Posts filed under ‘Beagles’

Gunfire at Jefferson National Forest

On Friday, I took the dogs out for a quick hike. We explored an old fire road off of Craig’s Creek Road that is marked for “Foot Traffic Only”. It was a pretty nice outing. The only downside was we were very close to the Blacksburg Shooting Range, so we could hear a lot of gunfire.

Henry in particular was bothered by the noise. Anytime the shooting started, he’d crouch real low to the ground and look around nervously. A couple of times, he started to run back to the car.

Now, I think that is probably a reasonable reaction for most animals. But Henry? Henry’s a beagle. What were beagles bred for?

Eating everything in sight?
Attacking other dogs over toilet paper rolls?
Cowering from the Hokie Bird?
Running away from Donkeys?
Arooing at doorbells?
Getting sticks caught in their mouth?
Cowering from balloons?
Rolling in feces?
Pissing on the floor?
Taking mini-dumps?

NO!!! Hunting! BEAGLES WERE BRED FOR HUNTING!!! Hunting, you know, as in… with guns.

As a hunting dog, Henry fails on so many levels.

But… as a trail dog, he ain’t half bad. And our outing on Friday afternoon was quite nice with plenty to see:


Horticulture experiments

Dead things

Exclamation Points (HT Clint)

More pictures from our impromptu trip to Jefferson National Forest can be found on my Flickr site.

March 30, 2008 at 8:08 pm 4 comments

Henry’s Hero

Yesterday for the first time in the Westminster Kennel Club history, a beagle won “Best in Show”:

Uno – Best in Show

And it appears even posh show dogs still stay true to their breeding.  When Uno won the 15″ Beagle Breed competition, he was highlighted in an article for Fox Sports:

While best in show will be presented Tuesday night, the precocious package of personality certainly deserved one early title: noisiest in show.

Ah-rooo!” his howls echoed all over the arena. It didn’t take much to get Uno going, either. A click of a spectator’s pen, a wave of the judge’s hand, any effort by Wilkerson to hush him. “Ah-rooo!

That definitely sounds like a beagle.

I wonder if Uno likes to roll in poo.

February 13, 2008 at 10:00 am 1 comment

Beagles are Bad…

….and marketers know it!

Yesterday, Sean and I were perusing PetSmart and we went into the aisle that focused on housetraining, odor control and carpet cleanup.  It was hilarious how many of the products had a beagle pictured on the front.  It’s like… they knew beagles are stubborn and notoriously hard to house train.

Carpet Shampoo

Hardwood Floors Stain and Odor Remover

OVERSIZED Training Pads (That’s how bad beagles are!)


Then we went into the behavioral problems aisle and lo and behold they had a bark collar with a beagle picture on the front.  It’s almost as if, they knew how loud beagles’ aroos can be.

Bark Control Collar!

And, possibly recognizing that beagles like to roll in stuff to cover up their scent (like dead turkey wings… or poo… or poo… or poo), the shampoo aisle sports beagles on bottles.


The beagle bashing did not end at PetSmart.  Last night I was sifting through a ThinkGeek catalog and I ran across this Humping USB Dog.  They have two types– a rottweiller… and a beagle.  It’s almost as if they knew Henry and how even though he is neutered, he still loves to hump:

A beagle humping?!?!?!

It definitely takes a special type of person to love a beagle, but there is one more aspect about the breed that perhaps the package designers recognize most of all:

Beagles can be so damn cute.

Henry as a puppy

December 9, 2007 at 3:43 pm 20 comments

Henry’s New Toy

Every now and then Henry finds an object he finds desireable, so he sits next to it and guards it.  Usually those items are of no interest to anyone else.  Nonetheless, in Henry’s mind, he believes all other animals (aka Jimmie and Stench) are after his precious find.  Unfortunately, Henry gives no indication that he is on high alert until he is already making a ruckus.

Last week, we were all sitting peacefully in the living room when Jimmie had the nerve to come in and take a seat on the ottoman.  Our nice, calm evening erupted in chaos.  Henry jumped off the couch (on the other side of the room, mind you) and growled and howled and chased Jimmie, a dog that has 25 pounds on him, out of the room.

Once the threat was removed, Henry ran back and grabbed his possession for safe keeping.  What got Henry so heated?  An empty roll of toilet paper!  Who amoung us wouldn’t be defensive over that?

Henry relaxing with his new toy

Looks like Henry found a use for a toilet paper roll that is even more glamorous than our temporary toothbrush holder.

