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Giving thanks for a year of beagliness

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When we took in Mama Pearl and her three puppies just before Thanksgiving last year, I knew my husband would want to keep one of the puppies. And, while I'd never felt the need of a beagle before, I figured I could manage to raise one puppy this year without too much grief. It did put the brakes on much other fostering, but keeping Perdita, the only girl from Pearl's litter, turned out to be a blessing in ways we could never have imagined.

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By the time Dita turned 3 months old, her brothers and mother had found their new homes through the Chicagoland Dog Rescue. Dita didn’t seem to miss them, but then, she’d known Bill and me since before her eyes opened, so to that extent she hadn't really lost all her family. When she turned 4 months old and got her rabies shot and DuPage dog park tag, she got to know the joys of running off leash with Seiki, our 4-year-old shiba inu. That’s when I realized that shibas are sprinters but beagles are marathoners!

And then Seiki developed canine glaucoma. After 6+ weeks of visits to the canine eye specialist and ending up with a regimen of 3 different eyedrops three times a day in each eye, we got her eye pressures stabilized, at least for now. But for weeks Seiki refused to run, and only reluctantly even walked with us at the off-leash parks.

Dita missed having her best buddy to run with. When Seiki lagged behind, she’d run back and forth between us and her shiba sister. She soon started barking and nipping and play-bowing, trying to get Seiki to chase her.

Eventually, her campaign of harassment worked. Seiki would move, just to get away from the nuisance. And then she started following us. And then she’d run to catch up. And sometimes, the two of them were once again running together.

So, just over a year after Perdita came into our lives as a tiny, blind 250-gram fur lump, and even with the occasional shredded book or sock or throw pillow, we feel tremendous love and gratitude for our seeing-eye beagle, harassing our less-sighted dog into regaining full mobility.

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