i will try to keep it short cuz it spans 10 years that i have known him. i brought him home to housetrain at 5 months old...he was originally a puppymill pup bought in a petstore who was dumped at a rescue i volunteered with when he proved to be a housetraining moron. i spent months trying to housetrain him, i thought i was pretty good at it but copper proved me a failure. i finally sought out the advice of a well known and highly recomended trainer. she told me to put him in a crate and not let him out except to go outside to pee. i tried it but not only did he just pee out the wire door of his crate (this kept him nice and dry inside) but he also started his relentless beagle in want very loud wooddling. i contacted the trainer again, and she said every time he made a sound to roll his crate with him inside it upside down. that is when i realized she was stupider than me.
anyway, one of my daughters wanted him to be her dog, so i said ok but i never took him off the website for adoption, i guess i knew what was going to happen....she immediately began to ignore him... totally. i finally got him housetrained at 8 and a half months old (i just left the back door open....duh!) and the first of many perfect families asked to adopt him when they saw his picture on petfinder cuz he was too freaking cute. they were a better home for him than we were...i was busy with rescue and copper needed a real home. these guys were great...they had one ADDH son, one son with autism and a third son with allergies but for some reason he wasn't allergic to copper. this home was busy..it was in constant happy boy chaos..copper was in his absolute glory...three little kids who he could get into all kinds of trouble with. the boys adored him..the mom treated him just like another busy body...everyone was really happy...for 18 months, then he came back. copper perfected his escaping routine with them, he was forever getting out and it was not their fault...copper spent years afterwards escaping successfully from me too, he was a born natural at it.. anyway...it totally stressed mom out...she just could not face one day telling her boys that their best-est beagle friend was dead on the road.
so back he came, no worse for wear, he was happy to see us and he was happy to see his friend tyra. copper at this point was still housetrained, but the escaping was a huge issue. plus in living with little boys, he learned really well..how to steal food. so copper the escape artist and big time thief was then adopted to a beagle family..they had a middle aged beagle and she was a bit of a handful too, they had had her since puppyhood and stood right by her.. ahh yes..a good family who understood the breed. that home lasted 6 months...when they brought him back, they left their older beagle with me too...two busy beagles apparently broke the camels back and they were done with them both. the female beagle was not housetrained, i think she was around nine years old...and now copper was no longer housetrained either...oh great...a peeing, thieving, escaping beagle...each year he just got better and better. a couple of weeks later... the family felt guilty and came back for their older girl but they left copper with me.
copper's next home was full of kids again. i really liked the parents, great sense of humour...copper and his interesting ways were going to be alot of fun...they really liked his deep throat trick even if it was kind of gross. but copper had too many homes, plus he was spoiled rotten....he developed separation anxiety and he would woodle and scream if left alone until he actually ended up with laryngitis. the family could not stand to see him so unhappy and they took him everywhere with them...including to the movies where he waited for them in the car. this just reinforced his having a fit. the few times he was left at home and he ended up with laryngitis, really upset them..they were too soft and did not see what a blessing a quiet, voiceless beagle was! and they too brought him back after a year, the whole family crying and carrying on....copper apparently broke their hearts.
and now copper peed in the house, broke out of inescapable backyards, darted out opening front doors, stole food off of counters, out of cupboards, opened fridges, dumped out garbages, grabbed sandwhiches out unwary hands and screamed his freaking head off for hours at a time if he did not get what he wanted.
the last home had a very old beagle, who was actively dying. mom stayed at home. copper was to be the friend and the eventual replacement beagle to help them thru their loss. they put up with all of his shit...they loved him dearly. after their old dog died, they went away on holidays and copper came back to me for a visit..and they never came back for him when they got home. once they were away from him for awhile they realized he drove them nutz. they enjoyed the peace and quiet of no copper and after 8 months there...copper had his very last chance.
i felt sorry for the little bugger, losing home after home. we maybe were not the best home for him but the good ones that should have worked out.... all ran away.
so copper became a permanent sanctuary dog...and for the last 5 years, i have tried to outsmart him....i fixed the escaping thing, i fixed the food thievery, i tolerated the noise that he makes when he wants his way and i won't give in and i tolerate him lifting his leg and peeing whenever he is mad at me because he didn't win...i gave a little..he gave a little...we hit a middle ground that was ok.
when lynne asked to foster him..i did not want to..i had already decided years ago that copper was stuck with me for life....he was safe..he was happy...he had a good life. but then i felt bad, here i was denying him a chance at a home who not only knew him but loved him too..so copper got what he wanted and moved in with lynne last year.
but copper is copper, he is a sociopath...he has no conception of right or wrong, good or bad, safe or dangerous...he just does what he wants, which is exactly why he almost killed himself this week.. he is a selfish, determined, gluttonous, fat little pain in the ass who never thinks.
sigh..i have always loved him just because of that and over the years i learned how to think for him...which is just what he needs.