Pets

Beagle ‘best companion’ for Joliet family

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Allie Rios adopted Spanky from a former Indiana beagle rescue in 2002 after searching onlne for nearby rescues for that breed.

JOLIET – Allison “Allie” Rios loves beagles because she loves Snoopy.

And that was good news for Spanky, whom Rios of Joliet adopted from a former Indiana beagle rescue in 2002 after searching online for nearby rescues for that breed.

“He was my buddy, my roommate,” Rios said.

In a Facebook message, Rios recalled Spanky’s back story: “He was emaciated when they found him, with his ribs popping out. He’d been left in a field in the middle of winter. And he was pretty scared of men at first. It took a bit to get him healthy, but he was the best companion as I began my adult life in my own home.”

When Rios began dating Jaime Rios, now her husband, Spanky would bark at every stranger, except Jaime, even if Jaime stopped by at night.

“Spanky would not make a noise,” Allie said.

To make up for his neglected years, Allie admitted she spoiled Spanky with an abundance of toys and food. Spanky’s favorite toy was his stuffed beagle. Spanky’s favorite food was all of them.

Spanky grew so fat that Allie dared not walk him more than four or five blocks or she’d have to carry him home.

Seriously.

“He wouldn’t move,” Allie said. “You’d have to pick him up.”

Still, Spanky often managed to slip outside. That’s when Jaime would get in his car and start looking for Spanky, who more often than not, had found a comfortable spot in the neighborhood and was waiting for his owners to find him.

But Spanky’s shenanigans did have consequences, for Jaime, not Spanky.

“One time when he went to search when Spanky got loose he rolled through a stop sign and got pulled over for it,” Allie said.

Still, Spanky’s good traits outnumbered his mischievous ones, especially when Allie’s mother Dawn Bailey was dying from a brain tumor.

“He would cuddle my mom in her hospital bed when she was battling cancer, and he was the best snuggler,” Allie said in a Facebook message. “After my mom passed and my little brother was striking out on his own, Spanky moved in with him and kept him company.”

Spanky lived with Allie and her brother Chuck Bailey of Joliet a total of 13 years, “being loved and doted one and giving each of us some much-appreciated love in return,” Allie said in a Facebook message.

“You really couldn’t ask for a better dog than him,” Allie said.