Editor’s Desk

Posted 2/22/22

FROM THE BY SARAH NIGBOR The notorious Beagador When I think of Valentine’s Day, I don’t think of roses, love notes or candy. I think of my beloved yet exasperating dog, Ramona. May she rest in …

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Editor’s Desk




The notorious Beagador

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I don’t think of roses, love notes or candy. I think of my beloved yet exasperating dog, Ramona. May she rest in peace, as she died one year ago, one week shy of her 14th birthday, which you guessed it, was on Valentine’s Day.

Ramona chose me to be her human one April day in 2007. She was the progeny of Barbie the Beagle and Pugsley the Chocolate Lab. Our friends raised Beagles, but the neighbor dog fell in love with Barbie the Beagle and they couldn’t be kept apart; their love affair produced two litters of pups.

We stopped in to visit them one day, and a small, black puppy with a white blaze on her chest waddled over to me and sat in my lap. She studied me with her deep brown puppy dog eyes, nuzzled my cheek and our fate was sealed. I became the proud owner of Ramona the Beagador. She was my very first dog at the ripe age of 27.

Ramona, while an extremely lovable and loyal dog, was at times infuriating and exasperating. She was anxiety-ridden when left alone for too long and barked non-stop until her voice went hoarse. She didn’t have the Beagle “baroo,” but sounded like a squeaky wheel in dire need of grease. It was grating on the nerves, to say the least.

She was also a canine vacuum cleaner. Once food was placed in her bowl, it was gone in less than 30 seconds (no exaggeration). She rarely even chewed it, just gulped it down whole like it was air and she was suffocating. After I adopted another dog, Reba the Beagle, we had to feed them separately because Ramona would gulp down Reba’s food too (which resulted in Reba ripping a hole in Ramona’s ear). The cat’s food had to be kept in a separate room that Ramona couldn’t get into, otherwise she’d eat that too. Nothing could be left on a counter that was edible. Although short and stocky, like a Beagle, she somehow found a way to leap high enough to nudge things off the counter (like an entire platter of beautifully prepared pork chops). Or just ask my husband about the Christmas Ramona ate an entire platter of deviled eggs and a plate of crab and cucumber sandwiches. I did not hear the end of his displeasure for months after that (understandably so). One time she had a mysterious substance on her whiskers, and it smelled suspiciously like butter. I’m not quite sure to this day what that was all about.

Ramona’s nicknames were “The Destroyer and “Houdini.” No kennel, no room, no garage could keep Ramona contained. I went through at least two kennel crates that she somehow chewed her way out of – through metal (her teeth were a veterinarian’s nightmare). I thought keeping her in my nice, big bathroom while we were gone would be a relaxing experience for her. I put her fluffy bed in there, toys, water, all the comforts a dog could possibly want. When I came home, a hole had been eaten through the drywall and Ramona was waiting at the door, bouncing like a ball, tail wagging furiously. It was hard to be mad at her with her sweet, happy little face greeting me so joyously.

When we moved into our current house, we thought she might like it in the heated garage (while we were gone). Nope. Stupid idea. She chewed through the insulation on the garage door, but was thwarted by the metal outer part. I searched online and found a kennel that deemed itself indestructible. It was indeed that, but Ramona tried mightily to get herself out of it. We finally found a crate that contained our Houdini. However, its metal bars were scarred with teeth marks.

When my little girl was born, Ramona was five years old. She immediately took to Carolina, and became her protector. She slept below her crib each night. She was never far from her. When Carolina was old enough to toddle around, Ramona patiently sat still while chubby baby arms wrapped around her. She suffered the indignity of wearing tutus and bows. Soon she became “Momo,” because Carolina couldn’t pronounce Ramona. The name stuck and she was Momo until the day she died.

As naughty as she could be, she was a loyal companion, comfort and friend. She went through 14 years of life with me – deaths, a divorce, loneliness, birthdays, sicknesses, new jobs, everything. She never left my side – literally. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom alone.

In her last few months, her kidneys failed and she had frequent accidents. She was half blind with cataracts and her balance was off. But she remained happy, bouncy and gulped her food like it might disappear. One week before her 14th birthday, she collapsed on the floor and couldn’t get up. As I drove through the dark night to the emergency pet hospital, I knew it was our final car ride, and Momo loved her car rides. This time though, she wasn’t sticking her head out the window or bouncing with joy. She died in my arms, her brown eyes looking up into mine.

We haven’t gotten another dog yet, and it’s been over a year. No one could replace The Destroyer, Houdini, Momo, Ramona.