July 16, 2007 at 10:39 pm 3 comments

links for 2007-07-16

July 16, 2007 at 12:19 pm 5 comments

Dogs: Plus 2 States and the Etymology of “Beagle”

It turns out the dogs doubled the number of states they were in this past weekend.  Our route to Asheville took us through Tennesee.  Here are two photos documenting their passage:

Jimmie in Tennesee
Jimmie in Tennesee
Jimmie in North Carolina
Jimmie in North Carolina

As you can see, the different states had a profound effect on Jimmie’s demeanor.

When I checked into the hotel, they had me sign a pet disclaimer.  The very first thing on the list read, “There is a $50 charge if you leave your pet unattended in the room and your pet causes a disturbance to other guests.”

Obscenities raced through my mind.  In horror, I recalled that I have a beagle.  Beagles are synonymous with disturbance!  Skeptical of my claim?  Look no further than the etymology sections of these common dictionaries:

[Origin: 1490–1500; perh. < MF beegueule one who whines insistently, equiv. to bee, 3d pers. sing. of beer to be open, gape (by-form of bayer (see bay2) + gueule mouth (of an animal); see gullet]

-Random House Unabridged Dictionary

[Middle English begle, possibly from Old French bee gueule, loudmouth : beer, to gape (variant of baer; see bay2) + gueule, gullet (from Latin gula).]

– The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

c.1475, possibly from O.Fr. becguelenoisy person,” lit. “gaping throat,” from bayer “open wide” (see bay (2)) + gueule “mouth.”

– Online Etymology Dictionary

Luckily, I happen to have a rare wuss strain of the breed.  Henry is so fearful of new environments that he is literally scared straight.  He doesn’t have accidents in new environments (especially lucky for Kevin Ledman) and it takes him a day or so to feel comfortable enough to resume barking at every suspicious sound.

So…it turned out to be okay.  Timid little Henry watched reruns of Man vs. Wild and The Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel and apparently refrained from any disturbance-making.  Sean and I skated through without any complaints or extra charges. 

This weekend, it seems, Henry did not live up to his breed’s name.

P.S. A couple of years ago, I was so amused by the etymology of “beagle”, I made myself Beagle Etymology T-shirts and stickers thanks to

May 28, 2007 at 9:16 pm 3 comments

Kelly’s Knob – View of VT From the AT

Tomorrow I fly to Kansas, but today I hiked my mountains.  Lud, Jimmie and Henry and I headed to Kelly’s Knob.  Kelly’s Knob is just 120 yards off the Appalachian Trail on John’s Creek Mountain.  It isn’t the best view on the RATC-maintained trail, but it has a special distinction — you can see the the Virginia Tech campus (and my neighborhood) from the knob.   After the tragedy this week, it seemed the most fitting destination on the entire Appalachian Trail.

Lane Stadium and Cassell Colliseum from Kelly’s Knob

Lud and I took this opportunity to hang a VT flag at the knob.  We chose to wrap it around a tree trunk to help it better survive any wind.  The tree we selected is a blazed tree right next to the connector trail back to the AT.  In a way, it is a blaze back to Blacksburg, a blaze back home.

Blaze back home

We did have one mishap.  Henry was unsupervised long enough to roll in poo.  We don’t know what kind of poo (perhaps I should have paid more attention to the scat display at the Vail Nature Center), but Lud told Sean, “It’s definitely not domestic and if it is, I don’t want to know what it’s from!”

When we arrived at the knob, Henry’s smelly presence was not embraced by the other hikers.  A few of them actually fled!  As a result, Henry was banned from the rock outcropping.  I tied him up to a tree far away from any people.  Here is a quick shot of outcast Henry.   He was so shunned, even the camera felt it unfit to focus on him (you should be thankful– now you can’t see all detailed stains on his coat).

Can you find the outcast?

On a side note, we encountered two thru-hikers who have already made it this far into Virginia!  Their trailblog is at

We had a beautiful weather and beautiful views.  It was a great hike and I found it to be therapeutic.  Mountains are my favorite Mass. 

More pictures from our Kelly’s Knob hike are available on my Flickr site.

April 22, 2007 at 12:25 am 8 comments

The Beagle Bracket

The men in my social group take March Madness very seriously.  Every year, they request Thursday and Friday off from work and they convene at our house to watch the first and second rounds.  One year my neighbor, Cherie, noted all the cars in front of the house for days at a time and grew concerned.  She thought someone had died!  Nope, just watching basketball.

Typically, we hang a giant bracket in the screened-in porch to keep track of the winners of every match-up.  And typically, each person carries a printout of his own picks so the winners can be highlighted and the bad guesses can be crossed out with fury.  One day, many years ago, perhaps 2002, I came home from work (I don’t take March Madness as seriously) and was shuffling some of the numerous bracket printouts out of my way.  At the top of every printout was the name of who it belonged to.  The usual names were there and then one stuck out.


