It is hard to believe that my little Milo Bean is ten years old. He is as full of spunk and fun as ever, playing and making me laugh every day, which is his primary job in life. He rips around the yard playing chase with Petra, and though she is faster, he has more endurance and isn't even panting when she's lying in the grass to catch her breath after many wild loops up and down hills and around trees, shrubs, and the old hay rake. During a fast game of chase, Milo loves to run full tilt to the inside of the hay rake, then peer at Petra through the tines, baying and teasing her to come and get him. Those two are the best of friends, and watching them play can lift my spirits any day.
Sometimes Milo is seized by the simple joy of running, and he takes off skimming in giant loops around the yard, tail out behind him, ears streaming back, moving with surprising grace (unusual for him, since normally all four legs move comically in four different directions), ignoring Petra and Rowan, just caught up in the joy of the moment. Whenever he does that, Stephen and I have to stop whatever we're doing and watch; it's impossible to ignore such pure delight in being alive.
No matter how caught up in play with Petra or running with abandon, though, if I call him, Milo immediately banks in my direction, races to my feet with delight and enthusiasm, and stops with a huge smile on his face and wagging tail. I think I often underestimate this little dog. Because he is all hound, he has the intense interest in scents of any sort that comes with being a scent hound, and can seem to block everything else out when he's following a rabbit trail, but even so, in his mind and heart, I trump all that, and he will drop a trail to race to me the moment I call his name.
In addition to all the fun and laughter, Milo is a first class snuggler and lap-warm, loving to curl up on my lap and sleep for as long as I sit and read. Recently, too, he has decided that Steve is the most wonderful fire-provider, and we are sure that Milo thinks Steve gets the fireplace going just for Beagle-warming purposes.
How could I not adore my marvelous Milo Bean. Happy Birthday, Milo! I hope you share many more years of joy with me.
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