My Love for Beagles
(and How it led me to Beagles on the Web)
By Caron Sarver
I love Beagles. Period.
I love short ones, tall ones, fat ones, thin ones, shy ones, in-your-face obnoxiously friendly ones,
tri-colored, bi-colored, silly ones, stately ones, aroooooo til your ears bleed ones - just love 'em all. One
more thing- the houndier the better. :) It's a major affliction, this Beagle-loving. I think it's mine for life.
It all started when I was a little girl, a captive audience to the Peanuts phenomenon. Every year I bought a
new calendar depicting Charlie Brown & co., and Snoopy was my hero. I remember that my folks had
friends who owned a Beagle named Snoopy who actually slept outside on top of his doghouse, just like
his cartoon namesake. So, when I turned 10, I decided that I HAD to have a dog. I enlisted my older
sister's help, and we begged and pleaded and whined as only two adolescents can that we HAD to have a
dog and it HAD to be a Beagle. So my parents, who had been German Shepherd Dog owners for years,
reluctantly gave in. We found a listing in the local paper for a 3-year-old spayed female Beagle named
Mitzi, and she became my childhood dog. Mitzi had sweet, expressive eyes and the physique of a soccer
ball; she was a little spitfire with a mind of her own. She wasn't "allowed" on the furniture, yet oftentimes
we'd return at the end of the day to the sound of thundering paws and a suspiciously warm spot on the
sofa. When the occasional mouse would sneak inside the house from the surrounding woods, she would
loyally give chase alongside my Dad, broom in hand. In later years (long before Glucosamine or NSAIDs),
her arthritis got so severe that she almost couldn't walk, and my Dad carried her up and down steps on a
My Current Pack
My current pack consists of the nuttiest, sweetest, feistiest pair of rescued hoodlums I've ever
encountered: meet Tinker and Virginia. They have two distinctly different personalities and they totally
complement each other.
Virginia was the very first dog I adopted as an adult. In April of 2000, as
a birthday surprise to me, my husband Drew and I drove to the house of
SOS Beagle Rescue founder Linda Forrest in southern NJ - and for the first time
in my life, I got to meet what seemed like an endless stream of Beagles all in
one place. When I heard those collective voices all singing at once, I thought
I died and went to heaven. Then 1 petite little 15-month-old girl emerged,
pretty, shy and yet feisty. Her history was that she was found with another
dog, walking in the middle of a deserted street in northern Virginia. She takes
a while to warm up to new places and new people but she LOVES her family. She
is strong-willed ("opinionated"), shy ("selective"), and bossy ("knows what she
wants"). And we wouldn't have her any other way. Oh, and she's mastered the art
of breaking into the refrigerator.
Then, in 2004, we adopted a 4-year-old
Beagle/JRT mix, Tinker, from BREW Beagle Rescue. As readers of this site know,
only 9 months after he came home, he suffered a ruptured disk (IVDD) in
February of 2005 (see http://tinkerbeagle.blogspot.com
for the complete story). Through his rehab and recovery, all of us, 2 and
4-legged, have bonded even tighter. Tinker is nuts- plain and simple. And
endlessly entertaining. Even standing still and doing nothing, his engine
is revving and he's funny. He is easy going, loves life, and
he does the head-tilt thing when he hears something that makes you just melt.
Oh yeah, and he occasionally screeches like a banshee when a strange dog
approaches- not aggression, he just REALLY wants to play. Too bad no one
notified the other dog to register with Tinker.:)
Through the years we have volunteered with Beagle rescue and had the pleasure of making friends with many people in the rescue community. We have attended events, including Beaglefests, and the most enjoyable ones have been set at Laurie and Phillip Kramer's house. They are warm, funny and gracious people. Their 3-pack, Spenser, Clayton and Scooter are the
"founding Beagles" of Beagles On The Web- and you couldn't find a cuddlier, funnier threesome (but don't touch Spenser's ears!)
"The Boyz" go on endless adventures ("the quest for Scooby Snacks"?) and suffer occasional mishaps ("the great skunking caper" of Fall 2005) - often very comically depicted in the Daily Digital. I am a shameless fan of Laurie's photography skills and her clever eye for capturing the striking and the absurd in everyday life.
Laurie developed and maintained Beagles On The Web for 10 years, doing a remarkable job of capturing all of the essentials of what makes the breed so wonderful. She has compiled and organized information to make BOTW
"the" spot on the web for all things Beagle.
I am thrilled at the opportunity to carry on the tradition and to move forward into the next era with BOTW. The site will continue to reflect a heavy leaning toward rescue advocacy. With so many Beagles overbred and put down daily in shelters across the country- how could it not? BOTW will continue to encourage responsible pet ownership, including spaying and neutering and responsible re-homing when necessary.
The site will also continue to stress breed education. This is vital information for new pet owners as well as for long time owners facing new situations. We will be sharing stories and report on relevant topics that reflect universal issues among owners and rescuers and Beagle breed lovers. This includes training and behavioral issues. I also will be introducing features on some of my particular areas of interest: healthcare and nutrition.
Finally, following Laurie's precedent for homepage features, I have a special spot in my heart for the Seniors and the Special Needs dogs. We will continue to tell their stories and do what we can to help them, including publicizing fund raising efforts where necessary and helping them to find their forever homes.
On a personal note, thank you to all who have dropped me emails wishing me luck and sharing ideas for BOTW. There is much work that goes into a website of this magnitude. Most of the time I've devoted to the website these past few months has been on the
"guts" of it- the mountain of email that drives the adoption listings. The behind-the-scenes stuff isn't necessarily what makes the site attractive or zippy, but hopefully it helps to make it effective. In the months ahead, you'll be seeing some changes on the parts you DO see. Nothing major, more like enhancements. We'll add some things, including some interactive features like opinion polls, and try out some new ideas. And Spenser ("Mr. Man"), Clayton, and Scooter Pie will always remain a steady fixture alongside Virginia and Tinker. :)
So, there you are. We have a lot of ground to cover. Thanks for coming along. :) And, one more thing- if you have ideas about topics you'd like to see covered by the website, drop me an email at: email@example.com
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