the beagles that come into our lives, your pals at Big On Beagles like to stay
positive. We make a point of being as upbeat as a rescued beagle's tail. After all, laughter is contagious and we want
to always make you laugh or at least smile when you read our messages. But, I suppose, smiling and laughing wouldn't
feel nearly as wonderful if we didn't know what it felt like to be sad sometimes. That's life. We laugh and we cry. There
is beauty in both.
Biscuit's Life Changers:
Our Friends, Arnie & Anita
their own beautiful words, this is Arnie & Anita's story of Biscuit ~ this is what unconditional love can do:
Biscuit went to sleep for the last
time on the afternoon of Friday March 22, 2013.
He originally came to us through an older couple who found that
beagle energy was just a little too much for them to handle. They themselves had gotten him just a few days before from a
woman who lived in an apartment and worked 12 hour shifts. Because of her long hours at work, Biscuit (then called Max)
lived in a kennel in a corner of her apartment. Worried that the neighbors would complain about the barking, she hung a blanket
from the ceiling in front of the kennel so that's where he lived for most of the day - in a dark kennel, in the corner of
an apartment, all by himself. The only other thing that we know for sure is that she had adopted him from Animal Services.
The original plan was that Biscuit would stay with us until his forever home was found through BOB. Even though he
was featured on the website for almost a year, we just couldn't let him go. It took no time at all for us to fall in love
with him and realize that we were actually his forever home so he became a part of our family along with Belix and Jack.
He wasn't the cutest beagle ever. He limped on his back leg (and sometimes didn't use it at all), his tongue always
hung out of the right side of his mouth because his jaw was deformed and he breathed loudly and snored. The BOB vet
checked him over, and suspected that he had been hit by a car because his pelvis and jaw had been broken at some point in
the past. His teeth were a mess and he had sinus damage. We prayed that it wasn't the other possibility that he had been severely
beaten as he also showed signs of possible abuse.
When he first arrived, he wouldn't go into our bedroom
because, we think, that's where the cage was. He didn't like to be touched in certain places or to be hugged and would
let us know by curling his lip and showing his teeth. He was head shy, so bending down towards him was also out of the
question. He slept curled up in a tight ball in the corner of the room or under a chair or table. It took almost
a year for most of his fears to vanish, and then he took over the house!
With a backyard to play in with his two
new brothers, the limp quickly disappeared (he and Jack quickly became play buddies). All he needed was some exercise! He
worshiped the sun and would follow it around the house as he napped. He would sit on the steps by the back door, bathed in
sunlight and just watch the world go by. He's the only beagle that we've had that loved the water - we even bought a kiddie
pool for him to lie in to cool down in the summertime. When he rolled around in the grass he took so much joy in it
that you wanted to get right down there and roll around with him.
As he became more comfortable with us and realized
that he was in his forever home, his reserve changed to love, a LOT of love. He loved to give kisses and had this way of nipping
your earlobe as he gave them. He was a "loud panter" because of the previous damage to his mouth and nose,
so much so that if he was beside you while watching TV, you had to either turn it up or give it up. He was the beagle equivalent
of a "morning person". As soon as I started stirring in the morning (that state when you can easily fall back into
a full sleep), he took it as his signal to begin the day. Of course, it wouldn't be any fun if it was by himself so he insisted
that I get up with him by breathing in my face, pulling the blankets off or even taking one of my fingers in his mouth and
tugging on it to pull me out of bed. It's as if he was saying "C'mon Dad.... C'MON DAD.... It's going to be a GREAT day
so LET'S GET GOING!". I have to say that I was a lot grumpier about it than Anita, who had it even worse later on when
it was her turn to be woken up. On top of what he did to me, he would jump all over her to get her up and going.
Even with his deformed mouth, he loved to carry things. He dragged his fleecy blankets upstairs, downstairs,
and outside. When you'd come home, he'd be so excited that he'd grab something, anything, and bring it to you at the
door. His blankets, toys, books, shoes, or the TV remote (CRUNCH)!
There are so many memories.... I still
remember the first time he leaned into me for a scratching and realizing how much he had changed in his time with us. He had
come to love to curl up with us on the couch or stretch out so much that there was no room for the humans to sit. He
went by many names besides Biscuit; Junior, Little Buddy (Gilligan), Munchkin, and Anita also called him Yo-Yo. Everyone
who met him, fell in love.
