Thursday, November 30, 2006

The resourceful snout

Last Saturday morning Diesel and I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and went for a long walk south through the woods. Before getting to the woods we walked through our neighborhood where we came across a leaf pile someone had raked to the roadside for pick-up. As he usually does when he comes across leaf piles, Diesel dove his snout in for a good sniff. Sniffing and sniffing some more, I couldn't figure out what was so intriguing to him in this particular pile. Eventually I urged him on and we took our long walk through the woods.

On our way home our path crossed the leaf pile again. The snout dove in once more, this time tugging to bring something to the surface. Just as I was about to command "Drop it", the object of interest became apparent. Diesel retrieved the biggest pig's ear I'd ever seen (gross, I know, but think rawhide dog chew and it's not as bad). Basically he was stealing from a neighbor. A Miniature Pinscher lives in the house the leaf pile was in front of. The owner must have inadvertently raked his dog's treat to the street. Part of me wanted to return it to the rightful owner, but after seeing the pride Diesel had in his find I didn't have the heart. He carried it home with his head held high and a spring in his step.

The "ewww" factor kept me from actually buying pig's ears at the pet store in the past but the resourceful snout managed to get his paws on one in the end. He loves a good gnaw on his treasure ... especially when his "pack" is reformed at the end of the day and all is well in his world.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Introducing a new member to the blog pack

Over the weekend I worked long and hard on creating a companion blog to SnoutBeagle. The purpose of my new Ten Bests of the Day blog is more for my own journaling exercises rather than clever stories about Diesel and his exploits. Because of that I wouldn't expect many people other than my mom (who doesn't have a computer anyway) to find it overly interesting, unless you like reading the fairly mundane details of someone's life. The main feature of the new blog is a list of ten of my favorite things (or the things I'm most grateful for) each day. Whether it will actually continue to be a daily list I don't know, but that's where I'm starting. The Concept actually best explains what brought this whole thing on.

However, if it's solely a beagle fix you are looking for, you're in the right place at SnoutBeagle.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Flash beagle

As the sun was setting at the dog park, the camera's flash captured the beagle in persuit of a dog to chase.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dog humiliation, 50% off original price

Yes, I am a sucker for a bargain. This ruins the surprise for next Halloween of course.

Recently Diesel acquired a new dog bed. It's his first official bed. He has blankets and crate pads and now he has a luxurious donut bed. When I brought it in the house I put it on the kitchen floor to unload myself of the shopping bags I was carrying. Mark called Diesel over and invited him to give it a try. Right there in the kitchen he curled up, put his head down, and let out a deep sigh. I swore he must have been thinking "It's about time!". Since he lives in the moment, however, his immediate contentment was probably more just his way of saying "thank you." Dogs are good that way.

He's lazy now, preferring the bed to most things. Even the lobster suit didn't stop him from taking a nap.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The world got a little smaller yesterday

Last week Wednesday Mark and Diesel were on their way to the dog park in the OB (orange beetle). They were on a busy six-lane road traveling at about 40 mph when, out of nowhere, Mark heard something strike the car. It happened in a split second and when he looked in the rear view mirror he realized it must have been the large board that was splitting into pieces as it tumbled down the road, causing traffic to slow suddenly behind him. He pulled over to assess the damage to the car, hoping someone would stop to tell him they had witnessed the event. He noticed a pick-up truck pull over a distance down the road and a man got out dodging traffic to pick up the shattered pieces. Running over to him, Mark found out the man lost a large sheet of particle board from the back of his truck. After helping him gather the pieces they went back to the OB.

The man in the pick-up truck was apologetic and could see that he caused damage to the beetle. Mark showed him the piece of particle board that had lodged itself in the grille and they surveyed the car for further damage. Thinking that the damage would be rather inexpensive to repair the man offered Mark his name, phone number, and license plate number with the intention of cutting us a check for the repair rather than getting his insurance company involved. Later that evening Mark called him and they agreed that Mark would take the car in for an estimate the next day and report back.

