Dog One, Dog Two


I miss them both. Stupid dogs, burrowing their way into my heart.

Annie condolences


Annie McQueen, 10 Oct 1999 - 4 Sep 2014


annie levitating

We met Annie on September 28th, 2003. We had gone with Bella to visit an eight year old beagle we were considering adopting to be Bella's companion. Bella was a spry eight, whereas the eight year old beagle we met was an old, old, slow, chubby eight year old beagle. We feared Bella would run over the other beagle, so let the foster mother know we wouldn't be taking him. "Wait," she said. "I have another beagle arriving shortly. Maybe she'll be more your style." So, we waited. And not very long.

Annie profile

As we started walking back to our car, a small girl was dragged around the house by a large, tri-color beagle with ears that were flap, flap, flapping, a giant grin on her face. She pulled that little girl up the sidewalk, up the stairs and sat on the front porch, happy as a clam.

"Huh. That could be Annie."

It was.

We took her for a walk around the block. Neither she nor Bella nipped at each other. They seemed to ignore each other, both sniffing away, so we let the foster mom know we'd like to adopt her. We then learned some of her history.

We would be Annie's third home in six weeks, though, the last one, the foster mother let us know, wasn't a good fit: even with a choke collar, the six year old girl walking Annie couldn't handle her, what were the parents thinking?

Annie had been a marathon runner's training companion, so could, and would, run long distances. Both Kris and I were confused by that part of Annie's history: why would you pick a beagle with short legs for a running companion over a larger dog? Oh, boy, did we learn better about this beagle.

annie of the jungle

Annie was large for a beagle. She was shaped well, but her fighting weight was 35 pounds (too big to be picked up, she wasn't my kitty cat), and she stood taller than 15" at the shoulders. Oh, she would not be a show dog, as we learned with her injuries over the years. She rarely howled, expect when a blimp passes overhead. Her coat was a fascinating wiry coat that was totally wash-and-wear. I think I bathed her maybe three times in her ten years with us, where Bella had a bath nearly every month.

Annie's favorite passtime was licking. Her air-lick was world famous. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Good lord, dog, stop the licking. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Lick, lick, lick. Stop with the non-stop licking!

Oh, boy, was Annie a smart little doggie. She used her paws as hands. We watched her open a peanut butter jar using her paws to hold the jar, and her teeth in the lid ridges, to twist open the lid. Of course, she ate all the peanut butter in the jar after that.

Annie paws as hands

She figured out that by pushing hard enough on the door to the guest room, she could open the door enough to slip into the FORBIDDEN ROOM. Where, of course, she'd get stuck, but that was her way, the stubborn little doggie. She wanted things her way, in the forbidden room, on the forbidden bed, on top of the forbidden beagle Bella.

Annie was constantly surprising me. She knew how to run with a scooter, in front and off to one side, and staying in front and on the one side, unlike the stinky doggie, who thought running back and forth in front of the scooter at strangely slow speeds was just the right thing to do. Annie also loved running next to a bike, which we found out only in the past two years, when I rode my mountain bike next to her and Kris walking. She howled until I took her leash. She trotted gracefully around the block next to me on the bike.

Annie used her smarts well, and often in hedonistic ways. She soon became Demon Dog, as named by Kevin and Libby when they were watching Annie, returned home, and found her on top of their dining room table, surveying the room for the next batch of food she could score.

yogurt cup

She later progressed to Bannie (bad + Annie) with her non-stop, food-addiction, bad behaviour. Take, for example, her first trip to the emergency vet.

As a wedding gift, we received four pounds of exquisite chocolate with a $100 bill inside. We didn't know there was chocolate in the pile of gifts sitting next to the fireplace. Annie did. When we returned home from an evening out, the living room floor was scattered with gift wrapping and strange wrappers. We found the card, called Kate, asked her if she had given us food. "Yes! Four pounds of chocolate! It's amazing!"

The vet later told us he had never seen a dog vomit up as much chocolate as our beagle had just done, two hours later.

We never did find the $100 bill.

Annie eye

Looking out back door

For Kris' 30th birthday, when we were out at dinner, Annie pulled a casserole dish off the counter to get to the remaining lasagna in the dish. The dish shattered on impact with the floor, making shards of ceramic all over the kitchen. Annie didn't seem to mind that her feet were cut and her tongue was a bloody mess and she bled all over the entire kitchen, oh that lasagna was soooooooo sooooooooooooo tasty.

