Dog Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I posted this comment in response to the news that Michael Vick could play ball again in six weeks. I urge other animal lovers who read this blog to make their feelings known wherever and whenever they can:

By accepting Vick to play professionally ever again, any team who signs him on is condoning his sickening and inexcusable abuse of animals in favor of the money he can make for them. This was felony animal abuse; why is he already out of jail? It's because people want to bet on him and profit from his performance, just like they did those poor dogs imprisoned in his kennel from hell. Maybe someone should beat and torture him whenever he loses a game.  

But, hey, isn't this what greedy America is all about, putting profit above the welfare of people and animals? Apparently, all that matters in this country is making lots of money and to hell with any moral codes that the pursuit of wealth and power might conflict with. What message does this send to our youth who idolize these overpaid, doped-up numbskulls in "professional" sports?


Monday, July 27, 2009

Another basset has turned up at the SPCA, but Gaston is being fostered because of health issues. He has kennel cough/pneumonia and has to have a sebaceous cyst removed from his chest when he is neutered.  He's a nice looking dog, and he wags his tail in circles like Bubba did.  He's very friendly with everyone, I'm told, has no behavior issues, and is house trained. He's not a red and white, like we'd prefer, but has almost the same markings as the dog I saw yesterday--white with black and some brown on the head.  I wasn't sure when I saw his photo online that it wasn't the same dog (from the same line or even litter, perhaps).  

I'm understandably leery of adopting a sick dog, and I will not bring one home that would infect Peaches with kennel cough.  She is not inoculated against it, although she had it when I adopted her.  Just about every dog contracts the virus in shelters, and it's never a good introduction to an adoptive home and puts the adopter through the mill from the git-go.  I got little sleep for a couple of weeks when Peaches first came home.  I know kennel cough runs its course, unless there are complications like pneumonia (or distemper in poor Bramble's case), but if this dog already has cyst problems at age two, it may be something that will plague him his whole live and empty our wallets getting them removed again and again.  Bubba developed them only in later years, but it was costly having them removed.  

I'm probably being way too cautious, but perhaps if people took more time and entered cautiously into pet ownership instead of making emotional decisions and bringing home the first dog they see, fewer dogs would end up in shelters in the first place.  Of course, I've had plenty of bassets, so I know the breed, but I've had too many dog woes in the past and plan to wait for just the right dog for us before giving my heart to another dog to tear.  I hope I'll know that dog when I see him.  As I've said before, Bubba left big paw prints to fill, but if I'd been so picky years ago, I might not have ended up with Bubba.  I really didn't want a male dog when I found him.  I wanted a female, but I couldn't find any, so he was my first male basset.  I've never regretted adopting him.  

I seem to be having trouble finding or committing to another dog, which means it's either too soon after losing Bubba or I just haven't found the dog I'm meant to have.  Sometimes I feel guilty looking for another dog, as if Peaches is not enough dog for me.  She most certainly is! Sometimes I rather like having only one dog to care for and dote on.  She's the loveliest little girl and my canine soulmate, but I know she is lonely for a companion and still misses Bubba. Our pack is somehow incomplete without two dogs, and we all keenly feel Bubba's absence. The other day, when it was time for walkies, I saw her look up at his old leather "Chairy" where she now sleeps, as if expecting to find him still lying there to bark at and roust from his old dog slumber for our morning walk, like she used to do.  Old habits die hard, and sometimes so do old dogs.  

Oh, if I had a wishbone and wishes always came true, I'd wish for my Bubba back again.  There'll never be another quite like him.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

I missed another basset hound, doggone it!  This one was at Gracie's Adoption Center at the SPCA.  I'm wondering why they didn't contact me, because I just signed up last Friday for their Pet Request Program to be matched with a basset.  It was a male, too, the sex I requested.  A friend of mine at the dog park told me he was there yesterday but was on hold.  I went over this afternoon, just in case they didn't come through and adopt him, but there was a sign on the kennel saying he'd been adopted and was scheduled for surgery.  

He was a nice boy, white with black and some brown in his coat, and his head was dark with the red eyebrows you see on many bassets of this color variety.  It gives them kind of a quizzical look that is so endearing, as if they weren't already the most endearing dogs.  He was very friendly and came right up to me for pets, flopping down on one hip, as is their way of sitting. His long tail beat an eager tattoo on the concrete floor.  He was young but fully grown.  The only reason I can think of as to why they didn't call me is that I may not have specified the right age for this dog on my application, which I have since corrected to state age 1 to 6.  Anyway, I would have adopted this dog if given the chance, but no one at the shelter contacted me.  

It will be interesting to see if anything comes of signing up for their new program.  They used to answer their phones and tell you if they had a specific breed of dog in the shelter, but no more.  I can never get through to the staff there at the adoption center.  I'm not sure if it's because they are short-handed or they saw an opportunity to make some more money.  It costs $40 to sign up for 90 days.  I hope I don't just go on a long list and never get called.  


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back from a lovely week at Heavenly Valley in South Lake Tahoe.  Although Peaches and I missed Bubba being along with us this time, we enjoyed our treks together on the many trails in the area.  Our favorite area is and always will be Tallac Historic Site, which I mention in my books.  The last time I was there with Bubba, a year ago, he wanted to race up and down Kiva Beach, the only leash-free beach in Tahoe that I know of, or at least in South Lake Tahoe.  It's the same beach on which Cruiser discovers something very strange in "Embarking on Murder."  

I wish I had let Bubba run to his heart's content last summer, but he was so fast, even at age 13, and I was so slow running in the sand, huffing and puffing against the altitude, that I couldn't keep up.  Of course, being a basset he wouldn't come no matter how much I called him, and I worried he'd go so far I couldn't catch him.  Every time I tried to end our walk and leave, he kept wanting to drag me back down to the water's edge.  It was also the first time in all the times we went there in 12 years that I had ever seen him wade in the lake.  Bassets aren't water lovers, but he was fearless!  I think he must have sensed it might be his last trip to our beloved Tahoe.  He was right.

 I scattered some of his ashes in the water at Tallac Point, near splendid Mount Tallac.  I know he's running just as joyfully now on some distant "heavenly" shore.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Peaches and I are Tahoe bound next week.  It will be our first trip there without Bubba with us.  I know it will be hard for both of us.  I still miss my boy so much.  Every day!  We always had so much fun as a pack when we went up there together.  I know I'll be thinking of him when I take Peaches to all our old haunts.  I'm glad she'll be with me, but I'm hoping she won't be too freaked out being up there without another dog to keep her company.  I'm still searching for another basset but haven't found one, yet.  Who knows, maybe I'll find one while I'm at Tahoe.  Perhaps I'll see a Cruiser on the side of the road, like in my books, or maybe I'll find one at the local shelter.  If not, I'll resume my search when I return. 

Anyway, it will be nice to be up in the mountains where there is some peace and quiet from the city and where I can breathe some fresh air for a little while. 


Saturday, July 04, 2009