Category Archives: dogs

A Visit to the Dog Pond


Good morning Everyone!

I would like to say that my long absence this year from blogging was due to something remarkable, such as participating in a medical mission trip in the Amazon basin, but alas, I have no such excuse – just a miserable bout with bronchitis that lasted for over two months and then another month or two to recover from it completely and help Mark get over his bronchitis also. Hopefully we have seen the last of it though!

Last week was Spring Break week for our school system, so we took advantage of Kayla’s days off to pay a visit to Alabama’s Gulf Shores State Park Campground for a few days.   The entire Alabama State Park system is a hidden gem that more campers throughout the United States should take advantage of, and the Gulf Shores State Park is no exception.  Among the newest attractions at the state park is something called “The Dog Pond.”  The powers that be have created a dog park on the shores of Lake Shelby, a lake which is literally across the street from the Gulf of Mexico.

My dogs had never been to a public dog park before, so I approached the visit cautiously.  Kayla, however, was quite ready to count it all joy, and fortunately had her phone in hand for video footage of the dogs.

Darwin I never really worried about; he has always gotten on well with other dogs at places where we have boarded him. Mandy, on the other hand, doesn’t always play well with others.  She wants to play, until she doesn’t, and not every dog can read her signals.

When we got to the park, there were two areas – one large area for large dogs, and a second, slightly smaller area for dogs under 30 or so pounds.  The smaller dogs can go into the large dog area at their own risk if the owners choose.

There was only one other dog in the park at that moment – a one year old Golden Retriever mix named Casey.  We let Darwin off leash immediately, and he made a bee line for Casey, whose owners were training her to retrieve an orange float from the water.

Casey wanted to play, but when it was time for her to go back to the water, we had a problem – Darwin has never been around water like that before.  After a great deal of coaxing, he finally was brave enough to try it, and of course he liked it.  (In one of those helpful 15-year-old moments, Kayla neglected to tell me until after we were headed back from the dog pond that Mark had asked us to keep the dogs out of the water.)

And what was Mandy doing during this time? At first, she was restrained on the leash – when Casey first came over to introduce herself, Mandy wasn’t exactly welcoming, and I wanted to be sure everything would be okay. After about 20 minutes, though, I was ready to let her try again – and Mandy came through with flying colors! She had absolutely no aversion to the water; my only concern with her was to keep her from going so deep that Bear or I would have to wade in after her to keep her from sinking. (When she was younger and we had Tyra as well as Mandy and Darwin, there were a couple of warm summer days we left them outside. I would always carefully fill a HUGE water bowl to the brim with ice and water to be sure they had something to keep them cool. We’d come home, and the water bowl would be completely empty. I finally figured out why – as soon as she got hot, Mandy would plop herself smack dab in the center of the water bowl, spreading water and ice everywhere on the patio, but keeping herself quite cool. We stopped trying to keep them outside for even a little while when we were gone after that.)

Both dogs had a wonderful time, but when we were joined by another three dogs, I finally decided it was time for them to go, so we carefully bundled them back into our Hyundai Veloster and drove back to the campground with the car windows open, breathing in the strange combination of sea air and “eau de wet dog parfum.”

And of course, every wet dog knows that nothing tops off the whole lake experience like a good roll in the grass!

Have a great day!

Nancy

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When your dog is more focused than you…


Good morning Everyone!

Something about the Christmas season seems to send my absent mindedness into hyperdrive.  Not so my dogs.

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

The Mandinator!

Here’s my proof:

1.       It was raining last week, and I was the last one to leave the office. I usually go out the front, which requires me to unlock and then lock it back,  but that night I went out the back door, which always lets people out even if they can’t get back in.  After I got outside and into my car (it has a combination lock that lets me unlock it without the key), I started to panic when I couldn’t find the keys anywhere in my purse.  I hadn’t even closed the car door yet.  I started to send a frantic text to one of my friends from work asking her to come back to free me, but as I was doing so, I realized there was the most annoying “ping, ping, ping” coming from the car.  I looked up to realize that my keys were in the ignition.  I must have put them in the ignition without even thinking about it.

2.     I am working on a knitting project that involves using a row counter.  This means that after I finish a row, I have to stop and hit the button on the counter to tally each row.  To do this, I have to put the “free” needle – the one without yarn on it at the time – down.  I got quite annoyed the other night when I couldn’t find the darn thing after one row tally.  There is nothing more frustrating than losing an object when you have been sitting in the same place the whole time.  I was sitting by Mark and he finally asked me what I was looking for.  When I told him I was looking for my knitting needle, he looked at me strangely before telling me that it was tucked behind my ear!

