Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan convinced me that getting a dog was a good idea. Not only a good idea, he made me believe it would be easy. The way he effortlessly controlled the most difficult of canines seemed like he wasn’t trying at all. His ability to work with the most dominant breeds made it seem so simple. Simple enough that even I could do it. Plus chicks love puppies, an added bonus! Why wouldn’t I get a dog?
In 2012 I purchased a puppy, mostly for the reasons listed above. It would be so easy, or so I thought. Picking the breed was a no brainer. One day, while lounging in a friends yard, enjoying a bevie or two, the family beagle leaped onto the glass table in ninja-like silence. My peripheral vision sensed the movement. I watched the dog creep across the glass towards my unopened beer. He thought no one was watching as he nervously continued on his “Mission Impossible.” Slowly tilting his head and grasping the bottle between his teeth, he begins to retreat. I can’t help but be entertained by the beagle who is moonwalking across the table with my beer in his mouth. I erupt in laughter and right then and there I decided I wanted a beagle.
Fast forward a few months. My beagle puppy has arrived. I named him “Simon.” I walk him in the house and my mom freaks out, (in a good way); his face could melt the coldest of hearts. His ears dangle to the ground as he prances around the living room showing off his new ball. He was pretty comfortable right away, he liked me and I liked him. So far so good. Before I knew it, the shenanigans began and I realized I had purchased a little devil.
He learned to bark and howl. What was originally cute and funny became a terrifying screech from the depths of hell. He took a liking to shoes, he landed a steady diet of Nike leather in the early days. Oddly enough, he was very brand specific. He knew which shoes were expensive. Not only would he chew them, oh no, but he would also poop right inside the foothold. After purchasing a $200 pair, I returned home from work to discover one shoe full of liquid poo. He didn’t miss, not a drop was on the floor around it or on the shoes surrounding. I was shocked at the accuracy, really, but I was also full of rage.
His nose started to develop superpowers. Anyone who entered his domain was subject to a 2-3 minute sniffing inspection. If you own pets you could expect to be held hostage a little while longer and sniffed a little more intimately. Upon completion of the inspection, he’ll decide whether or not you are worthy of a quick little leg hump. I spit venom when I catch him doing it and he lays down in submission. He pretends like it won’t happen again but we both know it will. He’s been fixed in case you are wondering.
Trouble-making is an art, one of which he has mastered. Armed with his weapon of a nose, he’s keenly aware of the location of every particle of food in the house. This includes scraps, wrappings, and all food-related garbage. If you think you can leave the kitchen with food in the garbage bin without returning to utter chaos, you’re wrong. The easy solution is to move the bin, so I do. But he’s resilient, he will not be denied the tasty treasures hidden within the garbage bag. He moves chairs to access bar height tables. He scales counter tops and opens cupboards. He uses the dishcloth on the oven handle to open the oven. Helping himself to whatever’s inside. Nothing is safe on any table in the house. Need to pee? You can expect to return to your snacks or beverages ravaged all over the floor. He knows he’s not supposed to do it, but it doesn’t stop him. If he had his day in court, I’m positive he’d say “I know what I did was wrong, but I don’t regret my actions. The Doritos were worth it.” His cage has been nicknamed the “Penalty Box” and he’s in there more often than not. He’s a rebel who uses his cute face as an excuse to do what he wants, and it works like a charm.
It’s not all bad though. He knows tricks, and for a nominal fee (treat) he will perform for you. Funny how a small piece of chicken can turn even the worst of bad-boys into a suck, eating out of the palm of your hand. Literally. He’s learned to bump the ball with his nose when I throw it to him, sending the ball back my way. We play catch more than fetch, admittedly he loves both.
The bark which I complained about earlier is the only security system I need. Plenty of pizza delivery people have jumped back in fear of my mighty beagle. Mostly because it sounds like a little demon is on the other side of the door. It’s always the topic of light banter while we exchange money for pizza. He’s a couch potato which I can appreciate if he could talk he would be my phone-a-friend for any television related trivia show. He kills bugs. He keeps the floors clean while I eat like a savage; a system that has maintained the bond between human and canine for generations. He sleeps in with the best of them. Not the early morning “let me out” type because ain’t nobody got time for that.
I go the extra mile to keep him out of trouble by keeping the garbage bin out of reach and trying my best to keep tabletops clear of any treats he may like. It seems my little beagle has me trained just as much as I’ve trained him. Our relationship has become more of a give-and-take versus the dictatorship of his early days. Ruling with an iron fist wasn’t advantageous for either of us. I demanded respect but never earned it. Sometimes being a leader means recognizing the faults within yourself. For me, I simply couldn’t keep calm. I would completely spazz-out whenever he would do something wrong, it’s no wonder why he would tune me out. After addressing my own issues it became easier to help him with his.
Now, in 2019 my beagle is basically a house cat. He still prances around occasionally showing off his latest toy. The trouble-making has been reduced to a minimum but he still has his moments. His white beard indicates he’s slowing down and I’m excited for that, but it’s bitter-sweet. I’m confident he has a few more antics up his sleeve. My Simon is no quitter.
Merry Christmas, I shit on the floor