Saturday, January 21, 2012

Uno is Right at Home

Hello everyone!  Of course, with each passing day since my last post, Uno has come further and further along.  He has blossomed into the most lovable, playful pup you could ever ask for.  He LOVES to cuddle and has developed the custom of flying onto the bed (we have an extra-high bed and he bounces up there with height to spare!) and laying either on top of me or between my little one (whom I lay down with at night and then move to her bed -- she's the baby, what can I say?) and myself.  

This morning I was trying to get my hubby to get out of bed and take a picture of us as Uno was tucked in the crook of my arm, flat on his back, paws up in the air, much like my little one sleeps!  Hubby wouldn't take the hint, though, and I didn't have the heart to drag him out of the bed. 


 Uno cuddles whenever he get the opportunity and always puts his paw on us to keep going if we stop petting him.  He is precious, lovable, and quite obedient. 


He has learned to "sit" and waits for me (however impatiently), sitting, while I put his food bowl down or give him a treat.  It's pretty comical to see him sit for food because it's not a normal sit -- he just kind of PLANTS his bottom on the ground fully intending to jump up if you take too long!  Speaking of treats -- M and S (Uno's Foster P's), Uno has definitely gotten over his finicky-ness regarding treats!  If it comes from a box or a bag, he'll eat it!!

He's also turned into quite the playful little pup!  He chases after the big dogs and empties out the doggie toy box every day (but he NEVER puts his toys away -- we're working on that...).  We love to watch him play and are amazed on a daily basis at the resilience of this little pup who probably couldn't have ever imagined that this is how a dog's life should really be...

Uno is still terrified of leashes and will actually lay down on the ground, immobile, if he feels himself wearing one.  Not sure why... fortunately we have a big backyard with a big hill and we live in an area with horse trails and very little traffic so, after dark and early in the morning we go for short walks off-leash during which he never moves more than a couple of feet away from me.  I intend to tackle the leash problem with some training eventually -- I just haven't gotten around to it, yet, as I know it will take some time. 

Other than that and the occasional potty accident or startle (he doesn't like BAGS of any kind, we have discovered) you would hardly know that he has lived the majority of his life the way that he did.  He is lucky, but we are blessed to have him as I can honestly say that he has enriched our lives.  We laugh about and ogle him every day and love, love, love our Uno.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Uno Helping with My Paperwork

One of the advantages of working from home is that I get to spend a lot of time with my human kids and my canine kids.  Uno likes to be close and he's also very curious.  The combination results in this:

 Now if I can only teach him how to type...

"Honey, I think the Beagle's gone mad..."

Christmas morning I was sitting on the couch with Uno next to me while I watched the kids play with their new gifts.  My oldest daughter got up and came over to us to hug Uno and after about 30 seconds of being hugged, he suddenly started growling at her.  We couldn't figure out why he would be growling, it seemed so random!  He hadn't seemed to mind when she approached him, he had already been sitting next to me so he had no reason to growl at me but he wouldn't stop!  Every time Sophie moved in for another hug, he growled. 

My husband and I looked at each other, both thinking the same thing -- that maybe we were seeing some of the long-term effects of Uno's early life in confinement.  Was he unstable?  Unpredictable?  Unable to be trusted?  Suddenly we were worried that we would have to be extra careful with him around the kids, he may not be as hug-able as we thought he was...  It was so sad.

Then I realized -- he had been sitting on some fuzzy socks that Santa had put in my stocking and I had placed next to me on the couch!  I started pulling them out from under him and, sure enough, he pounced and started tugging!  It was the SOCKS he was protecting!!  We laughed so hard and were so relieved.  It turns out Uno has quite a thing for socks.  Especially the fuzzy ones.  He loves to play tug of war, he chases after them when you throw them, and he defends his booty when you threaten to take it away!  He surprises us a little bit every day.  For instance, we also realized he loves to tear up napkins.  Clean napkins, dirty napkins, any napkin will do!  We love, love, love this quirky pooch.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Look in Their Eyes...