3.    We put a memory foam mattress topper on our bed last night.  We leaned back to see how it felt, and Mark had my glasses in his hand.  I kept reaching out to take them back, and he finally asked, “Why are you reaching for my glasses?”  I started to inform him that they weren’t his glasses, they were mine – until I realized that my glasses were still on my head.  Then I had to tell him that I had forgotten my glasses were still on me!

Compare that to Mandy’s behavior this morning.  She sailed onto my chest about 6:30, ready for me to get up.  Apparently the extra 4 inches added to the bed by the mattress topper doesn’t pose any problems for her, but I digress.  When she did, I noticed that in her mouth she had one of Mark’s handkerchiefs.  Sleepy or not, I was aware that most dogs do not carry handkerchiefs around with them, so I removed Mandy’s from her, put it in the hamper, pushed the clothes down to be sure they stayed out of reach and went on about our day.  About an hour later, I went back into the room for something and Mandy followed me, sailed back on the bed and began searching for the handkerchief I had taken away.

That moment was when I concluded that my dog is far less absent-minded than me.

Have a great day!

Nancy

 

Anyone’s Cat Missing a Life or Two?


Good morning everyone!

I think Mandy has stolen several lives from a cat of origins unknown.  Mandy is our husky basset hound mix and our scavenger extraordinaire.

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

Mandy Out for a Drive!

Over the years, she has eaten anything and everything from socks and handkerchiefs to medicated creams like Neosporin and been none the worse for wear, but yesterday she finally went too far.

When I got home yesterday,  I went inside to my normally enthusiastic greeting from both dogs.  Rounding the corner of the couch, my blood chilled (cue the screeching violin motif from Friday the 13th) when I saw:

golden-raisin-box

That most terrifying of sights, a large box of golden raisins, chewed open, with the plastic bag that contained the raisins therein lying empty beside it.

To the untutored individual, this scene would be banal.  However, I am blessed/cursed to know better than that.

 

Dog, eating, counter

My reprobate

 

Dogs can eat almost anything we can, but there are a few – very few – things we can’t share well. Chocolate is one of those. Dogs lack an enzyme needed to digest it properly.  I know this because I sat up with Mandy one night after she had scored an entire family size bag of peanut butter M & M’s and since what goes up must come down, you can guess what an exciting night we both had!

Another is grapes. Grapes release toxins into the blood stream of a dog that can cause kidney damage, apparently do other things to the hemoglobin in the blood and cause death in the right circumstances.  Raisins, of course, are dried grapes, which means that eating a box of raisins is eating grapes in quintuplet.

After a moment of panic, I threw both dogs and Kayla into the car, barreling at 80 miles an hour to the nearest after-hours pet emergency clinic, which was in Montgomery.

Mark met us there – he hadn’t been able to get home yet since traffic had been gridlocked.

How, you may ask, did we know that it was Mandy and not Darwin that ate the grapes?  We didn’t, which is why we brought both dogs.  Upon reaching the vet’s, we had to choose which dog to treat first. This guess mattered, because we were already well past the two-hour window that you normally have to empty a dog’s stomach of anything that shouldn’t be there.  We made an educated guess that Mandy was the only one of the two to have enough bravado to enter the pantry and pull out her very own personal snack.  Darwin would help eat something if it was readily accessible, but wouldn’t seek it out like that.  And when Mandy goes to that kind of trouble to get a snack, she will not be sharing.

The decision made, we handed Mandy to the vet tech and off trotted my reprobate, tail wagging and looking like this was the outing of the century.

After the vet convinced the dog to empty her stomach, the vet tech came out to tell us that not only had we guessed right, but also they had been able to get almost all of it back up – because Mandy had eaten one of Kayla’s socks the day before, and it was slowing her digestion of a number of items, the grapes being one of them.  (The sock made its reappearance, apparently, sometime after the grapes.)  This may be the first time in recorded veterinary history that the consumption of one undesirable item by a dog saved its life after the consumption of a second, more toxic, undesirable item.

Mandy 1 for web

Mandy  coming home after the first Very Large Vet Bill.

Because Mandy is probably around 12, they have kept her overnight pumping fluids through her, and Mark is going to pick her up this afternoon after he pays a Very Large Vet Bill that dwarfs our last Very Large Vet Bill. Darwin believed it was right thoughty of us to include him in all of the excitement, and has done surprisingly well at home without Mandy, but you can tell he misses her, as do we all.

And on that happy note, I hope each of you have a great weekend!

Nancy

P.S.  I skipped a couple of steps between the discovery of the grapes and entering the car.  Accordingly, I’d like to thank my youngest sister for her help in getting a message to her friend, the vet, and her sympathetic support via text thereafter.  I’d also like to thank her friend, the vet, who did her best to help given that she was two states away and not where she could talk.  If I knew then what I know now, we would have provided immediate assistance to Mandy by giving her one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and then a second one fifteen minutes later.  Hind sight is, alas, 20-20.

