Saturday, December 27, 2008

donation opportunity...let's end 2008 with some good karma

If you, like many, are looking for a good donation opportunity at the end of this year, here's a couple great ones:

San Diego Humane Society
Basset Hound Rescue of San Diego

Keep in mind these folks are happy to get even just $5 or $10 bucks; every little bit helps. But hey, if you can ante up $500, then go for it!

Here's a little video I cooked up for you, which I hope makes you smile. Oh, and I hope it leads you to consider donating to a needy cause :o). Turn up your speakers. Arooh!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

happy christmas from the lowdogs


This last week our local Basset Rescue held a fundraiser at a pub owned by a Basset owner. There were a couple dozen Bassets of all sizes there, and natch, Santa Claus. Toula wasn't having it, and kept looking to her Daddy for escape.

Molly, on the other hand, pulled her best long-eared look because her goal in life is to sit in every lap she can, and this was like a dream for her....

The bar provided "logo" polaroids which meant everyone got a picture with EFFEN Vodka printed on it. That is so kitschy it's delicious. Happy Effen Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the vomiter

OK, look. This is going to be like ripping off a bandaid; at first it hurts, but in the end it's for good. Here's the hurt: This precious little angel puppy is a vomiter. She barfs indiscriminately for seemingly no reason. Once she was laying on the very top of the sofa with her little muzzle draped down the back of the sofa, and she vomited all down the back of the sofa without even batting an eyelash. Yeah, the down-stuffed chenille sofa, now affectionately known around these parts as "the world's most expensive dog bed".

Last night she was walking between the sofa and the easy chair, and up it came. Only this time it was evidently burning her so she violently shook her head from side to side as she was walking. Not to put too fine a point on the story, but we were eating dinner on the sofa and, well, you can guess the rest based upon even a high school science understanding of trajectories.

Anyhoo, here's the good part. The reason I'm telling you this is that we have discovered the absolute best way to solve the cleaning problem associated with this. In two words: BAKING SODA.

We keep a 5lb. bag of Arm & Hammer baking soda from Costco on hand, and whenever there are wet accidents (dog-related or human related. I'm talking to you, wine spiller, and you know who you are), we pour a thick layer of the stuff on the wet. It soaks the wet up into the baking soda, rather than allowing it to soak down into the carpet. Then we let it dry, sometimes overnight, and come back with a shop-vac and suck it up.

Last night I sprinkled it all over the carpet, and the sides of the sofa and chair. This morning all I had to clean was a small spot out of the carpet, and do some light cleaning of the furniture.

If you have a pet with a similar problem, this is the safest, cheapest, and easiest solution.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

another lazy sunday

These past few days a friend of mine from high school came to visit. Years ago when she lived in London she had a Basset named Fred whom we met on a visit, and loved so much it made us seek out a Basset for ourselves. Fred has since passed on, but is not forgotten.
My friend now lives on the other side of the planet, and has another dog (not a Basset, sadly), but remains a Basset lover. Molly and Toula worshipped the ground she walked on while she was here, as she brought with her a bag of Three Dog Bakery treats! Now, THAT's a true friend! Barooh!

We took her and the lowdogs to the beach where we all had a terrible time and hated the weather. In fact, we wished it was snowing and we were all stuck inside with the flu.

Just checking to see if you're still reading.

Life sucks (Molly chasing Big D at the shoreline):Actually, what did suck was that it was high tide and there was a lot of seaweed on the shore. With seaweed comes kelp flies and we had to swat them away. It was very difficult and we were forced to go home, drink mimosas, and feed Three Dog Bakery treats to the bassets to recover from the trauma. Oh, how we keep surviving this I'll never know.

(BTW, Molly's itchy foot problem is subsiding thanks to a slight change in the weather, and regular doses of Benadryl.)

Here are 4 seconds of basset-y goodness, with the voice of Big D in the background. Isn't life grand?

video

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

home remedy

Big D has decided that the best way to treat Miss Molly lowdog's predilection toward chewing on her foot is to (a) spread some hydrocortisone cream on it, (b) spray it with bitter apple so the cream isn't tasty and (c) stick a sock on it. She went to bed like this last night.

Sadly, the sock, which is one of his designated work socks, tasted remarkably like Big D, which made it a sort of Daddylicious Smorgasbord of foot sweat, apple, and creamy hydrocortisony butter. MMMmmm, that's good sock stank.

So, suffice it to say that although she promptly went to sleep like this last night, we woke up this morning to Molly sucking her foot again, and a discarded, rather wet, dog-saliva soaked sock.

Sigh. I'm dialing the vet as soon as they open....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

bunny sighting

This weekend Toula discovered the joys of being a Basset Hound can include spotting prey in the wild and .... staring at it. And when I say "prey" I mean a little bitty bunny rabbit (note circled bun-bun and teensy white cotton tail). And, when I say "in the wild" I mean the neighbor's yard. Oh, the drama.

