For some reason I`ve had this entry at the back of my mind for some time and yet haven`t penned it.
Mayhap it just got buried amid some of the other daily things that seem to crop up and shout ‘BLOG ENTRY!!’, or maybe it`s simply the right time to tell this little beagle`s tale. After all, the holidays are a time of miracles and I like to think that perhaps this is one, albeit a small one. Not on the scale of say peace on Earth or our troops all coming home (We miss you Daniel, stay safe over there!) or Ryan Reynolds knocking on my door with an offer to star in the upcoming Deadpool movie with him….*Drifts off for a moment*
I`ll have to go back in time a bit, let me find the keys to the DeLorean. (My daughter will SO not get that.) This dog’s story begins about four years ago when my father decided to get a dog. My mother had passed a few years before hand and I suspect he found their home just too darn lonely.
When he mentioned this decision to Mister Yodeling and me I must admit to some trepidation about the idea. My father is well into his 80`s and although he still gets around well and is thankfully very much the quipster dogs are a lot of work let`s be honest. I tried to nudge him into a cat for a pet but he would have none of it.
I explained about how much easier cats are overall. They don`t need walked being the key issue in my mind as I had visions of him out in the middle of winter trundling about after a dog on a leash and falling down. Every gentle argument I made against a dog he simply rebuked. Once my dad has his mind made up to something the voice of the Arch Angel Gabriel speaking from on high could not dissuade him, used to make my mother half loopy at times how stubborn the man is. * Tosses look at Mister Yodeling but keeps typing*
So with his mind firmly made he went and bought himself a purebred beagle pup. I will admit I am partial to the breed and they are perhaps my second favorite right after labs. There isn`t anything cuter than a beagle pup with those mournful brown hound eyes and long floppy ears. It didn`t take my father long to decide on the rapscallions name either! When I called him a few days later to find out how the puppy was doing he announced that his name was now Tinker because he didn`t think he would ever amount to a tinkers damn, his exact words.
Now when Mister Yodeling first heard of my dad`s choice of breeds he expressed some mild worry, not due to any kind of temperament problems since beagles are about as loveable as they come, but mainly because a beagle is a hunting dog, full of energy that should be released daily with either long walks or runs through the brush after cottontails. Actually I had hoped my pop would find an older dog, one who was well past the puppy stage and would be contented to just hold down the couch, much as our old beagle Jake did for years. Again, dad wanted a puppy and a puppy he got!
As time went by there were some issues with discipline that pointed towards what could be some major problems for Tinker. I love my father dearly but he is NOT a disciplinarian. That task always fell to my mother simply because he couldn`t reprimand children or dogs or well, anyone or anything!
On my visits to dads I would see this dervish of a hound running across the furniture, coffee and end tables, leaping at visitors wildly when they entered and trying to steal food from my father`s kitchen table. We had many, many discussions about how a firm command along with a rolled up newspaper would make this wild hound a better behaved young man. Again, dad just couldn`t bring himself to chastise the pup and so the behavior only got worse as the years went by.
Now in Tinker`s holiday tale the time is summer of this year. Four years have passed and my father is now looking at another bitter, icy northeastern Pennsylvania winter encroaching. After much thought and with a very heavy heart he decided to move from the house he and my mother shared down to Texas with his daughter from his first marriage. Yes, he is in actuality my step-father but in my heart the man is my dad for he was more father to me than my biological sire had ever been. I know this is understood by many out there.
At the time of his decision to pull up roots and sell their home he was most worried about his dog. Despite Tinker`s sometimes bad habits the two of them had become best friends. We had three dogs at the time along with a geriatric calico cat and a kitten who is going to get more than a firm scolding if she doesn`t stop sitting in my dish drainer! But when he sat here at my kitchen table and said he knew Tinker would get adopted quickly at the pound, well, I just couldn`t let my father take his dog to the S.P.C.A. so Mister and I told him we would take Tinker in.
I`ll confess that I had some MAJOR apprehensions about this dog coming into our home. As fate would have it over the course of time it took my dad to find a buyer for his house we had to have our old beagle Jake put down. The poor old fella`s body was just giving up on him. Now we were down to just our labs and our cats, which was another concern I had since Tinker had never been around a cat in his life. Needless to say the day my dad and stepsister pulled out for her home in Texas and we loaded Tinker into our truck was a very anxious one for all of us, Tinker included I am sure.
We made the dog introductions outside since our black Trinity is a touch possessive about her home. Being a beagle Tinker runs toward being timid and when our two Clydesdales came barreling out the door and over to him he simply cowered some. I think that his reaction to them was what made the pack grow back to a trio since he showed not one iota of aggression. He knew the women were in charge and accepted it instantly. * Throws look over at Mister Yodeling but keeps typing*
Once inside we had the cat issue to deal with. Now I know I may wrangle a bit about Lu-Lu but as I`m sure y`all can tell I am crazy over that little stinker, so I was more than concerned over the meeting. My worries were for naught since Tinker and Lu-Lu each took one look at each other then she proceeded to swat him which led into a chase over hill and yon and my sofa. Our old cranky pants calico gave the poor lad a nasty growl and hiss and once more he knew his place.
There were a few episodes where the short-legged hound needed some discipline. Dancing on my coffee table for one is not allowed by dogs. I always wonder what the canine`s think when the cats meander across the very same tables without a word said. Perhaps I can see why dogs like to chase cats, it`s because cats are allowed to walk on tables!
Tinker has settled in wonderfully to our new home and his new life. When he lived with my dad he was resigned to doing his duty on a short run but now…..now he has access to over eleven acres of pasture and woods and rabbits!! Oh my goodness the rabbits! This place must seem like a beagle version of Shangri-La to him! Sometimes when he and the labs are out on a potty run you`ll hear him open up on a trail and run outside to see him running the scent backwards. Yeah, he needs some work on that.
He`s learned our routines and seems very content to spend his days napping as I do housework *Snickers* but when 3:15 rolls around he can be found at the front door doing his Pogo the circus dog dance routine. He knows that once he and Poe and Trinity leap into the backseat of our truck that his bestest and most favoriteist time of the day is here! When that big yellow thing pulls up and his kid gets spit out, well, that’s even better than running a rabbit backwards!!
So in retrospect I guess it will depend on your point of view if this is really a holiday tale or not, guess it comes down to what you term a miracle to be and how large the gift is.