Ashley, I've heard that beagles can be that way. I've also heard that they are quite the diggers.
We had dogs at our previous house. They weren't barkers, except that our house backed up against an open field. Jackrabbits would run behind our property and rile up one of the dogs. One neighbor complained once. If we were home, we would bring him inside where he would promptly shut up.
Stetz, DH finally got tired of the criticism and favoritism. He couldn't tolerate it or fight it. We found ourselves spending less and less time with extended family. Their loss, really. That is hilarious about your sister!!
Shatema, ouch!! $660 a month for electric? I thought ours was bad, but the highest we've had was (I think) close to $400. That was when everyone was home and during a heat wave.
Today was weird. I came home on my lunch half-hour to check on the kitties. I only had time for a 10 minute visit, but they're cats. They don't require a lot
At any rate, the vet called while I was at home. The lab test for the sicker kitty, Boo, were inconclusive. She is definitely fighting an infection, but she is otherwise healthy. The vet said that she could do xrays if I could come in right away, so I called into work and then took Boo into the vet. The xrays revealed one enlarged kidney. She could be dealing with a kidney infection (common in older cats), or even foreign matter in her tummy that she can't pass (she's the queen of eating strange things). So, they hydrated her again and gave her an anti-nausea med. At best, that combo will get her feeling well enough to fight whatever is going on. At the least, she will feel better for about 24 hours. We decided that if she's not better by Thursday, we will need to put her to sleep. If she is worse tomorrow, then we won't wait. I feel sorry for her. She loves to run and play and destroy things. She's too weak for those things now, but I can tell that she would love to do them. The Xray was cool. Except for the kidney, she's downright healthy. Her fur showed up on the xray! That was funny. As for our older kitty, she's fighting infection, too. One of her labs are being sent out for further analysis. She's feeling better, but not eating her wet food. She chows down on her treats, though. Tonight I layered her treats over her wet food. Ha! It worked. She ate a little, not a lot, but at least she ate something.