The 4 Legged Children
I would like to introduce you to the 4 legged members of our family. They are my loyal companions, and the ones responsible for keeping me sane on many occasions. Now I don’t know if you are a dog person or not, you could be one of those crazy cat people, but there is something to be said for what we can learn from just watching dogs.
I have 1 female toy fox terrier that turned out to be anything but a toy, and 3 beagle babies, 2 boys and a girl. The fox terrier was a purchase because I had always wanted a small dog. We had over the years had many dogs but they were all large breeds like Shepards, Goldens, Springers and mixed mutts. All were “table clearing, hair balls” that had no clue and thought they were lap dogs. Do you have any concept what its like to have a 65 lbs golden want to sit in your lap? Anyway….
My daughter and I made a trip to the local puppy store and there we found this tiny handful stuck in a rather small cage with 6 or so large puppies. She was so tiny that in order for her to get any food at feeding time she had to dart in grab a mouthful and dart off to a corner to eat it. We fell in love at first sight and without thinking about it, brought her home and named her Peanut Butter. She looked like a Shepard that had been put in the dryer and shrunk and as it turned out she had the personality of a Shepard as well. She may have been 3 lbs but she thought she was 300 lbs and it was her job to protect the house and everything in it. This little thing was fearless.
Early on the girls discovered that Peanut was not fond of people who hid around corners. She had to know where everyone was at all times and made it a point of seeking them out. This turned into a game of “where’s the rabbit” and unfortunately the husband was usually the one targeted as the “rabbit”. One of the girls would wait until they heard their Dad pull into the driveway after work, and then they would say…”peanut, where’s the rabbit”? This was the clue for the dog to instantly go into “protective mode”. Ears up, fighting stance engaged, tail at the ready, she would listen and wait. As soon as the front door opened she would dash towards it, teeth showing, barking like the hounds of hell were coming, and ready to rip up the first ankle she saw. It didn’t matter to her at all that the “rabbit” stood 6’5″ tall and out weighted her by a ton she was going to take him down! It was the funniest thing to the girls to see this tiny dog doing battle with Dad and chasing him through the house until he finally snatched her up.
The other game that this dog loved was “alien watching”. Any point of “light” that caught her eye became an “alien”, and just like with the rabbit it was her job to protect us from it. She would dash around the kitchen barking like mad at the reflection of a pot on the ceiling as it was being dried, or she would run 100 mile an hour in a circle chasing a spot of light on the floor. Personally I think she was just crazy, but the rest of the house thought it was great fun to get her riled up and then send her crashing into a wall or door after the “aliens”.
Now I could have lived happily with just this little one around for company but as it turned out I made the mistake of letting the husband and the daughters go shopping alone one day. In the middle of the afternoon I get this phone call from one of the daughter telling me I just had to come see this puppy they found. Knowing I would never get off the phone till I agreed I made short work of it and headed to the store. I was greeted by my family who was beaming at me like idiots while holding this rather round beagle puppy. I didn’t want a beagle because I had always heard they “bay” instead of bark and that was like nails on a chalkboard to me, but there she was….it was just her and her brother left in the litter and the sales lady said they were going to be sent off if they were not adopted soon because they were both getting to old to sell. She was a pure bred and came with papers so against my better judgement we bought her and brought her home. We named her Sundance Moonshot a combination of her parents names and it didn’t take long for her to fit right in. For as wild and crazy as Peanut was, Sunny was the total opposite. She love to just hang out and relax. The only time she ever ran was at feeding time, and then it was like she had jet packs on all four feet. I have to admit she was nothing like I heard, so we settled in and things were good.
After moving into the house we had built my oldest daughter thought it would be a splendid gift to give her father a pedigreed boy beagle puppy for christmas. So when her and her husband arrived with this beagle in tow, I had no choice but to make room for him in the house. He was from champion blood lines and the idea my daughter had, was that we could breed him to the Sunny who was also registered and make a bit of money on the puppies. Good plan….just what I needed a house full of beagles! We named this boy Beauregard Tyson and he became the 3rd of my 4 legged children.
Beau was the most gentle dog I had ever met. He may have come from champion “hunt” dogs but the only thing he wanted to “hunt” was a free lap. He became very attached to Ami early on and would spend hours sitting by the front windows watching for her to come home from school. He slept in her room and was by her side whenever she was here. He was a beautiful dog too…perfect markings and build so the whole idea of breeding him was hard to fight. He was definitely a “lover” and not a “hunter” and that was ok with me until that “lover” in him got a hold of Sunny one day and ended up with me sitting on the floor delivering 5 tiny bundles of beagle joy!
Sunny was a good mother but had a hard time feeding all of them so I soon found myself playing “mom” to help her out. Our house had gone from 3 dogs to 8 dogs and I have to say it was a bit of a circus. As the puppies got bigger they got cuter and I could see the familiar “can we keep them” look in the kids eyes. We had three tri-color and 2 cinnamon’s both of whom had green eyes. a rare occurence for beagles. Thankfully we found homes for all of them but damn if Beau didn’t spread the love one more time and we ended up with a second litter. This time poor Sunny just couldn’t feed them so I once again became the surrogate mom and hand raised them. Again we had 2 cinnamon’s but this time I wasn’t going to be so lucky and after many hours of debate we ended up keeping the male who became the 3rd beagle in the house.
Carson Lucas…my green eyed, bundle of pure baby. He has no idea that he is a dog let alone a beagle. He is most happy to just spend hours sitting by my side or cuddled up next to me on the bed. He enjoys being the center of attention and is always the first to greet anyone who comes into the house. He, like his father has no clue what “hunting” is and would rather spend his time just sitting and staring at you until you either pet him or feed him something.
I never thought this is where my life would end up. Living with 4 dogs who are more like “kids” than dogs. While they can test my patience, they can also make me smile with just one look so for now I guess I will just enjoy them and hope that I don’t answer the phone to hear…Mom…guess what we found…can we keep it???