One day that summer, a beagle showed up at my parents' house. He was running around with the neighbor's dog, Ziva. Mom and Dad were at first very apprehensive about this little visitor. The beagle looked quite ragged and unhealthy. They asked their neighbor if he belonged to them; he did not. He simply showed up one day and made friends with their dog.
The beagle would come and go for days at a time. He would always come back though. He slowly got to know my parents. He would come up to them on the porch and try to get some pats and snuggles. His cuteness wore my parents down, and he got attention when he would stop by to say hello.
The beagle would hang out at my parents' house from time to time. He would sleep under their porch to keep cool in the Indiana summer heat. He would lay in the garage on an old dog bed when Dad was out working. He became a regular guest.
One day in October, the weather changed. The first truly cold day of the year came. It just so happened that on this day, my dad forgot to shut the side door to the garage. They came out the next morning to find the beagle curled up on the old dog bed in the garage trying to keep warm. Seeing his little body shaking from the cold was just too much for my parents to bear.
They immediately called the neighbors that had been feeding him since he showed up as a stray. The neighbors said he still wasn't their dog, but that they had been feeding him and calling him "Ralph". My parents told them they wanted to take the beagle in and make him a family pet. Even though they already had a house full of dogs, there was room for one more.
The beagle, now known as Barney, was a permanent member of the family. My dad had to pick up Barney the first time he brought him in the house. The second time Barney came in the house, Dad had to help him through the door also. The third time, however, ZOOM! Barney ran in on his own because he knew he finally had a home!
Barney the beagle had a home of his very own. He had a brother and sister to play and snuggle with, and he had a mom and a dad of his very own. He most certainly had a warm winter that year with blankets and beds to snuggle in. It was probably the first winter he had shelter to keep his little beagle body warm. He was one grateful pup.
Barney quickly grew accustomed to his new life. One might say he became king of the castle. To this day, he walks his yard and protects his kingdom. If you walk by, you most certainly will hear a "Baaroooooo!!!" from a lucky beagle named Barney.
Adopting comes in all shapes in sizes. Please consider adopting from your local shelter or rescue group. Or maybe a stray will show up under your porch one day. No matter which avenue you take, adoption is one decision you most certainly won't regret!
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