The Beagle And The Beauty Queen – Tuesdays Tails

“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.

Honey the Golden Retriever is a beautiful dog.

I feel like a beauty queen.

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?

Shadow the mixed breed dog has a pretty smile.

Shadow always had a pretty smile.

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.

Blanche the beagle is a beautiful foster dog.

Blanche would climb any mountain, er, parking barrier to get to the next interesting smell.

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.

Blanche the beagle sits on the couch.

Blanche believes a dog’s place is sitting on something soft.

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.

Honey the golden retriever walks with Blanche the beagle.

On a walk, they’re both Homecoming Queens, and I’m just their minion.

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.

Blanche the beagle is adorable.

OMD! Who could be cuter?

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.

Tuesdays Tails Adoption Blog hop badge.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.

Honey the golden retriever poses with flowers.

Hope you find your forever home soon, Blanche.

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.

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  1. Every now and then, a special dog comes into your life and leaves her/his paw prints on your heart and soul. Watching them leave is bittersweet, but the love you feel expands your heart. And that’s a good thing. Blanche is one of those dogs for you. Ducky was mine and Sam’s, so much so that we had to adopt her.

    • And the amazing thing about Ducky grabbing your heart was that with her energy level, she wasn’t an easy dog. But the heart wants what it wants, doesn’t it? <3

  2. So many great points. I’ve often wondered why Labs & Goldens are so popular; only because as you mention they’re not the easiest dogs to care for. They’ve got amazing personalities but they can be a handful. Our Lab growing up was by far the most energetic dog we’ve owned; and this is including an Aussie mix as well. I see so many Beagles at shelters and I’m not sure why; I don’t know if it’s just because they’re common or what. They are so darn lovable, I’m definitely considering adopting one as our next dog. Although it will be a while because Laika isn’t always fond of other dogs unfortunately.

    All of my dogs before Laika were big and black; we never got many compliments. Now that I have a brown dog that looks somewhat like a German Shepherd we get stopped everywhere, it’s very odd. I think all of my dogs have been gorgeous but I think big black dogs aren’t very appealing to the masses apparently.

    It really is a shame that dogs are judged on their looks. I could go on and on.. Love this post. Blanche looks gorgeous, and she sounds like she has a great personality and temperament. If I were looking to add another dog to our home I’d adopt Blanche in a heartbeat. I hope she finds a loving home soon. Sharing.

    • I suspect that the high trainability of Labs and goldens is part of their personality. Even if people don’t actually train their dogs, it’s nice to know it would be easy if they did. :)

      It’s funny that we’ve both had black dogs that didn’t garner lots of attention. Don’t you wonder what’s wrong with people?

  3. Honestly, I love both breeds so much, if I had to choose between Honey and Blanche, I’d have trouble. Our first dog Shelby was far from a beauty, but her beauty was in her personality and I’ve never forgotten that. The small amount of grooming that beagles need, especially compared to goldens, is definitely attractive to me. I also tend to go with the underdog….so I very well might choose Blanche just because I know others might not.
    I sure hope Blanche finds someone who feels the same way, and is in her new home very soon.

    • There are some serious beagle lovers around here. I sure hope Blanche finds hers soon.

      I knew nothing about beagles before I fostered 3 of them. But they are so lovable. I can see why you’re such a fan.

  4. Well the 2013 AKC list of the most popular dog breeds list Golden Retrievers at #3 and Beagles at #4 so I would say there are plenty of people out there that are just as fond of Beagles as there are of Goldens. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder!

    No matter how pretty a dog is, I always find it odd when someone wants to take a picture of a stranger’s dog. It happens A LOT with my Cardigans!

    Brains are a much more influential quality than looks, as is a sense of humor. But I do love those prick ears of the herding breeds.

    • I agree with you on the prick ears. And yet I’ve now adopted 3 floppy eared dogs. I guess I go for personality more than looks myself.

      As long as corgis rule the internet, you’ll probably have no shortage of puparazzi. Of course, Wilson is so fast he’s probably just a blur in some shots. :)

  5. We think it has to be a combination of the right look and personality. Mom only likes furry medium to large dogs and prefers independent, higher energy types. We all fit perfectly. She finds labs and goldens great to look at but far to obedient, so she wouldn’t adopt one. There are other high energy dogs that she doesn’t like the looks of. It is like choosing people, the whole picture has to fit. When we are out 99% of people either like the Kuvasz or the GBGV, it is rare that someone likes both breeds. In the end, we are not the right dogs for most, but being rare, we don’t need to worry about people wildly adopting our breeds.

    • It’s funny that you mention retrievers are far too obedient. I thought the exact same thing before I adopted Honey. I thought she’d be boring.

      But I haven’t found that to be the case.

      And yes, you’re right about the rarity of Kuvasz and GBGV fans. That does make your family unique.

      Surprisingly, my neighbor up the street has a lovely GBGV that Honey adores. Reading your blog has taught me enough to have a conversation with her person about the breed. Now I just need to find someone with a Kuvasz. :)

  6. Funnily enough – and you have to tell me if this makes me sound like a big weirdo! – I often fall for a…well…an ugly face? No, that’s not right – I don’t really think any dogs are ugly. But I tend to love the ones that others might overlook for whatever reason (missing teeth, a floppy tongue, you name it). They just steal my heart. Of course a well-groomed dog or adorable puppy is highly appealing too, but it’s the not-so-perfect pups that win me over.

    Is that weird? Haha! It’s about personality as well, though. I could never adopt a high-energy border collie or Lab, simply because that’s not my lifestyle. My Riley (an 8-year-old couch potato of a Peekapoo with a pretty serious underbite) is just perfect for me and my husband 😀

  7. I agree with you – Sweetie is just that – but holding up her next to Honey – yeah, she’ll lose.
    You just have to find the right home – and it’s out there for her I’m sure.

  8. Oh, I hope Blanche is adopted soon. Absolutely love Beagles :-)

  9. I like to think that I’m above looks these days, and will pick my next dog solely based on temperament. But then I see a big-eared dog, and my heart goes pit-a-pat. We’ll see.

  10. I like large and fluffy, but if it comes with the wrong temperament then I’m no longer interested. I didn’t grow up around dogs, so I really had to teach myself how to act around dogs. It didn’t come naturally. So, cute faces would help me overcome my uneasiness and that’s why I love a cute face.

  11. I’ve visited a some dog rescues a couple of times and there was always the ones I felt sorry for so felt out of duty I should take if I could. And then I saw this one dog and I fell for him big style. Leaving him behind broke my heart and that’s because he looked like BD. Not in colour, he was black and tan while BD isn’t, but their eyes and their smile was the same. I felt almost like I was leaving BD behind and that was hard!

  12. I hope Blanche finds a forever home real soon. She looks like she is absolutely precious! Sharing.

  13. I picked Pierson because he’s so pretty. Not really, it just sort of happened. But I know what you mean. When picking out a dog, we shouldn’t pick out the prettiest. We should pick out one that seems to have the personality we think is most compatible with our life style. Besides, every dog has their own special kind of cuteness. :)

  14. What a great article on a very interesting subject! Unfortunately, many people adopt a certain dog for his looks, and don’t consider whether or not their lifestyles will match with the breed’s energy.