Wednesday, April 8, 2015


"Adopt Me"
I had no intention of rushing out for another dog when my beloved Frank died.  I was too raw and distraught and we already had St. Jimmi, so it's not like the house was lacking canine energy.  There was also the issue of Jimmi herself.  Jimmi is not mean.  Jimmi is...bossy.  And sometimes loud and definitely opinionated, especially when faced with someone she finds annoying.  Usually this annoying creature was poor Frank, who really never did a thing to her, but that didn't stop her from doing her "fish wife" routine, as my mother called it.  She'd get pissed at him and start this loud, incessant howling that could go on for ten, fifteen minutes sometimes.  She'd get right next to his ear and let him have it.  He'd try to walk away and she'd follow, like an infuriated wife, hollering as if saying, "And let me tell you one other thing..."  The only person who really gets her going is Foghorn.  When Jimmi has reached her limit, Foghorn gets the same howling routine as Frank and if that fails to shut her up, Jimmi trees her on the couch as if she were a two-legged raccoon.  In other words, Jimmi is the alpha dog and that can present difficulties when bringing a new dog into the house.

I didn't actively look for a dog last summer, although I kept an eye on the listings from Recycled Doggies, one of my favorite rescue groups and the folks who gave us St. Jimmi.  Besides needing a mid-sized model with a temperament that could get along with our Bluetick Coonhound's, there was a the small matter of her matching my personality.  My ideal dog would probably be one of those yawning bloodhounds from Hee-Haw.  I like a dog who gets enthusiastic about walks and likes to fetch toys -- but in moderation.  After a walk or fifteen minutes of play, my perfect dog then wants to cuddle up with me for a nice nap.  Hound dogs have always worked out well for me for that reason. 

As I say, I wasn't actively looking, but by August I did find myself checking not only Recycled Doggies but other shelters and rescues on PetFinder as well.  I kept saying the right dog would find me, as they always seem to do.  Of course, that didn't mean I shouldn't keep my eye open...  Then one day I found a dog on the Animal Adoption Foundation's Petfinder page.  Her name was Sandy, found as a stray during a storm.  She was a basset hound mix mixed with probably golden retriever or yellow lab and as soon as I saw those sad, droopy eyes, I thought we had a winner.  Bassets are generally pretty laid back, a nice way of saying lazy.  She was described as getting along well with cats, kids, and dogs, all important in this house.

Getting ready to head home.
I sent an email asking if she was available, which she was, and mentioned that I'd like to come and see her on Saturday.  We arrived at the shelter, a good 40 minutes away, all four of us plus Jimmi, only to find that Sandy wasn't there.  She was out at an adoption event at a comic book store.  Would have been nice to have known that.  I suddenly went from not being in a hurry for another dog to being frantic some Fantastic Four junkie would scoop her up before we could get there.  Back in the car and raced down the expressway and pulled into the parking lot on two wheels.  Okay, I didn't really drive like that, but my husband swears I did.  We walked in the door and there she was.  While she can certainly put on that sad basset face, at that moment we saw her usual face, smiling and cheerful with sparkling eyes.  She stood on four short legs with an "Adopt Me" vest around her middle, her tail going in circles like a helicopter.  I bent over to say hello and she was all over me.  I sat on the floor and in half a second she was cuddled in my lap, happily accepting the pats of my husband and daughter.  The Professor was waiting in the van with Jimmi, so we walked Sandy outside and let the two get to know each other.  Since we weren't on Jimmi's turf it was hard to tell if there would be issues, but we didn't immediately have a snarling fight and that seemed like a good sign.  They mostly ignored each other while the rest of us fell in love with this little blonde beauty.

Orange collar with black name tag to
match The General Lee. 
NO Confederate flag.
We filled out paperwork that day and went to the shelter on Sunday to bring her home.  I had toyed with various names connected with my various obsessions.  Since St. Jimmi was named for a character in Green Day's American Idiot she could have been Billie Joe (for the lead singer) or Whatsername (for another character).  Wrigley was seriously considered for my love of Chicago's Friendly Confines.  And then, of course, she could have been Carol Brady after my BFF.  Ultimately, though, my childhood obsession with The Dukes of Hazzard won out.  Sheriff Rosco on the show had a basset named Flash and although this new dog looked nothing like the traditional brown, black, and white basset, I decided to go with Daisy Duke.  As my sister pointed out the name was all the more funny (and therefore fitting, in a strange way) because she looks nothing like the long-legged cocktail waitress from the series.

Snacking has its challenges.
Daisy is everything I wanted in a dog.  She's mostly easy going and fairly quiet.  We were shocked by her bark when it first came out, though.  It's very deep and is a bit disconcerting given her appearance, kind of like Christie Brinkley speaking with Barry White's voice.  She's a first class cuddler and immediately made herself at home in my bed.  The cats hate her, which is to be expected, but she's not aggressive with them.  She does, however, enjoy chasing them which does not go over well.  Like most hound dogs she's a bit of a hungry gut and despite her stature has managed to steal hamburgers off the kitchen counter.  She's unfortunately a chewer, which can cause problems when she's left alone.  Often I try to move as much as possible to high ground before leaving for an extended period (read:  longer than ten minutes).  Dogs, like people, have their good traits and bad and I accept hers even if I'm not always thrilled by them.  Overall she's been the perfect dog for filling the void left by my devoted sweet Frank.

Within two minutes of entering her new home,
Daisy found the toy box.

Half an hour later, after pulling every
toy out of the box, she was ready
for a nap.

Too bad she can't relax.

And, yes, I do go around singing, "Just the good old dog, never meanin' no harm..."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love Daisy who never met a Grandma she didn't like.