The Beagle Problem
By William M. McCurrach
Back when you’re a child, and you’re lonely, a parent might get you a pet, well I was given a beagle, cute little guy when he came to me. My step-father brought him home one day I don’t remember his name or what exactly I called that beagle but, I grew attached to him over time. I named him Rusty.
Well, dad may have given me that puppy but he definitely wasn’t in love with him, like I was. Dad fed the dog of course and let me keep him as long as I walked him. It was me and my little beagle against everyone and everything, until the poor dog messed up and caused dad a problem.
It was a day we were going fishing, and dad loaded the fishing poles and equipment in the trunk and then the cooler filled with cold drinks and snacks. He smiled at me and said let’s go fishing! Of course I wanted to go and jumped in the car, taking my beagle along. Dad looked and smiled, and said I hope he behaves, the dog he meant of course, not me.
Dad had a problem with my beagle, he didn’t like the fact the dog liked to dig. My beagle dug holes in the back yard and dad had to fix them. He wasn’t happy about that one for sure.
We drove to that lake to fish in dad’s Cadillac, bright yellow with green cloth interior and in great shape. As, we drove along, my beagle, started to scratch at the backseat, and dad told the dog no, in a harsh tone. The dog never understood of course and thought it was playing, dad didn’t take it that way when we got to the lake.
When we arrived at the lake, I got out of the car with my beagle and waited on dad to unload everything we needed of course, I was still young. Dad unloaded the cooler and snacks, and set them down, then the fishing poles and tackle box and bait. Then as I watched, dad, unload a piece of chain, duct tape and an item that looked like a lead doughnut. I was puzzled, what that was for? Dad looked at my beagle and then at his backseat of his Cadillac, and his face changed to anger. He looked at the dog, then at the seat and back and forth he went, dad was mad, the beagle had dug a hole in his backseat. That was it for my poor beagle.
Dad turned and grabbed my beagle by the back of its neck and held him high helpless. The poor dog yelped and cried but, that didn’t bother dad, the dog ruined his Cadillac.
I watched in terror as dad, took the duct tape and taped my beagles mouth shut, and then taped his front paws together and his back ones too. Then he looked at me and said damn dog will never ruin another thing for me. He reached out and grabbed the chain and weight and wrapped the chain around my beagle, the next thing I know, my beagle was heaved by him into the lake. I watched as my beagle struggled against the weight, but he never came back up, just bubbles. Dad had solved the problem of the beagle, it was his solution. The dog ripped his seat up and that was the end of it. Dad said, well the hell with that dog! Never again did I have a dog or pet, and if I ever thought of one, my mind would replay dad’s solution to his torn seat by my beagle and I forgot any thoughts of having a pet. As Dad put it damn dog gave me a problem so I got rid of it. Sadly, he never mentioned it again, and I knew then, my dad was a cold hard bastard.
Dad’s way of handling things was through violence and threats. Because when I spoke up, asked him about my beagle and why he did it, dad, didn’t explain a thing, but he did get angry at me. What he said was, I pay for you to eat, sleep, drink, dress and go to school, and if you think I am going to let you ruin my life, well, I will shoot you and bury you in the backyard and it won’t affect me one bit.
Because of my beagle, Rusty and how dad handled it earlier, and what he said to me after, when I was a grown man and dad was dying, I refused to go anywhere with him. I didn’t want to be anywhere near, never mind alone with him due to his cold ways.