Two weeks ago today we said good-bye to Milo, our sweet, joyful Beagle boy. Milo added so much light and joy and laughter and love to our home. He was irrepressibly cheerful, with a nearly constantly wagging tail, often dancing and flipping his ears and baying with joy just because I came up from the basement or asked him to join me for a walk in the yard. He loved tracking and nose work and any other reason to use his nose, but what was really special about that was how much he wanted to do that with me, not just on his own. Milo lived for connection, and especially as his health declined, he always wanted to be wherever I was.
I don’t think Milo ever met a person he didn’t like. He loved everyone who came through our door, and he especially loved children. When our neighbors were little and would come over to play in our yard, Milo would run to greet them. If one of them sat down, Milo would immediately curl up in his lap.
Milo also liked almost all dogs. He was one of those dream dogs to take out in public; he wagged at every person he saw and ignored every dog he saw. He loved playing with his friends, and especially when he was younger, any friendly dog was a friend.
Milo’s joie de vivre was especially amazing considering his beginnings as a laboratory dog, who never saw sky or grass or the outside world until he was ten months old. At that time my friend and mentor, Sarah Wilson, adopted him and began the process of housebreaking a dog who’d never pottied anywhere but wherever he was and of teaching Milo that strangers are just friends he hadn’t yet met and that the world was full of fascinating smells he would grow to love. It took time, but with Sarah’s patient guidance Milo gained confidence and delight in all the world and its inhabitants, whether people or other animals. When Milo was two and a half years old he came to live with our family, brightening and warming our home with his silly playfulness and sweet cuddles for a dozen happy years.
My sweet Milo Bean, I miss your dark eyes watching me, your velvety soft ears, your warm snuggles, and your happy baying. I hope to see you again someday, dancing and baying and tracking in sunny fields full of delightful scents.
There are stories of Milo and me tracking on this blog of Sarah’s and mine (and also great, basic tracking instruction by Sarah): Nose Down, Tail Up