Rusty was born November 7, 1995. We brought him home January 2, 1996. We named him Rusty, because of his color. He is a Beagle Terrier. We knew that his nature would be hunting and that he would be led by scent. His intensity for sniffing was not realized until we saw it in action.
We did not have a cage for him to sleep in over night or to travel in. We set him up in our hall with a pillow and rugs and a water and food bowl. At the end of the hall we put up a baby gate so he would not mess the house at night or when we were gone during the day. He constantly escaped by climbing over the gate. He was an escape artist, no matter how we rigged the gate, he got out. We could have named him Houdini! We did not use the gate that long. We purchased a large bed pillow for him. He was trained to go to the door and scratch to let us know he had to go outside. That did not take long a couple weeks at the most. From then on, he had the roam of the house, except for the bathrooms. He loved the little garbage cans of tissue.
We could have named him Shredder. That was one of his favorite activities as he grew. He would shred homework, newspaper, and only my son’s socks – clean or dirty. As time went by, he lost interest in shredding everything except my son’s socks.
As he grew we found that he was very smart and he was easily trained. He learned the basic tricks and commands. We also taught him “don’t touch.” That came in real handy when the baby came along and the pacifier was frequently dropped. The thing is that as he aged, and I think he knew he was and elder and held the rights that an elder holds, he would visit my neighbors yard to poop. I would call him and as he was walking toward their yard, Rusty would turn and look over his shoulder at me and keep walking. I swear he had a smirk on his face as if to say, yea I hear you. Just clean up after me.
A Beagle Terrier has a very sensitive nose, is very good at tracking, and the howls are great! Rusty would catch the field mice that would get in the house. He was very good at catching and alerting us to house guests. I did set some traps that were out of Rusty’s reach (behind the refrigerator). Some times I used glue traps to catch mice. When they got stuck, they were still alive. That always caused a bit of a ruckus. The mouse dragging itself behind the refrigerator stuck on the glue trap, the dog barking and trying to get behind the refrigerator, and my son trying to get the mouse with his BB gun. To remember those days, makes me laugh. Two years after Rusty death, we have been getting field mice again. The traps are catching the mice.
When outside in our lower back yard, there would be a rabbit near the pine tree and he would almost never see the rabbit as he was too busy sniffing the rabbit’s tracks. Many times I’d try to get Rusty’s attention to look up and around, but it never happened. It was quite hilarious.
I loved hanging clothes outside after washing them. Rusty had freedom to roam our yard. As I would hang the clothes, he would spend time digging up mole holes and tearing-up their underground trails. He used his mouth like a backhoe. He would get super muddy. My boys would then have fun hosing Rusty off. Rusty got into it.