Monday, September 22, 2008

A Big Responsibility

Over the weekend John and I enjoyed the cool evening weather and attended the Plaza Art Fair, perusing the various booths and checking out creations of artists from all over the country. While there, I noticed a booth for the Kansas City Humane Society, so we wandered over to check out the pups needing homes. Of course, I honed in on a sweet beagle face. Clarence was a one-year-old handsome beagle boy, calm but happy, wagging his tail as I petted him. At this time, I also noticed a harried-looking mother with two small children. The kids were running around, darting from dog to dog to dog, until they came to Clarence. They both shouted, "We want this one! Mom, this one!" The mother, without barely glancing at the pup, said "fine," and the volunteer led Clarence to a holding area while the woman filled out the necessary paperwork.

I know I sometimes have a tendency to worry about things that I shouldn't, or worry about things I have no control over, but as I watched this woman, these boisterous kids, and this little beagle standing patiently, wagging his tail, I wondered if Clarence really was going to a good home. Would this woman and children give him the proper care and discipline that he needs? If they don't know much about beagles, would they be willing learn and understand the breed and the challenges that they would face? Do they have a secure fence, or would Clarence roam freely? Or did they just see a cute face, a cute little dog her children wanted? Once the novelty of having a puppy wears off, will they be willing to train him when he's baying endlessly at the neighbor's cat? Or jumping up on people when they visit? Will they walk him and give him plenty of room to run around? I really hope that Clarence won't end up back at the Humane Society in a few weeks, because the family didn't take the time to get to know this little being, to know if he was a good fit for their family, their lifestyle. I can't help but get a little upset when I see people picking out pets like they would a toy, something new to play with until they get tired of it. It happens all the time, and pets end up discarded or back at the shelter. I may be being overly dramatic, I know, and it's possible that Clarence will have a happy life in his forever home. I really hope so. Because when we decide to own a pet, that little being on four legs is counting on us. He will give us his all and love us unconditionally for the rest of his life, and it's only fair that we do the same in return.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Belated Birthday Post

Truman celebrated his fourth birthday on August 8, the day of the Olympics opening ceremonies. As an aside note, weren't the ceremonies jaw-dropping spectacular? The immense display of beauty and precision was just awesome. Anyway, Truman enjoyed his special day with a birthday cupcake and some various treats, including his favorite, Pegetables. The following week, his birthday present arrived - a new bed! After going through two cheapie doggie beds that eventually lost their shape and wore out, we decided to invest in a durable, good-quality bed for Truman. After some research, we decided on an oval-shaped, bolster-style bed, since Truman likes to circle before finding a comfy spot, and he likes to rest his chin on the edge of the bed.

We found this lovely faux-suede bed online at Orvis, and once we pulled it out of the box and set it down, Truman went right to work testing it out, sniffing and walking on it. One, two, three circles later, and he plopped himself right down and got comfy! He loves his new bed, and because we ordered a size large, he's able to stretch out on it as well.

All in all, I think our little man enjoyed a very happy birthday!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dinnertime Woes

My first video post! When John and I eat dinner, it is almost always a challenge for Truman to stay seated and not jump on the table to get to our plates. If he cannot stay quiet and still, or the moment he jumps up while we're eating, we immediately crate him until we're finished. That's when the drama begins. From the forceful baying and plaintive wails that come from that crate, you'd think we had him in a torture chamber. Tonight we had chicken, one of Truman's favorites, so of course he was quickly in the crate before we'd had a single bite. We finally got a video of the injustice of it all, from his perspective. You can see that all the effort he puts into it wears him out so much he yawns toward the end. This dog has a one-track mind, and it's all about food!

