Posts Tagged ‘basset hound’
Fitzgeral William, AKA Fitz, is a 4-year-old basset hound. He is a therapy dog who, once a week visits the ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton, Wisconsin. His volunteer ours are 1 to 2 hours.
It’s been shown that interacting with a pet releases the chemical oxytocin, a beneficial hormone also known as the “feel-good hormone.” An infusion nurse at the center claims that the chemical helps decrease the patient’s heart rate, helps lower anxiety, and helps reduce feelings of depression. The nurse also claims that “When Fitz comes, it completely brightens the day of our patients and us as staff as well. It’s fantastic for everybody. People don’t want to be here. They don’t want to have cancer, they don’t want to be getting chemotherapy, we have the daunting task of giving people medication that makes them feel very sick and Fitz comes and makes them feel better.”
Way to go, Fitz. I bet you enjoy the petting as much as the patients are enjoying giving it to you.
Fitz and his slave, Molly Johnson, have been volunteering since November of 2016.
A few weeks ago, I lost my companion. He died in my arms. Then, as he was part of an open adoption, and, as his family is Buddhists, we witnessed his memorial service at a Buddhist temple. His soul was released to find another body. I wished him a human body that would love animals as much as he was loved. Many animals are neglected, abused, and unloved. We need more advocates and more humans who love and respect others as they would want to be loved and respected themselves.
Dudley’s soul’s release was my release to find another dog in need of a home to be loved and to be cherished. I will never forget Dudley, as I have not forgotten my four-legged family members who were there before he joined our family:
- Tzippy (my first beagle and my first dog),
- Ginger (my first basset),
- Cinnamon (my stray dog),
- Cori (my basset after Ginger died),
- Basil (my first foster, my first foster failure, and my first adoptee),
- Zack (my bagle (beagle-basset mix),
- Cocoa (our mutt from the Island of St. Maarten),
- Brie (our first cat),
- Cammie (our white cat who loved to terrorize our dogs),
- Bailey and Dudley (our fist bonded pair and our first open adoption case).
No, you never forget them. The new arrivals just mend your heart. They give that piece of their heart that fits into the hole the previous pet left.
So, this time, after Dudley left us, how did I mend my broken heart? Well, I adopted two bonded brothers from BROOD. They are 11-mothn-old bassaniels (basset-spaniel mixes). They make me smile again. But more importantly, they make my Carrie happy again. Introduction took literally 2 seconds. I placed the pups behind a gate in a room. Carrie came in, sniffed them while her tail was wagging so fast. We let the pups out and within seconds the three of them were running in our yard together. And that’s when my broken heart was really mended. It was mended when I saw my old, soon to be 11 year old, sick with cancer dog perk up and play happily with her kind.
I intended to write about my adventures with two dogs with cancer. Today, I’m just pouring my sadness to you.
One of my dogs who had cancer (Dudley) died. He died on New Year’s Day in my arms while we were driving to the vet to euthanize him. He was a great dog. He had an annoying and demanding bark, but he didn’t’ have a mean bone on his body. He got along with everyone. He was my Velcro dog (so is Carrie, by the way). Everywhere I went, he was there with me.
Now, my other dog, who also suffers from cancer, is a single dog for the first time since she came to live with us 2005 when she was she was 9 weeks old. For the first time since 1990, I have a single dog and not a pack.
I’ll never forget Dudley’s last struggle for air and how limp and relaxed he felt when he died. It took me a few minutes to realize that he was gone. At first, I just thought that he was struggling because he wasn’t comfortable. He had so many tumors and many were so big. Then when he relaxed, I thought that he found a comfortable spot in my arms. But, actually, he was gone.
I hope that there is a Bridge, and I hope he met with Bailey, the dog that preceded him in death. Dudley and Bailey were adopted together. They were a bonded pair that I heard through BROOD. We had a open adoption with their former “slaves.” Their former slaves and us became friends and consider ourselves family.
Life and Sorrow Is for the Living
Life goes on for the living. But there’s definitely a big difference, and we feel that his presence is gone. The house is quieter. There are no demanding barks for food. I now have to look at the clock to make sure I don’t miss the 5 p.m. meal. He never let me forget it. Carrie is quieter. She doesn’t demand. Dudley, on the other hand, was on my heels at 4:30 p.m., reminding me to not forgetto give them food.
And Dogs Mourn,Too
But let’s not forget that the surviving dog is also mourning. Carrie is morose. Her snout is longer, and looks unhappier than most of the time (bassets always look sad). Yesterday, when I called out for food, she barked and ran in every room, looking for and calling Dudley to come and eat.
Also, the finality came to me at yesterday’s 5 p.m. feeding. Every day, just before each meal, each dog got their own medications for their illness. I covered the meds in peanut butter. One dog got the right hand “treat,” the other dog got the left hand treat. Yesterday, only one hand was needed. I cried. I missed him.
Also, every day, after the meds were distributed, I would pick their bowls to insert their meals. Yesterday, I absently picked Dudley’s bowl as well.
What Dogs Will to Us
Sadly, dogs leave very few properties when they leave: a bowl, a collar, a leash, a bed, etc. However, they also leave a big empty hole in your heart.
