2018-06-28 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

After the royal wedding when news broke a Beagle rescued from Kentucky became Queen Elizabeth’s new canine BFF, Last Hope decided to celebrate our scores of rescued Beagles (many from Kentucky) because our Beagles had Cinderella stories too. I’ve nicknamed Last Hope the Beagle Halfway House.

Members of the Last Hope Beagle Brigade may not have ridden in a limo with her Majesty to Windsor Castle, but these discarded Beagles, often with brutal back stories, had gone from “rags to riches” when placed into loving homes.

Guy- Meghan Markle’s Beagle: The itinerary for Guy’s rescue followed an international path. In 2015 Guy was found in a Kentucky woods, 17 pounds and starving. He was taken to Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, 35 miles east of Lexington. Meanwhile, an Ontario group called A Dog’s Dream was organizing an adoption event at a pet store. This rescue often works with overcrowded Kentucky shelters.

Emma and her Dad pose with cardboard Queen Elizabeth Emma and her Dad pose with cardboard Queen Elizabeth A network of volunteers helped transport the dogs more than 500 miles to the Canadian border, each of them driving him for one hour before handing him over to the next waiting car. Markle was living in Canada at the time while filming the TV show “Suits”. She wanted a buddy for her other rescued dog Bogart so she attended the adoption event at the store where there would be 20 dogs. Markle chose Guy that day after being allowed to walk him with Bogart to see if they got along.

Last November, Prince Harry’s communication secretary confirmed that Guy had moved to the UK and was living with Markle. Her other dog, Bogart, a Shepherd mix is believed to be too old to make the journey across the Atlantic and is staying with Markle’s close friends while Guy resides at a royal address- Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.

Rosie has a private audience with the queen at Last Hope’sRegal Beagle Mania Rosie has a private audience with the queen at Last Hope’sRegal Beagle Mania Note: Hate to be a party pooper but Snopes.com reports Guy didn’t ride with Queen Elizabeth to the wedding lunch reception at Windsor Castle even though numerous news outlets and magazines reported he did and included the photo. However, it is true that the last of the Queen’s line of Pembroke Welsh Corgis recently died. Her current pets are two older Corgis she has adopted including one after her friend passed away.

Beagle Royalty Invades Wantagh: Last Hope has held Beagle Mania events before, usually to spotlight our Beagle bunch waiting for homes but we have never added the fairy tale ending magic. We wanted Regal Beagle Mania to be scheduled soon after the royal wedding but not too close to our annual adoptee BBQ which will be August 4th this year. We also needed to arrange for the transport of many Kentucky Beagles the day before so the homeless Beagles could celebrate alongside the adopted ones.

There are probably over 100 Last Hope adopted Beagles alive at this time, but late June is such a busy time of year with Father’s Day and graduations. Our invitation had short notice. It would be difficult to assembly a huge pack for an audience with the local queen. At the last minute I extended the invite to every Hound adopted from Last Hope.

Invited Beagles were asked to wear royal or formal attire for their photos with the queen. A royal red carpet parade was planned where a King and Queen Beagle would be chosen to receive a prize basket. The Beagles noshed on Milk bones while their subjects enjoyed light snacks. At first we were going to grill hot dogs but that menu would be too similar to the annual BBQ. Plus Beagles are such chow hounds we didn’t want to risk gastric distress.

Terry Mogel graciously agreed to dress as the queen. She was also our Halloween witch and her costumes are magnificent. For Regal Beagle Mania, she wore a purple and black brocade gown and a “tanzanite” tiara. The red carpet led to her throne, and as usually our back drop was the Bideawee pet cemetery picket fence. We seem to have tombstones in many Last Hope photos.

Queen Elizabeth had to be there in spirit and cardboard. I ordered a life-size cutout of QE2 from Amazon, and a flimsy mask which was a bit too ghoulish. The cutout queen shipped several weeks ago but I kept her in the box until the event because I was too busy to have her ordering me around. We gently tied her to the fence so the wind and Hounds wouldn’t knock her down and soil her lilac ensemble. The Beagles posed beside her Majesty too.

Eight homeless Beagles and Beagle mixes (some a stretch of Beagle imagination) arrived from Bowling Green, KY Saturday afternoon. Each was ready to party by Sunday. About 20 alumni attended, many in royal attire. Harriet wore a dress the colors of the American and British flags with a daytime hat and veil. Zoey rescued from a horrendous situation in West Babylon by Babylon Shelter donned a purple dress topped by a gold crown with blonde braids attached. Clay had a blue plaid bowtie while Bessie promenaded in a pink tutu filled with colored pompoms.

Elvis in his formal tuxedo and tails and Suki in a dark pink tutu with fitted black waist band were crowned King and Queen of Regal Beagle Mania and presented with Beagle-theme gift baskets. Linda Stuurman, Last Hope president is a long-time advocate for Beagles and other discarded hunting hounds. She was so touched by our group photos, saying:

“Beagle Pride- Thank you all for your support and shared love we have to save the Southern Beagles and for that matter, all

Beagles! My love for Beagles started at a very early age. I am so grateful for the support everyone has given me to continue saving Beagles and Hounds. Pretty soon half the Beagles on Long Island will have gotten their start at our little but loving shelter in Wantagh.”

For Adoption: Lucie is a new Beagle mix at Last Hope- Super sweet with interesting brindle markings. Call 631-946- 9528. The tabby trio at Babylon Shelter is the cutest kitten photo ever. Moonbeam in the middle was adopted but brothers Chad and Tyler are still available. Call 631-643-9270.

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