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.
Our Beagle of the Month: A
Memorial Tribute to Rex
Servants: Deanna & Andrew
All About Rex as told by beloved BOB Board Member, Deanna, on July 17, 2013...
This email is written with so much sadness. Early yesterday evening, Rex passed away.
Last year, he had been diagnosed with heart disease
and with the aid of pills, we were able to keep his heart healthy and strong.
Last November, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and my vet thought at most, 2 months, as it was well
advanced and had turned up suddenly.
Rex, the stubborn and sweet soul that he is, could not be deterred and said no, I want to live and
enjoy life and to hell with any timeline.
In the spring of this year, his lymphoma advanced to a rare skin lymphoma, in which he developed lesions
on his paws, ears and face. He lost much of his fur, but never, ever, his feisty attitude and will to live.
Over the past month or so, he had been slowing
down considerably. No longer having the energy to walk to the park, but he enjoyed a romp around the backyard and to
sit on the front porch and watch the world go by.
He would also enjoy his neighbourhood car rides and would partake in them 2-3 times a week and even
give the odd howl as he saw fellow woofies that he knew.
Two weeks ago, his howl faded from the wonderful baritone voice to barely a squeak.
Always with a wag in his tail, a light in his eyes
and a good appetite in his belly....yesterday morning he said he had had enough. He was weak and listless and it was
He was loved
so very, very much and he gave his heart back ten-fold. If I could design a poster illustrating the definition of what
a beagle is, he would be that ambassador.
Rex filled our hearts with such love and such joy and we will never, ever forget him.
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.
4 years ago, Obama became President of the United States. But,
this side of the border, we voted for someone else. No campaigning necessary for this guy. He won by a landslide...with a
single look. A girl could get lost in those big dark chocolate brown eyes, especially when accompanied by the innocent
bat of those flirtatiously long blond eyelashes.
In celebration of the election, we named him Dwight
Dwight was a lemon & white beagle of small stature.
was President of his backyard.
Dwight was digging a hole to China in that same
backyard for the sake of future business trips - cheaper and better for the environment than AirForceOne.
Dwight ruled my heart.
When I'd introduce our little canary in a coalmine to people, I'd always
proudly start with "He's the most expensive rescue case to date!" It was the truth then and it's still the
truth. The mighty Dwighty had been picked up as a stray by our friends at Scarborough pound. He had a customary examination
by the shelter vet upon arrival. She had concerns there was something neurologically wrong with him. The roughly 8
year old beagle walked like a drunken sailor, criss-crossing his back legs. I didn't know what I was in for when they
called me to see if Big On
Beagles could take him.
A trip to our vet
was followed by a trip to the neurologist at VEC which was followed by a trip to the lab for a cat scan which was followed
by surgery to remove a cyst from Dwight's spine which was followed by several months of re-hab involving slow but steady walks
to strengthen his muscles. He loved the sympathetic attention one scores as a rehab patient.
That same month, we had our BEAGLE BASH. We raised a whopping $4,000! Dwight spent the entire wad.
It was almost as though he planned the whole thing.
want to know what just one BEAGLE BASH can do?
Whether it's just for one homeless howler or
a flock of them.
I don't have to tell you why Dwight was worth it.
I think you get the picture. That's probably because you've had a Dwight of your own and, like me, you probably
have a list a mile long of all the silly little things that makes your beagle worth the last dime in your pocket. Silly
little things like somehow managing to dreamily drift off to sleep on a warm summer day...even with a rock for a pillow.
We were hoping for
more than a 4 year term for our foster boy turned perma pup (we officially adopted Dwight after his lengthy rehab given how
attached we'd all become), but wishing something doesn't make it so.
We lost our most expensive beagle in BOB history to cancer last Sunday. He never got
to finish digging that hole to China. But we're keeping the excavation site open for the next foster beagle or two or more
howl bent on spending the money we raise at this year's BEAGLE BASH FOR CASH.
As I prepare for the biggest, bestest FUNdraising event of the year, I'm thinking fondly of you for being there
with us every pawstep of the way, supporting our work on behalf of daydream believers like Dwight.
also thinking of Dwight, my wilful little beagle, my inspiration to keep campaigning for beagles meant to be leaders. And
so I'm dedicating the 7th
Annual BEAGLE BASH FOR CASH
to the best President ever to rule our hearts ~ Dwight D. Eisenhowler
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!"
Elmo - In Memorial
Clementine - In Memorial
JAKEY - In Memorial
HARVEY - In Memorial
TRUMAN (IN MEMORIAL)
BRIAR - In Memorial
RUDY - (In Memorial)
HUCK - In Memorial
IN LOVING MEMORY OF WALTER