Thursday, April 26, 2012

LEO catches a GIANT RAT!

As I sat on my love seat casually taking the first sip of my morning coffee, LEO shoved his nose under the couch and started sniffing like CRAZY! The wild sniffing was followed by a manic fit of barking. He was trying to dig his way underneath to get at something and my stomach just dropped as I realized this couldn't be good.  My 12 year old hadn't left for school yet, so like the wimp that I am, I begged him to look under the couch. He was having none of that. He said, "What are you nuts mom, YOU look under the couch!" So
I put my coffee down and gave the couch a huge shove and OUT RAN A GIANT RAT! There really are no words to express the HORROR that I experienced. I screamed so loud I think I blew out my own ear drums. I couldn't believe my eyes when the RAT ran right underneath my FAT CAT, and what did the cat do? He jumped up and let him take cover under my loveseat! I called my husband at work, in a sheer panic and DEMANDED he come home IMMEDIATELY. He couldn't get out, so he sent his friend instead. I asked him, "What exactly does your friend intend to do?" He said, "He's gonna bludgeon the thing with the broom!" He would be at my house in under ten minutes and now I found myself feeling bad for the disgusting RAT, because he was about to be MURDERED in my living room, not to mention it would make a HUGE gross mess on my rug. As much as I was petrified, I knew I had to get this thing out of my house before it met such an evil fate. I grabbed the broom myself and swatted at it. I could see it's beady little eyes staring at me. He was wedged between the back of the loveseat and the wall. When I shoved the broom at him, he took off running. I had opened all the sliders in hopes that he would head for the back yard. My plan was almost flawless as he bolted for the open door, but he was stopped dead in his tracks by LEO. Leo was at the slider waiting for him. He tried to grab him, but his nasty little bare feet took off running right up behind my wood stove. He climbed up the stones and hung there just staring at me. LEO began to bark fiercly again, scaring the RAT back down and he scurried toward my kitchen. My husband's friend showed up and helped me search all over my house. I was so distraught! NOT knowing where he was hiding, was defiitely WORSE than knowing. We searched all the dark corners and tiny crevices hoping to uncover him, but we were unsuccessful. I had locked LEO in the bathroom because I was afraid he might escape out the open sliders but I let him out after we reluctantly gave up our search. As soon as LEO came out of the bathroom, he headed straight to the recliner. He shoved his nose into the leather and started barking his head off.  I knew immediately where that RAT was hiding. I had flipped the recliner over earlier but he must have went up inside of it.  My husband's friend had already left. And here I was again, all alone, in my doggie pajamas, with LEO and my fat useless CAT. I called my husband back and frantically told him that the RAT was in his recliner. This time he came right home. (probably because it was in HIS recliner) We moved all the furniture out of the living room and he flipped the recliner over and shook it. OUT RAN THE NASTY RAT and THANK GOD this time he RAN right out the open slider. My husband ran after him, broom in hand screaming, "I'm gonna kill you, you little ****** *******!  I couldn't help but laugh when I saw my husband leap over the pool deck running as fast as he could to try to kill the thing. He didn't get him but we watched him head through the back path toward our friend's house. I felt the need to issue an Amber Alert to let our neighbors know where he was last spotted. I have NO idea how he got into our house or how long he has been living there among us. I will surely have nightmares over this for a very long time. I am still shaking hours later. We do live on a cornfield and there has been lots of construction going on, on the other side of it. We've had wild turkeys, deer, coyotes, fisher cats, foxes, all kinds of things, but NONE of them have been brazen enough to invite themselves into my home. Especially during my sacred morning coffee! The nerve of him! All I know is that LEO saved the day, because had he not discovered it under the couch, who knows how long it may have lurked there in the darkness. And my husband says he likes the cat because the cat earns his keep, but LEO is useless. Well, didn't LEO prove him wrong today. He really upstaged the cat and I'd say, the cat really should be ashamed of himself!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I swear, If he wasn't so cute, I might kill him!

