Now that she's middle-aged, bordering on elderly, my beagle is sweeter to me and nastier to others. She reminds me of those eccentric older women, who get softer and more generous with their children and grandchildren, but increasingly cantankerous and demanding with the rest of the world.
Rather like a human, Millie was all for cuddles and snuggling as an wee thing. She would lie on my lap for hours; she would follow me around. She loved pats from anyone, and would wag her skinny little tail in delight. But soon enough she became irritated by affection. She would wiggle away from pats and hugs - off to follow a likely scent. I would find her and come sit with her, only to have her spring up and run away. I jokingly described my dog as a cat to anyone who would listen (and apologies here to all cat-lovers, because I know that many cats are in fact affectionate!)
As time has passed, though, Millie has become both more loving and more snarly. She would let me rub her tummy until well into the next century. She would taste a small morsel of anyone who stuck their hopeful patting hand through our front fence.
I sat, just now, at the top of our back steps. Millie sat beside me, and leant into my side. I patted her tan fur, and scratched just behind her ears. Millie lifted her muzzle and turned towards my fingernails. I rested my chin lightly on her soft small head; "Good girl Millie", I crooned. I sat by my beagle dog in the dense and balmy evening air until mosquitoes began to bite me.
I reluctantly came inside. I sat down to write about the comfort of a warm dog, leaning.