This is a tribute to a great dog. A beagle is a happy dog who loves food. And Sugar is that. After 10 years with this sweet, quirky dog, I will say goodbye to her Thursday. As happens with beagles, she had experiences with slipped discs in her back, and this time with her age the flareup has done her in. The timing was terrible, of course, but when is it a good time?
I adopted Sugar from BREW Beagles (Beagle Rescue, Education, and Welfare) in 2003, a year after I graduated college, because I’d had a beagle mix that I absolutely loved growing up and I also wanted to rescue. I drove with Alana all the way from DC to Norfolk to pick her up from her foster mom. She was shy, but very pretty – a red and white color I hadn’t seen before in a beagle. I brought her home to the apartment I shared with my ex husband, from which she moved with the two of us into another apartment in DC and then into a purchased house in Pennsylvania, and then soon after it was just Sugar and me, vagabonds, living in Charleston with Andrea, spending the summer in Michigan, living at my parents’ house, and finally moving into the condo that I bought on my own, then into the Sherpa’s house, and then this final move into another house with just me again. We’ve been through a lot, the two of us. She is my girl.
Sugar is a different beagle than many in that she never barked, unless she was extremely hungry, when she’d give you one desperate woof. For that I am grateful, and I have always loved telling people that, especially other beagle lovers. She does have some other interesting noises, including the howl that used to be brought on by answering machines or if you howled at her and her signature squeak, which means she’s happy (here’s how happy she was when we got home from Europe and how happy she was for SOME reason). Squeaker has been one of her nicknames. She also showed you she was happy by wriggling on her back (while I clap giddily over her). And now there’s the snory noise (see grunty noise video) when she’s excited because of her airway issue.
She has had one and only one toy, Lil’ Buddy, since she came home with me, given as a gift. She was never much for playing, which makes me believe the theory that she was a puppy mill mom without much of a puppyhood. But Lil’ Buddy was always there for the special times when someone she liked came to visit and she would carry her toy to a corner and bonk it with her nose. Until she caught you watching, of course, when she would pretend nothing was happening. Such a dainty little lady. You can’t not love her.
She used to run laps around the coffee table when I got home at night (followed by much laziness – see this video). She chased the cat, when there was one. She got into every trash can she could. She loves food and LOVES pizza especially. She has been a ninja, even in her old age, when it comes to food. She loves to eat cicadas (see this and this), and even snatched them from the air during the big cicada onslaught of 2004 (?) in DC. The food stories go on and on. Some of the best include the chocolate-covered coffee beans, the entire chicken carcass, the 5 slices of pizza, the bag of sugar-free Werther’s, the bag of caramel Hershey kisses, and the pumpkin fudge.
I have always said that she is a robodog who will never die. She has lived through other bouts of slipped disc, a paralyzed face, chronic bronchitis, and removal of a bizarre cancerous tumor on her leg (and all the scares from her eating adventures). And honestly I think she would live forever, even with this pain, maybe just because she wants to be around for me. I sure do love her.
Josh and I will both be there Thursday, and I am grateful that she will have that support. He has been a loving friend to her for the last 4 years. Sweet dreams, my Shug.