Dear Goddamned Beagle,
That you are a master of attention-seeking behavior is not in question. Since your arrival more than a year ago, few phone calls, meetings or dinner parties have been spared your commentary on being ignored.
As dimension doesn’t inhibit your quest for material, it’s common for me to stop, mid-sentence, as I hear you climbing on or jumping off any table, bookcase or desk previously assumed to be secured, and run to find what you’ve got.
You’ve sauntered up with mail, dropping it at my feet before casually ripping an envelope and glancing at me as if to say, “You’re worried about email? Let me shift your focus.”
You’ve cracked pens with a squint-eyed expertise. You’ve rummaged through visitors’ bags and possessions, inevitably breaching the pile with the most embarrassing or valuable object possible.
You’ve stolen workmen’s tools, growling and engaging in what for you is a rousing game of tug with, say, a chisel. For the workman, now pleading with a twenty pound beagle, not so much a game as a work stoppage. You’ve yanked the computer charger out of my machine and settled down to chew on it, looking surprised that anyone would object.
Once, while on a video conference, some movement my eye caught, and I raised my head to see you running across the hall, shoe in your mouth and my bra looped around your neck, flying behind you. Apparently you’d been in the laundry.
But about that shoe. Of all your entertainments, the most annoying to me is your shoe vandalism. It’s common for me to find anonymous insoles lying abandoned on the floor, missing only the chalk outline to point out their doom. You’ve stolen guests shoes more times than I can count, sometimes off their feet as they innocently dangled a heel. Then you destroyed my every-day flats. When I caught you tearing out the sub-sole you hurled the shoe at me, hitting me in the shin as you leapt over its murdered mate and ran to eat the salad I’d left on the table to tend to the carnage.
So I put up a gate. Then I bought a new pair of Sketchers.
Then I heard a scratching noise, then I saw you doing this.
This isn’t over, Beagle.