At 8.6 pounds, he’s easy enough to tuck under an arm. Downy soft, he’s considered a lemon as his coat is a mixture of caramel and cream. His eyes are no longer blue, migrating through green to a lovely soft hazel. His ears are long and velvety and his toes are still soft and pink. Meet Henry. The latest addition to our pack of three beagles, this little guy is a lemon beagle of giant proportions tucked into a small frame. Come and have tea with Henry; I’d love to introduce you.
He joins good company.
Half-sisters Ella and Sunshine are certified therapy dogs working in schools and hospitals to “share the love” that is their specialty. Their mother, Cameron is true to the breed and she’s an expert in Nosework. She’s currently undergoing training to seek out hidden scents on command.
Henry is our first boy. He’s also the first howler we’ve had. It starts with his tail and blasts forward through his mouth, entire body leaning forward into the effort, exactly like you’d imagine a cartoon canine. Henry stand at the bottom of the stairs to the second floor in the morning, waiting to greet each family member as they descend. He is literally a hoot.
I don’t know what his superpower is to be yet. Beagles tend to be happiest when they have a job to do. His current job is to act as the family “touchstone” in that we each spend a considerable amount of time with him draped across our respective laps, stroking his back and listening to him sigh contentedly. We do too.
Minor wonders that we sometimes fail to notice in our pursuit of things We-Need-To-Do. Wonders like finding a spot of sunshine and closing your eyes to enjoy the warmth. Like flowers that droop in front of you, enticing a closer look. Like the miracle of ice on a warm day, rolling the cube around your mouth. Like classical music set to calm an overtired puppy that relaxes you at the same time. Like the feel of something soft and warm that just wants to be close, to feel your heartbeat and simply melt.
All good things, and all things to be shared.
Few things bring people together like puppies. On a walk last week, a neighbor rushed out her front door, asking if she could “have a Henry fix.” He was happy to comply and wriggle up around her neck, small tail wagging furiously. Further down the street, I heard a retiree friend calling from her window, “Wait! What did you do? Is that a new one?” And Henry gave the same treatment to yet another new fan. He is certainly more popular than I am, but I am happy to ride his coat-tails as we stand in the street spreading good cheer.
How is it that something that can’t speak, that weighs under ten pounds, that’s only been alive for a few short weeks, can garner so much goodwill?
I think it’s the way we’re wired. And I think it’s the way they’re wired as well. We connect with puppies and the dogs they become. We each thrive in that unconditional love and acceptance. It is magical and instinctive and effortless.
Meet Henry. He’s living proof that good things do come in small packages. And I’m certain he’s not the only one. Tell me about yours. The beagles and I are all ears.