Countdown to Beaglefest








Always in our heart

Rainbow Bridge Tributes



My husband and I adopted a beagle from Midwest BREW in November 2009. Her name at the time was CeCe, but we changed it to Gracie. She was about 2 years old. She was the sweetest dog we have ever known. She was very affectionate and loved being in our laps, but she could also be very stubborn and not listen. Beagles, right?? She was also food and nap motivated.

Gracie accompanied us on many camping trips over the last 12 years. On many occasions we were asked if she was a young dog as she was petite and weighed in at 17 pounds.

Her foster parents said she was a very fast runner. We witnessed this speed when we would play tag in the yard. She truly enjoyed playing tag. Once while chasing a squirrel she tore her ACL. Surgery fixed that but we wouldn’t let her chase squirrels any more.

Gracie also enjoyed her walks through the neighborhood. On several occasions we would let her play with other dogs at a local pet day care.

On the first Saturday of each month she would howl at the warning sirens that the city would sound for testing. The first time took us by surprise, but then we looked forward to it each month.

Gracie had a good home with us and was loved by the entire family. She was always excited to see anyone that would come by and would wait anxiously for her ‘belly rub’.

In June 2019 Gracie was diagnosed with Kidney disease. We changed her diet to try to manage her condition. In August 2020 she was diagnosed with a tumor in her bladder. The vet put her on medication to slow the progression of the tumor.

Sadly, we had to put Gracie down on August 19, 2021 after months of some additional challenging health issues. Things took a serious turn when she had a major seizure in July. In the few days before she passed, she had a few more seizures and debilitated quickly. We knew she couldn’t go on like this, and had been through so much already.

Gracie may have been petite but she had a large presence in our home. We miss her terribly, and always will. Thank you Midwest BREW for giving us the gift of Gracie.

~ Jim & Kathy Cichowski



In Memory of Tillie, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge Nov. 15, 2021

I still can’t get used to taking a shower without without someone barging through the bathroom door to lie on the rug and wait for me.

It was one of Tillie’s favorite “stay with Mom” routines, but Tillie is gone now. On November 15 we helped this sweet girl over the Rainbow Bridge, and then cried for two weeks. Tears still flow freely when I run through the memories that both hurt and heal.

We adopted Tillie at around age 10. Five years later, almost to the day, we had to say goodbye. It’s one of the harder things about adopting a senior dog, knowing that their time with us is going to be shorter than usual. It’s worth it, though. I love knowing that a dog with a challenging background is going to spend its final years in a happy, loving home where they are treasured and treated as a valued family member. As seniors ourselves, an older dog is usually easier for us to handle, and less likely to outlive us.

Because Tillie was a “bagel,” as beagle-basset mixes are whimsically referred to, she was not a petite girl. She was overweight at 53-pounds. Slowly but surely we helped her drop down to about 40 pounds.

It wasn’t easy. Tillie was the queen of food-driven dogs. She inhaled her twice-daily meals, and tried to convince us that an hour earlier than yesterday was appropriate. We roped our bifold doors closed on the food closet. Since used tissues were evidently a delicacy, the bathroom wastebasket moved to a shelf, and the one in my sewing room was kept behind the machine so she wouldn’t root around for goodies she was sure were hiding among the fabric scraps.

Tillie loved greeting the neighbors and their dogs while out on a walk, but she wasn’t interested enough to hang around. A nose-to-nose sniff, or a pat on the head, and she then lost interest. She didn’t play with other dogs, she didn’t play with toys, and she didn’t do tricks. She would come when called–if it suited her. Tillie definitely inherited the beagles’ stubborn gene.

Tillie was my shadow, following me even into the bathroom no matter what I was doing in there, and she wanted George and I to be together during walks. “You wanna go for a walk, Tillie?” George asked, and she’d look at me. The whole family was supposed to go, and if one of us stopped to take a photo, everyone had to stop and wait.

It was sad when her walks became shorter, when she’d suddenly lie down in the middle of one, when she lost interest in her food and we no longer had to put the wastebaskets up. At the end, she had kidney issues and a large mass growing in her esophagus area. In all other ways she was healthy and happy, but when it became difficult for her to swallow without choking, we knew we had to make the hard decision so that her death would be peaceful, with us talking to her and stroking her until her very last breath.

Now, Tillie’s ashes rest in an urn on the end table with the those of our previous beagles, and eventually her pictures will join theirs on our beagle “wall of fame.”

Rest in peace, Tillie. As your collar said, you were the Best.Dog.Ever.

