The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

What I’ve learned about beagles

on January 7, 2011

My precious friend from college, Caroline, adopted a beagle, Benny, a few days after Christmas.  On Facebook I told her how happy I was that she didn’t let all the posts about my insane beagle scare her off.  She then replied that she thought the beagle’s bizarre and naughty behavior was a joke.  Sweet Caroline (go ahead . . . take a break and sing the song out loud.  I can wait.).  I have never once exaggerated my beagle’s behavior nor purposely posed her to take funny pictures.  Nor have I ever encouraged her to lounge on a table.

So for you, Caroline, here is what I have learned about beagles in the last 22 months.  Gwen has been a very fast teacher.

1.  Beagles are cute. This supersedes every other thing I will post.   The soulful eyes. The floppy, velvety soft ears.  The way the eye lids arch in the sweetest way.  The floppy lips.  The round paws.  The nose that perfectly fits on the end of her snout.  Seriously, beagle cuteness is off the scale.  This will keep you from killing your beagle later.

2. Beagles have OCD. All of them.  It manifests differently in every beagle, but stuffed animals, paper and cardboard are at the top of Gwen’s list.  This Christmas and last we couldn’t leave any wrapped presents under the tree for fear of what she would do to them.  We could leave the unwrapped gifts, out of their boxes, down there and she’d never give them a second glance.  She also is obsessed with anything that has had contact with your ear.  We have gone through more ear buds than you can imagine.  And she literally ruined a pair of Tyler’s glasses beyond repair.  Which was fine.  They were purchased in 1997 and it was time for him to move on.  And pencils.  I joked once that for her birthday I was going to go to the Dollar Store, buy a package of pencils, rub them on my ears and then throw them in the back yard for her enjoyment.

3. Beagles are fiercely loyal to their pack. Your family has just become Benny’s pack.  This will lead to some endearing and annoying behavior.  If another dog even gets close to one of us, Gwen loses her mind.  Which means she’s not a lot of fun at the dog park.  She really won’t play with other dogs, because she already has the chihuahua and us.  The other dogs are not members of her pack and will be snubbed accordingly.  Or howled at.  Or whined at.  Or growled at.  Sometimes all at the same time.

4. If there is trouble, a mess or something stinky, your beagle will find it and get deeply involved. I can’t count the times Gwen has come in dirty and smelly and there seemed to be no culprit in the back yard.  The following picture was a very stinky incident.  We took pictures of it because we couldn’t believe how powerfully it smelled.

And when your beagle gets into something stinky, LIKE SHE DID TODAY, you will have to cry and mutter, “I do not have time for this,” and seriously rethink the priorities in your life give them a bath.  Which I got to do TODAY.  Have I mentioned it yet?  Then your beagle may or may not act like this:

Did I mention she did this today? Right before I sat down to write this blog?

5. Their nose rules their life. That’s basically the long and short of a beagle’s existence.  No matter how much they love you, how well-trained they are, how loyal they are to you, they will choose their nose and what they can smell over all else.  We have even noticed stages of tail wagging by Gwen.  Her tail wags differently depending on how happy she is to be following a trail.  The thing that makes her tail wag in a circle?  Squirrels.  Every. single. time.

6. Beagles are the happiest, loving-est, sweetest dogs ever. It’s as if they have two personalities.  The one that drives you nuts and the one that is so cute and endearing that you can’t stand it.  I have overdosed on beagle cuteness more than once.  I probably did today and will tomorrow.

Enjoy Benny, Caroline and family!  I have a feeling he’s going to be a wonderful, if not mischievous, addition to your family.


6 responses to “What I’ve learned about beagles

  1. Caroline G. says:

    Cheri, you are so precious. Thank you for writing this. I am confident I will have some awesome Benny stories for you down the road. I have pondered how did Benny end up in Animal Control twice in his precious life? I think possibly he followed his nose and the trail led him far away from home. I will write a post about him next week for you 🙂

    • Cheri-Beri says:

      A lot of beagles end up there because they can be very, very bad! But I’ve noticed with Gwen that she needs a lot of stimulation – i.e. access to toys in addition to going outside. She has a plastic box that has an odd assortment of her toys. A plastic cup she chews on, rope toys, a Kong (seriously get one of these, but don’t buy the expensive treats to put inside – your own dog treats will fit just fine), stuffed animals, etc. Beagles need brain work and thankfully their toys fit the bill! Her latest obsession is a toy garden tool she found that the kids don’t play with anymore. See? Easy to please!!!!

  2. Loren says:

    i couldn’t agree more with your post! We recently got our beagle from a shelter back in March… he is the funniest dog with the most amazing personality! So adorable, we love him so much… beagles are great dogs, very loyal like you said!

  3. Kelvin says:

    So true! Lovely animals, I have one called Chutney who is by far the best hound in the world, definitely overdose on how cute he is, and I’m not even a particularly soppy guy!
    The loyalty and inteligence is amazing too! he loves to play and chase with me we’re like brothers but if I am too rough when playing with my little sister Chutney will coming flying over and try and knock me or drag me away. I love how they’re above fetching sticks and things too, after a couple of throws he just gives a look as if to say “you fetch it, you throw it!”

    Anyway just read the posts above and just had to agree!

  4. hrb says:

    I am in the process of seeking to adopt another dog, my senior rescue just passed and I now just have my lab/x rescue who is 7yo. I have always liked the herding type for their loyalty and staying close to you (waiting outside bathroom door for instance) but now I am older all I want is a sweet, easy going dog that wants love and gives love. Would an older (6-8y)beagle fit this bill? We have a fenced yard and I know they can never go off leash. Have found a beagle online that the foster home says is easygoing and sweet which is easier on my stress level than trying to get one at the shelter that I know nothing about. So any advice is welcome 🙂

    • Brian Smith says:


      You have probably adopted by now, but if not consider a beagle. Our beagle, Ginger, is one of the most loyal dogs in the world. When my wife is away, Ginger sits by the door for hours waiting for her Mommy to return. Sometimes she let’s out a low moving howl telling us how much she misses her Mommy. I’m notmaking this stuff up.

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