Tuesday, November 03, 2009

At The Beagle's Beck And Call

Tomorrow, I plan to celebrate. I might even have a glass of champagne! See, it’s going to be a really big day. Tomorrow morning, I’ll take Phoebe, our beagle, to get her stitches out...which, I hope, will mark the end of my being at our beagle’s beck and call.

Here’s the deal. I would be the last person you’d want to partner with on a reality game show. Need a partner to go running with? I’d just slow you down. Need another driver to get you through the frozen tundra? Don’t call me. You’ll regret it.

But…are you sick? Feeling poorly? Need someone to fuss over you? That’s me. I’m a great caregiver. I make soup. I play cards and puzzles and dominoes. I can sit by a bedside for hours and read aloud to you. Over the years, I’ve fussed a lot over my husband and kids.

And…I think my beagle noticed. Three weeks ago, she woke up not being able to walk. I picked her up and carried her to the vet…and found out that somehow-known only to her and the wiener dog-she tore her ACL. Something had to be done. I’ll admit, given the fact that she’s 12, we did have a momentary hesitation about the surgery…but there’s a story about our beagle. See, she’s more to us than just a dog who likes ham.

When Phoebe was almost a year old, she pretty much saved our daughter’s life. Lesley was three and was playing in the garage. I was on the driveway weeding or something, when all of the sudden, Phoebe let out three sharp barks and stood at attention. Lesley, who was playing near Phoebe, went running to me, and I went running over to see what had the dog so upset.

It was a coiled rattlesnake. It had been right next to little Lesley, and Phoebe saved the day.

So…of course, on the 21st, I took Phoebe in for surgery.

I should have known a convalescing beagle is not a pretty sight. The poor thing’s leg and hindquarters were shaved down to bare skin. She’s got a three inch scar on her back right beagle knee. And she was on all kinds of drugs, all which made her loopy.

But within a day, she got one thing down-if she barks, moans, or attempts to hobble, I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and fuss over her. That includes carrying her down the front porch steps so she can do her beagle business. And carrying her from room to room because she hates to be alone. And then retrieving her giant sheepskin bed because she needs a soft place to sit. Have I mentioned that she’s thirty pounds?

Now, I’m happy to say, she is getting around pretty well. Just last night she started putting weight on her hurt leg. So, I guess my days of ‘beagle watch’ is over.

I’m just hoping her other knee doesn’t go out any time soon. Or worse, that Suzy the wiener dog doesn’t try to get on the action. Then I really won’t be able to get anything done.

I have a feeling I’m not the only one to fuss over a pet. Anyone want to share a story?



Leigh Duncan said...

Shelley, can I come live at your house next time I need some tlc? You won't have to carry my sheepskin rug from room to room, I promise. (Best wishes for the beagle's speedy recovery!)

shelley galloway said...

Leigh, you bet! I'll fuss over anyone I don't have to bring a water bowl to. : )


Linda Henderson said...

I can't have animals where I live but in the past when I had them I was the same way. We had a puppy once that was rescued from a dumpster and I can't tell you how much it cost to get her on her feet.

Heather Webber said...

I can vouch for the caretaking! You're definitely the best.

So glad Phoebe is doing better--she'll be stealing hams in no time.

shelley galloway said...

OH Linda,

A puppy in the dumpster! Now I would be doing everything I could to help her out!


shelley galloway said...


Thanks for the sweet comment! Though, I seem to remember hearing a story about you taking your hamster in for a checkup...

We just bought a Honey Baked Ham bone today. Phoebe's circling the kitchen counter as I type!


Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Aww, what a sweet story. She sounds like a great dog. I love beagles.

Estella said...

Glad Phoebe is recovering!

Sara said...

I am raising my hand for you to come and care for! It would be so nice to have someone read to me...I haven't had that happen since my little girl was little and would read to me...

I certainly hope Phoebe is getting along well. You are a good mommy.

My Killian (cat) went to the vet yesterday - and he has me at his beck and call today...

Gillian Layne said...

You are a good mom!

We raised a group of two week old kittens, getting up every three hours to feed each of them with a syringe until they were old enough to eat by themselves. I was so proud of my daughters for getting up in the middle of the night and helping. It was the summer of scratched legs. Baby kittens have razor sharp nails and when they are hungry, those claws fly!

We kept two of the boys, and they are my babies.

shelley galloway said...

Hi Trish!

We love beagles, too. : )

shelley galloway said...

Thanks Estella!

I'm so glad she's recovering, too. Though I think carrying her around was good exercise!

shelley galloway said...


I think my love of reading aloud came from teaching school for ten years. I still read out loud to my husband on car trips.

Good luck with your kitty today. I hope Killian is doing okay.

shelley galloway said...


Yay for you for feeding kittens all through the night. I had no idea their little claws were so sharp!

I'm glad you got to keep two of them.

Linda Warren said...

I want to live at your house, too. I'll bring my sheepskin. LOL

I've been watching a Canada goose with a broken wing for months. She can't fly and when the other geese leave the lake, as they always do in winter, she'll be left all alone. My husband says I'm obsessed with that goose, but I can't stand the thought of her being left behind and eaten by the big old bobcat that's after them.

So, yes, pets or non-pets make me nuts.

nicolerko said...

Whenever my kitty is sick he knows to come to me to baby him.

Victoria Chancellor said...

Our Min Pin had the same surgery last year. She's a changed dog. She too was a baby while recovering, but now she's back to chasing squirrels and generally doing things that make us wince and say, "She's going to mess up that leg again." So far, so good, though. I'm sure your beagle will be just fine in time to catch scraps off the Thanksgiving dinner table.

shelley galloway said...

Hi Linda!

Now I feel sorry for that goose, too. My mother takes care of baby ducks who are abandoned by their moms in the spring. People bring them to her from all over Santa Barbara.

I hope that goose feels better soon!

shelley galloway said...


Aren't pets just the best? The other day, I was crying over something dumb. My husband just sighed-but the dogs came running over to comfort me. : ) Glad you have your kitty!


shelley galloway said...

Oh, Victoria,

Thank you for letting me know that recovery is headed our way! You're poor little Min Pin. Those little dogs are so cute!

Last night I found Phoebe in my daughter's trash, so I think she's on the mend!