This pic, taken from my Treo phone and therefore showing all the hallmarks of a crappy shot taken quickly with the subject of the photo escaping into the shrubbery (Pulitzer prize attempt lost again), occurred at the exact moment that Toula turned into a pillar of concrete. She literally froze and would not move. All the Dog Whispering "SHHTZS!" and pokes to her neck, were unsuccessful, as were the subsequent chain-yanking, hollerings of "OY! TOULA! LOOKIT ME!". Nothing would get that dog to draw away her attention.

Mind you, when she's in the house (read: AIR CONDITIONING) and a bun-bun is in our yard eating my plants and pooping in vast quantities she can't be bothered to even wink at the thing. I think I need to sit her down and re-visit the How To Be A Basset Hound manual, Chapters 1-3 again. And, there will definitely be a pop quiz at the end.

Monday, September 1, 2008

clean toys!


Clean toys!, originally uploaded by JolieVoice.

It's cleaning day, which means we sew up all the holes in the dog toys and toss them in the washer on LAVA HOT setting to get them clean. Mind you, getting the toys clean is usually a futile effort because someone invariably ends up doing something that circumvents my cleaning. Like this:

Sleeping in the flippin' dirt! She sleeps in soil, then walks back into the house, hops on the sofa, and deposits all the dirt in the crevices of the sofa! AAAAGGHH! kill me now. That's it, I'm getting a maid!

Sigh. I'm just cranky because Molly kept me up all last night chewing on her paw and scratching. She's allergic to the environment (trees, pollens, grasses, weeds, etc. Pretty much everything outdoors), and once in a while she is really impacted by it. Benadryl isn't doing a lot right now, so we're keeping an eye on her. I hope I don't have to start injecting her again...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

beach day

Tails up, ladies!
The lowdogs arrive...

It's been a tough few months with work projects for me, so I was out of the loop on the lowdogs blog. In an effort to return to normalcy, I brought my camera to the beach with the pups today. It was a beach we haven't been to in several years, even though it's the closest to our home, because it used to be mainly populated by untrained Pit Bulls with names like "Cujo" and "Shithead". But, over the years the community has changed a bit, and we were joined today by a more diverse crowd. We'll definitely be going back!

View of the pier

After returning from the beach, the dogs were coated in a fine sand that was embedded in their fur. Because we didn't want to clog our plumbing with it, we hosed them off in the back yard instead of in the tub. A little water, a few Milk Bones, some fists full of Head and Shoulders, and that seaweed smell and sediment was a distant memory!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

molly antics

A lazy Sunday today. It's hot and muggy; an unusual combination for our area, and it brings out unique behavior in Miss Molly.

First, I caught her snuggling up to a hard plastic rubber duckie, tail wrapped around it and all.
A couple hours later, I was looking for her through the house, yard, everywhere, and couldn't find her. I walked past the bathroom and found this sight:
Walking into the bathroom, I realized the temperature in there is at least 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. Smart dog.

Usually, when I get out the camera, Molly stops what she's doing or gets up and walks away, but she was so enjoying the cool tile that she just continued to lie there.

I'm sweating just typing this. To hell with this, I'm gonna go sit with Molly in the shower. Bye!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Whew. I'm back.

The past two months have been tough, with a lot of work to do and no time to do it. We finally escaped from it all, spending almost two weeks on Oahu, and now that we've been back for a week it seems like it was a year ago. *sigh*!During our absence we took the lowdogs to a dogsitter that we've known for years. The woman boards dogs in her home with her family and other dogs, and lives on a property that is overrun with rabbits, full of places to run, and places to nap in the shade. She lets the dogs hang out in the house if they like. When they come home they sleep for two days because they're so pooped from Doggie Day Camp.

Two days before we left, we discovered Toula had a Urinary Tract Infection. Once we thought about it, we realized we had signs about it for a few weeks, and I felt terrible that it took us so long to figure it out! The night I discovered her problem, I crafted a plan. In the morning, I would grab a Tupperware container, leash up Toula, and take her outside where I would stick the Tupperware under her bum as she peed her morning's pee. It pays to be a woman who's had a UTI before and knows the program!

I took the 'sample' to the vet, and they gave me some antibiotics just in time. The sitter said it took about 3 days before Toula was feeling better, but it worked. Phew!

In the meantime, Molly's barfing problem has gone away. We feed them a 'splotch' of cottage cheese every night before they go to bed, and that's done the trick!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

lowdogs rise in the east

Last night Molly gobbled her 1/2 cup of cottage cheese before bedtime, per the vet's instructions. It's supposed to help with her acid reflux in the morning.

