April 9, 2003
THE BEAGLE - Page 1
There is no denying the Beagle's popularity. A stunning 50,000 Beagles are registered each year just in the U.S., making it the fifth most popular dog according to the American Kennel Club.
The Beagle is one adorable dog with its eternal puppyish looks, large eyes, compact body, and purse-sized hound ears. It is a natural for the visual media. In fact, the Beagle holds the national record for the most frequent appearance of a breed on posters, greeting cards, and calendars.
Dog lovers who select Beagles as their breed fall into two groups. The first set recognizes that this breed is a hound, a group of dogs known for receiving 99 percent of their input from their nose and, when given any opportunity, for following that input wherever it leads. They chuckle over their dog's selective hearing, stubbornness, and natural ability to clown their way out of trouble.
The second group of Beagle owners, on the other hand, forgot to consider that this breed was developed to hunt in a pack which requires a strong desire to chase small wild things at a distance from a hunter. They just thought the small-to-medium size, wash-and-wear coat, and gregarious natures would be a good fit for the family. Now they spend a great deal of time at work hoping that the gate was closed.
It is interesting to note that the Beagle turns up almost as frequently in the print media as it does on a Hallmark card. Rather than just tell you about the Beagle, I have clipped the following articles highlighting this breed from a variety of magazines and tabloid newspapers. For each I have provided a brief synopsis of the text with occasional editorial comments that cannot be repressed. I have clustered the articles to highlight the three distinct aspects of the Beagle:
Beagle as pet and partner
Beagle as employee
Beagle as hunting dog
THE BEAGLE - Page 2
THE BEAGLE AS A PET AND PARTNER
Beagle Mistaken for Teapot
The Star—In the dark of night, Millicent Winifred mistook her small Beagle for a teapot. Lifting it by its curved tail, she tried to pour a hot cup of Earl Grey. When water failed to come out, she gave the pup a good shake. She recognized her mistake when she heard a growl.
In Ms. Winifred's defense, the Beagle, a darling little cousin of the foxhound and cousin of the Bassett, has a thick tail that arches over its back that closely resembles a tea pot handle. However, it does live on the floor and not on the kitchen shelf. Ms. Winifred needs to turn on the lights and get her glasses checked.
Beagles Reveal the Truth: We Hear You, We Just Don't Give A Rat's Hiney
Dog Fancy—In this shocking expose, Beagles around the world discuss the real reason for their lack of interest in responding when their owners call. What they reveal substantiates what Beagle lovers have always suspected.
In a number of interviews, Beagles from around the world stated that while humans are useful for providing snacks and a warm sofa, they are little competition when compared to the pleasures of running, digging, and sniffing. Beagles reported that unless their owner is calling them for dinner, they simply prefer to listen to their inner voices which say, "I think that gate might really be open this time" or "I better go have a dig at that spot out back." One Beagle who asked to remain anonymous, said, "Beagle lovers always say we are loyal and affectionate. Pshaw. We just know how to work the system."
Beagles Pooh Pooh Author's Work
Dog World—In a letter to the editor of Dog World, Beagles took issue with an excerpt from author Andrew Brace's book Beagles Today in which he wrote, "Today's Beagles are less willful and disobedient, but the basic instincts are there." He is referring, of course, to the hound instinct to take off across four lanes of freeway to chase a swamp bunny. The letter stated, "Mr. Brace is deluded. Beagle owners need to recognize that they are merely a hostel for us while we search for our real work which is chasing hares or rabbits.
Beagle Locates World's Smallest Crumb
Daily Express—This article reports that a Beagle named Toby recently whined for six consecutive hours next to the sofa in the family room. When his owners finally moved it, Toby inhaled a crumb approximately the size of the head of a pin. Toby's owners said that the brief flash of red lead them to believe that the crumb was an ancient bit of Fruit Loop.
THE BEAGLE - Page 3
Scientists Find Beagle Gene For Zooms
Tufts Veterinary Journal—In Corgis, this activity is called Frequent Random Acts of Play or FRAP. For Beagles, it simply called the zooms. This is the action of racing around in a wide circle as fast as possible. Scientists at Tufts Veterinary School report that they have identified the gene that causes many Beagles to run around a tree or yard as if their life depended on it. Tufts has received a number of letters asking whether they do not have more important work to do. An official spokesperson said that they didn't.
Beagle Horrified To Learn Truth About Obedience Trials
Front and Finish—Like many well-trained dogs, Lulu was trained in her obedience commands receiving food as a reward. At her first obedience trial this past weekend, she was horrified to learn that no treats were forthcoming until she had performed every single thing she knew. On the second day of the trial, when the time came for the recall, she decided to voice her opinion about this sad situation by leaving the ring and climbing into the lap of a complete stranger.
Beagle Sets Record For Distractions During Agility Run
Clean Run—A northern California Beagle recently set a new record in American Kennel Club agility when he wandered off the course 42 times to sniff. It would appear that he considered the obstacles as something in the way of a nice walk. Although this pup should have been whistled off the course, both ring crew and judge dozed off, leaving this pup to ignore his handler while she yelled his name repeatedly. Eventually, both dog and owner wandered off to the hot dog stand for lunch and the trial continued.