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The Very Large Vet Bill


Good morning everyone!

Yesterday was quite wild at our house due to one of those unfortunate accidents that occur from time to time.  Mandy and Darwin were playing somewhere in the house or yard, and when the dust settled, we discovered that Mandy’s ear had torn open at the bottom and was bleeding profusely.  It is a fact of nature that such events always occur on Sundays when the local vet’s office, which I would have preferred to use, was closed.

Between the screams of the 13 year old vet-wanna-be who didn’t handle her first dog emergency very well, the lack of paper towels anywhere in the (*&^&%$#$*^&* house, the length of time it took to get Mandy’s ear to stop bleeding, one very anxious lab (Darwin) who was worried that he had hurt his sister so kept trying to poke his nose right into middle of the healing ring, and a wiggly, bleeding husky basset hound mix who did not understand why we had to bandage her head, and why we didn’t want her shaking it, I was longing for an afternoon somewhere at a resort pool with a waiter catering to my every need, including lots of frozen drinks with pink parasols.  This was especially true after I spent a good part of the morning holding Mandy down so Mark could bandage her at least four times.

Huskey Basset Hound, Cone

Mandy Waiting in the Car to Go Home

The first two times, we tried bandaging only the ear once we got the bleeding stopped.  Each of those bandages lasted 10 seconds and one head shake after which the bandage was gone and the ear was bleeding again.  The third time, we bandaged the ear and then bandaged the ear to her head.  That one lasted about 30 seconds and then she pawed at the bandage enough to release the ear, shake her head and commence bleeding again.   The fourth time, we bandaged the ear, bandaged the ear to her head and then wrapped gauze around the head until Mandy resembled a small, white Marley (as in Marley & Scrooge.)

After we finished bandaging her up for the fourth time, we decided one of us had to make the 20 minute run to the nearest Pet Smart so we could buy a cone to keep the dog from pawing her ear. I had a sneaking suspicion that we wouldn’t be able to home doctor our way out of this one, so I asked Mark and Kayla to take the dog  with them just in case.

Mandy in the Car after Surgery

Mandy in the Car after Surgery

When they got to the store, Mark left Kayla in the car with the dog while he went in to PetSmart to get the cone, but after about five minutes sitting in the parking lot, Mandy let loose yet another giant shake of her head, causing the bandage to fly off her head, and the bleeding to start again, with the added bonus of copious drops of blood spattered all over the car, the dog and the daughter in the process. Kayla took Mandy out of the car after that to go find Mark, with the two of them dripping blood all over the local PetSmart.  After that, Mark took Mandy to the vet at the back of the PetSmart store and left her there to get sewn up, which we found out would include general anesthesia, stitches, injected antibiotics and pain killers and medicine to take home, automatically ensuring a Very Large Vet Bill.  The people there were very nice, professional and helpful, though.

While Mark and Kayla were dealing with Mandy and PetSmart, I was at home trying to reassure the anxious labrador and cleaning the kitchen.

Once Mark and Kayla got home, we had about an hour and half, and then I needed to go back to pick up Mandy and pay the Very Large Vet Bill, run one more errand, pick up dinner and then head home while I tried to drive, talk with my daughter and keep the dog from banging the cone hard enough to bust her haute couture priced bandage job back open in less than an hour.

Mandy - the orange is a bandage, not a collar.

Mandy – the orange is a bandage, not a collar.

The vet’s bandage job has survived at least through this afternoon.  If we’re lucky and we can keep it dry and clean, it won’t need to be changed at all this week.  Mandy is very unhappy about the cone, but she will have to learn to live with it until she’s better.  We learned that lesson the hard way when Tyra’s tail got infected.

Have a great day! I’ll keep you updated.

Nancy

The Priesthood of the Disposal of Unwanted Critters


Good morning Everyone!

Have you every noticed how there are hierarchies all around us? A simple example is standing in line – The first person in line goes first, the second person gets to go next, etc.  And there are even a few of us who will, on occasion, step forward to correct a person who dares to challenge the hierarchy by cutting in line.  Such an event follows the principle of proportional palatability  – the chances of being corrected, and the violence used in said correction are directly proportional to the amount of time spent in line and the importance of the item the line is for.  The same chances are indirectly proportional to the palatability to the group psyche of someone barging in front of everyone else.

At our house, we have hierarchies too.  This morning the Priesthood of the Disposal of Unwanted Critters was called to action.

The first and foremost High Priest of the Disposal of Unwanted Critters is Mark.  If he is home, the hierarchy stops there.  I’m not sure where the rule is set out – in the United States Code, the Code of Alabama, the Eleventh Commandment, the United Nations Charter or the Code of Hammurabi – but somewhere it says that the male of the house shall remove all unwanted critters, dead or alive, from the household if he is at home.  It makes perfect sense to me and Kayla, although Mark may not agree.  Unfortunately, unwanted critters are notoriously inconsiderate, and they do appear when Mark is not around.

