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Many of you are probably wondering what took me so long. As far back as I can remember, the Beagle flavor of hound dogs has been synonymous with my family's name (or at least very nearly approximate). Growing up, we had Freddie the Basset Hound, who acted as my best friend during childhood. From that early age, I fell in love with the sparkling personalities of hounds.

The first Beagle in my lifetime was our Hartford cousins' - Puck. He was a very good boy who could even open the fridge if there were insufficient countermeasure efforts. Dogsitting Puck a couple of weeks per year was always quite the experience, in the most grateful of ways. Years later, two more Beagles would enter our lives at different times: Hunter and Murphy.

We always thought Murphy may have had a little Bassett in him. His unique paws and floppy ears were too much for us not to wonder. As for Hunter, twelve years later, it remains a point of contention in the family. When my mother and I went to pick him up at the shelter, we thought we were adopting a Beagle.

However, it seemed as if the little **** had fooled us. Slowly but surely, a Jack Russell began to emerge. Yet, I didn't give up easily and continued to fight - specifically with my brother. I can see he is mostly Beagle, but he somehow gets this ridiculous idea that he is predominantly Jack Russell. Thanks to his bratty behavior, we also considered other breeds, like a Dachshund but owned by the Queen of England. It was not until my mom sent for an official DNA test (without telling anyone. POWER MOVE.) that we were validated - 50% Beagle, 50% Jack Russell.

Anyone you ask will tell you he is my favorite thing in the world. There are too many items to list why I am so thankful for him. But, what I am most grateful for with dogs is their unconditional love. They stick with us through thick and thin, and no matter how bad of a day you've had, they will always be there to love you without judgment....well, until it's time to go for a W-A-L-K. Remember, dogs are meant to be spoiled. They are here for only a part of your life, but to them, you are their entire life.

No, I do not discriminate against breeds and would never support anyone who does. It just happens to be that Beagles are the dogs that have brought me the most joy in my lifetime. Everyone is different - especially cat people. So today, I am thankful that regardless of what life has thrown at me, I always have a wagging tail to turn to to help me heal (or, at the very minimum, an abyss of photos to scroll through).

Oh, and let's not forget the greatest Beagle of them all! Forever my spirit animal.

What are you thankful for today?
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