AirBeagle: Hound Wrangler


There has now been a beagle in our house continuously since 17-Oct-1994, almost 26 years. I created the AirBeagle name in March/April 1999 and have used it as my handle ever since. AirBeagle.Com began at that time. It became a little expensive to renew each year, so I let it go (and yes, I regret that) and moved the site instead to AirBeagle.US. All the writing that I used to do at AirBeagle.Com and that my husband and I did at AirBeagle.Net, is now consolidated under my name at StevePollock.Net.

The Hounds We’ve Wrangled have been wonderful members of our family. They have greatly contributed to our mental health over the years. There has been great joy and great sorrow … and some irritation and aggravation over the years. Here are the hounds who have graced and blessed us:

• Bayley Murphey Beagle (20-Aug-94—2-Mar-07). The first, original and one and only. Born 20-Aug-94 in Kemp, TX, he shared many adventures with us as we moved from Plano/Dallas, TX, to Pleasant Hill, CA, to Highlands Ranch, CO, to San Francisco, CA, to Ann Arbor, MI, and finally to Brentwood, CA. He was a very well-travelled beagle. His kidneys shut down due to the contaminated dog food scandal in 2007. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 2-Mar-07. The hurt was huge. But a sixth grade student of mine had an idea: Her beagle Ginger Spice Girl Beagle was expecting puppies. We should get one! Or two … or three … so came the Beagle Boys.

Bayley had always been rather lonely and a little socially stunted by being a lone beagle. So, this time, we thought we’d get two boys to compensate. But when Ginger had her pups on 9-Mar-07, there were three boys and two girls, and the girls were already promised. So, it was to be three boys after all. Gulp.

• Feargal Murphey O’Dougal Beagle (Feargal Butt) (9-Mar-07—17-Oct-2015) was rather the alpha of the three. He kept order with an iron hand. He never let anyone else in the household get out of line. Feargal crossed the bridge due to cancer on 17-Oct-15.

• Fergus Murphey O’Dougal Beagle (Ferga-Ferg, Ferga Dog) (9-Mar-07—17-Oct-2015) was the middle child, usually independent and making his own way. He has proved to be hardier than his brothers. Fergus is still with us, dealing with old age just past his 13th birthday. He has issues, as we all do, but he more than holds his own in the pack.

• Fredrick Murphey O’Dougal Beagle (Fred Fred, Grumpus) (9-Mar-07—20-Aug-2012) was like a younger child, and he was also the grumpier child. He and his brothers loved their romps. He could be very fussy and independent and wasn’t too fond of nail trims or vet visits or nap disturbances. But he surprised us by contracting cancer in the summer of 2012 and crossed the Bridge on Bayley’s birthday, 20-Aug-2012.

When we lost Fred Fred, my husband Frank has always rather loved basset hounds, and in the next couple of weeks, he found the wonderful rescue group that has brought such joy into our lives, Belly Rubs Basset Hound Rescue of Tennessee. A basset was found wandering and starved west of Knoxville, and was brought into a pound there. Aidan, a friend of Belly Rubs found him and pulled him into the rescue, where he was given love and attention and grew into a force around which all of our lives resolved. His foster mom, Heather, who named him Roux.

• Roux (29-Jan-2010— ) (His Imperial Majesty I Am The Roux, Your Highness, Shut Up!) is … well, the ruler of the Manse. We are his churls. Frank is his kitchen churl making with the food and nice stuff, while I am his mean churl in charge of baths and vet visits and nail trims and medicine applications. And I also dispense biscuits at his whim. Roux came to live with 18-Sep-2012. Feargal and Fergus didn’t know what hit them. Fergus and Roux tended to occasionally get up to mayhem and Roux would still like to, but senior citizen Fergus is no longer having it. So Roux has to be content with the other current pack members. Feargal did rather dominate Roux to a point, but they did get along until Feargal’s death three years later.

After Feargal died, Frank saw a need for two seniors in Bellyrubs Rescue who were a bonded pair who had been owner surrendered because he couldn’t afford their vet care. We met their transport at Monteagle, TN, and even though we ended up only getting to share the end of their lives, they were awesome parts of our hearts.

• Bosco the Bagel (? — March-2018) was rather mixed, but the vet was fairly sure he was a beagle/basset/corgi. He was sweet and happy go lucky and food motivated. He ignored Roux and Fergus and was a cuddle hound. We had him for three-and-a-half years before a rib sarcoma forced his Rainbow Bridge crossing, but we wish it had been longer. He had a mostly Corgi disposition and was such a wonderful hound.

• Sascha Basset (Queen of Our Hearts) (? — Aug. 2019) was full-on Basset Hound. She was our Queen and we were her slaves. She was loud and demanding at dinner time and sweet and loving and happy and snuggly. We think she was about 14 when she crossed the bridge, probably after suffering a stroke. She had a long life, and we were privileged to make sure her last years were happy ones.

Then came two brothers. The Clown Princes. Their mother was a basset hound and their father was a treeing walker coonhound. At first, just Goose came to live with us, then two years later his brother Charlie joined us.

• Goose (22-Jan-2014— ) (Prince Goose, The Goose is Loose, Gooby-Doo-Wah, Gooby-Doo, Goo) is a smaller version of his brother Charlie. Goose is black and white, while Charlie also has a lot of brown. Goose came to us via Belly Rubs when his human mother had a health scare and had to rehome Goose and three of his sisters. He came to us in March of 2017. We met his Belly Rubs transport in Cookeville. He immediately stirred up the household. He ran Roux, Sascha and Bosco ragged and revealed an extremely deep coonhound voice, which makes him sound much bigger than he looks. He chases laser dots and races through the house at dinner time. His name came from a white patch of fur on his back that looks like a goose in flight. In fact, it looks like the old logo of Lake Central/North Central/Republic Airlines, which was finally subsumed into Northwest, then Delta. He is goosey in behavior and has a goose tattooed on his back, so to speak, so the name is highly appropriate.

• Charlie (22-Jan-2014— ) (Prince Charles, Prince Charles Phillip Arthur George, the Chonk). Charlie went to their human mother’s human daughter after weaning, while Goose and his siblings stayed. But in 2019, that human daughter became pregnant with a human daughter of her own, so we were asked if Charlie could join brother Goose. Having just lost Bosco and Sascha, we said of course and a whole new personality entered the hound house. Charlie is very motivated by food and it already showed when he arrived. But he and Goose are otherwise twins. They romp and wrestle with each other, race through the house at dinner time, the whole nine yards. But Charlie is a snugglebug, while Goose prefers some independence. He’s not that much of a cuddler. Charlie is. He’s also a licker; he can spend hours just licking faces, especially of Goose, Roux and Fergus after dinner. He’s been with us a year and it’s been pretty awesome.

At this writing, there are four hounds in the house then: a beagle, a basset hound, and two coonhound/bassets. It has NOT been a dull 26 years since Bayley first showed up on the scene. God willing, it will be another 26 years of love and hugs and licks and treats and ruckuses.