Oh, Uno, it's all your fault!: On the disturbing prospect of more baying Beagles in vet practice
Don’t get me wrong—I love beagles. I grew up with one named “Chicho” who lived at the nearby home of my three spinster aunts. He was typical of his breed in his even-temperedness, his famous wanderlust and his vocal range: Baruuu! Baruuuuuu!
Mouth-wateringly cute as pups, easy-to-please as adults (show ‘em anything edible), it makes sense that Americans consider them their number one breed. And now that Uno’s won big at Westminster, we’ll be sure to see a similar spike in their population.
That means that things will never be the same at my place of work. Uno’s breathtaking beauty and huge personality means I expect to see a parallel spike in these chubby, four-legged fridge-raiders (AKA, “bagels”) with a concomitant increase in the incidence of allergic skin disease manifesting as the “ears and rears” syndrome common to the breed.
I can live with these routine challenges. The thing that really gets me to wondering whether I can survive another few decades in this profession is the prospect of hearing “the voice” reverberate off the walls in record volume.
After all, there’s a reason these dogs were bred with such a marvelous barrel chest, powerful lungs and stress-resistant vocal cords: so we could hear them better. I ask you, though, is there no solution to this vet’s auditory sensitivity when it comes to the beagle’s bay?
One thing I do know is that if Uno’s win has its expected effect on future generations of Americans, sound-proofing in homes and animal hospitals will have to be bumped up a notch or few in their effectiveness. Either that or safer sedatives will have to make their way to market so earplugs don’t become a necessity in this veterinary lifestyle we lead.
I love beagles. Really. But there are so many wonderful breeds out there! Can we not spread the love around so that my hearing lasts at least as long as my professional career does?