~ Monica & George Sawyn



We adopted our Suki from your organization in Aug of 2007. She was in the liter nicknamed “labor of love” from a pregnant beagle rescue. All her siblings have names meaning Love in different languages. I remember the foster mom’s name was Katie. And we met at the PetSmart in Champion IL to get her.

The inevitable had come upon us today. We had to put Suki down at the vet. After fighting lymphoma for 3 months, Suki never achieved remission, no longer responded to chemo, and frequently suffered infections.

On March 24th, 2019 a whole band of Midwest BREW volunteers started a journey to get Bernie from Pennsylvania to Indiana. I live in Illinois and drove about 4 hours to adopt him in Valparaiso, Indiana. I welcomed Bernie into my home that day as a companion for my research beagle, Brienne, who didn’t quite know how to be a dog. At the time Bernie was already a senior at age 10, but you couldn’t even tell.

Bernie quickly became a momma’s boy and followed me wherever I went, always making sure to touch me somehow. He’d prefer to smother your face with his while he laid his whole body on top of yours. He also did his job and taught Brienne how to be a dog. She no longer was fearful of so many everyday things and he even taught her how to jump up onto furniture and howl. Their relationship grew over time and they were usually seen cuddled up next to each other for all their naps. They didn’t always play or roughhouse but where one went, usually the other followed.

Bernie really was my “soul dog”. Our relationship was unlike anything I had ever imagined. Bernie wasn’t just a dog, he was my best friend and my safe space. It was like we had this unspoken communication, he just understood everything I needed from him. I went through a lot during the time I had him and he was never far when the tears would flow or when I felt like all hope was lost. He would always nudge his nose under my arm, as if to say “peek-a-boo” with some incredibly goofy face and then lick my tears. Or on some days he would just lay with me, but he always had that intuition when I needed him the most.

About a year after adopting Bernie, his health problems began. You could look at Bernie and think nothing was wrong, but there was much more going on under the surface. Bernie’s disease was a disease of the mind, our vet and myself (a senior veterinary student) determined after many types of tests and medications that Bernie had Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. This disease is basically doggy alzheimers. Watching the disease slowly take its toll on him was painful. Bernie used to love so many people and things, especially my fiance. He was the first man Bernie actually truly loved and cuddled up with. In the end his disease progressed so quickly that he was no longer living a good quality of life and we said goodbye. On October 12th, 2021 Bernie’s suffering ended as he crossed the rainbow bridge.

To say I miss him is an understatement. I miss him every single day. Bernie changed my life. He taught me so much about myself and the life I lived. I am so thankful to have had 2.5 years with him and wait for the day that we are reunited again.

​~ Danielle Kolaczewski



My family and I adopted Waffle from Midwest BREW in September 2007. At the time she was around 2 years old and I was only 10 years old.

Being able to grow up with her was all that any little girl could hope for. She quickly became my best friend and stayed my best friend for over 14 years. She loved me beyond what I could ever imagine. She faithfully stayed by my side throughout my early 20’s, through all the apartment hopping, early mornings, long days, and graduating with my bachelor’s degree. She always made me feel safe, loved, and happy. She was the best big sibling to my cat Espresso and other dog Buster. She always knew exactly what each of us needed.

On April 4th, 2022 she crossed the rainbow bridge at 16 ½ years old. I am glad that all she ever knew from my family and I is love, from her first moment with us until her very last.

Buster, Espresso, and I will always love you sweet girl. Meet you at the bridge.

Kailyn Snodgrass



Tagger has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Thanks to all Tagger’s foster homes and a special thank you to Kent and Sue for getting him to me in Wisconsin.

“If the kindest souls were rewarded with the longest lives, dogs would outlive us all.” ~ Unknown

~ Mary Pat Campbell



When I first got Poz (September 2018), he was extremely shy and timid, he would literally flinch at his own shadow. Over a short amount of time I was able to gain his trust and discover who he was behind his fear.

Poz was very different from many beagles: he didn’t have a hunter bone in his body, if he saw any furry friends he’d give them a little nod of acknowledgment and proceed on his walks, he rarely barked and his beagle howl would only come out if he was very sad or scared.

He was very laid back and LOVED to just sit on the couch or bed and receive cuddles while watching tv (his favorite show was Greys Anatomy). I even had a dog trainer tell me that he wasn’t food/treat/toy motivated and his only motivation was two things: making me happy annnnd getting back to his couch.