This morning I joined D. at the window, as he was tying his tie. Molly was outside on the grass in the familiar position.
"She's getting ready to yak, again. Wait for it. There she goes."
"Poor Molly."
Then, he turned to me, looked into my eyes, and said,
"Someday you and I will be on vacation and gazing out the window at a beautiful, real sunrise, not a Basset sunrise."
A girl can dream.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

molly's diagnosis: acid reflux?!

For the past few weeks Molly has been barfing once or twice a day. She mows on some grass, then a few seconds later it's oomp-chuh, oomp-chuh, and up it comes. Not to be too graphic, but we began to realize she wasn't barfing food, just foamy yellow bile. Which sort of reminded me of the fraternity house during my college years, but Molly swore she hadn't been doing boilermakers or engaging in any games of Zoom-Schwartz-Parfigliano.

Anyhoo, we started to get worried as all sorts of Bad Things would pass through our minds. She was still typically happy, waggy, with bright eyes, and couldn't wait for her meals, so we figured she wasn't on death's door. We researched online and started feeding her cooked rice and boiled chicken, and D. even gave her some Maalox. Sadly, he didn't see the giant cherries on the bottle when he bought it, so the poor pup ate cherry-flavored white chalky stuff for a couple of days before she realized it really tasted like methyl ethyl gak and wasn't having any more of it, thank you very much.

Yesterday we arrived home to find more barf on the bathroom floor and the carpet (oh, joy), and made an appointment to see the vet. He sent her home with some medicine and a directive to us to feed her lots of little meals throughout the day, plus a cup of cottage cheese just before she goes to bed.

I don't know about Molly, but if I eat right before going to bed it gives me nightmares, so we'll see how she does...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

bath time: the final indignity

"Je ne veux pas sentir comme une prostituée française." (I do not want to smell like a French whore.)

Bassets, being French, speak to us in French. Don't yours?

Sunday bath time this morning! Indignities include tooth brushing with vanilla-mint doggie toothpaste, ear cleaning, armpit scrubbing, and soaping of the schnozz. Pits-n-snags, as they say. All of which the lowdogs endure with trepidation, but little treats along the way soften the blow.

We get compliments all the time on how soft the dogs are. "What do you use?" people ask. "Ancient Chinese secret," we reply, pushing aside the Head and Shoulders. Dog shampoo? Hell, no, that stuff smells like cheap French perfume. Head and Shoulders works to get the oils out and keep the pups fresh and fluffy.

Then, we toss the dogs into the dryer on "air fluff", and Bob's yer Uncle. We have to pound on the dryer lid to shut them up, though. Don't want to wake the neighbors.

Molly, scrub-a-dub-dub:













Toula waits her turn:













Toula, scrub-a-dub-dub:













Molly's turn to wait while Toula's scrubbed:













Then, when they're both all shiny and fresh as a daisy, they're set free, and run about the house trying to get dirty again. This morning they shot out the back door and up the hill to say 'hello' to the neighbor dogs. So much for bath time. Ah, lowdogs.

Monday, April 14, 2008

dogpark

Molly out for a ride
Took the lowdogs to the dogpark yesterday, Sunday. It was about a thousand degrees and they didn't do much but sniff around; hardly any other dogs were there. It was too hot for them to run around (and Molly hasn't been feeling well lately, which didn't help), so they mostly stayed in the shade and hung low. Molly does very well in the car on the drive over, but Toula - who used to get carsick when she was young - peeps the whole way like a bird. PEEP! PEEP! I guess it's part of her past life as a cockatiel....Hmmmm.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

highdog

For a lowdog, Toula is always trying to be up high. I think in a past life she was a cockatiel.

She prefers to sit at the top of the stairs, on top of the hill in our yard, and, when we're at the sofa watching TV, she climbs to the top of the sofa and lays there stretched out like a cat. OK, maybe she was a cat in a past life. Oh, hell, maybe both, and she's gone 'round a couple times. She does tend to be naughty, and that's karma, baby.

At any rate, this morning she climbed up top and sat down on the back of D.'s neck, perfectly comfortable (for her). We couldn't roust her, so D. had to stand up and get off the sofa. She got down, then two seconds after he reseated himself, she got right back up there.

Cockatiel.
Toula sitting on D's neck

Monday, April 7, 2008

hover hound

Hover Hound
It's official: Molly's knee seems to have healed, at least enough to allow her to have some fun. Yesterday we took her to the dog park, and after wandering around sniffing for about 15 minutes, leading us to believe she really wasn't up for a party, she suddenly shot off after the other dogs in a Basset Burst of speed! I captured one of these pshooooo! events with my Treo phone and had to share it here.

If you look closely, you can see all her paws are off the ground. She doesn't normally get this animated unless there's ham or a cookie bone involved, so this was a red letter day. Next time we go on a "grunt/drag" I'll have to remind her of this episode....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

she's baaaaaack.

