Dog Blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

While driving down to Jimboy's Tacos tonight, I spotted a lady walking a young red/white basset hound.  I always brake for bassets, so I just had to stop and see him.  Choo Choo was 4 months old and so, so cute.  I asked her where she got him.  I was hoping he was rescued, not purchased from a breeder, but she replied, "From a friend."  His markings were beautiful and his ears were super long.  He was a bit shy at first when I approached, but then he greeted me and rolled on his back for belly rubs, which I was only too happy to provide.  

I had taken Peaches and Beau along for the ride.  Beau was peering out the window with great interest at Choo Choo.  I would have let them out to greet him, but I'm sure the little guy would have been overwhelmed and we were on a busy thoroughfare.  It's always such a treat to see a basset because you just don't see them that often.  I never seem to have a camera with me at the time.  I don't have an iPhone or even carry a cellphone very often, except when I'm riding my bicycle.  I watched Choo Choo chug away with his owner.  He seemed to be pretty well bred, judging from his smooth gait and hindquarters.  No faulty paddling of his feet, like with Beau, my imperfect but most lovable of dogs.  This pup was very long like Beau, though, and had quite a lot of filling out to do.  I hope he will have a happy life.  

Sometimes dogs purchased and given as gifts don't end up in their original home.  Many end up in shelters.  That's why pets don't make good gifts.  Acquiring a pet is an important and very personal decision, much like having a child.  I wondered if Choo Choo had already been re-homed with this woman.  Bassets aren't for everyone, which may be why you don't see that many of them waddling around.  I couldn't help noticing she didn't seem too well bonded with the dog.  Mind you, she was too busy yapping on her cellphone.  Geez, isn't everyone?  


Monday, February 27, 2012

The Left Coast Crime Mystery Conference--Mining for Murder is coming up next month, March 29-April 1, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.  I'll be one of the authors in the Four-legged Flatfoots panel on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.   Hope to see you there.  


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beau met a new girlfriend at the dog park.  Her name is Bella and she's a bulldog.  What a beauty!  She had wonderful red and white markings.  If I didn't have bassets, I'd have bulldogs. They are so endearing and gentle, despite their appearance.  I wish I had some film of them when they played together at the park, but we always seem to forget the iPhone.  Occasionally, Beau really takes to another dog at the park, and that was the case with Bella.  She was one of the smallest of her breed I've ever seen.  At first I thought she was still a pup, but she is fully grown at two years of age.  Quite a petite girl.  

Watching the two of them spar was a real show.  Bella was with a very nice older couple who had agreed to watch her for a young couple in their McKinley Park neighborhood.  From what they told me, it sounded like Bella's home life was far from ideal, perhaps even a bit cruel in the harsh way the dog is handled by her owner (the man).  From what they told me, I felt the dog probably needs to be placed in a more suitable home.  

I hear the same tale again and again.  People see a breed whose appearance appeals to them.  With no forethought they rush out to purchase one from a breeder (usually not the best breeders) before they really know anything about the behavioral characteristics of that breed and whether it will be a good match for their personalities and lifestyle.  For instance, our next door neighbor, a young college girl, bought a bulldog over the internet for $1,500, sight unseen.  Or I should say her parents bought it for her.  Who buys a pet over the Internet without at least meeting the dog?  Well, she got what people get when they choose a dog that way.  The dog was poorly bred, and the breed was all wrong for a spoiled princess.  I saw her walk it half a dozen times before the novelty had worn off and it became the parents' responsibility.  

Bella has very high energy, probably because she gets little attention at home while her owners are away all day.  She obviously enjoyed the brief encounter with Beau that morning at the dog park.  So did he!  Like bassets, bulldogs are stubborn to the extreme.  Obedience isn't their thing.  They don't respond quickly to commands, so they require a lot of patience from their owners.  I saw that stubbornness in Bella when she put on the brakes when it was time to leave the park and that handsome hunk of a basset she'd just met, Monsieur Beauregard Longfellow.  I kept wishing that Bella could go home with the couple who'd brought her there.  They'd had bulldogs before and had a far better appreciation and understanding for the breed.  Just like with us humans, dogs don't get to choose their parents.  Too bad.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012




Monday, February 06, 2012

I have made a solemn promise to Peaches and Beau that even if I were stranded in the wilderness like the Donner Party or the couple in Oregon who were mushroom hunting and became lost, I would never, ever consider EATING them!  The Oregonians were apparently so desperately hungry and evidently had eaten all their harvested mushrooms, so all that was left to eat was their pit bull.  Or perhaps in their gastronomic circle dog perfectly complements wild mushrooms.  Now, I have to say that there is probably plenty of potential good eatin' on my two fat bassets, but I don't care how hungry I got, I'd never resort to eating my dog.  Instead of a last supper, I'd just lie down between my fur friends for a last snuggle before I died.  There are some things worse than death, and eating my best and most devoted companions is definitely among them.


Friday, February 03, 2012

It's hard to imagine that we live in a country where you can be assaulted by law enforcement for merely walking your dog off leash, as was the case with Gary Hesterburg, who was tasered by a federal ranger while walking his two small dogs off leash in Golden Gate National Park.  Whether the man was belligerent to the officer, the article doesn't say, but unless he attempted to physically attack the ranger, I see no excuse for using what could be lethal force against a man walking his dogs.  People don't always survive being tasered.  This is also a weapon used to bring someone down and should be handled as though it were as lethal as a firearm.  I like to think the ranger wouldn't have gunned down the dog walker for his grand offense of having his dogs off leash, but in the America of 2012, who knows?
At any rate, fellow dog walkers, better keep those dogs leashed at all times or the outcome could be shocking.