The loss of a beloved pet is a heart wrenching experience. They are innocents, whether canine, feline, equine or other, no matter, they are cherished. Larger than life, lion hearted characters, they color our world and make a difference just like their human counterparts. Many are reminiscent of animated characters, caricatures straight out of comic strips and cartoons, much like the rooster Foghorn Leghorn or the basset hound Fred. They are also our superheroes, as was our Petey, a beagle known with great affection as Super Beagle.
Petey showed up 14 years ago on Larry Green’s farm. He was a young puppy then and stood resolutely and beseechingly in front of the cabin screen door and made a simple
request. He asked Larry to be his human. And so it came to be.
Petey made all manner of friends, like the feral kitty named Black Kitty. She and Petey spent many a day hunting together in the vast pastures and woods. Black Kitty was fearful of any human contact, rarely would she let me hold her or stroke her silky black fur, but she adored Petey with all her feline heart. The two were inseparable until her passing last year.
Spurred on by an ancient predatory instinct, Petey loved the sport of chase but rarely of capture He was well known within our neighborhood, hundreds of acres he roamed, no permission asked nor granted, simply a beagle following a line, tracking a scent; sometimes into the wee hours of the morn, bellowing his signature baying, echoing in the hills, never ever did anyone complain. He loved to beagle, and all knew his song.
Petey was tolerant of newcomers, and appreciated the company of Otto, my 125-pound German Shepherd, and a recent addition Oreo, a very smart Border Collie. The three of them, along with 5 of my cats, enjoyed leisurely walks throughout the stilled woods filled with all manner of creature and beckoning scents. The Facebook videos of their travels never cease to marvel the observers of their unorthodox friendships and adventures.
Over the years Petey suffered several physical setbacks. A stroke caused partial paralysis in his face and for many a month he was hand fed. Eventually the paralysis disappeared. Perhaps a more serious challenge was an unwelcome visit upon our property from two rather large dogs. Petey in his trademark friendly nature went to greet them with wagging tail only to find their huge jaws clamping down on his jugular. His loud yelp alerted me to his plight and in the distance I could see the silhouettes of two hulking dogs bending over him. I ran to the truck and drove at wild speeds down the long drive, gravel and dust flying in every direction, honking my horn to alert the predators of my imminent presence and possibly of their imminent demise. Petey was scooped up and Blue Ridge Animal Hospital alerted. He survived the ordeal and once again for many months was hand fed and given tender care.
Petey’s bellows and bays are now silenced, he lies at rest, buried upon his beloved mountaintop; surely still surveying his kingdom. We will miss “Petey Time” when Larry would cradle his beloved beagle in his powerful arms and tell him he was a Super Beagle. We’ll miss too the smiles Petey elicited whenever he got hold of an empty can of tuna fish, waddling excitedly outside with his treasure clenched firmly in his teeth to sit atop the mountain side licking it spotlessly clean.
He was a good boy, brimming with love and generosity of spirit, he lived a good life and gave us much joy. We will miss you little man.