Yesterday I was able to get Molly to join Toula and me on our first walk together as a threesome since the infamous Easter Day Beach Wounding in which Molly threw herself with abandon into the sea and tweaked her knee.

Took this with my Treo on our walk last night, and I must say I'm amazed that the phone can capture the waggy tail movement of the lowdogs. They are perpetually happy, thus constantly wagging, which makes it all the more important that we maintain a lowdog household forever. Because there are only so many glasses of wine that can be wagged off your coffee table before you realize Bassets are the Chosen Dogs.

Monday, March 24, 2008

basset, party of one

Yesterday's beach jaunt proved to be too much for Molly's bad knee, the one which tells her when it's going to rain, and that she uses as an excuse to pee in the house just 4" from the dog door. She's been gimping around the house, poor thing, so we've been medicating her with love and baby aspirins.

Toula, however, is raring to go, so to prevent the typical 8pm energy burst, D. and I concocted and executed a Brilliant Plan to get Toula out for a walk with Molly none the wiser.

D. went to his office, Molly followed. I went to our bedroom, Toula followed. This typical behavior allowed us to close Molly in to the office, and Toula and I slipped out the front door. Seconds later, Molly was snoring loudly and Toula and I were free! Free, I tell you!

Walking this brown dog today reminded me what a joy it is to own a dog. Walks with Molly on the lead are usually more like "Grunt/Drags". Alone with Toula it was an actual Dog-Whisperer- style walk, with occasional stops for sniffing, but 98% an actual walk. She walks proudly, prancing with her tail and ears at alert. We took a long tour through the wooded trails and met other dogs which Toula politely greeted. Had Molly been with us, meeting another dog would have been a cartoonish yank, ending up with me off my feet, being dragged down the trail, dirt collecting down the front of my shirt and hitting every stone with my chin.

I took this shot of Toula on the walk with my Treo phone. Do you see how the angelic nature of Toula's behavior is memorialized by the corona in the background? Do you hear the Basset Angels singing? Hallelooo-arooooh! *sigh*

Of course, D. would totally disagree with me, thinking that Molly is the more angelic of the two. He is hopelessly in love with her, as, frankly, he should be, because she's an old soul and sweet and yummy, and she smells exactly like Fritos Corn Chips. No, seriously. But this is my blog, so I can wax poetic about Toula if I want to. So there.

At the end of the trail you actually walk through an area that is sort of trail, sort of these people's back yard. They know it, so to keep folks from walking up to their back window, knocking, and asking what's for dinner, they carved out a little walkway from stones going away from the house, and tossed in some seating areas and general yard tchotchke art. We stopped to gaze in the gazing ball, and dream of the next time we'll get to walk just the two of us.

Well, I did. Toula just dreamed of ham.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter bassets

Took the lowdogs to the beach today, and met up with their friends Dante and Kona.

Sadly, the Easter Bunny did not leave any eggs at the beach for us. Unbelievably, I managed to make it all the way to Easter this year without eating a single jelly bean, or biting the ears off a single Peep. Which, as you know, is best when stale. And the yellow ones are the only good flavor. What is the deal with purple Peeps, I ask you? Yak.

But, I digress.

Kona showed everyone her mad skills at retreiving a yellow squeaky ball her dad launched into the water. Over and over again she went after that thing, with focus and determination normally reserved by Bassets finding a speck of ham that was dropped between the sofa cushions.

On the way to the beach we took out the Basset Hound Manual and flipped to chapter XVXII which discusses limitations of the hound related to the Laws of Physics. It specifically notes that Bassets don't swim, and uses comparitive terms such as "lead weight", and "submarine". However, Molly was not listening to my important passage reading, and upon arriving at the beach she threw herself into the sea, as is typical. Her dad had to fish her out several times. Accordingly, she got soaked. Like most ladies, when her hair gets wet, it becomes curly and unmanageable, poor thing.
At any rate, it was a lovely way to spend a glorious morning, and despite the lack of jelly beans and other easter basket accoutrements, we managed to have a wonderful time.
Don't think I'm not going to be first in line at Target tomorrow morning when they put their Peeps on sale, though. A girl only has so much will power.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

spring has sprung

Holy hell, it was hot today. About 82 degrees. I actually had to wear shoes with no socks, and my pedicure was flaking off. Damn, my life is rough.

No excuses for not having posted anything in such a long time. I could rattle off how tough my life has been for the past few weeks, including 12-hour workdays here, problems with our house leak there (the house is still up-ended, which is a longer story), a funeral for a toddler of a friend, and an east-coast friend staying the week with us...You could care less, you just want On With The Bassets.

