Mistermix at Balloon Juice writes:

Yesterday, some beagle slander was committed on this blog, and today I want to correct a possible misperception that may have arisen about this excellent breed...

My next door neighbor has a beagle, and I’ve watched him be pulled around by that fine animal for years. My neighbor is in his 80s and frail, so his beagle added hours of entertainment for my family as we looked out the window and wondered if today would be the day he gets dragged across the yard. And let’s not forget the mellifluous baying that is typical of the breed, at all hours of the day or night, which adds a special tone to the neighborhood.

My neighbor is having a few health problems so I’ve been walking his dog at lunchtime. Even though his dog is now getting older, it’s still driven by its nose and loves to go on walks. Yet I’m not having any problems walking him, and the reason is simple: my neighbor overfeeds that dog to the point of morbid obesity. If you’ve never seen a dog with a pannus, you obviously haven’t been to my neck of the woods, because this dog’s gut hangs almost to the ground. Because he’s so fat, his sniffing sounds like a pig on a truffle hunt, and the rolls of fat that encase him keep his walking pace down to a trot rather than his usual flat-out run.

So, if you’re thinking of getting a beagle, just lay in a double supply of dog food and feed that thing until it looks like a beer keg supported by 4 popsicle sticks. Then perhaps you’ll have a dog that’s a barely tolerable pet.

The comments section is all aflutter. I don't blame them. Beagles eat what they are fed. Their obesity is a function of their owners' weak wills - against, yes one must concede, pathological eating disorders. Dusty is obsessed with food. As a puppy, the vet told me to just let her eat at will, and leave the bag of dog food available. Tiny Dusty would simply scarf as much as she could before vomiting; then she would eat the vomit; then more food; then more vomit. She was in heaven, of course, but I quickly realized this was not a good idea. I've kept her on a strict diet ever since, and her belly is much more impressive than my AIDSy distended tummy.

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