November 29, 2010

I take umbrage

So Elvis Presley was the king of rock and roll. He sang a lot of songs, but he is well-known for his song 'Hound Dog'. As bassets, Rosco and I take umbrage with the choice of lyrics in this song. They are listed below.

You ain't nothin' but a hound dog,
cryin' all the time.
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog,
cryin' all the time.
You ain't never caught a rabbit
and you ain't no friend of mine.
You said you was high-class,
but that was just a lie.
You know you said you was high-class,
but that was just a lie.
You ain't never caught a rabbit
and you ain't no friend of mine.

Our complaints are myriad. First, hound dogs do not 'cry' all the time. If we do anything vocally all the time, it's howl. But even then we do have to sleep from time to time, so we can't make noise all the time. Plus, that bit about never catching rabbits? It's only because we can't run under fences like rabbits can. I could have caught rabbits if there weren't fences or leashes in the way. You don't get much more high-class than basset hounds. Finally, if I ain't no friend of yours, it's probably your fault somehow.

I think Elvis never owned a hound dog.

November 21, 2010

The Good Bone Phenomenon

As I write this, Rosco and Layla are currently helping my wife keep the couch from flying away.  Earlier this morning I witnessed what I refer to as the "Good Bone Phenomenon".  If you own dogs you know exactly what I am talking about.

We buy our dogs a few different kinds of chew bones.  Rawhides are nice because they last a long time and are cheap, but you do run the risk that they will eat part of it and have digestive tract blockage.  The dogs aren't always crazy about them, though - a good rawhide needs a few days of half-hearted chewing before it is fully seasoned to basset tastes.  Bully sticks - basically dried cow tendons - are the most highly prized, but they don't last long and stink horribly while being eaten.  Layla also tends to have some intestinal gas troubles when she gets those and we worry about bloat, so we don't get them very often.  They're also about 5 bucks for a 12 inch piece.  Busy bones are pressed chew treats that last approximately 30 seconds and make a terrific mess.  However, any new chew bones are met with a lot of enthusiasm by the dogs, at first.

Until the new bone phenomenon sets in.

We try and buy bones that are similarly sized, because our dogs will give us indignant looks if they feel that they are getting the short end of the stick.  But it doesn't matter.  Any bones that lasts longer than twenty minutes will eventually prompt the 'Good Bone Phenomenon'.  This occurs when one dog decides the other somehow got a better deal then them.  No matter how juicy, stinky, or delicious their bone may appear, they are certain that the other dog is enjoying themselves that much more.  And so they lay on the floor, their partially-eaten bone discarded next to them, coated in a sheen of basset saliva, and they watch the other dog eat what they believe to be the 'Good Bone'.  No amount of pouting can sway the other dog's attention though - our dogs have become masters at the art of bone-eating, to the point of deception and trickery to get the prize.  We could buy fifty bones that were machined to exact specifications, so that there was no significant difference in size, mass, or taste qualities, and there would be one bone among them all that was the epitome of what a chew bone should be.  Wars have been fought over less.

The deception is an interesting part of dog ownership that I never envisioned.  I have always assumed dogs were the most enviable of animals - cute, although lower on the intelligence scale than cats, with heightened perceptions, and a sense of loyalty that few humans can ever aspire to.  The deviousness and attitude were surprises.

For instance, if Rosco has the 'Good Bone', Layla may try to use his jealousy against him.  My wife may be laying on the couch watching a TV show, and Layla will pull herself up from her pouting session over getting the lesser of two bones.  She stretches, saunters slowly to the spot in front of my wife's position on the couch, and lets out a low whimper.  'Love me', this whimper says.  It's soft at first - she doesn't want to rush things - but after a few more tries, both the players in Layla's game are now fully engaged.  My wife, her affections for the dog now running at full capacity, will reposition herself on the couch to allow Layla some room for snuggling.  Rosco, meanwhile, his attention slightly diverted from the 'Good Bone' by Layla's theatrics, will pause for a moment.  Snuggling is a good thing.  Is Layla going to get some?  From Mama?  Without me being involved?  This bone is pretty good, but...  well, let's wait and see.  She isn't on the couch yet.  Back to the bone.

Layla, meanwhile, will milk my wife's affections to their fullest extent.  She might feebly attempt to jump on the couch - her stumpy front legs barely making it to the cushion, making half-hearted attempts to hoist the rest of her body up there.  Nevermind that during the daily basset chase sessions that occur it looks like the dogs are extras in House of Flying Daggers, and appear to be able to jump over the coffee table to get onto the couch - at this point, Layla might not be able to lift her legs high enough to step over a folded washcloth, and jumping the 16 inches to get onto the couch is an insurmountable challenge.  My wife (or I) will give in and help lift her up onto the couch.  After a few moments of rotation and couch-pawing, she settles into a comfortable position.  Layla emits a content sigh.  Never has a dog been so content.

