This morning we said goodbye to Niles the Beagle, a Nervous Little Dog. We don't know when exactly he was born, but within a year or two, he found his way into a rescue shelter, and from there he was adopted by an active family in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately within three or four years dad had to deploy to a war zone, daughter had to deploy to college, and mother wasn't a dog person. So at the age of about five, Niles needed a new family.
He found me through a workplace classified. He came to my house and immediately began to run around the yard. This made me happy. So I decided to fence it in so other dogs could run with him. And that, as we all know, took on a life of its own.
Niles was always the police dog of the dogpark. If anyone was having too much fun or showing too much aggression, Niles would jump in and break it up, no matter how big the dogs were. He loved to run with certain dogs (Beans, Clark). Others he swore he'd kill if he had the chance (sadly, Moby). And he barely tolerated Cousin Archie. I always said, "If it wasn't his dogpark, Niles wouldn't be invited."
Niles was protective of me... He had run-ins with certain friends of the family, as well as the odd real estate agent. He would get them in the calf from behind as if to say, "...and STAY OUT!!" In his later years he mellowed out quite a bit. But we never fully trusted him around strangers, especially when I was around.
Niles was above all a Good Dog... certainly as Beagles go. He didn't dig, chew, jump up, escape, run away, or bark excessively. He never had an accident in the house, at least not until lately. He sought out petting and he always checked on me when I wasn't feeling well. He accepted affection from others... usually. And he brought many friends to the yard.