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Everyone like the beagle on the Claritin commercial?


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What a cute puppy.  I had a great beagle as a kid and here is its story.

A friend's father, Mr. Vance, was a carpenter who laid hardwood flooring and used to moonlight on weekends and take his son and me when we were around 13 to cut and set-up the flooring so he could nail the pieces into place.  We started around 7 am, often finished by 2 pm, and would go hunting or fishing the rest of the day. A great first $10-under-the-table job!

Mr. Vance also raised trained-for-rabbit-hunting beagles and sold them.  At one point, one particular pup would always follow me around the yard and almost trip me when I was loading flooring boards onto the truck.  One day, Mr. Vance said to me, "Mickey, that puppy really likes you. Do you want him?"

I told him my parents couldn't afford the $300 he charged for his dogs and he replied, "He's yours for free!"

I named him "Scout" and that was over half a century ago. To this day, when I run across old childhood friends, the topic of Scout often comes up.

He freely roamed the streets of our neighborhood.  His feats became legendary.  For example, he knew when the elementary school kids' bus would drop them off, would wait for it, and he would shepherd all of the kids home - with many parents feeling much safer for it and begging my parents to never chain him up.  Once while hunting, he chased a rabbit into a swampy area.  I could hear that beagle "hunting yelp" getting more and more distant, so I found a rock on a hill to sit on and munch a sandwich from my backpack while I waited for Scout to emerge from the swamp.

Several minutes later, while I was in mid-bite, suddenly Scout emerged from the swamp - chasing the rabbit along a path right in front of me.  I wasn't ready and didn't get a shot.  Scout looked up at me as if he was saying, "You SOB. I've been chasing this rabbit through a swamp and you're eating a sandwich?"

I felt guilty and gave him the last half of the sandwich.  I never underestimated him again.

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