He started throwing up infrequently about a year ago. By the late fall, it had progressed
to weekly and was increasing. In February, we had an ultrasound done and the diagnosis was stomach cancer. We decided that
the invasive cancer treatments that were available would be too much for him - he had been through so much in his life that
we did not want to torture him any more. I had so hoped that he would make it to the spring so that he could have a few more
days in the sun in the backyard but it wasn't to be. When he stopped eating and we couldn't get him to take his pills even
with the tastiest of meat or treats, we knew that he was telling us that it was time.
Friday is still too
close for me to write about how absolutely agonizing the decision was. Suffice to say that Anita's and my hearts were shattered
and many tears were shed. Belix and Jack were AMAZING through the day and were lying on the floor beside him the end.
Biscuit was a brave and special little guy and touched us as few other living creatures have. On one hand, the house
is emptier without him but on the other hand, I can also still feel him all around us. While the first half of his life was
not the best, we hope that his time with us erased all of the bad memories and left only the good ones.
can't help but remember the pets that have gone before Biscuit: Whiskey, Brandy and our cats, Percy and Mowgli who are now
all playing together at the Rainbow Bridge.
Thank you for reading and sharing our memories.
24th, I got the email I knew would come eventually. It was from Becky's foster parents, Leanne & Guy, otherwise known
as the Pet Repair team. We couldn't fix Becky's worn out body as she went into kidney failure, but when our sweet girl
pawed her way into heaven, that heart of hers was as fit as a fiddle. That's because of her foster family. They filled her
heart with more love than I'm sure Becky ever thought possible. All my love goes out to you, Leanne and Guy. You really
did fix our Becky in the most important way and now she's sharing that happy heart making heaven even more heavenly.
|St. Nicholas - July 12, 2011
On July 12th, I received an email from our friend
and Nicky's devoted perma-foster mom, Catherine. She wrote to say that Nicky is with the angels now. Do you know that one
dog in your life you'll always cherish most of all? That was Nicky to Catherine. Both our hearts are raw with sadness right
now, but I've asked her if she'd like to write a little something in his honour for our site when she's ready. In the
meantime, I just want to express how much Catherine means to me and to all the dogs she holds so dear to her heart. She
is a special and unique individual, running her own palliative care rescue for terminally ill dogs at her beautiful country
home. Somehow, she always finds space to include one of our beagles in need of such specialized care. Nicky was one of those
beagles yet Nicky soon became one in a million. There will never be another Nick. And there will never be another
Catherine. You are so special. All I can say is thank you again and again for giving Nick and all the others a little heaven
right here on earth.
A week after losing my Elizabeth, we said goodbye to our Clark. It was time. His little body
was worn out as he went into heart failure. But that doesn't make it any easier to let go. My deepest gratitude and love go
out to Beth, his devoted perma-foster mom. She is the reason Clark was our superman. Because of her, Clark
lived a beautiful life spending summers at the cottage where all the neighbours knew and loved him. He's gone from one heaven
to another because of you, Beth.
(Published in the August 2011 Issue of Beach Metro Community News)
This is the story of Elizabeth: The Girl with the Angelfish Tattoo. Only, it’s
not her whole story. I missed the beginning and the middle, and a good chunk of the end for that matter.
folks wouldn’t see the point of tuning in so late, there are others like me who figure the story isn’t over until
the curtain falls. Until then, there are still scenes that just might take your breath away.
That was the
case with Elizabeth, but I never would have had the good fortune to follow her cute yet rickety tail-end if I hadn’t
been filled in on the last part I missed. It was a heart-wrenching scene in which Elizabeth’s owners surrendered her
to a shelter in Manhattan because they were moving. Elizabeth, or rather Sissy as she had been called, was sixteen at the
time and blind for gosh knows how long.
I’ll never understand the use of the term “surrender” for this kind
of thing. To me, “surrender” suggests giving up your most cherished possessions because somebody has a gun to
your head. But this wasn’t a gun-slingin’, shoot ‘em up, spaghetti western. If the story had stopped there,
it would have been labeled a tear-jerker. But it didn’t stop there and that’s how this story took its twist and
became a triumphant tale of the canine spirit. Our rising star just needed a little help getting out of the pickle she was
Elizabeth aka Pickles aka The Queen played out her inspirational
role to the end with me, her biggest fan honoured to sit front row center. Late to arrive or not, I was witness to the performance
of a lifetime.
