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Spring 2012

Bob the Beagle

by Pat Hamit

It's a dog-gone mess around here
The Bobmiester is a lot like me. If nothing else, we are set in our ways and not at all happy when anything around the house or the yard is topsy-turvy. Both of us are learning to cope with only a minimum of whining as things at our house have not been normal for awhile now.

Last summer was the beginning of the year of restoration and renovation at our house. We had a 30 year old deck that was badly in need of help. Anyone who has ever taken on a do-it-yourself project of this nature knows that before the joy of creating and construction can begin the drudgery of destruction comes first.

Wanting to share the time, trouble and misery of tearing out the old stuff; I am trying to introduce the mechanics of a simple lever tool by the name of a "nail bar" to both the Pack Leader and That Girl. I'm talking nail bars and they're thinking that it must be like a spa of some kind or another. Suffice it to say, they're not impressed when they grasp what I'm actually talking about. In order to avoid the usual problems, excuses and disagreements that come with sharing tools, no expense was spared to provide everybody with their very own nail bar and being a slacker would not be tolerated. Besides, how many women can brag about having a personal pry bar? These are two very lucky girls who somehow failed to grasp the importance of adding a nail/pry bar to their list of personal tools.

Once we worked out a system, the deck destruction went along smoothly. By the end of the first day only the skeleton of the old deck was left. The steps leading to the deck remained while the floor joist, minus the decking, was exposed to daylight for the first time in years. Considering the summer heat and not wanting to abuse the help, we called it a day and that is when the Beagles took over.

Later that afternoon Bob's best friend forever, (BFF), Spike came for a visit and hound dog howling romp in the backyard. Spike, like the rest of us, is a creature of habit. Since he is a member of the scent hound clan, his usual routine is to zoom up the deck to check out the smells emanating from the barbeque grill.

Today was no different. He was on a mission. Spike rocketed up the steps and leaped onto the deck. What Spike failed to notice was that we no longer have a deck. Fortunately the floor joist ran in a direction that allowed Spike to rather abruptly reunite with mother earth without harm. That is exactly what happened. First came the ZOOM and then came the BOOM! Undeterred and with his legs still turning in full running mode, he catapulted himself from under the skeletal remains of the deck and made a high speed pass around the perimeter of the yard. Then came the second high speed approach to the deck steps.

Thinking that Spike is now in full "come on let's play" mode as his momentum forces him to lean into the turns around the yard; the Bobster adds his hound dog howl and joins in hot pursuit. We might need a sign in our backyard warning of low flying Beagles. Nearing the completion of this hot lap, Spike lines up a perfect approach with the deck's stair steps and once again, up he zooms.

The stopping distance of a high velocity Beagle is an amazing thing to behold. Bob has to do some serious maneuvering to avoid a rear end collision as Spike comes to a complete and sudden stop after bounding to the top step. With his tongue hanging off to one side from physical exertion, Spike has a visible light bulb moment as he surveys the remainder of the deck. Upon locating the barbeque grill Spike's olfactory senses kick in and life returns to as normal as it is going to get around here for a while as frustrated Bob belly flops in the cool grass while he waits for Spike to finish his grill investigation.

Sock Monkey Surprise
Not suffering from a lack of self-esteem, Bobby thinks that any sack from any store that comes into the house contains a treat for him and he is visibly disappointed if it doesn't. He nearly goes bezerk on grocery day. Unable to curb his enthusiasm he jumps into the back of the Pack Leader's car and demands to sniff each and every sack. He can barely contain himself if his nose detects fried chicken livers from the deli. Both of us consider this a great treat and we share the entire container usually in one setting. It's a good thing neither one of us is spoiled, huh?

Bobby considers rawhide chew bones a food staple rather than a treat. He likes to get the new bone out of the sack by himself. Once the bone clears the boundaries of the sack, he holds it up as high as he can to show anyone looking his new prize as he prances around with delight. Trying to touch his new treasure will earn you a very serious growl and you have been duly warned that you best not do that again, ever!

It is the mostly chewed up rawhide bones that causes all the trouble. Roberto is compelled, for whatever reason to bury the gooey stubs . . . . . in the house. As you know the indoor bone burying process is as elaborate as the outdoor process as an imaginary hole is hollowed out and refilled after the bone-end remnant has been properly placed. In order to avoid a certain amount of doggy paranoia, this has to be done in complete secrecy.

Being Bob is a full time job. Beagle boy is not allowed on the furniture and he knows it but every rule has an exception or so I'm told. Truth of the matter is that between the cushions where the chair back and seat meet, every piece of sitting furniture we have has had a rawhide chew bone hidden in it at one time or another. Every bed in the house has had these slimy chunks of yuk planted under or behind a pillow. Obviously, the not being allowed on the furniture rule does not apply when it comes to Bob's highly valued treasury of chew bones.

We gave each other that stupid look that usually says without saying it, "Now what?" Both of us heard the deep guttural growl coming from the spare bedroom at the same time. It wasn't just any growl; it's Bob's "I'm serious" growl. Before we can react a bark punctuates the growling. The tone of the bark indicates that things have gone from serious to really serious. This is Bob's version of calling 911. Both of us are up and moving towards the spare bedroom quickly.

We find the Bobmiester standing at the foot of the bed with his hackles standing strait up. The growling and barking alarm continues even though the cavalry has arrived. The bed is a mess. He has knocked the pillows either on floor or turned them over. Leaving little doubt what the little goof has been up to; we spot a hunk of rawhide goop in center of the bed by the headboard. Bobby is not pacified by our arrival at the scene of the crime. The growling with a random bark for emphasis continues and he isn't about to give his hackles a rest. Standing at the far corner of the bed, his focus is on the opposite corner by the headboard and he's not happy.

For my birthday a couple of years ago, the Grandgirls gave me a sock monkey and it seems that Bob has found it. The sock monkey's arms hold him attached to the bed post and he cannot be seen when the bed is made. Imagine Bobby's surprise when, during his bone burying rampage, he finds a sock monkey ogling him. It is an old fashioned stare down between the sock monkey and the Beagle and I believe the Bobster just blinked.

The Pack Leader tries to restore order to a bedroom that looks like it was occupied by a teenage girl on date night. I'm not much help because I'm still gasping for air while trying to avoid laughing convulsions. "Brave Heart Bob's" latest escapade has left me speechless.


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