OK, ok. Here's some Toula for you:

Voila, Toula sunning herself this afternoon. My pasty white hiney needed some Vitamin D, but no luck, Toula was in the chair. "C'mere, Toula! Off, Toula!" Nope, she wasn't having it.Spring!

We've had a couple difficult weeks with this brown dog. She would wake us up at night scratching, her collar tags dingle-dangling. So, we gave her Benadryl for several days, thinking it was Spring and her allergies. No luck. When she started crying at night as she was scratching, we'd bring her to bed, which worked for a bit. But, we eventually figured out this episode was not going to go away without a visit to the doggie doc.

Finally, I took her to the vet. Turns out she has an ear infection in both ears. Which means I suck as a mom. Let's just be glad I have no human babies, because obviously my intuitive perception is off.

Anywho, the other issue with Toula is that she has sprouted a mini bump on her cranium. The vet confirmed it's not anything but a cyst. I'm doubtful, however, because I think she's signed up with the Jolly Green Giant to smuggle peas.

Check it out:

You know, there's nothing a lady hates more than to be caught in an unflattering photograph, so I'd like to draw your attention to the flowers in the background. See them? Pretty.

There, now pretend you didn't notice that enormous pimple on her head, and next time you see us, just avert your eyes. I know she'll appreciate it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Michaelangelo, you ain't.

Yesterday the painter was here painting our newly repaired living room wall.

"Go ahead and leave the dogs in," said our contractor.
"Will the painter guy be able to handle them sniffing around?" said I.
"Oh, sure, they're no trouble."
Then, he added: "Baroof!"

Bassets bring grown men to such outbursts.

So, I let a total stranger in to paint my house without making my dogs stay out in the yard. In hindsight, there were so very many things that could have gone wrong...Fortunately only one thing did.

"Everything went well," said our contractor, "he's done and I'll send you the bill."

I came home to find two happy puppies: "Somebody visited us today! And he brought smelly stuff!"

Getting ready for our nightly grunt/drag/walk I bent down over Toula to drop her leash on and found the whole side of her right ear covered in white paint. But, our walls are painted a dusty moss-green color.

"What the..!" Then I remembered: The baseboards were painted white.

Toula had sniffed along the baseboard, picked up fresh paint, then used her velvet-y Basset ear to "paint" the base of our carved wood foyer table. And the sofa. And it appears a bit of a kitchen cabinet. It was all very Monet.

At least she wasn't aiming for Pollack. That would have been too much to clean up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

naughty

Apologies all around. I was just scolded for not having posted in 11 days which, lately, has felt like only 11 hours....

As you know, weekend before last we experienced a water leak here at Basset Central. We found out the hard way that it damaged walls, carpet, equipment, furniture... So, on top of an already very busy work and home schedule, now we get to do repair renovation.

This is me being giddy about repair renovation: yay.

So far the living room is in the process of repair. Remember the picture of it before? Well, here it is now.That dust on the coffee table? Drywall dust. It's everywhere. That big black thing in the left corner? That is a LOUD industrial fan. It's been running since February 9. I can hear it in my head even when I'm miles away.

But, anyhoo, I'm not the only one who's been naughty lately. This just in, from Miss Toula, who I found this evening after dinner on our bed gumming D.'s tie:I believe that look on her face is internationally recognized as "sorry...." in any language.

Frankly, I hate that tie, she's so cute with her speckled pink belly I want to snorgle her, and I don't blame her wanting to lick something that smells like D., so she's welcome to it.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

it wasn't basset slobber

When a dog eats a treat - a large one that takes more than a few bites - the dog usually uses the ground as a sort of support. This is due to their lack of opposable thumbs, and their reticence to sit at the dining table and use a fork like a normal person. No matter how many times you've forced them to practice using the good silverware.

The treat-eating process can sometimes involve a lot of drool, and, not to put too fine a point on it, it can result in a wet spot on your floor.

Which is why, when last night I stepped on a damp spot on the living room floor, I assumed it was due to a Basset Snack Experience. When we'd returned home from work minutes before, we discovered Toula had spent the day snacking on a found chapstick.

So,that wet spot didn't ring any alarm bells in my head.

This morning, eating breakfast in advance of a trip to the dog park, I looked up and saw a huge ceiling water stain, and dripping coming from the ceiling of the living room. It was dripping right down into our media cabinet. The one that is known far and wide as D.'s Pride And Joy and which brings most grown men to tears when they see it.

Let me put it this way - the morning after we watch an action movie, I have to go through the whole house righting all the pictures hanging from nails, because the vibration from the Amazing Amplifier Speaker Thingies has scooted the entire house northward about an inch.

But, I digress.

Since we had just spent One Gazeellion Dollars renovating the bathrooms upstairs, and are still paying off the project, I was thrilled to see this. "Yay!", I said, "That smells like more money - and I can't wait to spend it!".

