Bob the Beagle
by Pat Hamit
The Mysterious Evil Whirly-gig
Bob's favorite person, That Girl, (our granddaughter), came home with a whirly-gig. The whirly-gig looks like a giant blue jay that is about 3 foot long and 2 feet high. It mounts on a 5 foot fiberglass rod which allows it to turn into the wind as the wings go round and round.
The following day That Girl and I searched for the ideal spot to place the giant blue jay whirly-gig. While this thing is made to spin in the wind we soon discovered that too much wind, such as a normal Kansas breeze, has a tendency to lift the big blue jay off the mounting pole and wreck it. After several test locations we settled on a relatively sheltered portion of the backyard. The spike that holds the mounting rod has a hole in the center. Seconds after the spike is hammered into the ground the blue jay is happily flapping in the breeze. All this has occurred while the Bob-a-rino is in the midst of his afternoon siesta which is not to be confused with his mid-day nap or his all morning snooze.
Waking up from his siesta, Bobby is soon on yard patrol and that is when it happens. A rip roaring ruckus erupts in the backyard. While he has no idea what in the world that big flapping blue thing in his yard is, he knows that he doesn't belong there and he doesn't like it, no sir, not even a little bit. Bob's hackles are pointing toward the sky and he is barking so hard it makes him scoot backwards in recoil.
The three of us make a mad dash for the yard to see what in the world is going on. I am the last to arrive on the scene only to discover That Girl and the Pack Leader, (my wife), are unable to communicate the cause of the Beagle meltdown. Both of them are laughing so hard that their mouths are open but no sound is coming out. The only form of communication they can muster is to point in the direction of the fracas which is still going on. When I realize what this whole mess is about I have to join them in the laughing hysteria created by this little goofball.
While it was all fun and games at the time, his antics wore a little thin as the same scene repeated itself throughout the evening and into the night. Every time the Bobster went outside he pitched a fit over the whirly-gig. The laughter, having long since faded, was replaced by a three part harmony refrain of "SHUT UP, BOB!" Bellowing this chorus at the Beagle in unison eventually resulted in a righteously indignant Bob, but returning peace and quiet to the neighborhood was worth it.
After the blue jay experienced several wind related crashes we decided to relocate the bird closer to the house between the deck and the fence. Bobby, upon discovering that either the bird had moved or possibly another one had decided to perch closer to the house, went into his, by now, all too familiar tirade. While I'm somewhat amused, the Pack Leader and That Girl are not. Once again they are singing out for Bob to shut up. Frustrated that nobody is concerned, he has started growling under his breath as he has tried in vain to warn us that these dirty blue birds are somehow multiplying and getting closer to the house.
Just to keep everybody on their toes, mess with Bob's mind and for my own amusement, I move the whirly-gig bird to different places in the yard and this entire mess starts all over again. This results in dirty looks from the Pack Leader to which my only defense is a stupid grin. What can I say? Fun is wherever you can find it but I may want to start looking in other places.
Spelling Bee Bob
Whenever the Pack Leader washes Bob's bed he holds her accountable for the number of chew bone bits that he has buried deep in the folds his número uno hiding place. Carefully, she replaces even the smallest chewed-up pieces of rawhide that make up her favorite Beagle's treasure trove. She knows she'll be held accountable when the Bobmiester reconciles his bone inventory.
With the chew bones carefully stowed in the clean bed, it is placed in the usual location in order to prevent further hound dog trauma that typically results when his stuff is messed with. As soon as everything is back in place, Bob stands in the middle of his bed pointing to each bone-bit with his nose. He appears to be counting his cache of chewed-up yuk. As soon as he is satisfied that all is well he'll make a sighing sound while flopping down for a much needed snooze. All this paranoia and trauma has worn him to a frazzle, the poor thing.
If having a dog that does accounting isn't bad enough, now he's learning to spell. Trigger words like "go" have a tendency to send the little Beagle into orbit as he does his happy dance and lets a series of ear-splitting howls rip. If you weren't planning to "go" then you had better change your plans or deal with a disappointed and very vocal howling hound dog. In order to avoid repeated scenes such as these, we, like parents of a pre-school child, began to spell the words that Bobby seems to key on. Stupid us, we thought the necessary days of spelling words as a form of devious communication were long gone.
Not long after we began spelling out the word "go" Bob would once again launch into his happy dance. Not wanting to give this whiz-kid dog too much credit, we all agreed that the spelled word, "g-o," and the spoken word sound very similar. No way can that dog spell, but he has learned some form of word association and that is somewhat impressive. That was what everybody thought until he picked up on bigger words.
These days, w-a-l-k will set off the same hullabaloo in our house as g-o and you're going for a w-a-l-k whether you wanted to or not. Both of these words have been replaced with new ciphers that have, so far, been unbroken by the code-breaking Beagle. The "G-word," the "W-word" and now the "T" word for treats is how we now refer to regular trigger words that tend to register on the Bobster's radar.
The new code words seem to be working just fine for now and that is a good thing. There isn't a backup plan for if or when he breaks our new crypto-talk. In the meantime Bobby and I are headed out for our evening ride in the pickup. There are some storm clouds on the horizon and we want to see what our chances are for getting some precious rain. I tell the wife, "We are g-word and will be back shortly. If That Girl doesn't take him for a w-word then he can have a t-word when we get back." In an enthusiastic voice I tell the Bobster to, "Saddle up, let's go!" Almost before I can finish the sentence he is already waiting for me to catch up and open the truck door.