Bagel the Beagle getting a second chance

Published 8:40 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018

This is the story of a runaway that became a town favorite and is now getting a second chance.

Until he was caught by Kacie Lindsey, Vicksburg’s animal control supervisor, Bagel the Beagle was the de facto mascot of downtown and a favorite of many of the city’s downtown merchants and residents. Since they didn’t know his name, they called him “Bagel.”

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“He was wandering all over downtown. People were feeding him everywhere. So he made his rounds every day,” Lindsey said.

Bagel becomes a celebrity 

Bagel was first seen in town by Mary Odell and B.J. Middleton and her granddaughter, Dianne Gargaro said. Soon the beagle became a celebrity and featured on a Facebook page started by Odell, “Bagel the Downtown Beagle of Vicksburg MS,” featuring Bagle carrying a small bucket in his mouth. The page raised concerns about his safety and suggestions to call Vicksburg animal control.

But Bagel had a secret. He was a runaway. Bagel, whose name, Lindsey later learned, was Sidney, was a hunting dog owned by a man in Satartia, a village in Yazoo County north of Vicksburg. One day about seven months ago, he took it on the lam.

“I don’t know how he ended up in Vicksburg,” she said, “But he traveled a long way, I know that.”

And attempts to try and catch him were frustrating.

“He was trap smart,” Lindsey said. “We couldn’t get him.”

She said Gargaro, who is known in the community for her work with rescue animals, bought a hoop net — a large ring with a net over it — to catch Bagel.

“I had been going every day after work,” Lindsey said. “I would go with my kids and go looking for Bagel.”

They would find him at one of his favorite spots at the corner of China and Cherry streets and sit on the sidewalk and feed him a little bit of canned food so he would get used to them.

Lindsey said the spot at China and Cherry streets was one of Bagel’s favorite locations, because the people who lived in the home at the corner had some Chihuahuas that are on a screened-in front porch, “And he would just sleep on their sidewalk. If he wasn’t there, he was at the riverfront.

“The day the net came in, he was in his usual spot and he came across the road and laid down and I snuck up on him and tossed the net on him.”

She called Bagel’s owner, who said he would take him back, but when Lindsey told him the story of Bagel being downtown, “And everyone trying to catch him, and basically he was our town mascot, he said, ‘If you can find a good home for him I’ll be fine with that.’”

getting used to people

Lindsey took Bagel home with her, had him neutered and got him his shots, and began his rehabilitation.

“I am trying to get him to where he trusts people, because right now, he doesn’t,” she said. “He still won’t come to us unless one of our dogs is next to us. He loves my dogs, he loves my cats; my cats don’t love him.

“He is used to people, just not interaction,” she said. “I’m thinking with him being on the street for so long, he’s gotten into a few people’s trash who shooed him off, threw something at him and hollered at him. There’s no telling what he went through those seven months he’s been missing.”

Bagel, she said, has been a good dog and hasn’t given her problems.

And although she has a fenced in yard, Bagel is walked on a leash, “Because we’re afraid if he wandered he could find his way out of the fence.”

Lindsey hopes one day Bagel will be able to interact again with people, adding she is working with him on her own time.

“I’m going to have to find someone with a good vet reference and a really, really good fenced in yard,” she said. “(But) he’s got a while to go.

“Until he will willingly walk up to us without one of our animals being there, and enjoy being loved on and not looking at me like ‘why are you touching me?’ He’s not going to be ready for another home, and I don’t want to put him in another house and them not know how to handle him and then have a set back.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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