She Adopts A Beagle

High-maintenance, the lady at the shelter says.

I’ve heard that one before.

Bad on a leash.

What self-respecting creature would be good on a leash? He is standing at my knees, his entire flank pressed against me. My hand is on his smooth head.

They’ll eat themselves to death if you let them.

I look at him, you too, huh, buddy?

His eyes

bright and unrepentant,

say, guilty as charged and also

do you have a snack?

They’re very needy, she says.

I kneel down. He gently sniffs at my hair.

And over-sensitive. They really are.

I lean my head into his. Kiss his velvety ear.

They’re adorable but the return rate is so high. They are notoriously difficult to train.

We are on the floor melted into each other. Dog head on human shoulder.

People have no idea how much work they can be.

The beagle looks up at the woman from the shelter.

I’ll take her anyway, he says.


Maxfield, adopted in April of 2008. You can follow his adventures in his own voice at



7 Replies to “She Adopts A Beagle”

  1. As someone who brought her very first dog home two weeks ago (Henry! a cocker spaniel/poodle mix, 10 months!!), this is just wonderful. <3

  2. We brought our beagle home 2 weeks after our honeymoon with the shelter promising he was 2 years old. The next day the vet confirmed we were the happy parents of a 9 month old. We. Were. Insane. But holy pancakes! Charlie beagle has changed our lives for the better. Taught us patience, unconditional love, picking up after ourselves (3 Blackberrys later) and time management (that 15 minute walk quickly become a 30 minute ‘loiter’). He has a fan club on Facebook and life would not be the same without him – breed ‘flaws’ and all. [Well, you have to tell us his FB page!! – PB]

  3. My sisters dog looks JUST like him, she named him Shanti, and thats what he has brought…

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