At this point Rosco realizes he is missing out on something big indeed.  Jealousy overcomes how good that bone tastes.  He rushes over to the couch, jumps up on whatever available spot remains, and looks at my wife, his puppy feelings hurt beyond measure.  His wounded heart is about to get another shock, for at this point Layla covers the distance from her resting position on the couch to the 'Good Bone' - left unattended by Rosco - in approximately two seconds, all signs of basset laziness long gone.  Rosco's face at this point is priceless, unable to believe how he has been duped.

This sort of thing happens all the time.  Treats, belly rubs, chasing cats - all things that can grab a dog's attention for a moment, all are used to remove the current owner of the good bone's attention.

All's fair in love and chew bone competition.

November 19, 2010

Late poster

So I haven't really put anything up on this blog yet. I usually don't have much to say, I'm a pretty laid back sort of cat.

But every so often I like to contribute. Lately though, I have been a bit self-conscious of myself. No idea why.

You might not have noticed but in the picture above there is a suspicious-looking electrical device off-camera. Turns out it is called a "razor" and they use it to shave animals. Results below.
So don't expect too much from me until all my hair grows back.

November 7, 2010

Lots of new things

There have been a lot of new things since I wrote last time. I see my brother and those cats have made a few entries. None of them were quite as important as my last blog though.

First of all, the newest thing is that we are in a new house now. It's much better than the old one! There are a couple of great things about this new place. First, it's HUGE. It's at least twice as big as the old one. The kitchen is big, which means I can eat my food and really spread out now if I want to. Second, there is carpeting, which means I can nap wherever I want and not have to lay on a hard floor. Third, the basement is sometimes open to me, which is completely different from the last house. I even get to play down there once in awhile. The backyard still has a fence, and there is a little girl who came into the yard and played with me while they unloaded all our stuff! Her name is Sophia and she brings me and Rosco treats. Sometimes she sneaks them through the fence if her dog Biggin is there. Biggin seems like an ok dog - not a basset but we can't all be perfect like me. We really haven't got to play with Biggin yet. Finally, there's an outdoor cat at this house. His name is Joey and I really want to meet him and sniff him, but the opportunity hasn't presented itself yet.

But I do miss my old house sometimes. This yard doesn't have a good squirrel tree, and there's no dirt to roll in. There are also more stairs - up stairs to get in and out of the house, up and down stairs to get into the basement - at the old house there were only 5 stairs to go up and down. I'm not fond of stairs, I always think I am going to fall down them. The basement stairs here have plastic on them and I have made a couple of unladylike slides! But it isn't my fault, we bassets aren't really made for stairs, especially the death-trap kind. I do miss my squirrels though. I also miss Joni, who came to visit us sometimes from You Go Pet Sitting. If you're ever in Springfield and need a pet sitter I really liked Joni, she was really nice. She also put my picture up on the internet as a good dog, so you know she has good taste in beautiful dogs.

November 5, 2010

I do not need another dog

We had to take Layla to the vet earlier today.  She has a small raised bump on the outside toe of her right rear foot.  She's had it since we got her in April - she just turned 2 in August - and it's always been pretty small.  However in the last 2 months it has gotten larger and uglier (a deeper purple color), and Heather and I finally decided to take her in and have it looked at.  She wasn't happy about the vet visit, even after a heaping portion of treats, and the vet had to take a small scraping of tissue to check it out.  Rosco was beside himself - he stayed in the car while Layla went inside.  Twenty minutes' worth of worrying later, the vet told us it was most likely an inflamed cyst from something like an infected gland or hair follicle that had ruptured, but that we could have it removed and tested to be certain.  As we are currently broke, and the spot doesn't bother Layla or slow her down in the slightest, we went with two week's worth of antibiotics as the cheapest/most prudent course.  If it looks any worse during that time we'll have to have her go in for surgery.  There was a lot of sniffing when Layla returned to the car.

I guess this was a timely reminder of how expensive owning a dog can be.  I've seen at least two bassets in our region lately that I would have loved to adopt - one was free and the other is cute enough to make me ignore the adoption fee - but two dogs are enough for the time being.  Still...  bassets have a way of working themselves into your heart.

The second dog I was ready to adopt (Ollie).