We’ve got a house guest at the moment. He’s from out of town. He’s having surgery here in the Beach this week so he needed somewhere to crash before and after. I obliged, even if he expects platinum premier service usually reserved for celebrities lodging at luxury hotels. He insists on breakfast-in-couch, tummy massages, complimentary treat baskets (fresh daily), a bottle of our finest mineral water, nightly turn-down of his blankie and, last but not least, the ultra-exclusive, highly sought-after take-home bathrobe.
Of course, that’s just his pre-surgery demands. I can only imagine what lies ahead. No doubt he’ll play the sympathy card when I pick him up at the hospital. I can picture him now, the well-rehearsed expression of a long-suffering pooch in desperate need of 24-hour pampering pathetically peering out from his post-surgery cone. If grapes weren’t bad for dogs, he’d have me peeling them one by one.
Yes, my house guest is a dog. He should have been a motivational speaker. He’s always got some compelling reason why the people in his life should give 110 per cent every time. He had me at ‘howl-o’. His name is Jerry Maguire.
We rolled out the red carpet for Jerry a couple years ago. He was described as a 10- to 12-year-old beagle found wandering the world near Belleville. Quinte Humane Society took him in but he wasn’t adoptable. From what they could tell, he had a significant heart murmur. Not much adoption hope for an old dog with a bad ticker. The shelter staff called us and the ambitious Mr. Maguire has been our guest ever since, conducting exciting breakthrough scent research on several acres of farm land courtesy of his forever foster family!
But Jerry isn’t the only superstar ever to set paw in the Big On Beagles rescue resort. From past to present there have been many, mostly young-at-heart senior beagles ready to fulfill their bucket lists. In December, you may recall, we welcomed our 100th guest after she’d been abandoned in a mall parking lot tethered to a grocery cart. Clementine is still celebrating her Diamond Elite Level status. At least, that’s what it feels like for her and the rest of our rags-to-riches VIB (Very Important Beagle) Members. Every one of them receives the red carpet welcome and that welcome lasts a lifetime.
Rest assured I’m not referring to fame or fortune, although we’re not opposed to adorning our rescue beagles with the odd bling on their collars. But the real riches we want for these deserving dogs are things that we all cherish more than bling – health, happiness and love. It doesn’t cost a dime to provide the happiness and love. Both flow freely down at Beagle Tailquarters. Good health, however, is what costs for dogs as neglected as the ones we’re here to save. Without it, there could be nothing else.
This is the perfect time to give a howl-out to our good health providers – the extraordinary veterinarians at Beaches Animal Hospital who do all they can to keep our costs down while giving 110 per cent every time, treating our homeless howlers like royalty and me like family. As you can imagine, the clinic’s lobby is my second home. There’s no place like home!
Now it’s time to give a howl-out to YOU. Not just for our little beagle rescue but for all the dog rescue groups I have the good fortune to raise funds and awareness with in the Rescue Me Village at Woofstock every June. We really raised the WOOF at Woofstock this year! We’ll be getting the official tally from our friends at K9 Rescue Me shortly, but I know we exceeded our goal. We were busier than a beagle at a squirrel convention and that’s because YOU noticed us. You brought your support and your friendship. You walked for our rescue groups in the Rescue Me Walkathon. You made it possible for us to continue adorning our dogs with the riches that matter most.
As I write this article, our house guest is stretched out on the couch in my office, no doubt having an inspirational dream about a bunny rabbit. He’s enjoyed his first tummy massage of the day and will be expecting room service following his nap. When he goes for his surgery tomorrow to remove a worrisome lump on his face, I’ll be doing something most hotel managers aren’t required to do. I’ll be anxiously anticipating that first post-op kiss on his nose in the hospital lobby. As for the vet bill, we got it covered. Thanks to you, nobody needs to yell “Show me the money!”
You complete us! This article is dedicated to all those who supported the K9 Rescue Me Walkathon at Woofstock this year. Because of you, we can keep coming to the rescue of dogs like Jerry Maguire – a beagle no longer experiencing troubled times, just good times at his favourite B & B (Bellyrubs & Breakfast), a.k.a. Big On Beagles (BOB) Rescue, www.bigonbeagles.ca.