Well, School Vacation is over, and the kids are back to school, but LEO is still up to his antics. I'm not really sure why he is so intent on destroying my carpet.I guess maybe he doesn't like the color I chose or maybe it feels better when pee flows onto carpet as opposed to the ground outside? It's been almost a month since I had the carpet man here and I was so happy, we were on a roll, no new pee stains for almost 3 wks. Suddenly he's started making puddles again and although he did brilliantly pee in the shape of a HEART on Valentine's day morning, these are just plain old boring smelly puddles. I'm so aggravated with him. I may never understand the method behind his madness. I used to think he peed in the house because of his chronic anxiety, but I seem to have that under control with the St. John's Wort and Melatonin regimen. I have been grateful to GOD that he hasn't been suffering from spontaneous panic attacks. He has calmly weathered several storms lately and almost even seemed oblivious. Thankfully, He's been sleeping through the night and even let me take a couple of pictures with the flash (which would have NEVER happened prior to the medications.
I guess maybe I'm just being greedy expecting that the meds will take care of ALL of his ISSUES, but I'm so sick of dealing with the PEEING. It's DISGUSTING and annoying. He really has no excuse. He goes for walks, he is taken outside constantly, he knows how to bark at us, if the need strikes out of the blue, yet despite all of this, he STILL pees on the carpet when nobody is looking! And, it never fails, every time I reprimand him, he flat out refuses to look at me. he just puts his head down and sulks like it really was an accident? Maybe it's the stubbornness of the breed, maybe he's too lazy to go outside, maybe he's mad at me for shoving pills down his throat 2x a day? the speculation could go on and on. I was so sure when I told the carpet guy that this would be the last time he would have to treat my rug for urine because LEO was on anxiety meds now and he wouldn't be peeing like that anymore. I was so convincing, I almost believed it myself. But here I sit less than a month later, frustrated and angry smelling the unmistakable and nasty smell of dog urine. Ohhhh LEO! You're LUCKY you are so damn cute!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spiteful little Basset

LEO is so jealous that the kids have been on vacation this week. Not because they are out of school, but because they are getting more attention from mom than he is. He is not just jealous but mad as well. He's mad because they are infringing on his QUIET time. All the commotion has him feeling STRESSED out.  I know this because he has been acting like a terrible two year old even though he is 7.  He started out on Monday by sneakig into the living room and peeing a huge puddle on the newly cleaned carpet. This really made me mad. He gave me the sad basset eyes but this time it didn't work. As I soaked up the urine out of the carpet, I shot him a dirty look. He  was unphased. He just lounged on the couch refusing to look my way. On Tuesday, he jumped up on the table at least 10x and tried his hardest to steal the kid's sandwiches. On Wednesday, he was outside on his runner and decided to walk up onto the back deck and pee another huge puddle on the new pavers. On Thursday, after taking his medication, he faked a swallow, and ate his treat. An hour later, I found the pills on my living room rug hidden behind the chair. On Friday, he had such bad doggie gas after stealing the kids left over breakfast, he made a car ride to Maine torturous for all.  Finally, on Saturday night, he got into a trash bag and found some chinese spare rib bones. Luckily we were able to pull them out of his mouth before he choked. He wasn't HAPPY! Today is Sunday, and before I even had my first cup of coffee, I walked into my living room and got my sock soaked when I stepped in yet another puddle of pee. I did hear him sneak out of bed last night around midnight. I figured he was venturing down to the playroom because my son had a friend sleepover. While he may have went down there, he apparantly made a pit stop and peed on my rug. He had no problem coming back upstairs and curling up beside me to snore the rest of the night away GUILT FREE.  Tomorrow is Monday and the kids go back to school, and it's a good thing because my patience is really running thin. I've always thought with a face as cute as his, I could never stay mad, but this week has had me rethinking that theory. Basset Hounds are such a stubborn breed and he really has seemed determined to make his feelings known. Mission accomplished LEO!

Monday, April 16, 2012


LEO was so excited to head up to GOOSE ROCKS BEACH Maine yesterday, for the first time since Christmas! We were opening up the beach house and although he wasn't about to wash down walls or clean floors, he was sure happy to run on the beach. I love to watch his nose when we get off the exit; he looks like he might inhale the entire windshield with his sniffing..His excitement is contagious as he wimpers and he wines,with his tail wagging wildly. Even though we're still a good 15 minutes from the beach, you can't fool a BASSET HOUND, he knows! He's a beach basset for sure!He LOVES getting his ears full of sand and smelling all the familiar & fun beach smells.  He had the best day ever yesterday. He got to get out to the island and while the kids searched for sea glass and star fish, he ROLLED in SEAWEED! He loved exploring the rocks and even met a couple of cute Jack Russell Terriers along the way.

I'll admit, I was more than a little jealous, when he finished off the perfect day, by digging himself a giant hole in the sand and settled in to soak up the  sun. I, on the other hand, had to grab the windex & paper towels and get back to work! What a LUCKY BASSET!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Hangover

