“Can I pet your dog?”
“I love your dog. What’s her name?”
“Ooh, she’s so beautiful. May I take a picture?”
These are a few comments strangers make to us when we’re with Honey.
It’s nice that people find her appealing. And Honey usually loves the attention.
But it also worries me a little. Here’s why.
Choosing A Dog For Her Looks
I know. Finding a dog to adopt starts with appreciating their looks.
We scan Petfinder looking for our “type.”
Some of us love big, fluffy dogs with thick coats. Others can’t resist wiry hair and a mischievous expression. There are gazillions of different looking dogs and there’s somebody who finds each one beautiful.
And yet some dogs get more attention than others.
My last dog, Shadow, was exceptionally beautiful to me. Who could resist those lovely contrasting “eyebrows” and her velvety black coat?
And yet I rarely remember people coming up to her with compliments. I don’t think anyone ever asked to take her picture.
But walking across a crowded park with Honey is like walking the red carpet at a movie premier with Cameron Diaz. That is, if everyone wanted to bring Cameron Diaz home to live with them.
Because that’s the next thing we hear. That Honey’s admirer would love to have a golden retriever. Which is a stinky idea for lots of people.
Don’t get me wrong. Goldens are great dogs. But they aren’t for everyone.
At least not unless everyone likes to take long walks every day, enjoys wading through a house with dog hair tumbleweeds fifteen minutes after vacuuming, and is dying to comb knots out of their dog’s ears and nether regions.
Goldens are big dogs with big appetites. They are subject to common health concerns like cancer, blindness, and hip dysplasia. And although usually friendly, if not trained, they can cause damage with their jumping exuberance and even with their bites.
Many people would do better with a healthy, friendly, and low-maintenance dog. Like a beagle. Maybe even a beagle like our foster dog, Blanche.
To Know Her Is To Love Her
We’ve had some lovely foster dogs. But Blanche is the easiest. And sooooooooooo lovable.
As I’ve said before, I can’t resist calling her Sweetie.
Yes, outdoors she takes the standard beagle posture of nose down, tail up. And her ears stop listening when her nose is working. That’s the beagle and hound way. Deal with it.
But indoors, she’s perfect. As in
- flawless house training
- affectionate with people
- settling down for a long nap right after her walk
- coming when she’s called
- never jumping on visitors
See what I mean? Perfect.
And yet most of Honey’s adoring fans didn’t give Blanche a second look. Their heads were turned by that long blonde hair and they missed the beauty right under their noses.
I’ve tried to fix Blanche up with people I know who need a dog in their lives. But my dad pointed up the dangers of lining Blanche up beside Honey.
But A Beagle Would Be Perfect For You
My dad adores Honey. But she also makes him nervous.
Honey has trouble restraining her enthusiasm when someone she loves visits. And she loves my dad.
Which means that when he’s trying to pet her, Honey is jumping around like she has springs in her feet.
My dad is also a snazzy dresser. I can’t imagine how he’d cope with long, golden hairs on every piece of clothing he owns.
But my dad takes long walks every morning, rain or shine. A little beagle would be great company. And I just happen to know a sweet beagle who doesn’t need fussy grooming, sleeps soundly after a walk, and loves sitting by your side quietly while you stroke her chest.
When I suggested it, do you know what my dad said?
“If these two dogs were both up for adoption, which one do you think I’d choose?”
Yep, my dad’s a sucker for a pretty face too.
Who’s Prettier Than a Beagle?
The really crazy thing about Honey stealing attention away from Blanche is that our foster dog is beautiful.
Okay, her fur hasn’t grown back fully after her surgery. And she needs to lose weight. A lot of weight.
But she has those amazing beagle eyes that look nearly human. And Blanche rivals any golden retriever for eye contact. From the first day she came to us, Blanche has looked deep into our eyes sending irresistible rays of love.
And I haven’t even mentioned the freckles on her muzzle or the soft wrinkles between her eyes.
Blanche is adorable. She’s easy to care for. And she loves people.
What could be more beautiful than that?
Adopt The Best Beagle Ever
Do you love Alfred Molina more than Pierce Brosnan? Judi Dench more than Uma Thurman? Do you want to live with a calm, affectionate pup with no bad habits more than a shedding bundle of food-begging energy?
Then I have an amazing dog for you. And she’s looking for her forever home.
In the next couple of days, Blanche will be returning to the adoption center of the Tompkins County SPCA located in the beautiful Finger Lakes of New York. If the right home comes along, they may consider letting Blanche move out of the area.
Although she has only been with us a short time, I’m already getting a little choked up at the thought of saying goodbye to this sweet girl. But if I know she’s going to a wonderful home, it will become just a little easier for me.
Besides, even if I have to give up my beagle beauty, I’ll still have Miss Congeniality to keep me company.
Your Turn: How much does a dog’s looks influence you compared with their temperament? C’mon, you can tell us if you’re a sucker for a pretty face. We won’t judge.