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Hi Shirley!  I hope you're well!  We always think of you at this time of year, and figured it would be a perfect time for a Gus-update!

I am such a happy boy.  Right now, I'm sleeping on my bed, but I'm dictating all of this to Erin as I snore.  I am so handsome, and I am a good boy even when they take me to the grooming place.  They usually wash me at home, but I was a big, brave boy and went to the grooming place for the first time a few weeks ago.  They used special oatmeal shampoo for me, because of my sensitive skin.  Erin told me I smelled wonderful, but I did not smell at all like myself, I don't know what she was talking about.

I love to cuddle.  It's probably my most favorite thing to do, aside from sleeping, eating, and shredding stuff.  I have a beddy to sleep in that is very comfortable, but lately I've been sleeping in the armchair in the bedroom.  I'm secretly hoping to get all the way to the bed.  Yes, sure I sneak up there and sleep in the bed when no one is home, but don't tell!

Grandma and Papa are visiting for a while.  I love having them here, and after Erin goes to work, I go sleep with them in their room for a while.  They always give me some toast and eggs with breakfast and I get to lick the plates too! Frankly, I don't understand why they even use the dishwasher, because I do such a good job!  Papa usually lights the woodstove and he and I sit on the couch together and snuggle and read by the fire.  I am becoming very smart, as he usually reads me the newspaper.

I am so glad it's summertime, even though it's not very nice outside.  I'm not a winter boy, although I am a bit braver than I was last year.  If there is stuff falling from the sky, frankly, I don't want to go outside.  Sometimes when it snows, Erin doesn't have to go to work, so that is fun and I help her shovel by sitting in the garage waiting for her to open the door again.  By accident, she found out that I enjoy coffee, by leaving her cup on the table and while she was outside, I licked the whole cup dry!  I thought it was delish, but Erin said there would be no over-caffeinated beagles in the house.  Bummer.

I go on a walk through the neighborhood everyday and I have my favorite places to sniff and favorite people to visit.  I am so very popular!  The kids especially love me!

I love eating carrots (and pretty much everything...) but am not really fond of bones.  I bury those, or just sleep with it in my bed. 

Movie nights are the best, because we have popcorn, but if there are any scary parts, I need to be held and snuggled.

Well, that's pretty much a day in the life of the Gus-man.  He is such a treasure and so incredibly sweet and fun every single day.  What a happy boy.  He was meant to live this life!  I teach second grade boys, and talked about Gus often during the students fell in love with him and I brought in pictures throughout the year (they wanted the real thing, but unfortunately the school wouldn't allow it)...honestly, they felt he was a little boy, just like them, and you know what?  They're right! 
I have included some pictures of our sweet, handsome boy.  Hope you enjoy! 

Gussy (and Erin) :)

Latest update 7/24/10
Hi Shirley!

It's the end of July, and once again we are thinking of you and how the wonderful Gus-Man came into our lives three years ago.  He is the very best boy in the entire world - a snuggle-bug as you can see.  He loves nothing more than to cuddle up on the couch with you. 

My 89-year-old grandfather is living with us and the two of them are inseparable.  In fact, we noticed that Gus became distressed when Papa would go away for an overnight.  He was just not himself and seemed sad and worried, and we knew it was because he was wondering where Papa was.  So we started bringing Gus with us when we dropped my grandfather off so Gus could witness the 'exchange', and know his Papa is ok.  Gus has done his part to keep my grandfather laughing and moving, and we have worked relentlessly to keep Gus'
weight under control, as Papa always insists that the poor beagle is starving.
 I don't know if I mentioned last year that we have trained Gus to sneeze on command?  Believe it!  We have witnesses and in fact, he will often sit by the treat cabinet and start sneezing if we don't move fast enough. 

He is still remarkably young at heart, keeping up with our daily walks just fine.  This past winter we had a scare when he took off on us in the Berkshires...the little boy that stays right by my side and has been known to whimper when I so much as get out of the car to pump gas, bolted after some scent.  It was a miracle we found him, but that was a lesson learned and within a week of that incident I had him microchipped.  I can't imagine being without him. 

We are convinced that he speaks English and anyone who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks hasn't met Gus.

He is so affectionate, patient and gentle...making friends everywhere he goes.
 He is especially fond of our 18 month-old neighbor, Sadie.  She says "Gus" now, although for months she would point to him and bark.  He lets her pet him, poke him, check his eyes and ears, pull out some fur...and now she has discovered the leash and loves to "walk" him around the yard.  Her parents call Gus Sadie's "best dog friend forever".

I hope you are doing well and continuing to work miracles with these animals...although I would argue that we were indeed the lucky ones because we found him.

With many, many thanks,
The O'Leary family and Gus




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