In 2009, I took one of a litter of Beagle pups that had been born on a farm. I named him Fitzgerald and, for the few months Aunt Tudi and I had him, he was an absolute joy.
Except for one thing...
On our return from grocery shopping one day, Fitzgerald met us at the car. You may be inclined to think, "So what? That's what dogs do!" But, see, my yard is completely fenced in, thanks to another Beagle in my life, Henry Herman, who ate all the wiring out from under my car. I figured there had to be a hole in the fence somewhere.
I investigated, and found one spot Fitzgerald could squeeze through if he really wanted to. I blocked it off and figured the problem was solved.
It was not.
The next week, coming back from the store, Aunt Tudi and I watched slack-jawed at Fitzgerald bouncing merrily alongside the car, acting like he was herding some nerfs. But I couldn't find anywhere in the fence that was compromised.
A few days later, Janice called to inform me that Fitzgerald was up at her and Uncle Michael's house, and she saw how he was getting out.
Fitzgerald, wee escape artist that we is, or was when he was a pup, was climbing the fence to get out and follow whatever scent he'd caught. He could climb out, but didn't seem as confident trying to climb back in. Not only that, but he was almost guaranteed to be hit by one of the speeding maniacs who lived further down on Paul's Drive or facing a fate worse than car homicide. He could have been taken by people who could sell him to less than reputable labaratories, where he'd be caged, tortured, even mutilated, then usually killed.
The lady who initially told us about the Beagles said that she could take Fitzgerald back. We were assured he'd be living a good farm life with wide open spaces to roam, as that would have been his gig had I not snatched him up in my arms, suffering from full-on Beagle Fever. The last I heard, Fitzgerald is living the good life out in the country. Considering the chaos that life has been since 2011, I'm glad I gave him back.
After Toby passes, assuming he goes before I do, I don't see myself with another dog. My age, living arrangements, and health concerns make it all too clear that bringing another dog "home" would only end in grief and god knows what else when I'm gone. That's not fair to the dog. I don't like the idea of never having another dog in my life, especially if it's a Beagle but, when a decision you make will have bearing on more lives than just your own, it would be beyond unethical to make a pooch believe s/he has found their forever home, then find out their forever home called in dead, having hanged herself from the Cabrillo Bridge with a dog leash.
Looking at the possibility of future adoptions, then looking at the peevish expression on Fitzgerald's face, I am certain I'm making the best decision for everyone who is, or might be, involved or affected in the matter. That said, if anything should happen to me, don't do the flowers thing. And no, I'm not engaging in suicidal ideation. I'm just writing this as though it were a tragic dog drama lauded by the Academy Awards. Anyway, instead of purchasing dead posies for a dead person, give the money to the Beagle Freedom Project. Click their logo seen in this paragraph to learn more about the BFP, the Beagles they have rescued, and their plans to rescue even more as soon as they can.
Even better, this handy-dandy app does not require death for you to get involved right now. In fact, instead of endorsing death on any level, purchasing the Cruelty Cutter will help you save lives and spare others a grim, pain-filled existence.
Sally forth to buy the Beagle Freedom Project's app, Cruelty Cutter, that will allow you to shop cruelty-free, as well as add your voice to the thousands demanding corporations end their unnecessary, immoral, and antiquated research methods.
The app is cheap, but it works like a charm, and the $2.99 you spend to get it will go to help the organisation rescue and rehome Beagles who have spent most, if not their entire lives locked in a cage that's locked in a laboratory.
Do it for Fitzgerald, the pooch who earned his honorary title, The One that Got away!