We did find out, a year later, that, when left alone, Annie would, yes actually would, stop after eating about half of a full bag of dog food. That's half of a 40 pound bag of dog food. The dog weighed only 35 pounds. Yes, that was another trip to the emergency vet for yet another make-the-beagle-vomit evening of fun.

into the food bag

Don't even get me started about the strawberries, peaches and the apples. Oh, god, the apples. Did I mention Annie was smart? Yeah, she'd eat the Fuji apples: the Granny Smith were too tart (good girl, Annie, smart dog!).

Annie was always bolting from the house when the front door was left over. Oh, the merry chase we'd have, running after her all around the neighborhood. I'm 100% sure she was thinking "Whee!"

On our first trip to Water Dog Lake, Kris took Bella and I took Annie. We walked up a ways. When we were far enough along the trail, I let Annie off-leash. She bolted into some bushes on the right of the trail. I told Kris to go on up the trail with Bella, we'd catch up. I waited for that dog to come out of the bush, but she wouldn't. I feared the dog would escape on the uphill side of the bushes, so I climbed up to the top of them and waited. And waited. She didn't arrive, so I climbed down and waited. And waited. I couldn't flush the dog, she didn't respond to her name, I was completely frustrated. After 20 minutes, I gave up and started stomping up the trail. Kris was coming back down with Bella, confused where we had gone. "That dog is still in the bushes. YOU get her out," I responded, grabbing Bella's leash from him. I immediately understood why Annie had three owners in six weeks.

Looking in bin

Subsequent times at Water Dog Lake were much better. We had one adventure where Kris was on one side of the lake with Annie, and I was on the other side. When I called to her, she looked for me, spotted me, took four hard strides and bounded over the lake in three steps on her way to me. It was a sight to behold. I think Kris' eyes were as wide as my head after that feat.

Annie loved to run. She loved to be moving. She had this funny start, totally cartoonish, where she'd lean way back, then rush forward. Yeah, actually, her starts were hysterical.

Because she was a bigger beagle, she managed to squeek just over the minimum weight for Smiling Dogs, an off-leash, full day, dog playing on a 750 acre playgrground, er coastal ranch park. If you have a high-energy dog over 25 pounds, I cannot recommend their service enough. Annie would jump into the doggie van in the morning and flop out in the evening, and come back fully exhausted and incredibly happy. The idea of Smilin' Dogs is that a walker goes out on a 5.5 mile loop with a pack of dogs who run off-leash, nominally with the walker. Nominally, because Annie frequently walked with the next or previous group. She knew to come back, always come back, there's a treat in the van and home at the end of the ride, but did she ever push the boundaries of that arrangement.

Eventually, she wore out her hip and we had to cancel the all-day hikes. That was a sad day. She loved those hikes.

Annie Blue Bella Shadow

She also loved hanging out and going for hikes with Andy, Blue and Shadow. Oh, boy, the hikes with the three of them were always the most fun!

Mission Peak is one of the hikes that stands out in my mind. We let Annie off-leash after we knew she wouldn't turn around and bolt out of the park. We started walking up the switchbacks of the mountain face, letting the dogs run around as they wanted to. We quickly lost Annie, but didn't worry about it much until we arrived at a gate that she wouldn't be able to get through without us. We turned around to look for her, and eventually spotted her. She was a small dot moving up the switchbacks, checking out each group of people on her way up: "Are you my family? No. Are you my family? No. Are you my family? No." I called out to her, and she perked up, ears twitching, then turned to look up the hill. Kris and I called out to her, and screw those switchbacks, she sprinted straight up the hill to us, happy as can be.

She wasn't done with her surprises that day. We lost her again after we started descending the peak on the far side. And by, "lost her," I mean more like Andy asking, "Is that your dog?" pointing to a tiny speck about a mile away from us in the high plain. "Yup," as we kept walking.

She caught up.

Caught up and kept running. That was the day of one more squirrel, just one more. She was so tired she couldn't walk straight, she kept falling over. As she fell over, she'd see a ground squirrel in the distance, straighten, and try running for one more. Just one more squirrel.

One more.

Fort Funston with Andy, Blue and Shadow was also a favorite. She would run down the hill from the parking lot, hit the beach and ZOOM to the left, ZOOM to the right, ZOOM back to the left, ZOOM back to the right, LOOK AT ME! ZOOM!

down the wall at ft funtown

Annie running at ft funtown beach

Annie at the beach running

Annie big dog at ft funtown

Annie goofy pose

None of us ever grew tired of Fort Funtown.

