4 stories from Bruce R. Coston's vet memoir 'The Gift of Pets'

Veterinarian Bruce R. Coston shares his stories of his time among the animals.

3. Hound dog

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    Beagles with their owners at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show

    Craig Ruttle/AP

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Coston recalled a couple who owned a beagle named Branson who were devoted to the dog. "Both spoke in quiet, relaxed tones, seldom raising their voices," he wrote of the couple. "Neither was excitable beyond [a] quick and easy chuckle." Their dog Branson was their opposite. "We always had advance warning that he was coming, since Branson displayed another common beagle trait," Coston wrote. "As soon as the Kovacs put him in the car, he commenced to baying, a term that perfectly conveys the action... This mournful tune could be heard faintly at first, then more loudly, as the Kovacs' car neared the clinic. It reached an earsplitting crescendo as they eased into a parking space in front of the office. Listening to the racket, you expected to look out the window and find a pack of hunting dogs surrounding a treed raccoon. Instead, you just saw Branson in the backseat."

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