I Owe You One, Beagle

Dear Goddamned Beagle,

I really owe you one this time. I was trying to be a good owner (we can talk about who owns whom another time) by keeping your nails trimmed. One wouldn’t want to go out with one’s nails looking rough, especially as we have a Board of Directors retreat on Cape Cod coming up this week. It was at this same retreat a year ago that these same people tried to convince me you should stay, as you recall, so I wanted you to look spiffy now that you’ve got fur on your back end and no longer drag your lady-parts around all over the place. But I digress.

I’m not quite sure what happened – I think you pushed when I did, maybe – and though Thing 2 had you on his lap and was feeding you chicken, I still made a very bad cut. We only knew something was wrong by your increased rate of eating speed, but when we looked we saw the injury. I’d cut your nail way too low.

You were really bleeding. While I grabbed styptic powder, your Thing held the paper towel to your foot. His pants quickly saturated with blood. I stuck your poor nail into the styptic jar, but it just kept bleeding. I applied pressure and the bleeding slowed. You jumped down, ran to the kitchen and tried to jump to the kitchen counter where the rest of the chicken was resting. I gave you the chicken, looked at your foot and the blood trail showed your path to the counter. I applied more styptic. I held you on my lap for a while, apologizing, while you craned your neck looking for the cooked bird. I put you down.

UPS came to deliver a package and you ran to my office, jumped onto the window seat to give your opinion about his arrival, and once again blood was everywhere. More styptic, more pressure, more running around cleaning blood off the couch, the window seat, the floors, the cabinet doors where you’d perched to try and reach the goodies.

Eventually you seemed to heal up enough. You were walking normally, your spirits were fine enough to try and steal food from our visitors’ dinner plates.

Meanwhile, Thing 2 flew back to college in Philly. Or at least he tried to. For some reason, this Thing gets stopped by the TSA more than most people, and this time all the alarms went off when he walked through the x-ray machine. They backed him up and he went through again, and again the alarms sounded. They patted him down, and then swabbed him for explosives residue. The swab came back positive for some reason, and so they called the State Police and pulled the Thing into a side area for further searching. They swabbed his duffel which also came back as “highly positive” for explosives, so they took his devices and examined them as well. They questioned him repeatedly. “Where are you going” Why are you going there” Why were you in Boston? Why are you going to school in PA? What’s your major? How long have you lived here?”

“Is there something going on with my devices?” asked the Thing. “I mean, if they’re giving you these readings I don’t want them!” Nahh, this happens once in a while was the opinion of the cops. But if these set off all these alarms again, I’d leave ’em at home in the future.

After thorough examination the authorities decided to let Thing 2 go through security and to his boarding gate. He was repacking his stuff and about to move on when a State Cop looked at him more closely and said, “Is that blood all over your pants?”

Let’s just say, Beagle, that your Thing was not any more pleased with my grooming skills than you were yesterday.

You seemed fine today until I was on the phone with a friend. She knows a thing or two about dogs, and so when I said, “Jesus Christ, the Beagle’s bleeding again” she remained calm and suggested I apply pressure after I’d bathed it in styptic. I started to, but then I had to get a wet towel to wash the now-copious amounts of blood off the upholstery, and on the way to get that I saw the leftover Chinese food and had to have a bite. Then I got back with the wet towel but you were bleeding all over the place again, so I re-stypticed and re-applied pressure.

“I think we have a situation,” I said to her. “I think I’ve murdered the beagle. Also, how much styptic can a dog eat before it’s poisonous?”

“Not that much,” she said, “though it’s a beagle, so much more than normal. Still, you should probably deal with it somehow.”

This is not the first time our vet friend A has received an urgent text from me.

“Does this look as gross to you as it does to me?” (Picture of some boil or growth on a dog’s nether region.)

“One of us needs to be medicated immediately.” (During a surprise thunder storm with thunder-phobic dog when I needed a refill.)

“A chicken bone fell out of a tree today and she ate it. Don’t leave town.”

‘WTF is this?” (Picture of a yeasty-mangy looking nastiness along a dog’s mouth.)

“Theoretically, how much wood filler could a beagle eat before it was harmful?”

So this morning’s “I think I’ve killed the beagle” text got an immediate but fairly unconcerned, “How this time?” response.

“I cut her nail way too low.”

“You’re going to have to try harder than that to kill her.”

“You’d think, but it’s been 24 hours and she’s basically bleeding out. It looks like a crime scene everywhere she goes. BTW, headed to the beach on Thursday. Will this be a problem?”

“….”

“Bring her down.”

It wasn’t fun having the chemical applied to cauterize the nail, Beagz. You didn’t even want salmon while it was going on – the only time I’ve ever seen you refuse food, though the second he was done you turned around for it. I brought you home with instructions to keep you off your feet for a day or two to let things heal, which will, trust me, act as at least some minor form of punishment for me as I deal with a bored, un-walked beagle.

We came in and I got out the Things’ leftovers from our dinner out the other night: ribeye, mashed potatoes, broccoli. All will now go into Kongs that will entertain and fatten you for the next couple of days as I keep you guilt-fed and occupied in your convalescence.

I’m very sorry, Goddamned dog. When you’re better we’re going to give the dremel another try. Cheer up – it’ll involve LOTS of goodies, and nothing sharp.

Love,

Your Person

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