Annie hated the vets. She had the worst anal sacks. What, you may ask, are anal sacs? Yeah, before Annie, I didn't know about them either. Dogs have scent glands in their butts. Annie's were always full, and she was always licking her butt (then, of course, trying to kiss you with her licks). I didn't particularly want to learn how to express the sacs, so Annie visited the vets nearly every six weeks: nail trim and butt express.

Annie had three techniques for combatting the vets. They were: butt firmly in the corner, wet noodle, and HOWL! Upon arriving in the back room of the vet's office, boom, butt in corner. If she was approached by not-Kris and not-me, she'd go totally limp and wet noodle the vet tech trying to pick her up. When she was in the back, getting those sacs expressed or nails trimmed or fluids added, oh boy did the WHOLE OFFICE KNOW IT. You could hear her at the Starbucks, two doors down.

Blimps and vets. Those were howling triggers.

This is the last picture we have of Annie:

She was a good looking dog.

Annie face on first day

Annie nose

Sitting at Ft Funtown

showing belly



As anyone can probably tell by reading the Annie posts here, I didn't like Annie in those first years. Kris did, and parried every attempt I made to get rid of the dog. I'm glad he did. He loved her. Eventually I understood why, and, yes, also eventually loved that annoying, butt-licking, stupid, smart dog. We'll miss her.

I'll miss her a lot.

I'll miss her bunches.

Annie looking down the path

The dog hates me


Annie Doggen

Which is unsurprising, because I hate her, too, when she spends four hours licking her butt.

Well, okay, ALL DAY LICKING HER BUTT. Come on, dog, no butt is that tasty.

Sometimes the timing works

Daily Photo

Sometimes Annie isn't Bannie, and she's pleasant. I like that I catch these moments, as brief as they are.

Channelling Bella


After Bella died, Annie sorta moped around a bit. She seemed at first excited about ALL THE ATTENTION, but then seemed to realize Bella was gone and moped. Cookie was around briefly to keep Annie company, but that didn't work out, so now she receives lots of attention from Kris, me when I'm around, and friends who stop by.

Sleep changes


A typical evening routine years ago would be Kris would head to bed between 11:00 pm and midnight, and I would head to bed between around 12:30 am and 2:00 am. Bella would either have spent the evening snuggling one of us on the couch if we were working on the couch, sleeping in a dog bed on the office floor if we were in the office, or, most recently, sleeping in her bed in the Blue Room, having gone to bed around 9:00 pm or so.

Annie would be on the couch, ignoring all of us, sleeping until around 4:00 am. Invariably around four, she would wander back to the Blue Room, find the bed Bella was sleeping in, boot her out of the bed (at which point Bella would walk around the bed into the other dog bed on the other side), and fall asleep.

There used to be slight variations on the eventual location of the dogs, with Bella being in the bed snuggled in the crook of my curled legs, and Annie jumping onto the bed. Or Bella at the foot of the bed and Annie landing on her when she jumped onto the bed.

What didn't vary, however, was the 4:00 am shift. Annie never slept in the bedroom unless explicitly placed there by me or Kris.

With Bella's passing, Annie has shifted her sleeping habits. She now heads into the bedroom when Kris heads in. She starts the night sleeping in the dog bed on his side of the bed, and at some point shifts to the bed to snuggle with him.

I've always thought of Annie as the annoying dog. I will grudgingly admit, however, that she seems to sense Bella's absence and Kris' needs. She's not the emotional support doggie that Bella was, but she's doing her best with her limited skills.

Unsure about Annie


I think that Annie knows that Bella is gone now.

This morning, as I rose from bed, I heard Annie whining. She was walking around the bed in the Blue Room, moving from one side of the bed (her side) to the other side of the bed (Bella's side) and back, whining loudly. She paced a couple times as I watched, then settled down in front of the space on Bella's side of the bed. She does that when she wants to block Bella from going some place; I interpreted her behaviour as Annie positioning herself where she knew Bella would pass.

Kris was worried Annie would pull a Red Fern (in reference to Where the Red Fern Grows, which is one of my favorite books, but has a very sad ending, where **SPOILER** one dog dies immediately after the other dog. I didn't think she would, given how much she was acting out last week, completely regressing in her discipline. She had been running around the house, being a crazy dog, digging through bags, stealing anything that was plastic and chewing on it, checking out items on the counters.

Today seemed different.

She's moping now. I think she knows that Bella is gone.

Annie moping

Sooooooo hot


Apparently, it's hot here today.

The dogs are melting:

Even the bees are out in force trying trying to cool the hive somewhat.

Happy beagle!

Daily Photo