BEAU and AGNES
Up to the time we purchased the English bull dog named Beau, all the mixed breeds I had possessed were free. Now, $375.00 seemed like way too much money to pay for a dog. The owners explained the asking price was actually cheap because she was small and questionable for breeding.
Beau was so friendly, and so ugly she was cute, that I threw caution and financial thoughts aside and said, "We will take her."
When we got her home, we realized she was a one-level dog when her short legs could not handle the stairs. Because of Beau's appearance and the way she snorted, the neighbor children asked my daughter, Michelle if Beau was a pig. When Michelle walked the dog, adults cleared a path and wondered about my sanity for letting a five-year-old associate with a creature who looked like Beau.
My judgment was further questioned when they discovered we had a large turtle named Agnes. She was gentle, but looked anything but harmless when viewed by those uneducated about reptiles. Agnes consumed large amounts of lettuce that Michelle fed her by hand. She hibernated in a box under the stairs for about four months a year and came out hungry after her long nap.
Agnes had a hole drilled through the edge of her shell where, on occasion, we hooked a long chain to allow her roam the yard. Beau was curious about Agnes and would check her over from time to time, but mostly they avoided each other. When the Navy transferred me, we chose not to take Agnes with us and gave her to our friends.
When Beau died giving birth to puppies too large for her size, a poodle named Mike replaced her. The tears I shed were more about the $375.00 than the fact Beau had gone to doggie heaven.
© 2002 Maurice Karst
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