Dear Goddamned Beagle,
You had a big day yesterday. It started at about 5:00 am, and by 5:00 pm you had greeted most of our 3,500 guests to the Somerville Dog Festival. You’d helped schlep multiple vendors’ gazillions of boxes and tables and frames and hangers and trays and coolers including, briefly, the Urban Mushing team’s sleds and hounds til we remembered to ask forgiveness instead of permission in that instance. We loved our DPW crew, but kind of wish we’d learned about the “no vehicles on the field this year” before 7:00 am the day of.
Our team moved and set up our own tents and boxes and tables and chairs, agility equipment, weight pull equipment, nosework boxes , tens and tens of bales of hay, volunteer food, T-shirts, hammered in fencing, hung signs, and sold thousands of tickets for hundreds of visiting dogs’ turns at the try-it ring, Kibble Quest hunting, Doggie Fun Zone, Darwin’s Dogs DNA sampling and behavioral testing games, and paw print painting.
They put on the play Rapunzel starring several dogs who were very talented, but frankly without your natural stage presence.
And you did all this on a golf cart.
We ferried children to missing parents, and for fun. We taught a high-schooler to drive a golf cart, and watched as he struggled to understand the existence of brake pedal. Turns out backing into hay bales is no big thing for you. You were kind to the multiple toddlers entranced by a beagle on a buggy, one of whom who looked at you, burst into tears and arms outstretched cried, “My doggie!” until his father brought him up to give you a pet and you licked away his tears. And possibly some of whatever that was he’d been eating.
You ate treats and dropped sandwich parts and even some of Auntie Jill’s homemade berry frozen yogurt.
You ran the fun zone twice: once, you got a bit lost searching for the disgusting thing you were chasing and stopped to sniff and retrace your steps, the second time you beat it like a boss.
The first Come When Called clinic you stayed with Uncle Sean and conveyed your disapproval at being left out by bellowing double-ear-flipped-back bays from the sidelines as I instructed the class. I allowed you to participate in the second round as a demo dog where, according to Auntie Adria, you sat dutifully each time I said the word “sit” into the microphone. This came as a surprise as you’ll generally only sit when you feel like sitting, for instance when trying, bug-eyed, to mind-meld with a person eating, compelling them to set their plate on the floor and walk away in a vague fog of giving.
Then it all had to be done in reverse, tent-collapsing, and bundling and packing and loading and re-schlepping, after which several of our compatriots, two- and four-legged, came over for food and re-hydrating blueberry vodka and lemonade, beer and wine.
We sent Thing 2 and She Thing back to Pennsylvania with kisses and gratitude, finished up the day with a late night dinner with the last of the Aunties, and went to bed.
This morning we came downstairs, an hour later than usual but still before anyone else was up, and faced the trashed kitchen and dining room. Normally you’d burrito on the kitchen window seat while I clean, so when I noticed you not there I went looking for you.
You hadn’t even made it onto the couch.
I lifted you up, still properly wrapped, and placed you where you belong, and where you’ve now remained for about four hours. Each time I’ve returned to you and my computer between loads of laundry, dishes and recycling and counter clearing, you’ve been in some new configuration of achy rest. You did get up to drink at one point, as is your habit after a few hours’ morning rest, but you then returned to the couch without even doing a kitchen floor sweep for goodies. You let out a little groan as you jumped back up.
I think I made the same groan, beagle. Let’s face it, neither one of us is getting any younger. Rest up – we’ve got about six months ’til we start all over again.