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Just a Dog

Bastille Day 2023

Just a Dog: Beagle Memes

As part of my marching toward the future, after the sudden loss of Chance, here on earth, in late May, I’ve subjected myself to beagle memes.

Memes are not usually something that I indulge in viewing. There are so many bad ones! These visual truths, posted in this essay, are, however, really true! To eat any meal or snack whilst in the presence of your beagle, aka the French sniffer dog, is to adjust to the sensation that your food is not really yours to eat. In fact, during the initial break-in phase of owning a new beagle puppy, dieting is a sound idea! Just the making of an egg salad sandwich at your kitchen counter is equivalent to sounding a smell-alarm. The aroma of bacon, cooking in the pan, brings home the fact that the beagle sense of smell eradicates all other senses, yours and his!

Laughter is the best medicine, especially when the ailment is grievous sorrow. Letting go of a beloved pet comes in stages, and I’ve discovered that the spirit of the forever-hound leads the way toward accepting, with newly found excitement, a new member of the pack. I’ve also come to understand how the courage of one little dog can turn a tumultuous tide within a person, quite without that person even knowing it. This gift from a dog to a human, one who does her best to love him unconditionally, in the way that the furry little friend loves his or her owner — that gift is priceless and eternal. During the past six weeks, I’ve looked back in order to look forward. I’ve recalled the times when a silly little dog taught me lessons about living and loving, schooling that I could never have received from any mere mortal.

Oftentimes, I’ve been mocked for my allegiance to, and ardent devotion and adoration of my beagle(s). Bitterness, jealousy, small-mindedness, and even heartlessness have entered into that ridicule. There was also more than a small amount of inhumanity within those attitudes and emotions that deny support of any loving sentiment. I don’t choose to bestow tenderness and a cherished friendship upon a hound as revenge against certain humans and their horrible-ness. I’ve not closed off my heart to people in order to open that heart to a dog. Quite the contrary, I feel my heart opening to whatever humanity might toss at me because my heart has known, and knows, the love between a dog and myself.

The nitty-gritty of the heart-matter was aptly stated by Voltaire, or Mark Twain, or Charles de Gaulle. I’ll quote le général on this one, in honor of Bastille Day: The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs. When I read the following passage entitled Just A Dog at the Windkist Beagle website, I was taken by its heartfelt truths. I then was able to turn a corner, and turn that page, toward a new phase in my life. As is typically the case, this endlessly memorable piece of writing was penned by Author Unknown:

Just a Dog From time to time, people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog.” or “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog.” Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog,” and not once have I felt slighted. In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provides comfort and purpose to overcome the day. If you, too, think it’s “Just a dog,” you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.”

“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of “Just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. For me and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “Just a man” or “Just a woman.” So the next time you hear the phrase, “Just a dog,” smile, because they “just don’t understand.”


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