Part One Continued…
Leo-my first love at first sight, sorry to my fiancé! Leo was completely unexpected and given to me as an anniversary gift (similar to my mom with Chewie). My now soon to be husband, boyfriend at the time, told me the night before that we were going to take a drive to look at a dog he thought might be a good fit for us. I was surprised he seemed so ready for a dog since we had just moved into our first home together and still soaking in all the excitement of having our own space. Bringing in a dog would for sure change things, but I was totally ready for it-and I’m so thankful he was too! We drove to Okeechobee, Florida the next morning, the whole way there I was imagining how my life was going to be with a new dog in it. Aside from stars in my eyes and butterflies in my stomach, I told myself that we may or may not be going home with a dog today just in case I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Well, when we pulled into the driveway, we first greeted the welcoming owners of Hank-yes Leo’s name was initially Hank (LOL!) then the magic happened. Leo was carried out- he was 9 weeks old, big brown eyes, floppy ears, pot belly and all with the sharpest nails I’ve ever encountered. It was in that moment, the love at first sight, head over heels, stars in my eyes, butterflies in my stomach, heart racing feeling that I knew he was MINE-my very own beagle! Within seconds it felt like, we handed over the cash and were on our way back home! I think it’s now safe to say that beagles are my breed. The whole way home I couldn’t stop staring and kissing him, baby talking and already being in full puppy mommy mode.
The reason behind the name Leo was because I had always told myself I would name my first boy dog, Leo(not that exciting). I had always loved the name Leo and coincidently there is somewhat of a meaning behind it for me. I myself am a Leo (my zodiac sign) and get this- so is his! He was born August 17, 2014(which was completely unknown until AFTER I named him and then put two and two together) and he was the most perfect dog I have ever held in my hands. Leo was immediately king of our house and was obviously spoiled rotten. Endless kisses, snuggles, belly rubs, treats and toys, Leo got everything he wanted! But, aside from being spoiled, sleeping in the bed, eating better food than mommy and daddy, Leo was a very well behaved and loving dog. He caught on to potty training fast, learned to be in his crate for periods at a time and had somewhat of table manners(I blame it on his nose!) Of course there were accidents and gentle spankings here and there, but overall Leo was and is a true joy to have in life.
Some time went on and Leo was an “only child” for about 4 months until we made an exciting and what felt like crazy decision at the time. We came across Lola online. Lola was a rescued puppy from a mill in Missouri. She had kennel cough, tummy problems and seemed to be in poor health. Despite her condition, she had to be the cutest and saddest looking puppy we’ve ever seen. She had perfect green eyes, chocolate coloring, the pinkest little nose and if you’re wondering, yes she is a beagle! There was no doubt she was a total diva once she started feeling better and oh boy was she sassy! The day we got her, we brought Leo in to meet her-she immediately took to him. I don’t think Leo was expecting a new sister that day, but I’m sure now he’s thankful he did. The first few weeks with a second puppy was so fun and interesting, especially for Leo! Lola made herself right at home, claiming hers and Leo’s toys, sleeping in the bed, instigating chase and playing hide and seek with Leo. The two soon became attached at the hip and are currently INSEPARABLE. They honestly don’t do much without the other tagging along. They sleep, eat, lay, play, swim, walk, fight and love on each other every single day. I call them my beagle brigade, hunny bunnies, angels and any crazy nickname I can think of in the moment(dog mom probs).
With all said and done, I couldn’t imagine my life without them in it. They are my very own dogs, beagles and everything I had dreamed of growing up. I truly believe you can manifest anything you want in your life or how you want your life to be. For me, it is beagles of my own, a career I love doing, a loving family, husband and community of people to surround myself with. My life has for sure been filled with highs and lows, but I know that the highs will always surpass the lows and keep me motivated to push through. I can truly say, everything I’ve been through and everything I will go through, has been and will be better, easier, sweeter, and more fulfilling having a companion (or two in my case) by my side. I will always, always, always have a dog in my life, beagle or not, because “ A Dog is one of the few things in life that is as it seems”- Mark J. Asher.