Bad to the Bone

A few weeks ago, Eddie Vedder Beagle returned to live with me. It’s the first time in his life he is the sole canine in the homestead, and it seems to have affected his behavior. In anticipation of his arrival, I visited the local Petland and bought him a Harley Davidson collar with Bad to the Bone on it. I may not own a Harley, but I do own the company. He’s been very nervous and skittish on our walks each day, and at first I chalked it up to new surroundings. We’re talking tail between his legs, flinching at every person he sees, car sounds or even unusual noises from the bushes. One night, he wouldn’t leave our front lawn to go down the street on which we stroll 5-6 times a day. Frustrated, I brought him home and told him he wasn’t worthy of his Bad to the Bone collar and replaced it with the plain red one he had arrived in.

Last night I read some FAQ’s from a beagle-oriented website, so this morning I showered him with affection and attention and built some excitement into our morning walk. Since it was 30 degrees with a light freezing rain, I needed a little excitement myself. Anway, Eddie’s buzz carried him out into the chilly morning air with tail upright and nose to the ground. Right away there was a noticeable difference in his demeanor. I could hear him snorting loudly as he followed some scent or other along our large front yard headed to the street. He was acting very beagley, which is good.

As we hit the street and turned left, he stopped and put one foot in the air, frozen like a statue. He slowly creeped forward toward the shoulder of the road, which consists of a strip of dirt and grass. His nose was pressed to the ground and he moved ever so slowly, inching forward. I stood by idly watching, assuming he would soon find the perfect location on which to urinate, when suddenly, using lightning fast movements, he attacked the dirt and in an instant, had dug a 6″ circular hole and like a cobra, shot his head into the hole and withdrew it with a rodent in his mouth.

Shocked, I yanked his leash to the side and yelled out, “Eddie! Drop that thing!” He obeyed, and the small gray ball of fur with a stubby little tail dropped to the asphalt. I pulled Eddie away and we proceeded up the street. He had his head held high and his tail pointed to the sky, prancing his little 13″ body proudly down the road. I looked back and was overjoyed to see the little rodent get up and scurry back to his hole. I had saved his little life from the monstrous hunting dog that had snapped him up out of his burrow and held him clutched in jaws of death.

Upon arrival at home, I looked down at the 13″ beagle with the permanent eyeliner and plain red collar and pronounced, “you’ve earned it buddy,” and encircled his strong, thick muscular neck with a collar that would make any dog proud.