There she was, excitedly leaning against the door of her cage at the animal shelter. With trusting brown eyes, a white-tipped tail, and those floppy, spotted ears, she was the most adorable puppy I had ever seen. I had seen her for the first time a few nights prior in the hallway of the police station, on an early morning after my shift. I had not been able to forget about the 8-week-old abuse victim ever since. The officers who witnessed the incident had apparently seized the pit bull/beagle mix from her owner, and the puppy was going to be kept at the shelter until the court hearing. I didn’t know yet if she would be put up for adoption or returned to her owner, but I knew how much I wanted to keep her.
My husband Alex and I both love dogs, but we live in a small townhome without an accessible backyard. We had previously agreed that we wanted at least one dog but had decided to wait until we moved into a larger home. Now, a sweet little face and wagging tail were quickly convincing me to reconsider. Over the next month, I visited the puppy almost every day. I brought her treats and toys, clipped her nails, and took her for walks. Her name at the time was “Princess,” but she had not been treated as one. I decided that I wanted to name her Seven of Nine after a character from Star Trek: Voyager (the character on the show was also “rescued!”)
Animals are a special kind of victim—they can’t tell anyone that they are hurting, or seek help for themselves. It was a stressful month knowing that Seven might eventually have to go back to her owner. She would not likely get another chance to be saved.
When the court hearing came around, I was relieved to find out that the owner had decided to sign the puppy over to the county. I went to the shelter and filled out the adoption paperwork that same day. Seven was finally ours, and would have a loving home for the rest of her life.
At six months old, Seven has started baying and chasing squirrels. Her beagle side is definitely asserting itself. Our walks require a bit of patience since she wants to investigate everything along the way. She seems to enjoy tracking and sniffs the ground with her nose down, tail up. She began doing this while she was still at the shelter, but her senses seem to have developed more now. She is a hunting dog at heart, but such a loyal and wonderful companion.
For all the challenges of owning a puppy, the rewards are tenfold. We look forward to a lifetime of adventures with our sweet Seven of Nine!
Editor's Note: Beagles are "cousins" to coonhounds and foxhounds and we thought our readers would enjoy reading this engaging first-person account and excellent photographs! Our organization does encourage adoption of hound mixes.