I have been a Canine Companion volunteer at the Humane Society for two years and nine months now. And tonight, I lost my first dog. And I didn’t just lose any dog just anywhere!

I lost a beagle on the Grand River Trail. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I lost a scent hound in several hundred acres of woodland. Oh, and did I mention that I think he was abused and was a stray so he’s afraid of people and doesn’t come when you call his name cuz he doesn’t know it yet?

Oh yes, I know how to pick ’em. The varmint in question was this one: Oliver. A terrible picture, but a perfectly lovely beagle, with nice markings and big ears, though he was strangely long. Perhaps a drop of Basset in there.

I had scooped poop, and was switching his leash to the other wrist, and he lunged away from me to sniff something at exactly the wrong time. And I ran down the trail as fast as I could (away from the Humane Society – we were almost back to where the trail opens onto the yard) and just watched him get farther away from me. Then I came around a bend and saw him stopped, sniffing something. So I walked up to him slowly, and got close enough to grab the leash, but I slipped as I leaned down and fell, spooking him, and so off he went again, fortunately back towards the Humane Society this time. And so I ran after him again, and my lungs started to hurt, and I lost him entirely, so I ran up towards the building, hoping he’d run that way, and saw one of the inspectors walking slowly across the parking lot. I couldn’t even talk, and rasped something that kinda sounded like “…iggle…”, and he said the dog had come that way, and he was going slow so as not to spook him. I tried to tell him the dog didn’t know his name and was afraid of people, but couldn’t really get that out what with all the gasping and wheezing. Anyway, he caught the dog, who was sniffing a patch of yellow snow right beside my car. Way to add insult to injury, dude. Then, even better, one of the other inspectors was telling me how to properly hold the leash. Cripes…

After I brought the dog back inside, the beast, who had been shy and timid and stayed away from the front of his kennel before the walk, turned into a total beagle – he came up to the door to greet everyone who walked by, he grinned and flirted and jumped up against the glass to say hi. Traitor…

And so after walking another two dogs I headed over to Andrew’s to help him walk Barney and Gordie. Get right back on the beagle, I say! And now I am home, and exhausted, and having coughing fits, though at least my lungs don’t hurt as much and I am not tasting blood anymore.

Whee.

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