Far as I can tell, we got Beebo in January of 1998 (I thought it was 1999, but signs point otherwise.) Our previous dog, Spud the Chihuahua, had passed away a few months previous and we were grieving pretty hard. I wanted another dog bad.
Our apartment was pretty small for a dog unless it was a tiny dog, so we headed out to the Humane Society in search of a wee little pup. They had a bunch of dogs there because the shelter in Clinton had called the Champaign shelter before Christmas, asking if they had room for more animals. Champaign said they were full. “Okay, then,” said Clinton. “Nobody’s going to be here over the holidays, so we’re just gonna put all these animals to sleep.” Suddenly Champaign felt it could make room for more.
One of those refugees had a temporary shelter name of “Mistletoe”. We looked her over, but she was really hyper and wouldn’t have done well in our little apartment. We then turned to “El Nino,” another refugee, who had a sign on his cage saying he was shy. We took him into the “Get to know you room” and he completely ignored us, electing instead to smell the entire perimeter of the room before heading into the center of it and pooping. Right then we knew this was the dog for us. He became Beebo.
The vet at the time estimated he was about three years old, which would make him thirteen now!
The shelter claimed he was a Chihuahua/Terrier mix, which we knew was foolishness but didn’t have any better ideas. Occasionally I would ask someone who might know what they thought he was and they would say something like, “He looks a bit like a Lithuanian Rabbit Spaniel” or something and I would be all, “Uh, he came from Clinton, Illinois.” Now we think he’s a Puggle, a Pug-Beagle mix (among probably other things.)
Where’d the name come from? It was sort of a nonsense word I used. I think I had originally gotten it off of a line of snacks sold out of vending machines.
I had used it for various D&D character names, usually for one-shot, throwaway characters. (At one point my friend Chris was looking through old issues of Dragon magazine and found an ad for a computer program for creating D&D characters. On the sample screen the character’s name is “Beebo”.)
I have to admit I didn’t get along well with Beebo at first. He was too different from Spud and I was still getting over the loss and I just wasn’t patient with him. But in time everything worked out.
I can’t find the pictures from when we first got him. He walked around the house with his tongue lolling out and it seemed to be about 15 yards long. But here he is not long afterwards in his Mardi Gras costume. He’s an angel. (He had a halo too but he didn’t keep it on well.)