Dear Goddamned Beagle,
You must forgive me. It’s been a very busy few months, and I simply haven’t had time to write. I can hear you snoring your derision at the thought of my poor priorities, but I am flawed, and fairly overworked.
Thanksgiving went very well this year! As this was our third harvest celebration together, the regular guests knew to push in their chairs even before we put food on the table. (There has been food there, there will be food there, and any half-bright beagle knows the table is therefore the place to wait. On.)
Once we started bringing the food into the dining room, people knew to not wander off, but instead to stand guard. Thing 1 left the room at one point, distracted by a request from his grandfather. She Thing 1, who’d been abandoned alone with you at a table for the first time during a feast earlier in the year, was still traumatized, and so refused to leave her station. Her last encounter had resulted in a cry of, “Nellie, NO!” followed by the sight of you speed eating a steaming hot platter of grilled zucchini chunks, sustaining tracheal pain focusing enough for you to forget one foot in the mashed butternut squash. I’d tried to console her, explaining that the cascading wine glasses, dinner plates and silverware were easily re-set and replaced, but she seemed not to hear as your Beagle Talons grabbed up the table cloth and knocked the centerpiece into the asparagus. She’s a sharp one, beagle. You’ll have to up your game around her. So you didn’t get onto the table until after dessert, at which point you thoughtfully cleaned up the crumbs and bits left behind by the meal, Brussels sprouts and pecan pie mixing nicely as you rinsed your palate in the water glasses between passes. You were so quiet that I barely noticed you as I walked past the dining room. I looked at you, you looked at me, and I said, “you’re really not supposed to be up there.” Both of us know a reasonable compromise when we see one, so as I walked (instead of running) over to remove you from the table, you went for the few last good crumbs. You were drinking Pellegrino when I lifted you off.
Christmas, too, was fairly successful. I do wish people would stop mentioning their amazement at what you haven’t yet done. I know you’re listening. Maybe I should hand out small dry erase boards to friends and family when they come over, and they can write their thoughts instead of uttering them. That way, “I can’t believe she hasn’t gotten up onto the mantle yet” would remain a lovely thing, and not a challenge to be overheard by you in your dreams, at a later point requiring me to rearrange the living room.
As you know, I’m quite fond of my collection of glass food ornaments, now over forty years in the making and the entire reason for a tree. I got some really nice ones this year, as Etsy is now an easy source for glass blowers. While I enjoy the chocolate-dipped strawberries, breakfast bakery items, Madeleines and other sweets, I really love the hand-blown berries housed in clear glass globes, our only traditionally-shaped ornaments.
Why would’t you try to eat them? They do look delicious.
I thought we’d come to an agreement, early on after I put those up, but as the tree drooped its way toward the New Year, one lone cupcake proved too much to withstand. I was sitting beside you on the couch working when the call of temptation proved too much. You suddenly sat up from a nap, causing me to stop typing. You sat there for a moment, and not for the first time I wondered if your blanketing provides you with Sith powers I should discourage. But you did nothing, and I got back to work, only to watch you languidly stretch, back feet still on the couch, front feet walking you out. You efficiently ended your refreshed yawn by closing your mouth on the cupcake that had slouched to the floor on its branch, tearing it off the tree and bringing your hind legs to the ground. You turned and looked at me, ornament in mouth. You sat. I knew better than to make any sudden moves. Glass ornaments aren’t cheap, and neither are veterinary bills. I got up and walked past you. You ran in front of me and sat again, staring up at me.
“This is glass,” you conveyed. “I really shouldn’t have this. You should probably chase me or something.”
I continued to walk by toward the kitchen where you met me, having gone around the other way. I reached into the dog food cabinet and took out a handful. You stared at me. I walked to the back hall, to the rug. You followed. I threw the food onto the rug, scattering it as widely as possible. You dropped the ornament and started snacking as I picked it up and walked back to the living room, grabbing the x-pen on the way to jail the tree for the duration. This would turn out to annoy you, but I was OK with that. frankly.
The New Year was uneventful. Lisa and Blue came for a visit, and you and Blue enjoyed a shared bowl of water and a few dried parts of a bull you’re more than welcome to. New Year’s day was unseasonably warm, and we want for a long walk in the sun. Neither one of us could quite believe the number of squirrels hurling themselves in front of you. One even whipped your face with its tail as it shot from behind a bush to the tree we were passing. It happened so fast that it didn’t register in you until about three feet past the tree, but that’s a story for another day. It’s after six and it’s time to wake you up so I can get to work and you can get to your morning power nap downstairs.
Happy New Year, Beagz.