Friday, June 2, 2017

A Dog Blog You Should Read Anyway

That-them-there hound dawg. It's just Hudson, that's all. Our 90-pound, horse-ish Basset Hound. A blog about him? Thought you were more of a cat person, Molly? I am. But he's pretty funny.

We drove out to middle-of-nowhere Jasper, Alabama, to get him almost 10 years ago when we lived near Birmingham. Found him in a red barn at the end of a gravel road; he was one of two dozen ready for adoption. That means there were a bunch of baby Bassets not ready. Hound dogs everywhere. (I know, I know . . . he's not a "rescue" dog.)

When we brought him home, we had an underground electric fence installed around our property. (Sigh, property.) And he wore this collar that beeped a warning if he got too close, and then shocked him if he got too too close. And when desperate to follow me on a walk or to steal a neighbor's Alabama football garden gnomeor some such thinghe'd often charge right through it, howling in pain. Dumb dog. 

Too bad the fence didn't keep deer out. Once Hudson got hoofed by a crazed deer. It was a showdown between long, elegant deer legs and short, uh, well . . . these legs:

Fast forward to present-day life in California, and nothing much has changed. He's still escaping. At times I feel like a cowgirl, "herding" him back into the house. That's when we know he got out. Otherwise we get a late-night knock on the door. "This your dog?" (Um, no?)

That Hudson. Eats entire loaves of bread in a single bound. His body elongates like Gumby to reach stuff on counters. For those lost on the Gumby reference, how about See's Candies? Once I found an empty box of See's upstairs. And if anything is sadder than an empty box of chocolates, it's watching a dog go through the "shakes" as he recovers from having emptied the boxgobbled-up both the chocolate and the little brown paper cups each heavenly morsel sat in. It's no surprise our backyard is like a dragon's lair, but instead of skeletal remains, we find pizza boxes, banana peels, and chewed-on cat food cans.

So not only does Hudson love eating our food, he loves our couch. Even if every seat is takendoesn't matter. He'll stand there and stare down a two-inch section of open space until someone lets him up. And then he gets all psyched-up for "the jump," which he doesn't always make. Same thing with getting down. We often find him in half-on-half-off limbo.

And when we take Hudson places, we become instant celebrities. So droopy and pathetic, people eat him up. And his massive front paws—standing at "first position"—get tons of attention. Folks are forever mimicking his stance with their own arms and hands. Sometimes passers-by suggest he needs surgery.

And when Hudson meets a fellow canine at the park, it's always a little awkward. Dog owners get kind of weird and say things like, "My dog's name is Henry, what's your dog's name?" You can forget about meeting the fellow human attached to the dog. (Though nice when I'm not much for social interaction.) Or a person will speak for their dog: "I'm Fifi. Wanna be my friend?" At this point I feel like I'm playing make-believe. What's next, we have them push each other on the swings?

I could go on and on about Hudson's dream sequences and cranky-old-man noises and how we tie his ears together when he eats. And the whole stick of butter I once found in his mouth and how he smells like corn chips. But I'll stop for now and think about which animal oddity God enjoyed creating most—my Cornish Rex cats (R.I.P. Willaby and Zaldamo) . . . or Hudson the hound dog?

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