Friday, January 17, 2014

Lazy LEO hitches a ride home....

Leo's been showing his age lately! He's started to have the old man shuffle, especially going up the stairs to bed! I've been really diligent about getting him his daily walks. It definitely helps keep his short little legs in shape! Granted, sometimes it's impossible when the temps drop below 0 but for the most part, I try to get him out for at least 15 minutes of walking daily. Today we went a bit further than usual and he gave me quite a hard time coming back home. He started to take his sweet time! As it is, he's gotta stop every two seconds and get that snout down to the ground. After the snow melted, there are lots of amazing new smells on the pavement and he has to revel in each and every one! Naturally, he has to pee on everything he sniffs to let all those other dogs who passed by before him, know who's boss! As soon as I tell him that we're going for a walk, he immediately heads over to his water bowl, gulping furiously as he loads up his bladder for the journey! I suppose he does this so that he is sure to have enough in the reserve tank to pee on every single thing he possibly can! Today, I was ready to kill him as he leisurely walked along in no hurry whatsoever to get home. Why would he care that I was going to be late to work? I tried to explain to him that he was going to be late to the couch and that he had a lot of sleeping to do for the rest of the day! He didn't care! I was so happy when I saw a car coming down the road and recognized that it was my husband! I stuck my thumb out and hitched us a ride! Of course, my husband was laughing because he knows how slow and stubborn LEO can be! He pulled over and picked us up!  LEO seemed as happy as I was to jump on board!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy 9th Birthday LEO!

Leo’s 9th Birthday was on September 24, 2013. Since he is so tuned into my mood, his mood often is nothing more than a mirror of my own. Well, he definitely sensed my excited mood that day, from the minute I woke up, he was EXCITED too!  From the first moment of the day (which always starts with a belly rub) he could tell that we were in the midst of greatness. Since he sleeps on top my feet, he has no other choice but to wake up when I start to stir. He usually comes right up to my face with his tail wagging like crazy. He almost immediately rolls over and waits for his belly rub. I gave him extra belly rubs on the morning of his birthday and told him over and over that it was a special day because it was his birthday! YAY LEO! I’m sure there was no doubt in his mind that it was his birthday! (and not just because I yelled it a million and one times)

He had his usual scrambled eggs and dry dog food for breakfast topped off with his favorite dessert, a few nibbles of the cat food. (He usually gets yelled at for this, but of course since it was his birthday, I let it go.) We went for a nice long walk outside and I told him that after work, I’d be making him a birthday cake. A lot of people suggested that I make him a meatloaf cake, but I decided to go with a white cake recipe by Fanny Farmer.
Since it only makes sense that everybody will want to share cake with LEO on his birthday, why not make something that the whole family would enjoy. Besides, it’s just too weird to put candles in a big chunk of meat and sing! And of course we would be singing! We had to do the traditional celebration and take lots of pictures.
In order to get ready for his birthday party, we blew up a couple of small balloons and tied them to his collar. Now to all the people who know LEO really well, they may be wondering how a dog with such anxiety (and a well-known fear of balloons) could have balloons tied to his collar. Well, although this may not make sense, he is only afraid of the balloons that have helium and float from a string. He doesn’t particularly mind when balloons are tied to his collar. Go figure. We then walked around the neighborhood with his party balloons on. He ran through a grass field, stepping on one at a time causing two little pops but he didn't seem to mind! (Again, he knew it was his birthday)

After our walk, we all gathered around the table and lit his candles. Although I held him up to the table in my lap, he was not allowed to get too close to the cake. My husband was yelling that he would drool on the cake that everybody was going to eat, so I had to respect this and keep him at a distance. He also loves to shake his head back and forth randomly which causes basset slime to go flying across the room and god forbid a stream of basset slime were to land on top of the cake. Well, that would have just ruined a perfectly good party! Yes, I insisted that we sing to him and everybody in my family complied even though they were shaking their head as my husband said, “You are a very sick woman.” Its okay, I don’t mind. If being a very sick woman means that I love my LEO too much, well then, I am perfectly fine with that description of myself. There are a lot worse things that I could be called. All in all, LEO had a wonderful 9th Birthday!!!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Basset Selfies

I have to laugh at the recent craze with all these people who take "selfies", they stand in front of the mirror and just take a million pics of themselves. This does not interest me in the least, but what does interest me is obsessively taking pictures of LEO! I suppose I have no right to talk about these crazy people who take all these selfies because I am the crazy person who takes a million and one pictures of my dog! How on earth can I resist with a face like this?

