Thursday, January 31, 2008


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

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.

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 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


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.