Walking over to the spot to view it, I felt and heard that distinct carpet-soaked squishing sound. Confirmation hit: Toula doesn't usually drool that much.

I dialed our Contractor Guy who was at the house with Plumber Guy within 2 hours. After moving the media center, discovering one of the speaker amplifier thingies was now rusting from the wet, they cut a hole in the ceiling and found a copper pipe that had been touched with a nail back in the Stone Age when our house was built. Over the years, this had slowly corroded a hole in the copper pipe. Yay, chemistry.

Plumber Guy: "Whatchoo got here is 'schedule M' copper, which is thin. This stuff don't last more than 20 er 30 years. (quick mental calculation...my house was built in 1978....uh....it's 2008...so, 30 years.) I only use 'schedule L' copper, which is, like, twice as thick."

Me: "Hokaaaay. So, can you fix it?"

P.G.: "Yeah, we'll getchoo all fixed up."

So, after some cuts and soldering, the offending section was removed and replaced with a new 4" piece of 'schedule L'. I can now sleep soundly knowing there is at least a smackerel of 'schedule L' in my home.

Molly, meanwhile, managed the project, as a typical manager would. The plumber will be submitting his TPS reports in the morning.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

OMG

I'm...speechless....with...glee!

wtf?

"After brunch we'll take our tea in the solarium, James."

Molly's lazy-o-meter is on 11. Lately, she's put on like she doesn't want to walk as far as we usually do, but if another dog shows up on the street its, "oh, hell no, you don't walk faster than me, I walk faster, and not only that, I've sniffed that shrub before, so shove off", and I'm being dragged down the street like an asphalt water skiier.

Example given: Every once in a while she takes her meals sitting down. What the heck is that about? In the World of Dogs doesn't this mean in the wild she'd either be eaten, or laughed out of the pack?

Actually, yes, it does. Well, for a hound, likely laughed out. I showed her this hound video as proof and told her if she's naughty, it's off to the French Chalet for you, puppy! Au revior, chien! Il n'y a pas de Costco Cookie Bones au chalet, ma petite!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

intuition

In the first days of owning Molly, we believed her behavior proved Basset Hounds were true lapdogs and not guard dogs. When we got Toula, however, we found she had a completely different personality.

One day in October of 2003 a horrendous wildfire came through our neighborhood and forced us to leave urgently, with just a few belongings and the lowdogs. As the fire raged, we stayed for a few days at a friend's house, which was contiguous to a walking path.

Toula, who was still a puppy under a year old at that point, started to alert to the people walking the path. Watching her prancing around the yard, smelling the air, and making ugh-ugh-ugh sounds, my friend said, "You've got yourself a guard dog", to which I replied with a laugh, "yeah, she guards her kibble!".

However, years later I look back on that period as the first time we realized the diversity in personality between the two lowdogs was pretty fine. Molly will bark at you, "Get on the sofa! I need your lap!", but Toula will bark, "ArOoohf, you better prove yourself! Good? Bad? BRING IT!"

Now, 5 years later, Toula still uses her animal intuition to alert us to things we don't realize are there, such as the next door neighbors entering their back yard, someone coming up the driveway (pizza guys beware), streetsweepers, or the gardeners coming.

The amazing thing is that the gardeners come every Thursday morning, and every Thursday morning Toula is up before us, thin lips growling and ugh-ugh-ughing through the house, prancing like a pony, ears going every which way. She knows when it's Thursday, knows when they're coming, and once the gardeners arrive, she is vindicated.

"See? I knew it! They're here! To blow leaves from our yard! It's the craziness again!"

Then, she'll search one of us out and look at us with her, "Are you insane? Don't you realize they're taking our leaves?" Out in the yard she prances around behind them, ensuring they don't do anything untoward.

Molly stays in the house looking through the window and barking support, "You get 'em, Toula! And when they're done, do a better job this time of inviting them in for a lap talk..."

Monday, January 28, 2008

wow, that means she's older than me

Eyes
It's hard to take a picture of Molly Basset because she has two speeds: asleep, or in your lap. They say 'decisions have consequences' and with Molly, if you decide to come near her, your consequence is that you now have a 60lb blanket on your lap, a wet nose in your armpit, and God love you if you wore black that day 'cuz you're going home looking like you just wrangled an alpaca. And lost.

A couple weeks back StarTwin stayed the night so I flopped a soft pad on the floor of my office with some sheets and that did the trick. When you're 6 like StarTwin is, staying the night someplace other than your own bed is pretty cool, so I didn't have to fancy the place up with scented candles and an orchid. But, I did have to give her a pillow. She's picky, that one.

Once she was gone, though, Molly decided it was a pretty good bed, it still smelled like 6-year-old kid and that had to change, so now I have two dog beds in my office. One that she's supposed to use, and the human-sized one. Which I keep tripping on. Because I just got these feet and they don't seem to know that I'm in charge.

