4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle…and Kimmy the cocker spaniel

Like many women her age, the beagle has begun to experience some, erm, delicate women’s issues. What was once a small problem, has recently become a number of small problems (and a lot of washing). One of the issues with being a scent loving hound, is that the beagle consistently returns to the scene of the crime to repeat the offence. Carpets were washed, beds aired, snouts rubbed and vets visited. Nothing worked. It wasn’t her fault, there was no controlling it. Finally, it was time to admit defeat.

We needed to change the sleeping arrangements.

The beagle was surprisingly good with the new rules. Although she no longer had a free run of the house, she was the new master of her favourite room, the kitchen. She had constant access to the backyard and both eyes on the refrigerator door at all times. We moved her bed and quickly realized that the kitchen is by far the busiest room, it was perfect. There she was, right in the middle of the action. The only time it got quiet, was at night.

When I first heard her crying I thought someone had left the television on. It wasn’t a whimper, it was a howl. A howl could you leave me howl. In between dog sobs she tried her very hardest to form words, words from deep in her soul. Words that sounded like “I’m dying down here” and “you’ll all pay for this” or “you’ve broken my beagle heart”.

I told/asked G the next morning.

“Did you hear the beagle last night?”

His blank look provided the answer. It appeared that beagles were like babies, they couldn’t be heard between the hours of 10pm and 4am.

“She was so sad, she was calling out to us, we can’t leave her there.”

“Just give it a couple of days, she’ll be fine.” And then out it came. The predictable, the obvious, the unspoken you need to harden up – “she’s a dog.”

I thought about it for a moment.

“I think she needs a buddy”

It was one of those moments where I knew right there and then that G truly believed he’d accidentally married the most ridiculously impractical woman on the planet. He had the are you freaking serious look.

“Another dog? You seriously believe the solution is ANOTHER dog?”

“Yes, I think she’s lonely. I don’t think we should get a puppy though. We need an older dog, a dog about the same size as the beagle. A dog who’s trained, loves kids and is old enough to just hang.”

The very next day, Kimmy the cocker spaniel arrived in my inbox. Ten years old, seriously cute, loves kids, has never been an upstairs dog. It was like she’d dropped down from beagle heaven. This was a sign. It was meant to be.

I forwarded the picture to G.

Subject: This is Kimmy the Cocker Spaniel. She is 10 years old and needs a home.
Reply: What’s wrong with her?

Are there any other unrealistic optimists married to cynical straight thinkers out there? Are you exhausted?

When he came home from work that night G agreed that Kimmy was cute. He agreed that Kimmy was perfect. He agreed that Kimmy had appeared to have arrived at a very opportune time.

When we went to bed, we agreed it would be a good idea to meet Kimmy, just to see how her and the beagle got on.

And then, it happened. The beagle started crying.

I saw G’s face change. Kimmy was going to have to have a personality like Cujo for us to knock her back.

When Kimmy arrived today there was more sniffing than the toilet cubicle at a bankers Christmas party. The beagle was initially confused, which quickly moved to indignation, then graduated to a small amount of interest. And now, close to midnight, after terrorizing a succession of cats with her new best friend, they are sleeping nose to nose in the kitchen.

The beagle now has something we all need, a friend.

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