Happy 13th Birthday, Milo!

Thirteen years ago today a little Beagle boy was born in a kennel where Laboratory Beagles were bred. The eldest of eight puppies in his litter, puppy CVBAJJ, went a few weeks later to be a part of a dog food trial, testing the use of DHA as a food supplement for puppies to determine its effect on trainability and bonding. From what I’ve heard, Milo excelled and was at the top of his class, which certainly seems likely to me, given his problem-solving ability and his fabulous bond to me and love for everyone he meets.

Whenever I tell people Milo started life as a laboratory dog, they express great sympathy for him and outrage at the cruelty he must have endured, but Milo tells a different story. To be sure, he was under-exposed to the world when Sarah Wilson, my dog training mentor, first got him from rescue. He didn’t know what the green stuff coming out of the ground was, nor what the incredibly high, blue ceiling was, and he found new places overwhelming. But, he was healthy and clearly had been well-treated, looking to people for affection and security, and through Sarah’s skillful guidance became confident and happy to be out in the world (that story will be the subject of another post soon). And, though I often underestimate him because he is so silly and funny, he is an incredibly intelligent dog and a great problem-solver.

I found this information that I think could have come from the trials Milo was a part of:

…it is becoming increasingly evident that nutrition can also significantly impact the achievement of genetic potential in the puppy in ways not previously appreciated. Such is the case with increased puppy trainability with appropriate dietary concentrations of DHA. The benefits of improved trainability can have long-lasting effects by strengthening the owner-companion animal bond and thus increasing the likelihood of a puppy’s successful integration of the puppy into various environments, work or households. (from http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com/article/nutrition-and-dha)

I think it’s really cool that my little Milo has contributed to strengthening the owner-companion bond and increased the likelihood of puppies being successfully integrated into homes!

And now, though Milo is thirteen and his face and whole body are getting whiter all the time, he is wonderfully healthy and active, and in many ways still acts like a puppy, flipping his head and ears around and tossing toys high in the air. Outside he gets the zoomies and flies around the yard, never getting out of breath. He’s still an awesome tracking companion, and now we’re learning to do Nosework together, which we especially enjoy when the weather isn’t conducive to tracking. At home Milo is my constant companion, sleeping near me wherever I am in the house, moving with me if I go to a different room, and snuggling on my lap whenever he can.

Happy Birthday, Milo Bean! You truly are a delight!

Some photos from the past year

Beagle lap warmer
Joy with a favorite toy– chipmunks in a log
Joie de Vivre
Solar powered Beagle loves the summer sun
Soulful eyes
Playtime with Paul

Happy 10th Birthday, Milo!

It is hard to believe that my little Milo Bean is ten years old. He is as full of spunk and fun as ever, playing and making me laugh every day, which is his primary job in life. He rips around the yard playing chase with Petra, and though she is faster, he has more endurance and isn’t even panting when she’s lying in the grass to catch her breath after many wild loops up and down hills and around trees, shrubs, and the old hay rake. During a fast game of chase, Milo loves to run full tilt to the inside of the hay rake, then peer at Petra through the tines, baying and teasing her to come and get him. Those two are the best of friends, and watching them play can lift my spirits any day. 

Sometimes Milo is seized by the simple joy of running, and he takes off skimming in giant loops around the yard, tail out behind him, ears streaming back, moving with surprising grace (unusual for him, since normally all four legs move comically in four different directions), ignoring Petra and Rowan, just caught up in the joy of the moment. Whenever he does that, Stephen and I have to stop whatever we’re doing and watch; it’s impossible to ignore such pure delight in being alive.

No matter how caught up in play with Petra or running with abandon, though, if I call him, Milo immediately banks in my direction, races to my feet with delight and enthusiasm, and stops with a huge smile on his face and wagging tail. I think I often underestimate this little dog. Because he is all hound, he has the intense interest in scents of any sort that comes with being a scent hound, and can seem to block everything else out when he’s following a rabbit trail, but even so, in his mind and heart, I trump all that, and he will drop a trail to race to me the moment I call his name.

In addition to all the fun and laughter, Milo is a first class snuggler and lap-warm, loving to curl up on my lap and sleep for as long as I sit and read. Recently, too, he has decided that Steve is the most wonderful fire-provider, and we are sure that Milo thinks Steve gets the fireplace going just for Beagle-warming purposes.

How could I not adore my marvelous Milo Bean. Happy Birthday, Milo! I hope you share many more years of joy with me.

Coming!
Indicating an article when tarcking
Sunbathing
Happy Milo

Happy Birthday, Milo!

It’s hard to believe that my Little Bean is EIGHT today. He is such a fun and funny member of our family, making me laugh every day, no matter what might be on my mind. He is also a world-class lap snuggler, keeping me warm on those cold, windy days that make a 270 year-old farmhouse house feels drafty.

Keeping Mom warm

From the connection we have when tracking, to Milo’s overflowing joy every time I walk upstairs from the basement, to his silly, happy dance at mealtimes, Milo is a delight and has been a gift from the day he joined our family. Happy Birthday, Milo Bean, and may you have many more!

 

Rolling with Lucy!

Playing with Kippy