Dear Goddamned Beagle,
Perhaps you felt it in the air. Something’s definitely been up, because let’s face it, for the last few days you’ve been a complete monster.
Not normally a quiet dog, you’ve been 100% horrible about yelling, howling at the window, at the door, at, well, frankly I’m not sure what you’ve been yelling at, but apparently it’s been quite urgent as the pitch and intensity of your howl has been brain-piercing. Normally a few-times-a-day yeller, yesterday and the day before were pretty much spent seeing how many ways you could push the limits of the “positive reinforcement thing.” No gate, no barrier, no chew toy, no audio track (Through a Beagle’s Ear has yet to be recorded) helped in any way.
The Auntie Squad was even enlisted. While this bum knee keeps me from giving you adequate exercise some days, Auntie N. took you for an extra walk each day with your pal Goldie. Auntie D. and I took you part way around a pond on Sunday, after our visit out to Vic and Louanne and a romp in the field, and Aunties G. and E. brought the Bostons over, puppy Joe doing his best to wear you out.
To no avail.
Over the last few days I’ve become sensitized to a certain “click click click” of your nails. Unlike your normal ambulations, which are quiet, these are quite purposeful as they go about Very Important Business. Like pulling my shoe out of the closet, dropping it and staring at me. And a sneaker. And another sneaker. And a sandal. Being a professional, I put an X-pen across the open closet and got back to work, at which point you knocked over the gate and got stuck pulling Thing 2’s giant shoe out from under.
Gate rearranged and reinforced I got back to work, looking up at the thud that was a rain boot, taken from another closet and now missing an inch or so of calf protection thanks to you.
Later, while getting coffee, I heard the “thump, thump, thump” of a Kong wobbler, and comforted that you were finally well-occupied, and self congratulatory that I had such gifts of management, I leaned against the kitchen counter and took a sip, until I remembered that 1) I hadn’t given you a Kong wobbler, and 2) Kong wobblers aren’t that heavy. You were hurling a two pound dumbbell in the living room, retrieved from Thing 1’s pile of “living room gym.”
A weight, Beagle. You were hurling a weight. Which I thought was really something, til you opened a drawer.
You haven’t been around long enough to witness Thing 2’s abject fear of dolls, nor The Doll. It’s true that the Thing’s fear of The Doll is both silly and delightfully easy to invoke, with mere duct taping of her to the ceiling over his bed in the night, say, or strategic placement of it, arm reaching out from his underwear drawer or smiling up at him from the washer when he opens the lid to do his clothes enough to evoke quite colorful shrieking and language, but there is something odd about this doll. For years I tried to give her to various children, all of them inclined toward similar dolls, all backing away from the proffered gift while politely declining. All then seeking out their mothers. I’m pretty sure I threw her away once, but there she was a few months later, in a corner by the dog toys. So I’ve hidden her away, out of sight and for possible future use, in a bottom drawer little-used save for unmatched winter gloves waiting for their mates to show up. Well, little-used until you chose that drawer to open, pulled her out by the arm and started chewing on her.
I can only imagine the humiliation experienced by a possibly-haunted, fear-summoning, child-repelling doll reduced to nothing more than a side-mouth chaw, suddenly more likely to be hawked into a spittoon than to rise up in power and run from, screaming.
You are the great equalizer, Beagz. Happy Halloween.