tell me, with your rep around here, you did not just admit having a poodle, a dachsund, a yorkie, and a pekingese? You can't just toss out a factoid like that in a crowd of sharks like this.
As far as I am concerned, howling a lot and getting lost easily is only a good trait when you live on 10,000 plus acres. Other than that, I don't think I'd recommend a beagle. The one I know is smart enough to find all available scrap food, and to ignore his owner almost 100%. I'm not sure that is a good thing, smarts wise. If you want the howl without the spastic nature, go for a bloodhound.
My dog is a somewhat vicious chesapeake bay/malamute mix (not really vicious, but enough of an antisocial streak to send many large dogs packing with superficial wounds - oddly enough she has a tendency to pick up and throw little dogs without hurting them), and for some reason the spinning wheels of the beagle seem to entertain her instead of inspiring either her prey drive or her fear aggression, which often results in larger dogs bleeding. But she's a complete sweetheart with kids, and my wife and I.