I went through so many losses in the 33 years of dog loving and dog rescuing. Nonetheless, I go ahead and open my heart to break again and again. There’s always a needy dog waiting for your love. My heart has an empty hole. A new dog, will come and fill that hole by giving a piece of his or her heart. It’s just like this saying:
Dogs will us their heart. One day, my heart will be all dog, and I’ll be so proud!
I currently live with two basset hounds. Living with Bassets hound is nothing new for me. I have been sharing my home with the breed for over 30 years. In the past 30 years, I’ve lived with about 8 bassets (and many other mixed breeds, as well). I’ve had single, as well as packs of dogs. So, I encountered all sorts of health problems. This time, I have something new to conquer. I now have two bassets suffering with cancer. I did have two dogs that were euthanized because they were suffering with the final and debilitating stages of cancer. But their cancer was discovered late and there was no longer time for life. This time, my dogs are terminal, but still having time to live out a little bit longer with their disease. I will try to describe our journey together.
Meet Dudley. He’s soon 12 years old. He’s his adopted. We have an open-adoption arrangement with his former family. It’s a win–win arrangement. Dudley and his family get to see his each other fairly often. We get so see his puppy pictures and get to know his temperament. And, to boot, a great friendship developed among the humans.
In June 2015, Dudley was diagnosed with lymphoma. His illness started with various blood tests demonstrating anemia and an enlarged spleen. When his spleen was removed, it was a bloody mess and weighed 4 pounds. The lab work came back positive for cancer. Dudley was extremely sick after his surgery. It took him 2 weeks to recover. He had no interest in food, water, and life. Lucky for all of us, on the day we were going to have him euthanized, he perked up. In fact, he was wheeled into the ER hospital for euthanasia, and on the way to the building from the car, his sweet face perked up. He was not ready to go to the Bridge. He received care in the hospital, and 24 hours later he came home to slowly recover.
We chose not to administer chemotherapy. He was so sick just with the surgery. We didn’t want to add more to his misery. We currently give him prednisone for comfort and some homeopathy medicine. We figured that at this stage of his life, it can’t do him much harm. In October, we were told, he didn’t have much longer to go. It would be a matter of a few weeks. Today it’s December 14. He’s still here. We are blessed.
Carrie—Mast Cell Tumor
Meet Carrie. Carrie came to live with us when she was 9 weeks old. Her father was of champion lines. Carrie was going to be trained to be a therapy dog. Life intervened, and she remained a pet. One day, in October 2015, my daughter noticed a hard growth on Carrie’s genitalia. As Carrie loves to sleep outside near the bushes where we had a nest for wasps, we thought that she may have been stung by them and was having an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, once she was checked out by the veterinarian, she was diagnosed with mastocytoma (mast cell tumor). According to PetMD
Mast cells are cells that reside in the connective tissues, especially those vessels and nerves that are closest to the external surfaces (e.g., skin, lungs, nose, mouth). Their primary functions include defense against parasitic infestations, tissue repair, and the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). They are also associated with allergic reactions, since they contain several types of dark granules made up of various chemicals, including histamine and heparin, serving biologically to modify immune reactions and inflammation. Mast cells are derived from the bone marrow, and can be found in various tissues throughout the body.
We chose not to do any surgery on Carrie because the procedure would be from her vaginal area to her thigh, across her belly button, down back to her vagina. The recuperation period was 2 weeks. (Horrors of what Dudley went through crossed our mind). She was given 6 months to live without any intervention, 10 months with surgery only, 14–18 months with surgery and chemotherapy. She was not going to be comfortable during the process. I’m not even discussing the cost ($10,000), which we were willing to meet had she been promised a better outcome and better conditions.
Currently, Carrie is on prednisone. We take each day one at time.
Next entry will be how dogs on steroids behave.
Wrangler knew the rules: He was not to go up on the new bed. But on September 8, 2015. Wrangler kept breaking the rules. Finnaly, his owner woke up annoyed, only to find that there was some crackling and smoke coming from the attic. Wrangler saved his family’s life. How about that! It’s rare to see a basset in this position. You, go Wrangler.
By the way, the family lost all their possessions in the fire. If you can find it in your heart to contribute to replace some of their possessions, please click on this link:
Bassets: Are They Couch Potatoes?
Most people think of a basset hound as the perfect couch-potato dog. Most bassets are low key, don’t disturb my sleep kind of dogs. Many also claim that because basset hounds are stubborn by nature (after all, they were bred to follow their nose and get that rabbit out of the briar patch) are therefore difficult to train, and few expect them to be obedient. I have had bassets in my life for over 30 years. Some of my bassets were downright stubborn and I learned to follow their commands. Others, especially my current 9-year-old basset obeys me simply because she loves me. But recently, after following a new “friend” in Facebook, I found out about a basset who can do something that never in my wildest dream did I imagine a basset being able to do. He just recently became a CS-ATCH, which I found out means Canine Specialist Agility Trial Champion. His name is Diesel, and his slave or guardian (I hate the name “owner”) is Shelly Nowicki Gordon who is the president and intake coordinatior of ABC Basset Hound Rescue of NY.
