Scott Tibbs

Beagle memories

By Scott Tibbs, February 18, 2020

One year ago today, Tera the Beagle had a stroke and passed away. We had her for thirteen and a half years.

When we first brought her home from the animal shelter on July 8, 2005, she was 20 pounds and underweight. (She was a year and a half old at the time.) The veterinarian gave us tips on how to help her get some more calories, which worked a little too well. One year later, she was 35 pounds and a little fat dog. Then she had to go on a diet.

I am not sure what her history was, but she would howl the entire time she was in the car. She would jump in without any problems, but when we started moving she flipped out. She also had severe separation anxiety that did not improve until the last few months of her life when she was 15 and elderly.

As a former stray, she was obsessed with rabbits. After our walk one time she managed to slip out the door and make a run for it. (She must have thought I was leaving, so the separation anxiety kicked in.) She was tearing down the street with me running after her at top speed. She forgot all about me when she got to a line of trees where there was always a rabbit hiding. She flushed out the rabbit and ran after it. This allowed me to catch up to her, because the rabbit slipped under a fence and she was trying to figure out how to get to it when I finally caught up. My chest was on fire.

Another time, she really wanted to go get a rabbit she saw on our walk, and I would not allow it. She was so frustrated she screamed as loud as she could. She really wanted that rabbit.

Her relationship with Nano (a Beagle / Rat Terrier mix) was amusing. She immediately established that she was the dominant dog over the bigger, stronger, faster, younger Nano. She would randomly take his toy and kick him out of wherever he was sleeping – not because she wanted it, but because she wanted to prove her dominance. This continued until the end of her life. Nano would always stare at me, expecting me to do something about it..

She loved children, and adored my two boys. Before they were born, she managed to escape the fence while we were visiting family in Anderson. When we found her, she was being petted by some children. She refused to go back home with us, because she wanted to stay with the children. I had to pick her up and carry her back to the vehicle.

In her old age, she did calm down a lot. I suspect she just did not have the energy to be high strung any more. But one time when she would always be loud was dinner time. She had the same dinner time every day and would come and howl at me if I was late. This continued until just before she died. Switching back to Standard Time every November was an especially difficult time for her, because she thought it was later than it was.

Tera was a very stubborn, but very loving dog. We miss her a lot.

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