It's a bit comical how much LEO hates the camera but now that all the new phones come equipped with cameras, I've hit the jackpot. As long as I keep the phone on silent and he can't hear the click of the picture being taken, he's pretty clueless. Although I have to be careful of sudden movements while holding the phone because at times he does seem to be able to put it together that I'm doing something sneaky. The other night at a family gathering, there were many people I hadn't seen in years. It was a little embarrassing when a few of them mentioned that they didn't know what my kids looked like but they sure knew LEO. They were telling everyone that I love to plaster photos of my dog all over my FB Page and, "Imagine, the dog even has his own blog?" Oh well, I still have no regrets! I owe my life to the new I phone because I couldn't even imagine my life without 962 million photos of LEO! JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Spiteful little Basset!

This is the face of a fugitive! Golfers beware! It's amazing how spiteful Leo can be! After returning from a night away, he was so disgusted with me for leaving, he broke off the leash and ran away from me! It's not like he wasn't spoiled rotten while I was gone, but I guess it's just not the same! I wasn't even sure he could still run as fast as he did today but there's surely no doubt in my mind now! When he has a will, he will find a way. He wreaked havoc on the golf course and seemed to enjoy watching me make a total fool out of myself as I clumsily chased after him with a pound of salami in my hand screaming "Come back here you bad dog!!!"What was I doing with a pound of salami you might be asking? Well, I was desperate and I knew he was mad enough at me to not come back, so I ran back into my house and grabbed the first thing that I could find. He is usually a sucker for a slice of salami, but salami wasn't even cutting it today. The more I yelled the faster he ran! All I could hear was the angry screams from golfers as he ran through each hole! Finally one of them grabbed him and gave him back to me but not without a lecture to keep my damn dog off the golf course! As if I had a choice!!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The last old dog in the neighborhood....

I have a really hard time believing that LEO will be turning 9 years old in just two weeks.

Time has flown by so much since we got him from New England Basset Rescue, 8 years ago this Thanksgiving!  I can’t think of a more appropriate time to have gotten him because he has given me a million reasons to be thankful over the years! Despite the fact that it’s a lot of work to have a dog with special needs, it’s worth every minute of it because he gives it back to me tenfold in Basset Love!  

Yesterday, I ran into my neighbor who was outside playing with her brand new adorable Lhasa Apso puppy. As soon as I saw the new puppy, I figured out pretty quickly what that meant. I was afraid to ask but of course when I did, I found out that her beloved dog, Dunkin had passed away. She told me, she had to make the devastating decision to put him to sleep this past summer.  He was only 9 and he was the third dog in our neighborhood to pass away recently. I have a pit in my stomach as I write this because all three of these dogs were just 9. This is crushing. 9 is so young, even though it’s 67 in human years, it’s still young in my opinion. It's so unfair that dogs can't live as long as humans, isn't it?  I guess it wouldn’t matter much because even if Leo lived to be 100, it still wouldn’t be enough time for me!

My neighbor and I talked about all of the new puppies on the block and she brought it to my attention that out of all the old dogs in the neighborhood, LEO was the last dog still living. This broke my heart. It only served as a painful reminder that he is beginning to wind down now and approaching the last leg of his journey. I am optimistic by nature and I always tell my kids that he will far surpass the average life span of a Basset Hound which is 10-12 years old.  God knows, LEO of all Bassets is anything but average! If strength and longevity could be derived from love and love alone, he would surely live forever!

I have noticed so many changes in LEO as he nears his 9th birthday. Some of the changes are good, and some are bad, but all point to the obvious fact that he is aging. We can now open up the front door and not panic that he will bolt. He no longer runs away. He can’t be bothered. He really puts off going up the stairs to bed as long as he can. It’s easy to see that the stairs are becoming a struggle for him. Last night he stopped half way up and rested. He has never done this before. He also doesn’t jump up into bed with me as fast as he used to. All I would have to do in the past is pat my hand on the bed, and he was there in a flash. Now, he waits until I coax him up two or three times and then he will jump. He’s doing a lot more moaning and groaning lately. He has always loved to nap, but it seems that he is napping more than ever now. He's really slowed down his game when it comes to harassing our cats. He actually gives them some personal space now! His precious face is almost all covered in white these days. Yet,he remains the most adorable Basset of all time and I actually love the white! He looks distinguished.

Thankfully, he still jumps up on the couch and cuddles with me every morning as I have my coffee.  He is still the first one to greet me with a big happy grin and a wagging tail when I walk in the door from work! Even though, I feel a bit sad that his 9th birthday is approaching, I also feel blessed and grateful.  I have decided that his 9th birthday is something to celebrate not  to mourn.  I vow to take a little extra time each day to appreciate all the sweet joy he brings to my life. Although he gets a million hugs and kisses from me on a daily basis, he will get even more. He will have more treats, more homemade dog food, extra walks, cuddles and lots of extra belly rubs. I have always appreciated what a gift he is, even in the most trying times, but for this last leg of his beautiful journey here with us, I am going to really make it as memorable and special as I can!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Doggie Love...