Her character may have been subtle by nature but impossible to ignore, always in the background of my spotlight-stealing
beagles. She was the quiet beauty that set the stage and lit up the backdrop. Her most memorable scenes included sleeping
gloriously on the fluffiest of dog beds, eating earnestly (once I successfully chose food fit for a Queen), and exploring
her world stage which spanned the entire house and yard. In our house, the things that went bump in the night were almost
always associated with Elizabeth given the fact she used her hard little noggin’ as her cane. So, her walkabouts were
more aptly dubbed knockabouts and that was just fine by her and tolerated by us.
As for the angelfish tattoo, it was what set her apart
from the rest. She was born with it - a distinctive spot of white fur on her backside. I fancied it her royal beauty mark.
I’ve never seen one like it before and I doubt I’ll ever see one again.
Try as I might to stop the curtain
from falling, it fell as it always must. At the time of writing this article, it had been ten days since I last admired the
one and only fur-born angelfish tattoo in the world. At least, I got to admire it and the dog who wore it so well for almost
two years and that’s far better than never.
We tale-chasers know how to keep the best tales alive in our hearts even after the curtain
call. We may not always expect it to be as good as the original, but it never hurts to give a sequel a chance. Come to think
of it, there’s an adorably chubby eight-year-old beagle with health problems to overcome and a character to adore at
a shelter only a couple hours east of Toronto. His caregivers are calling him little Willie Nelson. I can see it now, the
title to Elizabeth’s sequel lighting up the screen (the one I always arrive at late) ---- “Willie Nelson: The
Boy with the Ragged Red Bandana.”
This article is dedicated to my eternal Elizabeth and to all the senior dogs out there worth
tuning in on despite missing their opening act. Whether the tail-end of their story lasts one year or ten, it doesn’t
matter. A great performance is a great performance and you never want to miss a great performance.
BEAGLE OF THE MONTH
In Loving Memory of...
Arthur joined the BOB
family back in January, 2007. He'd been banished to the confines of a cold garage in Batavia, New York when his owner's new
boyfriend came to live with them. The new boyfriend didn't like dogs and for some reason, his demands were met.
At least, his owner had enough sense to contact us for help in finding Arthur a new and loving home. We found that new and
loving home in the time it took for Arthur to wag a shy tail in their direction. Jenny and Mike had been the devoted parents
of our beloved BOB grad, Elwood, until his passing just a month or so before Arthur came into our lives. They didn't know
if their hearts were ready...until they met little Arthur. It was love at first sight. They helped each other heal. It is
with sadness that we now announce Arthur's passing on New Year's Day. We cannot thank Jenny and Mike enough for giving him
the life he so deserved and it is our honour to post their own special memorial to their little boy below...
"On that snowy night
in January when Arthur was released from his prison, it was as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. This
was the best day of his and our lives! That night, Arthur couldn’t believe he was allowed to sleep on the bed with Mom
and Dad (as well as the couches & chairs)!
Arthur, Mom and Dad treasured each
day more than can be imagined; Mom and Arthur had their special time together including the two times every work day Mom came
home to see & let Arthur out, as well as making Dad’s dinner in the evening together.
and Arthur shared breakfast every day and always had lengthy conversations wherein Arthur listened intently.
Every night and weekend was family time when we all loved being together. Of course, every day there
was at least one walk where, like any Beagle, Arthur’s nose went into high gear!
loved Arthur and he us, more than words can explain, but there is one time that proved the incredible bond we shared better
than any other...
On Arthur’s last day, we had a great morning together but
Mom and Dad had to go out of town for a New Year's Eve party. This is when he fell ill. His babysitter gave him
a pain pill which should have comforted him and made him drowsy enough to fall asleep, but he resisted the urge. Insteady,
he remained restless for 4 hours until we rushed back home to him. That's when he immediately climbed into one of
his beds where he curled up & fell asleep with Mom and Dad on the floor sleeping at his side.
can honestly say Arthur was the best companion anyone could have had; he was loyal, affectionate, had a personality like no
other and will always be a beloved member of our family.
We miss Arthur now and
forever, we appreciate and treasure the great time he shared with us. It was the best time of our lives and we know
it was his too!"
