Sunday, June 28, 2009

welcome to the asylum

I'm living in an insane asylum. An asylum where the inmates have four legs and an inordinate amount of fur. And they tend to bark and howl. A lot. (Except for the ones that hiss and spit.)

The asylum is currently in an uproar over a new temporary inmate, the small but mighty beagle named Arrow. The thing about beagles is that they look so dang cute, wagging their adorable little tails and staring up at you with those big, sweet, luminous brown eyes. Don't let their looks fool you, though, because behind that happy smile and cuddly exterior beats the heart of a lion, and the iron will of an extremely obstinate mule.

See how cute he is?

A few weeks ago Arrow's family told me they were going on a three week trip to Europe, and that Arrow would be spending his vacation at the Doggy Business spa. They dote on the little guy (can you tell by his personalized place mat?) and Tamara was a little worried about him being boarded for so long. I volunteered our house for a week or two, thinking he'd feel at home on the block in familiar surroundings, and he gets along with the knuckleheads just fine.

I figured life with the cats would take some getting used to, but he's very sweet natured, and they'd all adjust in a day or two. We've taken care of other dogs lots of times, and the household is generally pretty accepting of newcomers. In fact, Arrow seems just fine with the arrangement. He's adjusted to the routine like a champ, and behaves well with the rest of the pack on our walks, his little arrow pointing the way.

The cats, on the other hand, are a little pissed. Six days later, Maizy still hasn't emerged from the basement, and Frisco and Mr. Chubbs slink in and out of the house under cover of darkness. Every time one of the cats comes up on the porch, Arrow jumps up on the back of the sofa and starts howling in that distinctive beagle bay: "Aroooooo!!" In fact, every time someone walks by the house, or makes a noise upstairs, or a moth flits against the porch light outside? "AROOOOOO!!!" This gets Abbie started, and they both go at it. Cooper just hides in his crate with his paws over his ears.

Beagles are scent hounds, and will stop at nothing to find their prey. Like Maizy's favorite rocking chair, obviously imbued with her scent. Arrow is convinced there's a cat hiding in there somewhere. He'll just keep burrowing under the slipcover, trying to find her...

He does settle down eventually in the evening. It must be exhausting, guarding the planet against marauders.


The Rustic Victorian said...

oh too funny! Great post Jane!

foolery said...

Finally read this post -- thanks, Jane, for sharing this and I am taking it to heart in my quest for beagle membership! He's adorable. There are traits I consider deal-breakers; none of these are deal-breakers. : )