I was sitting on the couch the other evening watching a television show…Roxy was laying by my feet snoring when the UNDERDOG commercial came on. Underdog apparently is a beagle. Who knew. Anyway…during part of the preview for UNDERDOG the star beagle says “GIVE THE DOG YOUR FOOD”. I about spit my water across the room. It was as if they were channelling Roxy right there.
I did a lot of research before I got Roxy. I read that beagles were hard to housetrain…which didn’t bother me because at the time I was totally expecting Roxy to be an outside dog. I read that beagles could be obstinate. I read that beagles were barkers. I read that they were smart, followed their nose, were diggers, had a penchant for rolling in smelly stuff, and LOVED food. The thing that worried me the most? The barking/baying thing…as I live in a residential neighborhood and the next door neighbor…hates noise (children, dogs, a pin dropping past 10:00pm).
Well after living with Roxy for FIVE YEARS (can it really be that long already? Seems like just yesterday she was small enough to climb up me and sleep on my head…or my neck…which she did often as a puppy) I can tell you that I never expected her to be like she is. Roxy was extremely easy to housetrain…and is most definitely NOT an outside dog. Roxy is kind of prissy for a beagle…and doesn’t like to get her paws wet, which makes bathtime…hell. Roxy has an incredible sense of smell…and can find a crumb the size of a pinhead under five pillows. And speaking of pillows…Roxy loves them…and insists on planting herself smack in the middle of them because while you may think that the bed is yours? Really it is hers but don’t worry she will share it with you…on most days. What is really kind of weird? Is rolling over in the middle of the night and seeing her laying on her back with her head on your pillow, her paws in the air and snoring like you wouldn’t believe.
Roxy is very independant…and would rather not be futzed with or manhandled. She is like me in that respect. She isn’t a good listener and doesn’t like the word no. She can not go outside without a leash unless you watch her very closely…or if you are my dad…because even though she is my dog…she worships the ground my dad…and brother walk on. She loves men…in general actually…and prefers the male vet in the practice. She LOVES to go for walks and if she even thinks you might be heading for the leash basket she gets excited and starts prancing around excitedly. She loves to play fetch but only with tennis balls…and she would rather play with these tennis balls I bought her that squeak. Rubber balls? Nope. Must have that tennis ball feel to it.
Roxy is extremely smart and can do tricks as long as there is a food reward involved. I work with her very very hard. She got the basics fast. Sit. Stay. Shake. Then we moved on…she can now: lay down, shake other paw, balance a treat (or a ball…or a rib) on her head, she can do a “little woof” which is a whispery bark, she can kinda crawl, she can “Sit pretty” which is basically sitting up like a meercat, and her newest trick “BIG YAWN” which basically is her opening and shutting her mouth like she was yawning in rapid succession…so basically she looks like she is talking with no words coming out. She also understands that she has many names. Roxy. BeagleButt, Beag, Beagle, Sweet baby, baby, and monkey or monkeybutt. She also knows that Cody is NOT her name but my brother’s dog and that if she hears it, it may mean he is getting something that she is not…so she investigates.
She also learned that if she takes her back hip and hits the kitchen cabinets just right…she can pop them open. We baby proofed them with superstrong magnets…yet she has still figured out a way to pop open the cabinets. So we started having to put her dog treats in a sealed container and no food in the low cabinets. We learned not to put things like chicken bones in the under sink trash…the hard way (thank god for emergency vets). Roxy is a typical beagle in that she is a “chow hound” and she loves food. When she was 7 months old we learned not to put pizzas on the kitchen table…as she pulled down an entire pizza and proceeded to start to try to eat it. Roxy eats her dinner so fast that it is scary and we now only give it to her in little portions because we are worried she will choke herself off.
Roxy also has an incredibly expressive face which lends a very human quality to Roxy. If we are talking about something bad Roxy has done and look over at her…she will give you a dirty look as if to say…how dare you speak of me like that. If she does something bad (like go through the bathroom garbage and scatter it all over) and someone says “what did you do?” She will sulk off like she is sorry..and after awhile come lick your hand as if to say…do you forgive me? If you are sad or sick she will lay by your feet to let you know she is there for you. She will lay ON your feet if she thinks you are cold…whether or not you are actually cold. And Roxy knows when it is 5:30 pm because she will come and put her paws on your legs or chest and then stretches and nonchalantly yawn so that you know she is there…and then gives you an intesnse…”can you please…GIVE THE DOG SOME FOOD” look.
(Roxy’s Don’t Mess with Me I am Eating Look).