Despite his submissive nature, Poz was an extremely tough boy surviving a stomach surgery, MRSP, and nerve damage from medication. Unfortunately, in January of this year it was discovered that Poz had 2cm pituitary tumor. The neurologist was extremely surprised given his lack of symptoms and said it’s probably been growing his entire life. Given the circumstances, I opted for comfort care and to put him down when his symptoms would compromise his quality of life. That time came early this week and Poz crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday afternoon (7/12/22) just missing his 9th birthday by a couple weeks.

I can’t thank you all enough for providing me my best friend for almost 4 years.

Mary Oakey



We had to say goodbye to Woody last Thursday (7/14/22) and wanted to send a little tribute to him. Thank you so much for bringing him to us.

My last words to Woody were, “Thank you.” We were so lucky to have him in our lives for two quick years, knowing when we adopted a twelve-year-old beagle that the goodbye would not be far off. I wouldn’t change a thing. I know that anyone who gets to spend time with a wise, old, amazing dog understands that they give us more than we could ever hope to give them. We truly don’t deserve them. He made that time richer, calmer, and wiser for all of us.

In 2020, as the pandemic was heating up and everyone was stuck at home, we found Woody on the BREW’s website. Woody had lost his owner and had been in a foster home for a year. Boots, our other beagle, lost his best (and bonded) friend Buster and adjusting to the new home we had just moved into that past fall. We fell in love with Woody’s profile picture and his incredible story of going from over 70 pounds to 42 pounds while in foster care. We knew Boots needed another dog to help with his anxiety and we thought Woody needed us. And while we were able to give Woody a nice retirement with lots of love, we soon learned that we needed him even more. Along with his stately personality Woody brought a sense of calm into our chaotic home. He reminded us that a good nap, a snack, a short walk around the block, and good company were all we really needed to be happy.

I’m not sure who Woody was named for – Woody from Toy Story maybe? But we loved that he had the same name as Woody Guthrie. This name suited him perfectly as he paraded around the house, leading the other beagles in song and preaching love and acceptance of all by his actions. It was like he was saying, just as Woody Guthrie had, “Take it easy but take it.” When we walked with all the beagles around the neighborhood the kids would choose Woody as their favorite because he would take all of their pets, hugs and kisses with gratitude. And when our son Kyle and his fiancé Tiana decided to adopt a dog, they took Woody to visit the Humane Society, to make sure the beagle they had found would get along with other dogs. He welcomed that beagle, June, into the beagle brigade with enthusiasm, tail wagging and the Woody smile.

We are so sad we had to let Woody go but he let us know it was okay and reminded us how much he loved us on those last days. And I hope he’s up in dog heaven reunited with whomever he loved before he knew us, but also chasing rabbits with Boots and barking at all the other dogs who pass by.

Love from the Treganowan Family,
Jason, Joy, Kyle, Tiana, Emma, Curtis
June, Hank and Merle – the Beagle Brigade (aka the Outlaw Beagles)



Clayton, Midwest BREW alumni, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday, October 11th. He was diagnosed with lymphoma suddenly in May and had very good quality of life until the Monday before his death when the cancer started to invade his mouth. He had a last Facetime call with both Sam and Lucy and then Eddie and I were with him to the end with our fantastic vet, Dr. Samson.

Clayton was the very best dog and he was loved by so many. He was the glue that kept our family together. No matter what mood a person was in, when they saw Clayton, their eyes lit up and Clayton made his way over to give some kisses and snuggle. He was always so quiet but for sure was the king of the castle, even when we rescue Janie in August 2021. His death is heartbreaking and we will miss our sweet boy so much.

Thanks so much to Midwest BREW for saving him and letting him come into our lives.

All the best
Kara, Eddie, Sam and Lucy Sugarman




Smoochie was the most wonderful beagle.

She was our very first dog, and from the moment she came home to us, she melted our hearts. We shared our lives with her for almost 17 years, and she crossed the rainbow bridge December 6, 2022 at almost 19 years old.

She made our lives better and she was a one-of-a- kind special beagle.

Love you forever Smoochie!

~ Kathleen Dudley



The sweetest, bravest girl we have ever known has left us after nine and a half wonderful years together.

Binnie (or as we called her, “Binnie Two Shoes”) came to us as a meek and quiet five year old, but she blossomed into a warrior and a clown who wanted nothing more than to be by our side and making us laugh. Midwest BREW did a spectacular job of matching us with Binnie, and her foster Christy Sands (who left us all far too young) went the extra mile to make sure she would fit in with our small parrot.We can’t thank everyone at Midwest BREW enough.

Godspeed Binnie—we love you to the moon and back.

~ Jim Adams and Naz Edwards

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