May 9, 2012

The beagle has a birthday

Kenobi is turning eleven this week.  Maybe it would be better to say he is turning as close to eleven as close to this week as we know.  That is because my wonderful, loving, gentle beagle is a rescue dog.  He came from BREW, Beagle Rescue, Education, and Welfare.  BREW took him out of a shelter, and his prior history was unknown.  Since the vet estimated him to be about a year and a half old when we got him, we designated his birthday as the day a year and a half before the day we took him home.  I am incredibly grateful to BREW for taking him in, and I am incredibly lucky to have him as my dog.

Kenobi likes to sit on the couch
I feel very strongly that people should consider rescues and shelters when looking for pets.  There are so many animals out there in need of loving homes.  If giving a pet a second chance isn't enough of an incentive, there are other benefits.  Kenobi was already house-trained, and we knew he had a good temperament.  He is also the quietest beagle who ever lived.  Who ever heard of a beagle that didn't howl loudly and often?  No one.  But Kenobi does not.  I've heard him howl or bark only a handful of times in all the years I've known him.  He makes more noise in his sleep.

Kenobi is a one in a million dog.  He is always available for hugs.  He insists on sleeping under the covers.  He likes to crush me as much as a 25 pound beagle can while I'm reading or watching tv.

He often lounges on pillows
He enjoys going for walks.  Kenobi's absolute favorite place for walks is Valley Forge Park.  He tends to stalk the deer.

He is a very happy dog.  His tail wags constantly.  He has had back problems, so his waggy tail doesn't stick straight up like it used to, but he still wags it as much as ever.  Kenobi is so happy that he is even happy when he goes to the vet.  No dog likes to go to the vet!  They hate it.  They are afraid.  Not Kenobi.  Kenobi wags his tail and gets excited to see the vet and the nurses and everyone who works there.

He also likes blankets
Kenobi makes friends wherever he goes, and he goes everywhere.  He is a regular sight at family functions.  I can't say how many times people have told me, "I've never met a dog like Kenobi!"

The beagle is also extremely stubborn and dedicated to following his nose when he is outside.  Little furry creatures interest him the most.  He has seen a horse, but it didn't faze him.  Kenobi is friendly with other dogs, but he'd much rather be with people.  He loves people.  He can't get enough of them.

The reality of Kenobi getting older is starting to set in.  It's upsetting to think about.  I look at photos of him when he was younger and see him before his face turned grey.  I notice him slowing down.  The onset of arthritis has him going up and down stairs more carefully.  That being said, catch him at dinner time or at my grandparents' house where he knows he'll be getting several treats and a continual supply of ice cubes, and it's like he's three again.  That's the thing about dogs, isn't it?  They bring such joy into our lives, but they are destined to break our hearts.  Kenobi is my forever dog.  I cherish each day I have with him.

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