“Henry?” I asked.  The nearby beagle started to wag his tail.

“Yeah, I did a bracket for him.” Sean said.

I inquired how a dog goes about making March Madness picks.  It turns out Sean compared the mascots and picked the one Henry would be most frightened of.  That’s no easy task– Henry’s frightened of a lot.  Every year since then Henry has always had a bracket.  His pick logic has evolved through the years.  I believe the current algorithm is:

  1. Henry never picks a 16 seed over a 1 seed.  “That’s just not fair,” Sean says.
  2. Henry picks whatever team has the mascot he is most afraid of with two exceptions:
    1. If the mascot is a dog, Henry will pick it because he likes dogs
    2. If the mascot is a tree, Henry will pick it.  Why?  “Because he’ll want to pee on the tree,” Sean says.  Thus in Henry’s brackets, Stanford tends to get pretty far.

Some years, Henry has done surprisingly well in the early rounds.  I have heard at least one person rant, “I can’t believe the damn dog is beating me!”  Luckily for his human competitors, Henry’s scary-things+dogs+trees approach usually catches up with him in the later rounds and his progress declines.  I believe two years ago he dropped to 30th out of 52 participants.  That does mean, however, there are 22 people who can legitimately gripe about being beaten by “the damn dog.”  🙂

Sean refers to March Madness as “the best time of the year.”  I have to imagine Henry would agree.  He hates to travel (because he is scared, why else?).  But with March Madness, he gets to stay in the comfort of his own home.  He gets to sit on the couch and watch TV for four days straight.  He gets quality time with his best friend, Kevin Ledman.  And there are plenty of people around to drop or give him food.  That’s the life. 

So with two more days until the first tip-off, we’re still in preparations.  Sean’s still debating the menu.  We still have some cleaning to do.  I’m still worrying about my fledgling attempt at a bracket and hoping the damn dog doesn’t beat me.

But Henry… he’s ready!  After working through first round dilemmas such as “what is scarier a Volunteer or a Colonial?” or the ever tricky Wildcats vs. Wildcats scenario, Henry’s got his bracket (Final Four: Butler Bulldogs, Southern Illinois Salukis, Georgetown Hoyas, Albany Great Danes).  And this evening, Henry picked out his seat on the couch.

Henry’s Ready

Let the games begin!

March 14, 2007 at 12:08 am 3 comments

Beagle Munchausen

Beagles, I’m told, are natural pack animals.  As such they like to be next to things– they like to be in a pack.  With Henry we see this behavior demonstrated mostly on the couch.  If someone is sitting or laying on the couch, Henry is going to be leaning against them.  He likes to be touching someone at all times.

About a year ago, Sean had surgery.  As part of the recovery process, Sean had to lay down for about 8 days straight.  Henry was in absolute heaven.  He had someone to lay on the couch with 24 hours a day.  When I had strep throat for a week, Henry found a similiar profit from my misery.   And now that Sean’s injured his foot, Henry is once again in his optimal environment.

Yesterday, I heard Sean in the living room, “Oh come on now, you can’t possibly think this is a good idea!”

He was speaking to Henry who was weasling his way into a cuddling spot.  I went into the living room to find Henry already established in his staked claim.  Henry had made himself at home underneath Sean’s injured leg. 

It struck me.  If Henry had the brawn or the ability to scheme, he could develop a variation of Munchausen Syndrome.  But instead of inflicting illness or injury on himself or his children, he’d target me and Sean…. or possibly Kevin Ledman.  And instead of seeking attention from doctors and nurses, Henry’s sickness would be fueled by a different craving– couch company.

Luckily, Sean and I can rest easy.  Henry’s just not that smart.  Heck, he isn’t even smarter than an honor student!

January 7, 2007 at 12:35 pm 5 comments

Your Know Your House is Messy When…

Last night I had a dream where I was walking the dogs in my front yard.   Suddenly I see my neighbor, a mother of two, squirming out of her garage.  She was gagged with duct tape and had her wrists and her ankles bound by the tape as well.  Her eyes were wide with terror as she struggled in my direction.  I ran over and picked her up (I have amazing upper body strength in dreams) and carried her back to my house.  The agenda was clear– I needed to get her inside to safety and call 9-1-1 stat.  But…when got to my stoop, just before I opened the front door, I paused.  I had to deliver my usual disclaimer, “Now my house is really really messy… I have a beagle you know.”

So, apparently I’m so self conscious about the state of my house that:
1) The concern is making it into my dreams
2) Even in a dire hostage/kidnapping situation, I still feel the need to warn people about the mess!

December 6, 2006 at 10:00 pm 3 comments

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