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Clearing the Runway

3 September 2023

I left my comfort zone today, for at least a few hours. I can’t confirm that I actually possess a comfort zone. The space is more of a routine mode of thought which, for me, is not always routine and rarely comfortable.

During the weeks immediately following the loss of Chance, Dear Husband and I contemplated getting another puppy, — sometime next year. I couldn’t picture another beagle in the house for a long time, but I also knew that moping through the rest of the year — and the Christmas season — was not an option.

I’d known about Windkist Beagles in Ogden, Utah because of the handsome and prolific Parker, “A Walk in the Park”; and his son, the adorable, famous and historic AKC BIS (Best in Show) winner of 2008: Uno, “Park Me In First.” Uno’s dam was Am CH Legacy Li’l Secret at K-run.

I decided to contact the breeders at Windkist for some information regarding a female beagle pup for purchase sometime next year, perhaps in January 2024.

Leah, the breeder, and a wonderful woman, informed me that there would be no fall/winter litters because of the last winter having been so lousy — at least weather-wise. Another year would have to pass before a summer litter might be available. There was no guarantee of that opportunity either.

I explained the extremely wet winter and spring in the Sierra Nevada foothills that we’d endured; and expressed our desire to engage, once more, in the adventure that is loving a beagle, after having lost our Chance. I also provided our beagle ownership history, and filled out a highly detailed questionnaire.

And that, I thought, was the end of that, until the summer of 2024. I’d have to see what Providence would provide.

Dear Husband took the communications reins from that point on because I was too skittish about the thought of bringing a new beagle pup into my newly-constructed house. There’s so much of Chancey Boy in every room, nook and cranny here. Obviously, I needed more time to grieve.

A few days later, Leah informed us a chance at a female beagle pup might occur this year. Two litters were due to be born sometime around the 4th of July.

I took it as a sign that our Yankee Doodle Dandy male beagles, Bootsie and Chance, were sending some pointers our way — a trail to track to the future.

Thus it was that in mid-June Dear Husband and I began the lengthy and detailed process of purchasing a female pup from Windkist Beagles in Ogden, Utah. At first, it was quite difficult for me to look at the lineages and the championships and the adorable and adoring faces of these beautiful “typey” beagles “with big movement” and those mascara’ed eyes (although I think of the dark smudges as eyeliner). In time, though, the pure zeal for living, and for loving, was stirred within me.

This statement on the site about Parker was probably the one that sealed the deal:

While Parker has passed on, his presence is very strong in our breeding program. His Spirit lives on through his puppies and in our hearts at Windkist!

Little by little, I began to envision what “Jolene du Pré, Windkist Talking in Your Sleep” would look like, or a fair enough facsimile thereof.

Toward the latter part of July, Dear Husband and I received pix of the three female pups in one litter of five beagles at Windkist Beagles. Ginger Snap is the dam; CH Seventhson He Likes It! Hey Mikey!, or Mikey, for short (which he is), is the sire. The pups looked, at 2 weeks, like tri-coloured hamsters with huge pink noses, almost flattened proboscises.

I immediately liked Ginger Girl No. 3 because my consistent pattern is to provide attention and comfort to the runt. Dear Husband leaned heavily toward Ginger Girl No. 1.

No. 2 didn’t appeal to me at all. My disinclination for second place might have been a factor, but the primary objection was the shape of her head. It wasn’t sufficiently domed. And, her eyes, while lovely, were not looking at the camera. The other two pups were eyeing the eye-phone, directly and somewhat pitifully. It’s a reaction I understand!

The first video of the Ginger Girls arrived in the e-mail of Dear Husband on Saturday, August 12.

No. 2 turned out to be a spark plug, racing from a toy on the play-mat to a pair of sneakers, on the other side of the room; and then she zoomed back to the puppy-mat, to quick-sniff another toy. When she was picked up, her tiny legs were still in motion, like a pinwheel. She was placed down on the floor. She then darted off into another room.

“No stop button” was the phrase used by Leah, the Windkist breeder, regarding this four-legged furry energy-pack. It was obvious to me that training this beagle pup would be an exercise in futility. I’d be the one trained.

I nonetheless found Spark Plug fascinating to watch. Very minimal on-task focus, with just about no interaction with Litter Mates #1 and #2 — and none at all with the human-in-charge.

No. 1 adorably engaged the breeder — sweetly trying to get her attention away from Spark Plug and from No. 3 who stayed close to No. 1.

Ginger Girl 3 was, indeed, the runt of the litter. As is my custom, I assured this sweet little follower of the pack that someone would take her home, and someone did. (The Spark Plug went home to a family with two teenagers!)

No. 1 therefore became our pick to receive the name of Jolene du Pré.

A second video was emailed to us on Friday, September 1. The scene took place on Bath Day!

Dear Husband nicknamed our Jolene the Pogo-Stick. She leaps into the air, a bit like a corkscrew, and then, after a fast crash landing, makes a second jump. The third jump was achieved through a ricochet off of No. 3, her remaining litter mate. One of the male beagles had shown up in the grooming mix, but Jolene was making quick work of vertical-izing around and off of him.

I’m clearing the runway today as Dear Husband prepares to fly to Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, mid-morning, to procure our lovely little miss. I’m usually superstitious about posting any material about an Event until after it has happened. But I’m getting the distinct feeling that our tri-coloured action figure will be The Event!

She needs an introductory overture.

How can I withhold from my website such beauty, such adorably charged energy, and so much beagle-love?

Part of making a clear path for future flying and landing, hers and mine, occurred this morning. I rid my Shaker sock box of worn-out natural fiber socks. Not that I’ll be buying any more socks anytime soon. The plague of recycled fibers, most horribly from liter soda-bottles, has expanded during the past few years of economic debacle, Version 2.0.

Or maybe it’s 3.0.

I can’t keep track of the latest greed-driven stupidity brought to the Consumer by the idiots running the manufacturing-and-retail clown show. The clown car has been abandoned in favor of public transit that’s also falling apart. [Don’t mention the price of gas.]

There are some superb woolen socks sold in Scotland that I’m putting on my Christmas gift list. Just a suggestion for a puppy who might be taking part in the holiday spirit.

Jolene shall need her share of natural fibers to chew, gnaw, pull, and tug her way through — on her way to clearing her own runway toward that goal of Adult Beagle.

She’s already grabbed her name and run with it!


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