Saturday, May 21, 2011

Our Beagles

I seem to be on a roll of serious post, light-hearted post, serious post, light-hearted post so this seems like ample time to do a light-hearted post and tell you all about my doggies.  I have noticed that people who don’t own dogs think there is no reason to consider them so important in your life.  Now I am not as naive to say that I will always care for them as I do now but these dogs have taught me so much about training, discipline, selfless love and care and I know it is only a tiny ray of foreshadowing to what it will be like to be a parent. (can you say ray and foreshadowing in the same sentence?  .... seems contradictory.... oh well I said it)
Buster and Arden are our Beagle babies.  

About Buster:
We bought our first house in June of 2008 and we fixed it up and moved in July 4th weekend.  By the time September rolled around we thought it was time to get our first dog.  (Phil’s first dog EVER) So we researched which kind of dog would be a good fit for us and our personalities.  We also considered our budget when choosing a breed as many breeds can be over the top expensive.  We found ourselves in every animal store and shelter looking for our new family member but we just weren’t satisfied, so we took to and searched beagle puppies and then there he was our little puppy staring us in the face with a bright yellow scrunchy in his mouth.  We were smitten.  So we called and begged the family to let us come meet him and possibly take him to his forever home.  We brought him home immediately and just fell in love with our new best friend.

Characteristics of Beagles:

Beagles are very VERY loving.

Beagles LOVE food! Human and dog and they gobble everything.
(except Buster I’ll talk about that later)

Beagles always follow their noses...
              so if you want a dog that you can take off the leash and will stay next to you...        
                                                              don’t get a beagle.
          Beagles can be barkers and howlers... get one from a good breeder to prevent this.                                                 
                    (Arden and Buster rarely howl and don’t bark too much)
                                         Beagles are submissive to other dogs.
                                                         Beagle are STUBBORN and VERY smart!
                                Beagles wouldn’t hurt a soul and will put up with a lot of annoyances.
We quickly learned that Buster was much much smarter than we originally assumed.
One story, as an example of this, is when he was just a puppy probably only a year old I was playing fetch with him in the backyard.  I threw the ball but he wasn’t looking and when he came over to me to see why I wasn’t playing anymore I asked him to go get his ball.  So he took off nose-to-the-ground sniffing -- just like a beagle, he came back so proud of himself with a ball... but it wasn’t the ball I had thrown.  I laughed and praised him for finding a ball but then told him it was the wrong ball and to find the other ball.  To my shock he took off nose-to-the ground sniffing and came back, within seconds, with the other ball!!! I was amazed.

Jumping ahead a bit in Summer 2009 we took in a neighborhood dog that had been left behind by some tenants that couldn’t afford him anymore.  They left him tied up in the backyard with just a request to a neighbor to feed and water him once a day.  He was the sweetest basset hound you have ever met and his name was Buster.  haha.  So we took him in as a rescue and gave him some love.  This was our Buster’s (now called Little Buster) first time with another dog in his “territory”  it was a bit of an adjustment but they grew to like each other.  So we got “Big Buster” cleaned up loved and healthy and decided it was time to find him a new forever home.  We posted him on craigslist and got a bunch of emails from crazy people but then we got an email from a great couple that lives on a ranch and wanted a dog to scare away coons, not chase the chickens, and be a great loving- obedient dog.  I knew he was loving and obedient and it was a prefect fit.

About Arden:
After Big Buster was gone we realized that our Buster was lonely and needed a friend and more attention than we had energy for.  So we started looking on craiglist again.  We new we wanted another Beagle and NOT a puppy.  Then we found Arden!  He was the same age and male so we thought we would check him out.  We decided he was a fit and brought him home.  BOY did we have our work cut out for us.  He needed to learn to sit, he had anxiety issues, he pooped at random (that was weird - I think it was a nervous thing being in a new place), he barked and growled at men with dark hair or features.  He was kind of a mess.  Came from a sweet home but he needed to learn our way of life.  So training began.  Arden is truly the sweetest most loving dog ever.  He always wants to be snuggled up and wants to please.  But we are pretty sure he isn’t full beagle.  I believe he is have beagle and half Jack-Russle terrier.  This is proved by his courser fur, smaller build, ability to jump super high, smaller legs and paws, desire to cuddle, and HYPER activity!  But we still love him.

Brotherly Love.
They say dogs look like their owners....
I don't know what they are talking about.

Funny differences in Buster and Arden:
Buster likes to “savor” his treats - Arden gobbles his treats.
Buster likes soft food (must add water) - Arden chops down and any food.
Buster likes his space, his own chair - Arden likes to sit on top of you.
Arden likes to walk around on his hind legs - Buster can’t stand on his hind legs for anything

After he was "fixed".

What I have learned from being a beagle doggie mommie:
Consistency in training is the key.
Using the same tone of voice in training is important

Eye contact is important when training
Routine is the difference between a smooth day and a chaotic day.

I’m the disciplinarian, Phil is the push over. :)

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