Fox Television Defends Airing Of "When Beagles Attack"
TV Guide—A Fox spokesperson defended their upcoming special that highlights the revolt of a colony of Beagles being held captive as experimental animals. The spokesman said that producers felt that while they might have maligned the Beagles' docile and adaptable nature, the show would serve to highlight the plight of many animals in research centers.
Deaf Beagle Learns Sign Language
Dog and Kennel—The Beagle is known for great yips and resounding bays when onto any sort of promising scent. This is a lovely sound in the field. However, it is less attractive in the suburban neighborhood. This situation is even worse for an aging Beagle who has lost hearing and imagines that he hears scary sounds that call for some noise. The owner of this old fellow, reports that she has taught him a variety of sign language phrases such as "Shut up or I will stuff a rabbit up your nose."
THE BEAGLE - Page 4
BEAGLES AS EMPLOYEES
Beagles Prove Ideal As Sniffer Dogs At Airports
Beagles have become the primary breed in the effort to find contraband in shipped items. The Beagle has agreed to this work for two reasons:
A Beagle looks particularly cute in their Agricultural Department coats.
They are sniffing for quarantined food for goodness sake, and there is always the hope that they will get some.
Beagle Hired As Blanket Quality Control Tester
A Beagle has crossed the threshold into a new career field, hired to test the quality of wood blankets at a large plant in the Northeast. This decision was based on two factors:
Beagles' ability to tolerate extended downtime and their love of fluffy blankets.
Pillowtalk Manufacturing said that their newest employee did an excellent job during his probationary period, and he has been hired permanently.
Termite Dogs Unionize
Teamsters International-Beagles that have been trained to sniff out termites in wooden structures, have joined the Teamsters Union. Beagles have grown increasingly concerned about the lack of positive reinforcement for their work. Teamsters Officials said that they will seek 6% raise for Beagles this year and hoped a work stoppage would be avoidable.
BEAGLE AS HUNTING DOG
To Beagle Or Not To Beagle
The American Beagler-This article was written for an audience of Beagle owners who keep their pups primarily as pets. It provides information and encouragement to get off their duffs and join the subculture that flourishes around hunting with Beagles, an activity with more than five hundred years of history.
So what in the world does it mean To Beagle? Beagling, in its simplest sense, means assembling a group of this breed and allowing them to do what they do naturally - chase hare or rabbits as a pack. They can do this in a pair that is called a brace, in small packs of four to nine dogs, or in large packs with 30-60 dogs. The author states that there were more than five hundred opportunities to Beagle last year at licensed activities at which Beaglers came together.
The article ended with a list of strategies for Beagle owners to locate regional Beagling activities and the caution that Beagle owners must recognize and accept the breed's heritage as a pack hunting hound or be forever out of sync with their pup.Pair Of Beagles Set Incredible Record For Failure To Move
THE BEAGLE - Page 5
Beagling Crowd Turns Out To Watch Local Rabbit Hunt
North Gap Sentinel—It was a lovely day in North Gap, Georgia for the annual Beagle Trial. For those of you unfamiliar with this event, hares tend to circle bringing the dogs behind. Thus one can go Beagling, sit in one spot all day, and see the dogs go by multiple times. Noted Beagler Liam Thom writes, "If the hare, hounds, and huntsman have all read the script correctly then the well-situated follower can witness the day's sport from the safety of his shooting stick." On this particular day in North Gap, things went perfectly and the Beagles came by 32 times. One spectator who was attending his first trial said, "This Beagling is like a day at the car races without all the noise."
Fall Line Of Clothing For Beaglers Shows Few Changes
Fashion and Style—The fall line of plaid wool jackets and baseball caps with truck logos was rolled out in New York. The more formal wear often worn by the hunt staff, white pants, dark jackets with whip and trumpet were also shown. Lines were simple, clean, and traditional. The only notable change is that whips will be available in a variety of designer colors.
Decline In Local Hare Population Concerns Beaglers
Cotswolds Beagling Club—Beaglers are noted for their understanding of the subtle distinction between different kinds of rabbits — hares that like to run, cottontails that prefer to dive into their den, and swamp rabbits who just want to avoid the jaws of alligators. Recently, Beaglers around the world have been concerned that hare populations in many countries are declining. This, along with the fact that Millicent Woodcock was just named the Drag Hunt Secretary, sounded like a good reason to drop in for a draught at the local Hare and Hound.
Most breeds of dogs are just that — a specific type of dog. Beagles, however, are a mindset, and for some, a lifestyle. Once one owns a Beagle, there is the eternal possibility of becoming a Beagler who goes Beagling. In fact, I would not be the least bit surprised to stumble upon the word conjugated as a verb: I Beagle, You Beagle, They Really Beagle.
I must confess that I was initially jealous of the Beagle world in which there is a possibility of such personal identification. However, as a Papillioner, I realized that it was up to me to correct this situation. I loaded my pups in the car and took off to go Papilloning.References
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