to distract you. Yes, you ate your stuffed Kong, but there was no joy in it. A few perfunctory chews and the bully stick was cast aside. The food wobbler was emptied with arrogant acceptance, like an annoyed Mafioso accepting a kiss on his ring. Expected, but not truly appreciated.
I cajoled, I tried to divert, I held you (and you bit my hands), you started chewing on household objects, I got your toys.
And then the Zoomies arrived. I became concerned for your safety when, while banking a dining room corner at high speed, you crashed into a chair. I commented that your likely demise would someday come at the fate of some unyielding inanimate object. You sped faster and faster with sudden, rapid paroxysms of monkey toy squeaking while you caught your breath.
This went on for hours, Beagle. Hours. And finally, around midnight, we cleared the table, and in doing so grabbed the uneaten bag of French fries that had come with our meal. You suddenly stopped. You sat, clearly expecting a click and then a bag of spuds. When that didn’t work you followed it to the kitchen, eyes glued to the greasy carrier of All That Is Good. You panted. You walked on your hind legs.
French fries. It was the French fries all along.
I learned something last night, Beagz. A couple of things, really. You cannot be trusted around fried foods, and I may have to train a go-to-your-mat before we order veggie burgers again.
I also learned that a Beagle’s face can show the rending sadness and incredulity of a thousand dreams crushed between the blades of an Insinkerator, washed away like hope from a taxpayer’s bank account.
As the company was leaving I gave you a few fries I’d put aside. When I next turned around you were so deeply asleep it took me several tries to rouse you to go to bed, and you snored unmoving for eight hours, finally able to rest.
I’ll give you this: You know what you like, and you’re not afraid to say so. You are not a subtle dog, Beagle.