I’m Coop Rice and I think it’s time we had a beagle’s perspective on Forest Park. I’m 3 years old–OK, 21–and I’ve lived in Forest Park since I was young enough to gnaw on furniture legs.

When I came to Forest Park, I noticed the back yards were tiny. I got so bored exploring my yard; I started digging holes. What I really wanted was to go for a walk. You see, I live for two things: eating and smelling.

I got really excited when they walked me to the dog park. I was eager to socialize but once those strangers started sniffing me, I became very uncomfortable. Then it hit me: I’m a pack animal–if I’m not with a bunch of beagles, I’m a social failure.

As a puppy, I was really hungry–I mean; I used to eat paint chips. You see I’m not just a carnivore I’m an omnivore. I’ll eat anything including wood, plastic and, well I draw the line at metal. Once I ate the plastic cap from a milk bottle and it cost my owners $400 to get it out.

Sure, I dance around when I get my daily dish of brown chunks but I always want more. When they cook, I’m on high alert, waiting for something to drop. After dinner is over, they scrape all the best stuff–you know the bones and everything–into a big white container. I don’t care. If I can just catch a couple of crumbs from the counter, I’m happy.

Besides, I have a secondary food source. The guy who writes this column is a softie. He bribes me with treats to go outside. As soon as I get out, I start howling at the yippy dogs on the corner or the yappy dog across the alley. Then he bribes me again to stop howling and come back inside.

So, I can’t complain much. Each day, I use up about 1 percent of my energy lying on chairs and dozing off. The only thing I miss is going for walks. Everyone’s so busy; I no longer waste my time wagging my tail when someone puts their coat on.

I’m also disappointed that dogs are banned from Forest Park’s people parks. The last time they took me to the park at 16th and Circle, there was a big sign saying I couldn’t go in. So, they tied me up outside. If I hadn’t had 463 odors to smell, I would have gone nuts.

On the walk home, they hoped I’d do a little business but I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. I never do. So, if you think we have a dog litter problem in Forest Park, it’s not me–it’s Spike from the 900 block of Circle Avenue.