P.S. The "Beware of Dog" sign is a joke, something we found at the hardware store and couldn't resist. Truman is a lover, not a fighter.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Long Hiatus

So there's been more than four months since I've written anything on Truman's blog. I'm a lazy beagle mommy, I know. I have no excuses, I just haven't been keeping it updated like I should. I can't make any promises, but I'm going to try and post more often. Starting with ... Truman's birthday! Our little man turns four this Friday. We will celebrate with doggie cake, some surprise treats, then we'll all settle in on the sofa and watch the Olympics opening ceremonies. Truman also has another birthday surprise in that we ordered him his first really nice dog bed. It won't be here in time for his actual birthday, but hopefully he enjoys it when it comes in. I will follow up with birthday pictures and when the bed gets in. Everyone stay cool this weekend, and keep your pups inside with plenty of cold water!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Truman, contemplating which is better: beef or chicken.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Do These Come In Husky Sizes?

How cute are these little doggie polos and sweaters at J. Crew online? Unfortunately, I don't think they make them in Truman's size, and he'd end up looking like a stuffed sausage. Besides, John would deem me certifiably insane if I paid $65 for a dog sweater. But they sure are adorable!

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A True Hero

Last Friday, John sent me this story about a Marine stationed in Iraq, who befriended a stray German Shepherd/collie mix, that has lived a life of hardship and survival, wandering around Iraqi border towns and military camps. Among other things, the dog, who was nicknamed Nubs, had his ears cut off to make him more aggressive and alert, survived on food scraps and in freezing temperatures, and was stabbed with a screwdriver. Well, Nubs found his happy ending, as the Marine, Brian Dennis, found a way to get him flown to San Diego while he finishes his tour in Iraq. Nubs landed in the U.S. last Friday, and is being cared for by friends until Dennis returns in March.

This is one of those stories that really struck a nerve with me, that in a horrific situation, these two souls found one another. Amazing that Nubs found Dennis's camp after it had been transferred 65 miles away. After everything Nubs had endured in his life, he's still a gentle soul that just wants to love and be loved. What a great spirit this dog has, to still trust and give unconditional love to people. Brian Dennis must be Nubs' guardian angel, and vice versa. Now Nubs gets to run along San Diego beaches, the warm sun on his face. He gets to live the good life as he deserves, as every dog deserves.

The first link is to the article that John first sent me. The second is a follow-up on Nubs and his arrival in San Diego.;_ylt=Ann6eAZ8o7qOSYr1TtP3006s0NUE

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Numero Uno!

Congratulations to Uno, for being the first beagle to win Best in Show at Westminster -- the Super Bowl of dog shows! Way to represent!

Photos courtesy of Associated Press/Reuters

Friday, February 1, 2008

An Ode to Treats

Pretty much everything Truman does is motivated by the reward of a tasty treat. If I'm at Petsmart or Target, I'll usually browse the treat aisle looking for something new that Truman might like (and hopefully isn't full of empty fillers). This is where Costco comes into the picture. John and I absolutely love Costco for many reasons. I can remember the first heady rush of purchasing 24 rolls of paper towels, 200-count trash-can liners, and an industrial-sized jug of laundry detergent, and the satisfaction of these products lasting for more than three months. We certainly appreciate a good deal on bulk items and Costco has yet to let us down. It was a matter of time before we discovered the glory of the pet aisle: 50-lb. bags of dog food packed ceiling-high, economy-size buckets of dog biscuits, even giant pet beds for an unbeatable price. About six months ago, John discovered a hard, chewable treat called Checkups and picked up a bag for Truman. We thought it might be something similar to Greenies since it was a teeth-cleaning treat. But at $11.69 for a 24-count bag, a much better deal than Greenies! Well, Truman absolutely loved them, and we felt pretty good that it was a fairly healthy treat and was cleaning his teeth. The Checkups were also a good replacement for another treat that he craves -- Pegetables. Another hard chewable treat that's molded into vegetable shapes and even has veggie bits in them. But pricey. At about $10 for a bag of eight treats, that comes to $1.25 per treat! So the Checkups were a fantastic discovery: a healthy treat that Truman loved, and much better priced than Greenies or Pegetables that last twice as long. We went blissfully along for three months, Truman enjoying his daily Checkup, unaware that Costco would soon do the unthinkable and discontinue these treats. Imagine our dismay when, our next trip to Costco to stock up on Truman's favorite treats, that we find out that they're. All. Out. We make a beeline for customer service, where they tell us that they regularly "rotate out" various products to bring in new ones. We were crestfallen when the customer service lady told us she didn't know when or if they would bring back the Checkups. We even drove 30 minutes across Kansas City to another Costco only to discover that their supply of Checkups was depleted as well. For two months Truman sulked around in a Checkup-less existence. (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration. I think it affected me much more than him.) So, last weekend, while John and I stocked up on our household products, imagine our surprise and joy to find that the Checkups had been restocked! The Costco gods had answered my prayers! I ran over and snatched up a bag in my greedy little hands, and in my giddy excitement grabbed two more bags and headed for the checkout. For all I know, they may discontinue them again and I'm not taking any chances of running out in the near future. Truman was quite delighted when we returned home with these treasures, and the balance of the universe has been restored once again. For another four months, at least.