I have been fortunate enough to receive several comments from you loyal readers that truly touch me.  Recently I received a link to a slideshow made by one of the incredible volunteers that enabled the rescue of Uno and 40+ others from Spain.  As I watched the slideshow of the pictures of their first days away from the laboratory, what really struck me was the look in the Beagles' eyes.  I remember my husband saying to me the first day that Uno came to his Forever Home, "I guess he'll always have that look in his eyes..."

It was a distant look, it was the look of a dog that had known little, if any, affection, the look of a lost dog. 

Truthfully, I thought the same thing -- that no matter how much we loved him, he would always carry the look in his eyes of a dog that had been confined for the first part of his life.

Well, I was wrong...
THIS is Uno.  The REAL Uno.
Welcome Home, Pup...

Click on the following link to see the slideshow sent to me by "Spanish Owner" to see the Beagles shortly after their rescue.  

Thank you, Spanish -- for everything you and your friends did to bring our Beagle home.

Uno's First Christmas

This Christmas we were blessed with visits from family and friends from as near as Upland to as far away as Oklahoma (and by "blessed," I mean that all of the grown-ups behaved themselves...).  I had worried -- for about 5 minutes -- that Uno might be a little overwhelmed with all of the company coming and going since he'd only been home for a little over a week.  Now the only thing that worries me is how he'll feel once everyone who has been doting on him for the past several days goes back home!  

To say that Beagles are readily adaptable is a serious understatement -- this little guy has basically gone from lap to lap, couch to love seat, cuddles to scratches, my brother's bed to my bed for the last 4 days!  I don't even know if he remembers what a metal cage looks like! 

He runs around here with his tail straight up in the air, is learning to sit, knows what, "Who's hungry?!?!?" means (the dinner bell for the dogs 'round here), has discovered a passion for a particular article of clothing to be discussed in a later post, "aroo's" and "aroo's" and chases the big dogs up the hill in our backyard as fast as his little legs will carry him...

Uno has been an absolute hit amongst our guests this Christmas.  All he heard for days was, "What a good-looking dog," "He's SO soft," "He's SO sweet!," and "He really is a beautiful dog" and Uno is just reveling in the praise.  
He even had a piece of coconut cream pie that my brother-in-law was silly enough to leave right at nose level!  

Well, Uno may feel like he's had it good this Christmas but we all know that HE has been the greatest gift any of us received this year... Merry Christmas Uno!  


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." -Immanuel Kant

Eventually I'm sure I won't have as much to say about Uno but for now, bringing him to his Forever Home has been like bringing home a newborn baby -- every time he moves a whisker I whip out the camera.  He's adorable but, more importantly, every day brings a little bit more confidence on his part, a little more affection for us, or at least this is what I like to believe.   For instance, when I got home yesterday after running an errand, he ran to me and jumped up on my legs, whimpering and wagging his tail.  For a "normal" dog who has always known how to be a dog, this is not a big, hairy deal.  For Uno and all of his formerly incarcerated brethren, this is HUGE.  

Most of my posts have been happy ones but this evening as I lay with him curled up between my knees on my bed while putting my little one to sleep, a realization dawned on me.  This was that the real cruelty of the situation Uno and these other dogs were in before their rescue by Beagle Freedom Project was not as much the conditions in which they were kept, the testing they were subjected to, or how they were exploited by people that call themselves human... it is that they were not loved.   My intention is by no means to minimize all that was done to them or how they were kept, but I see Uno and how he puts his paw on our arms to keep us from walking away when we're petting him, or how he readily climbs onto my belly and chest or curls up in between my knees, or even how he comes when we call him and is content to tolerate all of our pets and smooches and scratches until our backs hurt from bending over or our legs have fallen asleep from squatting, and I know that this animal needs to be loved.   These are SENTIENT, sweet, loyal, smart dogs that would just as soon go without food than live without affection.  
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
-- Author Unknown

Uno is getting better every day but readers, don't misunderstand me -- he is still a little skittish, he still jumps and tucks his tail under when an envelope falls to the floor while I'm opening the mail, he has a long way to go before he is no longer traumatized... but I know that he knows that we recognize that his greatest need is for love 

                   and love...
                                                                             conquers all.