When I was in 3rd grade my parents finally let me get a dog. I had been obsessed with dogs since my first viewing of “101 Dalmatians.” But my parents didn’t think I was ready for one. They pulled the typical you have to feed it and walk it and play with it card. Dogs are a lot of responsibility. They’re basically babies. After years of begging, they gave me a letter at Christmas saying I was ready. I could pick out any puppy I wanted.
So I picked a beagle.
Beagles are the perfect dog. They get along well with kids and other animals. They’re damn cute and are the perfect size; not too big, not too small. And they have a terrifying amount of personality. That’s just a polite way of saying they have a tendency to have a mind of their own. My parents questioned my choice because of this, but I had already made my decision. I had read all the Shiloh books and seen the movie “Cats and Dogs” 100 times. I wanted a beagle.
Nick the beagle was born on Christmas, hence why we named him Nicholas. If people thought Marley was the worst behaved dog they’d ever heard of, then they clearly never met Nick. He ate literally everything. Food from the table? Yup. Food from the fridge? Yup. Food right off your plate? You bet. It was not uncommon to see aluminum foil and plastic bags in his dumbs in the backyard. Whenever he got mad at us he would swallow socks whole. One time we were supposed to go to New York for a family road trip. Whenever we went on vacation we would bring Nick to the local dog kennel. He was well loved there and they took good care of him, but he hated when we left him. So to counter our plans to leave he swallowed one of my dad’s fancy work socks about a week before we were suppose to leave for New York. How did he know we were about to leave? He was just that smart. Socks would usually resurface in a few days, but this one was not coming back up. My mom took Nick to the vet and the vet scheduled surgery. We decided we would postpone the trip until after his surgery. On the morning we were supposed to take Nick to the vet he thew up the sock in his kennel.
That’s the kind of jerk beagles are. Nick was constantly getting into things in our backyard. He was obsessed with rabbits and anytime one would have babies in our backyard he wouldn’t stop until he had violently murdered every last one of them. My dad would yell into the house, “Goddammit Nick got into the rabbits again!” before he grabbed a shovel and disposed of the corpses. One time he got an infection from a weed he had eaten that got stuck in his gums. He had terrible teeth from everything he’d get into. They would randomly fall out all over the house. My parents used to call Nick the “Million Dollar Beagle” because of how much money they spent over the years on his vet bills. Continue reading