TRUMAN (IN MEMORIAL)
BRIAR - In Memorial
RUDY - (In Memorial)
HUCK - In Memorial
IN LOVING MEMORY OF WALTER
IN LOVING MEMORY OF VADA
June 9, 2009
We lost our Vada to Cushing's Disease. In her sudden absence, we are sad. But we must remember one very important
thing. In the last 1 1/2 years, Vada was incredibly happy. We have her natural beagle disposition to thank for that. We have
her foster parents to thank for that. And we have YOU to thank for that.
I'll never forget scooping little
Vada up from the Niagara Falls Humane Society that wonderful day. Making her happy was all that mattered because happiness
is not measured in hours but in moments that can last forever in our memories. I'll remember you, Vada. How could I ever forget?
IN LOVING MEMORY OF WALTER
March 15, 2009
How do you keep
a wave upon the sand?
Sooner or later, we have to let go.
had to let go of our Walter yesterday. Try as we might, we couldn't fix him. His heart was just too tired. But even though
the mechanics failed, there is no doubt that love healed his heart in every other way. If only we could have kept this beautiful
fleeting wave upon the shore for longer than a few months. We had so much more love to share with him. To Natasha, his devoted
foster mom, and to the rest of her family, there are no words good enough to express all that we feel. You gave Walter the
greatest gift any of us have to give. And he gobbled it all up, like the little love vacuum you described him to be.
We wish Walter a safe journey home. And as we stand at the shore
whispering our goodbyes, we wait in anticipation of the next wave. In anticipation of Lulabelle...because the nicest thing
about love is that you never run out of it.
It is an honour to
share with you below some special words to Walter from his foster mom and family:
Like it so often
happens, I am afraid that I didn't have a chance to let you know how grateful I am to have had you come into my life.
From the very first night that you came to visit us at our house, slightly hesitant, slightly shy, but extremely affectionate
and eager, I fell in love with you. There was something so gentle, so good and forgiving inside those beautiful brown
eyes of yours. Oh don't get me wrong, I knew you could be a handful but I always knew you were trying your best
to be good even when you were at your naughtiest. Who could resist your complete bewilderment at hearing the words "No!
Walter!". You taught me about how big hearts can be. Big enough to forgive being abandoned, living in a cage,
and being condemned to death. Your heart was big enough to always focus on the good. You would jump up and try
to put you head on the lap of whomever was sitting on the couch. And you would make that human feel loved, needed and special.
Many of my clients have cried upon hearing that they will
no longer see you greet them at the door and have you sit beside them. I love you Walter and I miss you terribly.
I have your paw print not only on a plaque but deep inside my heart. I only wish all humans could have hearts as big as yours.
Thank you again, my dear, kind, gentle loving
Your foster Mom, Natasha and the Grassel family.
heart lies for you
A lark born only for you
Who says only to you
I'm waiting for you
For only to adore
My heart is for you
This is my grief for you
For only the loss of you
The hurting of you
There are rays on the weather
Soon these tears will have cried
All loneliness have died
will have you with me
In my arms only
For you are only
"In This Heart"
Last week (Sept 2010), we lost the oldest beagle I've ever known. His name was Huck. It's taken
me a while to let you know because this little old fellow, who was barely bigger than a thimble, packed one powerful punch
to my heart and to the hearts of his forever foster family. He was supposed to live forever. At least, that's what we imagined.
But that was just a fairytale. Huck was
older than the moon and could no longer defy nature.
I'll always remember the day I met Huck. A volunteer
from the distant animal shelter where he was abandoned by his owner kindly brought him to us. He pulled up in his car after
hours of driving. And out came Huck, fresh as a daisy, bouncing more than walking. His driver followed behind him, leash in
hand and his pet parrot on his shoulder. They were quite the sight, the 3 of them.
That was a few years ago
now. Huck was supposed to be about 18 then.
It's because of Huck that I met two very special people who
I am so honoured to call friends. John and Laura were Huck's forever foster parents. They loved him, diapers and all. Both
musicians, Huck was well versed in all kinds of music but his favourite was the Blues. That's how he came to be known as their
little Blues Hound.
You'll never be forgotten Huck. That would be impossible.
of Huck, we're dedicating the month of October to him.
Henry Lee - In Memorial
LUKEY - In Memorial
BONNIE PEARL - In Memorial
ELIZABETH - In Memorial
BECKY - In Memorial
CLARK - In Memorial
CHRISTMAS - In Memorial
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