My 4-year-old male Chocolate Beagle is named Duncan Idaho. He’s named after one of the male characters in Dune. Duncan is the loyal sidekick of the main character, Duke Leto.
Duncan is loyal, well behaved, and a real angel. In fact, as a pup he was so quiet we wondered if he could bark. So, a year later when he was turning one we decided that Duncan should have some company. We wanted a baby sister for him to avoid the whole "Alpha" competition with another male.
Since Duncan was so easy to train and well behaved, we decided it was a no brainer to get another Beagle. We returned to the pet store where we had purchased Duncan and put our names on a list for a female Beagle. Well, a couple of months later the woman at the pet store called to tell us that they had a female Chocolate Beagle. The following morning I ran down to meet her.
Enter Ms. Alia. (She is named after Duncan’s wife in Dune.) Alia was so small and so cute that I couldn’t resist! The store clerk snapped a picture with her cell phone and sent it to my boyfriend for him to see, and he loved her too. Needless to say, Alia came home with me that very day.
Well, you are thinking Happily Ever After, right? Not so fast! Alia is the POLAR OPPOSITE of Duncan. She is the Devil Dog incarnate. She just never stopped barking, baying, and whining. As a result, Duncan "found" his voice and thought it was great fun ever to bark and bay incessantly with his new pal.
After several weeks of lost sleep, endless training sessions, and countless hours of undivided attention trying to accommodate her, my boyfriend asked, "What is the return policy for this dog?" But I was not giving up. We brought Alia to the vet, explained her behavior and requested anti-anxiety medication. The vet said it sounded like typical Beagle behavior to her. Shocked, I replied, "Well, Duncan never did any of THAT!” She laughed and then recommended someone that may be able to help.
The trainer came to our home to meet Alia. After making small talk and a pot of coffee, I asked him a few questions and he asked me a few questions. He immediately advised me that Alia just suffers from separation anxiety – from ME. She just needs to be near me. He observed that whenever Alia could not visually see me she started freaking out. That explained her incessant barking and crying when we tried to kennel train her.
So, that night we placed the kennel next to my side of the bed so she could see me – and there were NO more sleepless nights! We finally had a way to house break her and she immediately calmed down. Alia is still high maintenance and requires lots and lots of attention, but she is well behaved and is Duncan's other half. They are the same, but different in all sorts of wonderful ways. There is never a dull (and rarely a quiet) moment at our house and I love every minute of it!