That sound you hear? That's her, snoring. I'm so glad she's comfy.

Anyhoo, I tried tonight to take some photos of her, which ended up pretty useless because she just threw herself into Gear 1: you need me in your lap, so I ended up with closeups instead. One of them really showed the white growing around her eyes, so I pulled out my old files and tried to remember when we got her. Looks like it was Fall of 2002, and at the time the vet guessed her at around 3 years old, so that would make her around 9 now. So, 9 x 7 = 63. Wow, how time flies.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

we created a monster

Basset 'tocks snuggling in duvet
When we first got the dogs it was obvious they wanted to sleep in our bed with us every night. We passed Rule #1 which was No Dogs Sleeping In Bed With Us because, lord knows, they might be in the way, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, ifyouknowwhatImean. So, we came up with a brilliant plan: They sleep in their own beds until the morning when they go outside to potty, then when they come back in as a "treat" they could come into bed with us for another 30 minutes until the alarm went off a second time. Brilliant! Everybody happy! ...Right?

That was before Toula, the one with the long legs, got old enough to jump into the bed. She started doing it after the morning potty treat, because Bed Was Expected. Oh, how cute it was. We could tell our envious friends that we had the only Basset in the Known World that could jump that high. Neat-o.

Then, she started doing it at 5am. Then at 4am. These days she jumps into bed at 2am. And, she demands to snuggle under the covers, on my side. If I don't wake up (see: loss of REM sleep and associated mental ailments, New England Journal of Medicine) she paws at me until I lift the covers for her to scoop under.

I don't mean to shock you, but this has caused some problems with my sleeping habits. I am not a pack animal. I am an only child. I don't enjoy sharing. As this creature grows, IT GETS BIGGER, taking up more of my side of the bed.

This morning at 4am I'm awakened by Toula having a radical, horrible nightmare. Her huffs, lip flutters, growls, and body jerks being interrupted only by D.'s, "wake that thing up and make it stop barking!".

Somebody once said, "let sleeping dogs lie", which basically meant, "I tried to wake a dog up once, and it bit me". So, I spent the next several minutes stroking her, and cooing, and gently coaxing her awake. She gets up, shakes (note to self - take metal collar with LOUD metal tags off before putting dogs to bed) turns round three times, then settles back down.

Thirty minutes later the dream came back. So, basically, I slept from 11pm to 2am when Toula came to bed, then 2am to 4am, then 4:30am to 5:30am. Bring on the coffee, Stat!

molly in flickr's explore







I just discovered that another picture from my collection made it to Flickr's Interestingness Explore. I haven't figured out how to be alerted - apparently it's not something Flickr provides, but you can get the option through a third party site, so I'll try to figure that out when I have some free time. Ha ha - Free Time! What a concept...OK, let's be real. I'll never figure it out. It'll just have to fall out of the universe. Such is the life of a busy lowdog.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

lowdogs is lazy

Holy cow, that Molly can be lazy. Today we went on a 3/4 mile walk and it was a chore. She usually wants to turn our walks into Sniffs but they typically become Grunt/Drags. Hmphf. I just don't understand how she can behave like Superpuppy when we go to the beach, then when we do daily walks she becomes Queen Dragsalot. And it t'ain't because there's more to sniff on our walks. There is plenty of rotting kelp and abandoned socks at the beach to sniff, let me tell you.

So, in honor of Molly being a grumpity grump, I post the Wrinkle Puppy shot. I think this is what Joan Rivers would look like if it weren't for the best surgeons in Bev. Hills.

Hangie-downers
Toula (l); Molly (r)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

lowdogs kind of weather

Hazy day
This weekend we took the lowdogs to the beach for a well-deserved morning of fun. Molly follows the bigdogs and runs into the waves with them, but Toula doesn't like the ocean to touch her. Not One Bit, thank you. As the foamy tide pushes up the sand, she stays just inches ahead of it, while Molly is busy half drowning and getting sand in Parts Unknown.

There's a beach in Honolulu called Sandy Beach which is so known because, thanks to the waves, when you get out of the water your swimsuit is weighted down with piles of sand. I've seen people's bikini bottoms literally hanging of them from the weight of the stuff in the little panty pocket. Molly would do well there, as her fur holds every ounce of sand that touches her. It's even under her toenails, if you can picture that. Of course, her fur holds the sand, but NOTHING HOLDS HER FUR ON HER BODY which explains the drifts of furballs in my house that roll through the hallways like tumbleweeds.

I'm sorry...did I just say that? No, what I meant was to mention that I'm the perfect housekeeper. I live for it. Come over, and wear your socks (because you need to take some of it with you when you leave, please).