So let’s find out a little bit about this amazing hound. Diesel, according to Shelly, came from a backyard breeder (BYB). Most of the rescue bassets come either from BYB or puppy mill because a bona-fide breeder will take your hound back if for some reason you need to have it rehomed. So don’t be fooled when you purchase a basset. It doesn’t matter that they have AKC papers, as the American Kennel Club is not vigilant about what type of breeders are breeding the dogs. Anyway, if you are to get a BYB dog, you might as well get a rescued dog. It’ll make room for new rejected dogs to be rehomed rather than facing euthanasia in a shelter.
Anyway, back to Diesel’s story. Diesel and his sister Andi were purchased together. But the person who bought them could not housetrain them (bassets take up to 18 months to realize that the grass “carpet” and not the indoor carpet is the place to go). This person, however, did the right thing. She didn’t take the dogs to the shelter, where more than likely they meet death within a few days, she took them to ABC rescue. At ABC, foster homes were set up, and the person changed her mind. She was going to try and work with them.
A month passed by and ABC was called again. The dogs had to go. The person (female) could not housetrain them. The original fosters homes were full, so Shelly offered to help by fostering one of them. She figured that as they were only 7 months old, they would soon be adopted. Shelly chose to foster the male hound (Diesel), since she always had males.
The joke was on Shelly. For some reason, nobody wanted to adopt Diesel. And after few weeks, Diesel was adopted by the Gordon family. Lucky for Diesel, Shelly had a friend who was working agility with her basset hounds, which spurn Shelly to try to sign Diesel up for agility class.
So Diesel was taking classes, but it was not until the same friend who talked Shelly to take classes talked her to sign him up for local trials. At the first trial, Diesel surprised every one by getting the red ribbon for second place. Shelly was hooked.
Diesel Gets His Ribbons
Three years later, Diesel got the CS-ATCH that he and his slave were working so hard for. An exhuberant Shelly says that the day Diesel got his CS-ATCH was “ One of the best days of my life. From a dog that couldn’t be housebroken…to a dog that can do a teeter and weave poles.”
An exchange student from Germany who lived with the Gordons once said, “Diesel will do anything to make [Shelly] happy.” Shelly says that, “Standing at the start line next to me, running with him for 40–60 seconds, and crossing the finish line together…that makes me happy. Ribbons or no ribbons. He’s a great teammate and I’m honored that he was chosen for me.”
Diesel’s Triumphant Moment
It’s just awesome to see Diesel confidently go through the entire agility course. So, if you are into doing some agility work and want to have a basset. Don’t hesitate, if the dog loves you and you work hard together, you will be a great team.
And here’s a nice side note: In 2008, Diesel’s mom (Eeyore) was for sale in the paper. Shelly convinced the owner to turn her in to rescue. And she adopted her too. She’s a therapy dog and goes to a nursing home on Tuesdays.
As you can see, bassets rock. They are not for couches only, anymore.
By the way, if you live in the Northern NY state area and want to adopt a basset please contact ABC Basset Hound Rescue of NY.
So you decided to get a basset hound? Great! First, however, make sure that you get your puppy from a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder will make you sign a contract that will bind you to spay/neuter your dog and will also inform you that your basset can always be returned to the breeder. A backyard breeder will not adhere to these two rules. A backyard breeder has no interest in the dogs, the betterment of the breed, or you. They are only interested in the profit. A better choice, however, is to get a dog from your area rescue organization. Sometimes, rescues have puppies. But most of the time, they have many great dogs in need of a good home. Think about adopting from your local rescue. In the meantime, enjoy this video:
They may seem lazy, they may seem not too smart, but don’t be fooled, they are smart.
They will not do tricks just for the sake of doing tricks, they’ll do it because they want to, they’ll do it because they love you. That’s a basset hound. And on top of it all, they make great pets and are great with kids.
In the website PetCareRX, Lauren Leonardi posted an article on July 11, 2013 that listed the 7 most intelligent dog breeds. Basset Hounds are right there. They are #5. The article lists them as follows:
- German Shepherd
- Standard Poodles
- Border Collies
- Basset Hounds
- Golden Retrievers
The article notes that basset hounds are family dogs, great with kids, kind, patient, and loving. My son was 3 when we got our first basset. I could not have asked for a better dog. She tolerated all his shenanigans. I worked hard in teaching him how to kindly treat another animal. But he was all boy and there were times when he did things to her that I could not have believed that she didn’t bite him. But she didn’t. (One example, he’d jumped off the third step from the bottom of the staircase onto her, barely missing her body (this was nipped in the bud immediately), but our Ginger just looked at him and went back to sleep). She was so, so mellow.
Basset hounds are scent dogs, and you must remember to hide your garbage. They’ll find the treasures inside of them.
The criteria for determining intelligence included breeds that consistently score high on canine intelligence tests, and are known by experts and their owners to have a knack for learning and smarts.
So, congratulations basset hound.
Wally may have won the 2013’s World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, but in my eyes, he is aorably cute. What do you think?