After a particularly long day at work yesterday, I came home looking for some comfort.

I usually walk into my house through the front door, and LEO comes running to greet me.
As soon as he hears the door open and my keys jingling, I hear the adorable pitter patter of those little basset feet.  He’s there before I can even shut the door and he jumps all over me and showers me with affectionate sloppy kisses.

It’s usually the very BEST part of my day!
Occasionally, I like to tease him a little by coming in the back door. He sleeps on the couch by the back deck and if I come in that way, I can sneak up on him and surprise him! I love the look on his face when he wakes up from a dead sleep and sees me coming in the back door! He can barely get up off the couch before I am in. He practically wags his tail off as soon as he sees me! So sweet!

Yesterday when I got in from work, I decided to do this and snuck in the back slider.

My husband was in his usual spot, perched on the recliner. He gave me a sideways glance, clearly a bit confused as to why I was coming in the back way. I guess, he hasn’t caught on to my little game yet! Sad but true that I resort to this for my afternoon entertainment!

Normally, Leo is passed out on the couch, but yesterday he wasn’t there. Now, the trick was on me! Where the heck was he? Before I even said Hello to my husband, I said, “Where’s my boy?”

Of course, he thought I was referring to our 13 year old son, so he said,  “He’s golfing with your Dad!”  At this point, I looked at him like he was out of his mind and said, “No, Not Tommy, I meant LEO! Where’s my LEO???” He rolled his eyes and told me that he was upstairs in bed. He said he’d been sleeping all day, the lazy basset. Poor thing was probably depressed that I worked such a long day! It took some time for LEO to realize that I had snuck in, but as soon as he heard my voice, I could hear his dog tags clinking and those little paws hobbling down the stairs.

I immediately jumped into the living room closet! A bit mean, I know, but I wanted to play hide and seek!

The kids don’t like to play anymore as they are getting older! Silly me, how could I forget that Basset’s have that amazing NOSE! Nothing gets by that BASSET SNOUT! My husband cracked up as he watched LEO beeline for the closet. LEO didn’t even have to look around, he didn’t even have to try, his nose took him right to the closet. The door was open a little and he found me in lightning speed.

He was so unbelievably adorable as he jumped up and down all over me. Even my husband, who is NOT a dog lover and not a LEO fan, had a huge smile on his face. It was the cutest thing to watch the excitement that he had won the game and found his MAMA!  In no time at all, I forgot my stressful day and basked in the joy of my LEO hugs!  It’s great not to worry about making a complete fool out of myself in front of my husband, because he already knows the lengths I will go to for my doggie love!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dead Birds & Coffee


Ever since we welcomed a kitten into our home, LEO has taken on the role of "Daddy"
Our kitty, Panther definitely thinks that LEO is his father, or maybe even his Mother (who knows) but he follows him everywhere, cuddles up under his belly for a nap and quite simply adores him!
The two can be seen together all over the house, whether it be sunbathing by the sliding glass doors or curled up on the couch snoring. It's adorable when Panther rubs up against LEO and purrs loudly. Sometimes, I think Panther really expects LEO to go over to the food bowl and fill it for him.
The other day while having coffee on the back deck with a friend, Panther was outside in the yard. Of course, LEO wanted to come outside too, so I hooked him out on his run. Next thing I knew, Panther came prancing up the steps and dropped a dead bird down in front of LEO! Yup, a gift for his Daddy! I've heard that cat's like to bring their prey home to their owners to prove their LOVE!  As if to say,"Hey look, I protected you by killing this poor innocent bird!" Thankfully, he didn't bring it over to me! Thankfully, he thinks LEO is his master! Thankfully he proved his love for LEO and not me! LEO was so excited, he immediately picked up the dead bird in his mouth as if it were a brand new chew toy! He shook his head back and forth and threw the poor dead bird. He was heading over to pick it up again, when I realized what was going on! I do not like dead things of any kind. I don't even kill ants! (I pick them up and put them outside which really makes my husband mad) but imagine my horror when I found my precious LEO tossing around a dead bird. My friend is also easily horrified by anything dead, gross or germy! So here we were,two girly girls, trying to figure out how to get a nasty dead bird off the deck. I got a rake and she got a bucket. She jumped a mile high when I raked the gross thing off the deck. I think we both thought the head would rip off or something equally disturbing! I don't know exactly what she planned to do with the bucket other than maybe putting in front of her to protect herself. I raked the dead bird toward the fence and left it behind the rake for my husband to deal with! LEO wasn't happy that I messed with his new toy and Panther gave me the dirtiest look for taking his prized catch of the day away from his Master LEO!

Singing Bassets

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