Dogs are not our whole life,
but they make our lives whole.
~ Roger Caras
I’ll never forget the day we brought Oscar home. We walked into Metro Animal Care and Control here in Nashville as a “last resort,” not really thinking we’d find a dog there. We had already met with several rescue groups who specialize in pit bull breeds, but nothing had really clicked. We knew Animal Control didn’t adopt out pits, so we didn’t think we’d find a dog there for us. But before calling it a day, it was worth a shot.
We arrived at Animal Control and I have to say, I was absolutely shocked at just how nice the facility was! In my mind, it was “The Pound,” dark, dingy & depressing, where dogs with no hope go to live out their final days. But it was clean, the staff was friendly, and overall cheerful. We signed in and let the receptionist know we were there to look at dogs. We waited a few minutes for a shelter employee, then he took us back to where the adoptable dogs were kept.
There was Oscar: second cage from the left, labeled as a “Beagle Mix,” wagging his little tail and looking at me with big brown eyes so full of hope that my heart melted instantly. He never barked once. I stuck my hand through the cage bars and he went to town with his little tongue, licking my fingers like crazy. It was over for me. I looked up at Dave and he knew instantly, we were not leaving there without that puppy. Dave went and found an employee to get him out for us, and we took him to one of the play rooms. Eight weeks old, nine pounds, and that sweet, sweet puppy breath – he ran around the little room, ignoring the toys, climbing all over our legs, licking our faces and hands. We didn’t set out looking for a puppy - we were looking for a 1 – 2 year old dog, but it didn’t matter. We were done. Some quick paper work and a modest $90 adoption fee later (which included the cost of neuter and initial shots), and he was on my lap in the car headed to his new furever home.
Now, Oscar very well might have some Beagle in him. As he was picked up as a stray, there’s really no way to tell for sure. And although we’re pretty sure he does have some sort of “hound” in him, with his brindled face, square head and bow-legged back haunches, to us he looks more like a pittie every day. We have no doubt his life was saved by whatever intake tech at Animal Control that day decided that instead of “Pit Mix,” he’d be marked down as a “Beagle Mix.”
So OK, “Beagle”…welcome to the family.