January 20th, 2015



The beagle's getting weird.

I mean, obviously he was already a pretty defective beagle to begin with, but Brandon's passing has affected him a lot more than I expect.

I'll be honest--I didn't expect him to be terribly concerned. They weren't close buddies. They lived in the same house and I would have sworn up and down that's as far as it went. There was no snuggling, no playing together, none of that. Other than defending the food dish from Brandon (Gir's got some food aggression issues) they interacted as little as two dogs in one house could possibly interact. (The cats, now...the cats luuuuuved Brandon. Gir did not.)

Nevertheless, in the last three days, Gir has started acting...weird.

He's still limping pretty badly from his kneecap, but other than pain meds, there's nothing much to be done. He takes stairs cautiously but without any problem. (The vet said flat out that you can't do knee surgery on a dog this old, so pain meds are all we've got to work with.)

Previously he would occasionally refuse to go into the backyard, and have to be physically plopped onto the deck and then cajoled into the garden to use the bathroom--and then an hour later would happily charge out the back without a care in the world, because beagles are weird. (I think he just hated getting his feet wet. He's an incredible prima donna.)

Now, though, he won't go out back unless you drag him. He avoids the back door like it's cursed and if we do physically dump him onto the deck, he runs into the corner opposite the garden steps. He has to be carried down the steps. He won't even go to a human crouched down and offering petting, which used to be Gir's kryptonite.

Put a leash on him and he will gladly go out front (although he is terrible disappointed that we are not getting into the car) and tackle stairs twice as tall, but the backyard has suddenly become some kind of Forbidden Zone, even with the leash.

I am completely stumped. Nothing terrible happened to him in the backyard, the only difference is that Brandon's not there. I'm starting to wonder if he's much more nearsighted than we guessed and Brandon had been functioning as a seeing eye dog for the last few years. (He can still track a hot dog with laser-like precision, though, so he's not blind.) But he goes into the backyard a dozen times a day and should have it completely memorized, as opposed to the front yard, which he gets into once a month--and yet the front yard is great and the backyard is made of lava.

I got nuthin'. Beagles, man.