I tried to get a shot as he jumped up to grab it from my hand, but my reflexes weren't fast enough. Imagine Jaws emerging from the water to chomp off your arm.

These are what the Pegetables look like, kind of like the plastic play food we had when we were little. Of course, after this photo set-up, Truman whined until I gave him one.

Going ...

Going ...


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Like Linus

The above photo shows one of Truman's nightly rituals, "chewing" on one of his many soft blankets. He's done this since he was a puppy, and continues to do this almost every evening, usually when he gets drowsy or just before we all go to bed. He'll settle himself onto his nearest blanket (this red one is a fave), gather as much material between his front paws, and clamp down on it, gnawing and "kneading" with his paws. He's completely blissed out, eyes closed and muffled sighs between all the gnawing and kneading. The blanket is like a giant, plush pacifier. I like to think of it as meditation for the little guy, a way to wind down after a stressful day of sleeping, baying, and eating. It actually may be a way of him reverting back to puppyhood, imitating the ritual of when he was still nursing. Either way, it's darn cute to watch. Inevitably, any new blanket that's draped across the sofa or bed is quickly claimed as Truman's property, so one disadvantage is that the really nice blankets must be stored away or kept out of reach. Fortunately, blankets like the one above are fairly inexpensive, soft and warm, surprisingly sturdy, and available in a multitude of colors at Bed, Bath & Beyond. My little guy is happy, and my nice Pottery Barn throw stays intact. Maybe someday I can bring it down from the closet.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Have You Hugged Your Beagle Today?

This is the framed photo I'm looking at on my desk right now, and I wish I was home, snuggled up on the sofa with my little man, while the drizzly, dreary world goes on outside. At least I know he's snuggled up in his warm crate, burrowed underneath his favorite Jayhawk blanket. See you when I get home, peanut!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Welcome to Truman's blog!

It's a new year, and in the spirit of trying new things, I've decided to start a blog dedicated to my beagle, Truman. A miniscule achievement, maybe, but I am new to the blogging world. (I know, I know, it's 2008, who doesn't have a blog?) Special thanks to Jackie of SnoutBeagle for helping me take the steps to get started. Those of you who love beagles or just dogs in general should definitely check out her blog dedicated to her beagles, Diesel and Marvin. She really captures the great spirit and playfulness of this wonderful breed, and her blog inspired me to start my own. Thanks, Jackie!

I'll start with a little background on Truman. My husband, John, (then my boyfriend at the time) and I first met Truman on October 2, 2004, a day after my 28th birthday. As I held the 8-week-old pup in my arms, I was in love. He was dubbed Tracker by his breeders, since their young daughters had taken a liking to him. We took him home that day, and by the evening he was officially named Truman. And he's had our hearts ever since.


The wee one, the day we brought him home. His head seemed almost too big for his little body!

Truman Window

Our beagle boy today. What a handsome boy!