Kenosha Pet Sitter Blog
Although I have always loved dogs and cats, my family did not have a dog of our own until I was half way through college. The summer between my sophomore and junior year at UW-Whitewater was when my family got Louie, a Beagle pup. Although Louie has sadly been gone for a few years now, his legend remains with all who met him, and continues to grow with each passing year. Pet stories are often funny, heartwarming, cute, and sometimes sad. Stories of Louie tend to be more along the line of tall tales, and I will continue to share some of these in future newsletters.
My first Louie story takes place not long after Louie came to our family. I made sure to walk him through our neighborhood every day in the late afternoon after I got home from my summer job grilling sausages at Tenuta’s (I like to think Louie’s enthusiastic greeting of me was based solely on love and loyalty; although I realize my grilled sausage aroma played a large role in his after-work greetings). One afternoon, about five minutes into our walk, Louie suddenly froze. He put his nose mere centimeters from the ground, his tail stood straight up, his ears perked up, and he began to sniff with the urgency of a coffee addict entering a Starbucks. Suddenly, he began barking frantically. However, this wasn’t a typical bark or even a howl. It was the telltale braying sound of a Beagle hot on the trail of a scent! Very quickly, Louie turned 180 degrees and headed in the reverse direction down the sidewalk, nose to the ground, braying all the way. I was very excited. Whether it is watching a husky pull, a lab retrieve a stick or ball, or a Jack Russell Terrier dig, there is something truly special about seeing the enthusiasm displayed by a dog when they are “in the zone” of an activity for which they were bred. I had plenty of time that afternoon, so I decided to follow Louie to see where he would take me. My imagination ran wild with questions. What type of animal does he smell? Is it large or small? Is it still alive, or is it injured?
Louie followed the sidewalk for about a block and a half, after which he turned sharply and followed his scent intently through a neighbor’s front yard. He snaked through the yard and led me between houses, essentially making a short cut through what would normally have been an “around the block” walk. A few neighbors gave us questioning glances, to which I replied, “He’s on the trail.” At one point, we came to the street, which Louie wanted to cross. After waiting for traffic to clear (with Louie braying the whole time), I allowed him to lead me across the street and into a field with tall grass, weeds, and trees. He plunged head first into the brush, with me struggling to keep up with the taut leash. We walked about 100 yards through the knee–deep brush before Louie finally stopped walking and braying.
Although we were no longer moving forward, Louie’s concentration was still intent on the ground. His barking suddenly ceased, and then he began moving again. However, no longer was he moving straight ahead. He was walking in a very sporadic pattern of half circles and zig-zags. He was closing in! Finally, he stopped again. There was a large pile of leaves, sticks, and matted brush. Something was certainly here, or something had recently been there! Louie nosed feverishly at the leaves and started to dig. After only a few seconds, he stopped digging, sat, and looked into my eyes. I bent over to see what he found, half expecting something to jump out at me. After moving a few more leaves aside, I saw what Louie had masterfully tracked with his exceptional sense of smell. There was no mistaking what I had laid my eyes upon. Still partially buried in the brush and glistening in the sun, was a half-eaten bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
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