Molly the Beach Bunny 1/13/08
It was about 70 degrees that morning, which meant I had to wear my flowery wool socks under my jeans. Brrr.

duncan basset

Excitement! The slobberspace.com site has finally come to their (her) senses and posted about a Basset. Three beautiful shots, and the dog is a cutie, which doesn't hurt. Lowdogs are seriously thinking of straying from their boyfriend, Dante, to get a better look at this hunk.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

explore'd


Well, here's something fun: one of the lowdogs pics made it on Flickr's Explore page. Unfortunately, Toula found out about it, and locked herself in her room where she dialed her agent and demanded a better contract. Evidently, part of the negotiation includes her own jar of Trader Joe's Organic Creamy peanut butter, weekly mani-pedis, and bigger Cookie Bones than Molly.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

first, the writers go on strike. now flickr is down. next thing you know they'll stop making cheetos.

I never realized how much TV I watch until the writer's strike. Then, I turned to Flickr for entertainment. Now the unthinkable has happened: Flickr is down.

In a case like this, there's only one thing to do: take the lowdogs on another drag uh.. sniff er...walk. I hope I don't spill my martini.

napping: a lowdog skill. a talent, even.

D. threw his back out on New Year's day moving something in the garage. It was either a floorjack, an anvil, or a can of WD40, but whatever it was it tweaked him somethin' awful. He's been home for several days ingesting pain pills, wrassling with a heating pad, popping the leftover Christmas chocolates, and catching up on back episodes of Stargate.

All this, as you can imagine, is like a vacation dream to the lowdogs. "Daddy home all day? Are you kidding me? OK, here's the plan. First, we all nap on the sofa together. Then, we snack on Cookie Bones. Then, we nap while you watch TV. Then we go sniffing around the yard. Next: nap. When Mommy gets home we'll bark at her for a few minutes, then it's back to the sofa."
Her "Cute" Look
Let's be real, here. Bassets have not won at the Westminster Dog Show since.... well, never. It's always some terrier or spaniel or afghan that gets food in its face hair when eating which is just gross. During "Hound Group" when the Bassets come onto the floor, the crowd goes understanably wild, some pedantic commentator talks about how the Basset Hound is the Clown of the dog world, then they give the award to the Greyhound. This only proves the rumor that the competition is based on facial hair food retention and not on skeels. Skeels, people.
Just Before the Surly Mongrel Snaps

Lowdogs gots the skeels. Bring it, Toula!

Monday, January 7, 2008

don't get all sappy on me, now

Today during a particularly tough work day, one in which I need to remind myself of my 2008 goal to let things flow, I grabbed a bag of Good Earth tea out of the staff lunchroom and took it back to my office. When I pulled the bag out of the little package, I noticed it sported a quote on the tea tag. Tell me this doesn't just scream Basset Credo:

There is no remedy to love but to love more.
- Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

So basset-y.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Nom nom nom yummy chewy bone

D. was making a vat of spaghetti sauce this evening - the kind that he crafts over about 3 hours using complicated ingredients and making the whole house smell like Tuscany - so we just had to give lowdogs some treats to gnaw on. Toula got down with her bad self chewing a yummy chewy bone that I slathered some spag sauce on. Nom nom nom.

Nom nom nom yummy bone

lowdogs credo: rain is not your friend

I know Bassets were bred to chase rabbits in France, so presumably they come with a fairly strong constitution. Or maybe not. Aside from the fact that this past summer we had rabbits invade our yard, and the lowdogs would just sit and stare at them, they also find rain rather distasteful, and prefer to spend rainy days indoors.

Evidenced by this look from Molly, who ventured outside in the rain this morning. I think her internal monologue went something like, "what the hell is this stuff?", she promptly turned 'round and went right back inside.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

welcome, 2008

New Year's Eve dinner consisted of four best friends, one small child, three dogs, four lobsters, a pile of steak, a vat of Perrier Jouet, and brownies piled with ice cream, dark chocolate sauce, and whipped cream for desert. Once you've crossed that threshold of outrageous gastronomical delight for dinner, having brownies converted from a cardboard box into a chocolate lava cake is pretty much the only way to go. I mean, how many more dishes do we need to clean? Plus, the faster I make 'em, the faster I can shove 'em in my pie hole. Oh, wait, ladies don't shove, they shovel, oui? Sounds so much classier when you say it in Fraanch. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, "Mmmm... choooocolate.."

The lowdogs + boyfriend (Dante, their hound buddy) got lobster for dinner. When do you suppose they'll put that on a Life Is Good t-shirt, hmm?

Check out Miss Droula eyeballing the lobsters...Toula eyeballs dinner...

Here's Dante, the boyfriend. The lowdogs think he's hot because he's got long legs. He super-scored surf-n-turf with the girls that night! What a date.