I Knew You Looked Familiar

Dear Goddamned Beagle,

I saw it immediately the day I met you. Well, immediately after I’d seen past the scabby, naked rear haunches, yellowed eyeballs with beet-red conjunctiva, and terrifyingly aggressive girl parts protruding out and down, depending. But immediately after that.

Once the jaundice had passed, other people started noticing as well. “I love her eyes,” they’d say. Or sometimes, “Those are some eyes!” But I knew those eyes, had seen them before in all their insistent glory. I knew who you reminded me of.

It may seem counter-intuitive to some people to compare a beagle with a silent film star. “Silent” and “beagle” are not words commonly seen together. But there’s more to stardom than just one’s reel. There’s the je ne sais quoi, one you share with your doppelganger, Theda Bara.


She was fortunate enough to reach movie stardom, though at a time when the west coast was not yet the center of filmdom.  In her heyday, the original Vamp clocked in to the set in Fort Lee, New Jersey. You were a Tennessee trailer park beagle, roaming free to steal and defend whatever morsels caught your fancy, mother to many pups of varied lineage, seized in a 5150 confinement raid on your previous caretaker.

Fortunes, as you both experienced, wax and wane, and they change a person. Beagle. Even the first celluloid sex symbol tired of being typecast, but when she ventured into serious theater she was laughed off the stage. You reject being typed as a mere canine, yet despite your aplomb and lionesque command of your surroundings, people still exclaim, “She’s so much smaller than she seems on Facebook!” every time new introductions are made.

Much given, much lost, yet through it all the power of your gazes tells the story.

Love me. Feed me. Whatever.

The soul of the artist is timeless, Beagle. And as Flaubert noted, one doesn’t make art out of good intentions.

This makes you quite the artist.

Your Person




  1. I have not commented before, but I wanted to tell you how I enjoy reading all of your posts! We have enjoyed the love and companionship of Beagles for 25 years now. Currently we share our home with our sweet Holly, who has given us a run for our money, but we wouldn’t change a thing! She is our sixth Beagle overall. They have all been wonderful, with their own personalities, that’s for sure! Oh, the stories I could tell! Thanks for sharing Nellie with us!

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