These two handsome boys came in mid-September, part of the Beagle foursome that arrived on the same day. They had been found wandering, separately, about the same time, and taken to a county shelter in Georgia. The shelter staff somehow figured out that they belonged together, and reunited them.
They are indeed a bonded pair. Given how they interact with each other, along with their similar appearance and size, we suspect they are probably brothers.
A local rescue group saw them in the shelter and contacted Atlanta Beagle Rescue, which suggested they contact us. (We’ve taken in a number of blind Beagles via Atlanta Beagle Rescue over the years.)
They both have glaucoma — it’s odd they’d have the same eye disease, but this suggests a genetic component if they are siblings, as we think.
Billy, on the left, is definitely sight impaired but still visual … but for how much longer, we don’t know. Stuart, on the right, is essentially blind but can still see shapes and shadows. It’s not enough to be really helpful, but enough to make him a bit spooky. They’ve already been to see our veterinary ophthalmologist in Burlington for eye exams and follow-up care.
Stuart also had a significant heart murmur and heart worm infection. He’s now completed the full two-month long heart worm treatment provided by our internal medicine specialist in Burlington (who also did an echocardiogram and abdominal ultrasound on Stuart, along with comprehensive blood work).
Neither boy is neutered yet, which is a problem because both are determined markers of anything available to pee on. They clearly are not house-trained (and still not!), so we think they were probably just kept as backyard kennel Beagles.
We can’t get Stuart neutered until he is a couple of months past his heart worm treatment because of the anesthesia risks. Billy has now been cleared medically and his neutering is scheduled in a couple of weeks.
Whether the neutering will help with the marking is anyone’s guess. We hope it might, but they’ve been doing this their entire lives. It may just be engrained behavior at this point. For the moment they stay in a large puppy pen in our sun porch, where my office is. We continue to work on house training with them.
Billy is the outgoing one of the pair — super friendly and always wanting to lick us. He’s just a very sweet boy, and so affectionate! It’s actually hard to administer their glaucoma eye meds because Billy is always trying to lick our hands as we squirt the drops in. And when we hook them up to leashes to take them out to the yard, Billy is jumping up and trying to give us kisses.
Stuart is the shy one, often skittish and sometimes fearful. While he can be — and usually is — just as friendly and loving as his brother, in the past month we’ve also had a few surprising incidents of fear-biting behavior that caught us off-guard. For whatever reason, he sensed a threat and reacted aggressively. (Billy has never shown any such behavior.) Whether this has something to do with the fact that he can only see shapes and shadows, I don’t know. So we’re working on this, too.
Fortunately, Stuart takes his cues from Billy, who is a happy-go-lucky guy who loves everyone and everything.
Despite the issues, they are a delight … your typical bundle of Beagle energy and antics, with their noses usually pressed to the ground in pursuit of something!