The dog that my next door neighbor has.

It all began one rainy November night in 1995, when they neighbors got this dog from the humane society and brought it home. I should have known when it was barking loudly and sharply, that this was going to be the beginning of a beautiful rivalry between the two of us. Man vs. Beast. Well, Beagle anyway.

The Beagle was at first, intimidated by me. It knew its evolutionary shortcomings, that being 9 inches tall. I knew my evolutionary superiority that being 112 lbs at the time, of pure dachshund obliterating machine. The first Battle of the Beagle, was in December of 1995. My friends and I were attacking the local contingent of neighborhood girls that always moved through at roughly 4pm every day after school would let out. We were anticipating having them by surprise, to ambush them and pummel them into defeat with snowballs. They had done this the previous day, and we had to extract our revenge that day, or all would be lost. Well, I took up the rear, as I was the fastest, and could easily catch up with any of the others in the case of an emergency. However, the Beagle had other plans, as during the attack on the girls, the vicious beast struck me down. Taken by complete surprise, at it had stealthily moved into position behind us, I attempted to throw a snowball at it, however it shook off the attack, and attacked me further. I began running away, and it did not attempt pursuit. The superior numbers of the girl armada ruthlessly routed my fight brothers, now a man short. They never let me live that one down, The Battle of the Beagle.

The next run-in was about a year later, when I was getting the mail. I was walking out in my bathrobe and slippers, and was very cold. The ground was very icy, and so I took my time. On the way back up the inclined driveway, I slipped and fell on my back. Hitting my ass on the cold ground was uncomfortable enough, but then it was made a whole lot worse, when the Beagle decided to make its move again. It leaped the snow hill separating the neighbor's yard from my own, and with reckless abandon, mauled my arm. Well, at least it attempted to, as the terrycloth material of the robe, saved my arm from a brutal slashing.

One day, however, the situation was much different. While coming home from work, the GAP, I noticed that the dog was on the side of the road in the wet gutter, leash still attached to the tree, whimpering. I slowly approached; making sure that this was not a ruse to lure me in for a surprise attack, as we had done to girls so many years before. I could tell that the Beagle was not faking it, and I put my hand down. The Beagle licked it, and then laid his head down in the water. I picked the Beagle up, and then promptly took it to the vet, where I was informed that the ailment was a bad case of tainted food. They pumped the Beagle's stomach, and we went home. I still made the Beagle sit in the back seat.

Now, the Beagle looks at me with a bit of respect in it's eye. It has not attacked me lately, however, two nights ago, I did feed it some tuna fish that I was eating while sitting out in my front yard. He was pleased, and then went back to his yard, where he has stayed. Peace being declared, and because of that, the Beagle is a welcome ally against the never-ending threat of the girl incursion into the boy's territory.

The beagle is a small hound breed with origins which are unknown. They can be traced to 16th-century England, and almost all modern beagles are descended from a single pack kept by a member of the English clergy in the middle of the 19th century. Later in the same century, a type of beagle with some of the characteristics of a basset hound was known in the southern United States.

Since around 1870, beagle packs imported from Britain have greatly improved the American strain. The typical American beagle is short-legged, stands 30 to 41 centimeters high at the shoulder, and has a smooth coat that is usually a mixture of brown, white, and black. It has a long, slightly domed head; brown eyes; drooping ears; a square-cut muzzle; sloping shoulders; muscular hips and thighs; and a short, slightly curved tail.

Overall, the beagle is said to look more like a minature foxhound. The beagle hunts by scent and is used for tracking down small game such as rabbits. It is also one of the most popular house pets as well as hunting dogs.

The HMS Beagle was the ship that brought Charles Darwin, among others, to South America in 1831. The voyage's purpose was to chart the South American coast. It was captained by Robert FitzRoy.

Bea"gle (?), n. [OE. begele; perh. of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. & Gael. beag small, little, W. bach. F. bigle is from English.]


A small hound, or hunting dog, twelve to fifteen inches high, used in hunting hares and other small game. See Illustration in Appendix.


Fig.: A spy or detective; a constable.


© Webster 1913.

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