More Bob the Beagle
by Pat Hamit
Bob and His Stuff
Not to say that he is spoiled or anything like that but, the Bobster has a toy box full of toys. Of course we have contributed our share to this inglorious collection of chew and chase stuff. The Pack Leader and That Girl cannot resist shopping for the Beagle Boy at the large pet stuff stores found in the bigger cities. Without a doubt we are the largest donors to Bob's stuff, but over the years we have had lots of help from the FOBs, that's "Friends of Bob."
A few weeks back I decided to clean out B's toy box which had become over loaded with the knotted ends of rawhide chew bones that, for reasons beyond my comprehension, have lost their canine appeal. This is what I found:
His oldest toy. A small yellow bee which is unrecognizable except for the black stripes that wrap around the rear-end. I know what it is because I saw it when it was new two years ago. By the way, you cannot fool this dog by spelling things like bee, as in; "Have you seen Bob's B-E-E?" He's more of a Sherlock Holmes than you might expect and he'll let you know that he knows exactly what you are talking about. W-A-L-K will get you an enthusiastic reaction as well. Once he hears the "W" word guess what where you are going if you want to or not? We've had to switch to Pig-Latin for certain words. Life changed when the kids learned how to spell. I never thought this would happen with the dog.
A stuffed red thing that looks like a donut is an occasional choice. That must have been from when Bob thought he might want to be a police dog.
An orange stuffed bone that makes motorcycle sounds comes out of the toy box from time to time. This is his second one. He shredded the first one in less than an hour to get the noise maker out of it. That noise maker is mine now. I'll hide it in my pocket before pushing the button which makes it go vrooom, rumble, rumble, vrooom! It drives the Bobmiester crazy trying to find and get it. It makes the Pack Leader even crazier as Bob and I chase each other through the house. He's blowing his Beagle bugle in hot pursuit as I manage to keep ahead of him with that vroom, vrooom sound emanating from my pants.
The head of a one eyed duck that has a toothy evil grin on what's left of his face. Why the squeaker still works is anybody's guess as this thing has been all chewed up. Why it remains at the top of his list is of yet an unsolved mystery.
A house slipper that looks like a ducks foot. Bob helped himself to the house slipper that was on top of a pile of give-away clothes. He snatched the slipper off the pile, shook it vigorously and went into the "catch me if you can" mode that he loves to play. While chewing on his ill gotten booty, the little thief may have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. However, the ever diligent Pack Leader put the remaining duck slipper away as a replacement for when Beagle Boy ultimately destroys the original. So the replacement slipper goes into the top of the Pack Leader's closet along with other as of yet undistributed Beagle treasures. The top shelf where the Beagle treasury is stashed is beginning to resemble a doggy version of the infamous Fibber McGee's closet. It is beginning to look like an avalanche in the making.
Bob's favorite toy is the one eared stuffed rabbit. The squeaker was the first thing to go and then Beagle Boy rearranged its face. Almost every evening the rabbit is hauled out of the toy box dropped on the floor beside my chair. Refusing to be ignored, Roberto nudges me with his nose several times and an annoying whine is sure to follow if his hints go unrecognized. He has slept all day and now he is ready to play and this will go on until bed time. You would think he would occasionally bother the Pack Leader or That Girl, but no, lucky me, I'm the chosen one.
The rest of the toy box is made up of a ball and a couple other toys designed for retrieving, not chewing and therefore they are mostly ignored by Bob but not forgotten. It makes you think a little kid is in house when Bob is rummaging around in his the toy box. Digging around to find this evenings selection some toys are laid out while others are nose-scooted out of the way. I would love to know what goes into this selection process. Once he has chosen this evening's toy de-jour the fun and games begin. This is just part of our nightly routine.
The other part of our nightly routine is picking up the toys that are strung around various rooms of the house. Too bad we can't train him to pick his toys up himself but so far that command is in the "no comprehendo" category. Stepping on a half chewed rawhide chew bone in the dark of the night will make you want to discuss Beagle Boy's roots.
Don't Chew That Chew Toy
When Bob gets that glazed over look in eye and you just know a chew toy is going down. Clenching the unfortunate toy with his front paws he uses his teeth to shred the toy into a mass of scattered cotton stuffing. He can perform this little trick in nothing flat and he has learned to do this on the sly. It's always fun to clean up this mess with Bobby giving you that, "Did I do THAT?" look. Ah yes, ignorance and denial! While they seldom work, those are two of my favorite defenses too.
The Bobster knows that if the Pack Leader catches him destroying his toy she'll be after him. Bob and I both roll our eyes every time we hear, "Don't you chew up that chew toy!" For crying out loud, it's a chew toy, what is he suppose to do with it? The Pack Leader is of the mistaken impression that boys and Beagles take good care of their toys. That is seldom the case.
Early on, the Pack Leader, with sewing kit in hand, would snatch up the ripped toy and proceed to mend it. This process really brings out Roberto's obsessive-compulsive personality. Sitting at her feet, he is still focused on object of his original destructive goal. I didn't know he could whine in so many different octaves which are punctuated with occasional barks meant to speed this process along. Undeterred, the Pack Leader is equally focused on her sewing. What I am watching is two obsessive-compulsive personalities in the process of a head-on collision. One of them is thinking "play nice with your toys," and the other one can hardly wait to finish the job he started. Sure enough, when she's finished mending the ripped chew toy, she gives it back to the impatient little twerp before he drives us both crazy with his whining. The fate of this chew toy has been predetermined and, sure enough, Bobby takes up right where he left off before being so rudely interrupted.
The only possible way to save this toy is to snatch from the jaws of destruction and hide it in the upper reaches of the Pack Leader's version of Fibber McGee's closet. So, now who's had the last word on this subject? Never under estimate the power of a determined, hard-headed Beagle. He is sitting in front of the closet doors whining and he is about to pluck our last nerve.
Create a diversion, that's the ticket. But what is the best diversion for a food motivated scent hound? Why, doggie treats, of course!
Confidence is that feeling you have before you understand the situation. Beagle Boy was only too happy to take a break from his self imposed guard duty in order to make a kitchen run, gobble a couple of treats and race us back to his duty station in front of the closet. Well that worked out well, don't you think?
Fresh out of ideas and in order to preserve our sanity, Mr. Bob won this round. While I'm headed to the closet to retrieve the chew toy, my wife reminds me that there are three obsessive-compulsive personalities living in this house. It seems I may have pushed someone's button. I wonder who the third obsessive-compulsive could be. Must be That Girl, huh? Before releasing the chew toy to its fate, the Pack Leader makes me promise to clean up the mess that is waiting to happen. I readily consent to the clean up task as long as I can do it in silence. Silence in situations such as this is something I can be very obsessed about.