Although Leo seemed to be having a fine Easter Celebration yesterday with family & friends, I think he may have celebrated a little too much since he can't get out of bed this morning. He did have a good sized plate full of Easter dinner (stuffed pork, italian rice patties and mashed potatoes with gravy) and a long nap on the couch. He would have curled up in the forbidden recliner but Papa had already claimed it. Unfortunately LEO woke me up at 1am when he had an anxiety attack. I looked outside to see if there was any lightening or something going on to cause his panic but couldn't find anything out of the ordinary. He was shaking and drooling and as always right on top of my head. I brought him downstairs and he seemed to calm down with the change of scenery. I fell asleep on the couch and he slept on the floor under me. We didn't make it back up to bed until 4:30am. I had to get up with the kids to get them off to school, but LEO is still sleeping peacefully on Dad's side of the bed and NATURALLY has his head on the pillow. For the past 6 weeks, he has been doing really well on the St. John's Wort & Melatonin for his chronic anxiety. I am hoping and praying that he has not built up an immunity to it. I'm gonna chalk it up to the stress of the holiday or the possible thieving of some hidden Easter eggs. Whatever his issue, I'm sure he's not the only one feeling a little drained on the Monday morning after Easter.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Apparently as soon as my husband left for work this morning (at the crack of dawn), LEO took full advantage of the situation. He crawled up beside me and laid his head down on John's pillow (stinky basset jowels and all) He stretched right out and pressed his paws up against my back. He always sleeps at my feet and I had no idea he had crawled up to sleep beside me. I was rudely awakened by  LOUD snoring and automatically assumed that my husband had overslept and would be late for work. Before I even opened my eyes, I smacked LEO right in the chest and yelled "GET UP! You're gonna be late for work!"  well, when there was no movement, just more snoring, I opened my eyes and much to my surprise it was my SNORING BASSET snoozing away not in the least bit concerned with my yelling or the morning smack he got in the chest :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"following atticus" by Tom Ryan

I am so in love and so inspired by the story of Tom and Atticus, in the book "Following Atticus" Such an incredible tale of the unconditional love between two best friends. What a  remarkable and life changing journey they make together in honor of a friend who lost her life to cancer. They set out on a dangerous mission of winter hiking, against all odds, to raise money for The Jimmy Fund, benefiting children fighting Cancer. The life lessons they learn & share along the way are invaluable. One of the very BEST books I have ever read. For anyone who loves dogs, nature, or just pure humanity, you will adore this book.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good Deed of the Day

Lent can be a long and difficult journey for some, but in the end whether we choose to sacrifice something  or participate in some almsgiving, it should be a time of reflection and a time to reconnect with GOD. This year, my friend and neighbor decided that instead of giving something up like he had done in past years, he would rather try to do at least one good deed every day. Well, it turns out that doing a good deed every day isn't as easy as it sounds. Lent is a 40 day journey and sometimes those opportunities for good deeds don't always present themselves in the course of an ordinary day. I think he's found that on some days, he  actually has to search for things that are worthy of counting for a good deed.  Well, Today, he didn't have to search very hard at all. I am proud to say that LEO presented him with a "good deed of the day" opportunity. Somehow, the little Houdini managed to get himself unhooked from his chain while outside this morning and ran free. He had a nice morning jaunt out on the golf course and caused quite a ruckus with the neighborhood dogs. My friend's dog was barking like crazy which caused him to check out what all the commotion was about. He saw LEO running wild, so like a dedicated Catholic on his lenten mission, he set out to deliver his good deed of the day.  Despite the fact that he was all dressed for work, he went after LEO anyway and chanced getting muddy paw prints all over him. He caught him and brought him back to us before we ever even knew he was missing. I was so surprised & grateful to see him standing at my back door with LEO in hand. I'd say this may count as a triple good deed of the day!

Monday, April 2, 2012

What a Basset...

LEO has been acting up again the past couple of days. I think he's getting anxious about the Easter Bunny coming. Since he has phobias about virtually everything, it would only stand to reason that he'd be petrified at the prospect of a giant bunny hopping through our house dropping jelly beans everywhere. Not to mention, he happens to hate jelly beans, which is kinda weird because he loves skittles and licorice. Even though he's doing much better with the St. John's Wort/Melatonin regimen, he still has all kinds of anxieties just at a milder level. His separation anxiety kicked in the other night when we left him alone for a couple of hours. Since he can't tolerate a crate and hates being shut into a specific room, I decided to block him out of the living room where I had just had the carpets cleaned. Whenever he is left home alone, even if one of us is just checking the mail, he will pee. More often than not, it's on a rug because he knows its harder for us to clean. Once in awhile we get lucky and he pees on the tile floor. A little clorox cleanup, a few paper towels, and it's taken care of.  My strategy was simple: I put the kitchen bar stools across the walkway and sealed him out (or so I thought) and we left. Upon return, as soon as we pulled into the driveway I could hear his "distressed" bark.  Yes, as a mother of a new infant can detect and translate what each cry means, I can tell one bark from another. He was stress barking and I knew instantly that he was in trouble. I ran into the house unsure of what precarious situation I would find him in.Only LEO would get himself trapped in the very room that he was supposed to be blocked out of. He had somehow knocked over a barstool (he is afraid of his own shadow and usually won't even go near a cardboard box if it's in his way) but somehow he managed to knock it over and get into the living room. He would not go back through the knocked over barstool, he was just standing on the newly cleaned carpet barking his head off.  When I was in a rush to get to him, I didn't realize that I was walking through a huge puddle of pee on my kitchen floor. Therefore, even though he had thankfully NOT peed on the newly cleaned carpet, I tracked his pee onto the newly cleaned carpet with my shoe! GOTTA LOVE LEO!!!

Singing Bassets

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