Last summer, I saw a dog roaming around outside. The dog was a male beagle, and, upon timidly approaching him, I learned that he was very sweet and personable. His body was clean and he had obviously been well cared for in his home. My mother proceeded to call the local animal shelter, who came and picked him up.

A week later, my mother drove me to the same animal shelter so that I could pick up a volunteer application. We were in the back room checking out all the dogs when we noticed a familiar face. It was the dog that had been roaming our neighborhood! A week later, no one had claimed him yet.

I had previously convinced my mother that we most certainly needed to adopt a dog from the shelter. (We live with another beagle, Maggie, who has been with us since her birth in 2007.) Upon running into the same dog again, my mother decided that it was fate. We adopted him the next week. The dog had been named Boscoe by the shelter, and our veterinarian guessed his age to be between five and six years old.

My parents refer to him as Bozz, and I call him Bozzles. His personality is more dog-like than Maggie’s personality. His tail wags constantly, unlike Maggie’s, which wags only once or twice a day. Bozzles loves everyone in the family and is happy when any of us return home from an outing. Maggie only enjoys being pet by my mother, though she politely tolerates the rest of us. She also only tolerates the outdoors; she gets tired of the yard five minutes after being let out. However, Bozz can spend hours outside, chasing after squirrels, napping, barking at toads, and sniffing all of the plants. He never seems to be tired of the backyard.

I have learned a lot from Bozzles about being a better human. The idea that living with a dog turns you into a better person is so frequently stated that is almost a cliche, but I find it to be absolutely true. I try to be eager to compliment others, as he is eager to please those around him. I have realized that, sometimes, quietly sitting next to someone you love is a great way to show affection. I have made a resolution to smile as much as possible and to spend more time learning about things I love.

This beagle is definitely my favorite living being on the earth. The living thing previously holding this title was spinach. Although I am still very fond of a good spinach dish, it can’t cuddle like a dog can.


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