The body shop scoured the OB for flaws and damage. The estimate wasn't pretty but the work was necessary to get it back to the condition it was in prior to the hit.
Apprehensively Mark called the pick-up truck driver. He understood and, since the estimate was higher than his deductible, the truck driver said he would have his insurance company contact us.

Which they did yesterday.

Mark told the woman on the phone the entire story starting with the fact that he was taking his dog to the dog park. After most of the business was taken care of, she asked what kind of dog we have. He said a beagle and mentioned that we adopted him from Crawford Area Shelter for Animals (CASA) after finding his profile on

CASA serves southwestern Wisconsin. The insurance lady works at an insurance company in Madison. It turns out that she not only volunteers for CASA herself, but Timothy (Diesel's former name in his foster home) was one of "her" dogs. I take that to mean she was actively involved in rescuing him from the vet where he was turned in as a stray and left unclaimed. She remembers him well!

When Mark was describing this unexpected coincidence to me I automatically felt tears well up in my eyes. I have an unbelievable soft spot in my heart for Diesel's rescue situation and what a tragedy the outcome would have been had CASA not stepped in.

Since Mark passed this blog address on to our CASA hero (I would name her by name but not without her permission!), I want to say hello to her and to everyone else at CASA who might now see this. We are FOREVER grateful to you for the work you do and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for rescuing our little dog fellow and so many others in his situation. You are life savers to Diesel and in turn brought the greatest joy to our lives.

It is indeed a small world. Thank goodness for that.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hover beagle

Being at the dog park goes beyond keeping Diesel on his toes. Toes (or feet) not required as he travels at great speed to get to where he needs to go on this visit to Muttland Meadows in September.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

7:05 a.m.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Neighborhood surveillance

I wasn't always convinced I wanted Diesel to have a view outside from inside the house. He's a very quiet dog and I was apprehensive that while seeing people or dogs walk by he might be encouraged to start barking. He spent the summer outside earning this privilege. While on his tie-out in the front yard he watched the world go by, quiet as can be, even wagging his tail when the mailman came to the house. Okay, he's proved himself. He's just not a barker.

So a few weekends ago I thought I would do Diesel a favor by setting up a folding canvas camping chair in front of the living room picture window so he could enjoy the view outside. All of the windows in our house are higher than beagle height and he's not allowed on the furniture so this is a vantage point he doesn't have on a regular basis. He loved his new observation point … so much that he curled up in the chair and took naps, occasionally forgoing his beloved crate and spending an entire overnight in his chair.

The chair had it's drawbacks. First, it was a little low and the back got in the way of a clear view. More importantly, a camping chair in the living room isn't the most attractive addition. Not having the heart to take away the beagle's new prized lookout point, I felt an alternative would need to be found.

A trip to Target is all it took and now Diesel is the proud owner of a small square ottoman with simple, contemporary dark stained legs and a faux suede upholstered top. The perfect height and no back to impede his vision, he looks like royalty perched on his ottoman surveying the neighborhood. Unfortunately the ottoman is a little smaller than the chair and doesn't cradle him as securely when he's curled up in a dog-ball. That means the folding chair retains a position in the living room.

In the end it's a win-win situation. This is what I'm treated to when I come home for lunch:

Monday, November 06, 2006

A fair trade

I just returned to my desk from our Monday print hours meeting. During the meeting I nonchalantly pulled four black dog hairs from my off-white sweater. I'm actually surprised the sweater hasn't picked up more dog hair being the color it is. I need to remember that Diesel is a tri-color beagle and perhaps his white hairs are attracted to this sweater more so than his black or brown ones. There could be a countless number of white hairs camouflaged on this off-white sweater. I would never even know it.

What's become of me? Finding dog hair on my clothes these days causes little concern. Am I the same person who, pre-dog, spent a week last March at Mum's house in England with all my possessions locked securely in her guest bedroom for fear that ONE HAIR from her little border terrier might wind up on the bottom of my sock?

Boundless amounts of dog love vs. hairless clothing. My choice is clear. I can't help but think I'm a somewhat more sane person for it.