I have always wanted a dog, but for most of my adult life, I worked a gazillion hours a week and knew it would be cruel and unusual punishment for any creature that placed its wellbeing in my hands. Although we did keep a beta fish alive for nearly two years, but it’s not really the same thing. Fortunately, the last week of August I switched jobs within the company I work for and the new job allows me to work from home once in a while and leave the office before it gets too dark out.
The day I found out about the new position, I was on PetFinder.com. I had taken a few of those “which breed is right for you” quizzes in the previous months and the top results were usually Lab and Beagle. I knew I wanted to adopt rather than go the purebred route and we would never go to a mall puppy shop, so I started looking for beagle/lab mixed puppies. I affectionally called it a “Beagledor” but after further research learned the technical name was a Labbe.
After a few hours of searching and “oohing” and “aahhing” over a ton of pictures, Ryan and I found a listing for six puppies ready for adoption from a beagle mom who had been pulled from a shelter in SC. While the rescuers, Road Trip Rescues, could obviously make no claims about the actual bred, they thought the papa dog was probably a black lab since most of the pups were nearly all black. We filled out the application for a female puppy named Rylee and expected to wait a few days or weeks to hear back. We were notified in a few hours that we were accepted and could pickup Rylee on September 1st!
We were so excited! We were actually with Ryan’s family at the Jersey Shore for Labor Day weekend and left early to drive home and then out to Allentown to pick up Rylee. We fell in love with her right away, she was a little ball of black fur with these huge pleading eyes.
The first week was rough, she got sick right away and lost some weight. We took her to the vet, Queen Village Animal Hospital, who gave her fluids and some anti-worm medication and she got better pretty quickly. She was pretty good about house breaking and would let us know she had to go out by standing by the front door and whining. We bought the Caesar Milan book, How to raise the perfect dog, and followed many of his training methods, including crate training. She seemed to really like the crate and would often wander in on her own when she got sleepy, even though she another bed in the middle of the living room. She quickly accepted the crate at her space. We had several wake up whines in the middle of the night for the first month or so and Ryan was great about taking her out. I love her and would do anything for her, but I am blind and clumsy before I’ve had coffee or my contacts in and Ryan is better equipped for those situations than I am. Thanks, hun!
As she got a little older, her legs grew really fast and she seemed awkwardly tall for a beagle. I joked that her dad wasn’t actually a black lab, he was a black giraffe. Curiosity got the better of us so we purchased a DNA kit online and found out a few weeks later that she is no beagle at all – she’s mostly American Foxhound!
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