When it comes to killing and removing spiders and roaches, I become the High Priestess of the Unwanted Critter Department.  And I hate killing spiders and roaches – not because I think they deserve to live in peace, but because deep down I know that at any minute they can grow taller than a house and kill me along with all that I love or, even worse, actually fly (roach) or run (spider) on me.  I was over 40 before I ever killed either a roach or a spider – and that was only out of desperation because Kayla and I were alone.

As High Priestess, it is my privilege to delegate certain removal tasks, and Kayla is in charge of the Removal of Birds Killed by the Dogs.  We had such an incident this morning – I let Darwin and Mandy out, and they both shot over to the far corner of the deck, where I heard a scuffle that lasted about 1/2 second.  I called both of them back sharply.  Darwin arrived with a feather hanging from his lip (commonly known in criminal justice circles as a smoking gun), and Mandy trotted up afterwards.  The poor mocking-bird that had, alas, strayed from its normal habitat was lying on its back with its feet straight up in the classical dead bird pose.  Kayla showed up right afterwards, having heard the scuffle, and performed her duties as Head Acolyte competently and thoroughly.

I was kind of shivering with the willies, and asked her what we were going to do with the bird.  She kind of rolled her eyes, then told me to get her some paper towels.  Taking the paper towels, she gently lifted the bird and placed it in the dumpster, after not so gently admonishing both dogs about killing the bird.  Neither dog was particularly upset by being admonished, which is on par with most canine corrections that involve any member of the Priesthood besides Mark.  (And yes, for all grandmothers concerned who may read this, I did have her wash her hands extremely thoroughly after she came back in, paper towel or no.)

And that was the excitement at our house this morning!  Anything happen interesting at yours?

Have a great day!

Nancy

Meet Mr. Belvedere


Good morning Everyone!

Meet Mr. Belvedere, the latest addition to the growing list of buskeys (and buskey photos) people are kind enough to share with me.  Even better, Mr. Belvedere’s friend, Sara, has one of those rarest of photographs – a picture of a buskey as a puppy!

Puppy, basset hound, husky, buskey

Mr. Belvedere at 10 weeks old! Who can resist those puppy eyes?
Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Sara works at a shelter, and is responsible for temperament testing all of the shelter dogs, so she also had more training than many of us on managing a buskey.   Belvedere sings, howls and talks, and is very smart.  He likes to play a “find-it” game and food games with Sara that use the exceptional sense of smell he received from his basset hound forebears.

basset hound, huskey, buskey

Mr. Belvedere at Two Years Old
Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Belvedere is the first buskey I have “met” that is not, ummm, shall we say, vertically challenged.  Sara says he looks sort of like a basset hound on stilts, being long, tall and thin, with the loose skin around his neck and the long nose of a basset hound.  He also has the smelling acumen of a basset hound.

He is full of personality, another trait most buskeys share.  In addition to his vocal talents, he likes to play in the sprinkler and in water.  (Something I am not at all sure our Mandy would do – although I have seen her step and then sit in a bowl of ice water that we left on the porch once when we had to leave the dogs outdoors in the summer.  We did that several times that summer, and it took me forever to figure out how they managed to splash the water everywhere while we were gone!).

Mr. Belvedere also gets along very well with the other dogs in the household.  In this picture, he is napping with his brother.

Dogs, basset hound, husky, buskey

Mr. Belvedere and his brother together Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Sara had his DNA tested and it came back as 1/2 basset hound and 1/2 husky, with pure bred parents as far back as the DNA people could go.  

Sara has noticed, and been working with, a tendency to “resource” guard, which she believes comes from his husky half.  It’s good to know that he does that, because I have often been frustrated watching Mandy take a good 45 minutes to eat the same bowl of dog food that Darwin could scoff down in about 10.  She waits until everyone else (people included) are done eating in the morning before she starts.

Sara also wanted to share the following with anybody intending to intentionally create the buskey mix (or, for that matter, those of us who were just lucky enough to match up with one at a shelter somewhere.)  This is what she wrote:

He can be a bit of a husky with handling, somewhat sensitive. I have worked on this and resource guarding issues from the time he was a pup, and continue to this day. I mention this because I think it’s important for people to understand that both hounds and huskies are known to have resource guarding issues. Huskies are known to be difficult to handle in general. Crossing these two breeds makes for an amazing, funny, intelligent dog but positive training is essential, and they might not be for the first time dog owner.

As you may recall, one of the readily identifiable characteristics of every buskey I have encountered so far is a strong independence streak, which is why the positive training is needed.  We have noticed that streak in Mandy, also.  If you tell her “bad dog” about something, she looks at you thoughtfully, as if to say “that’s an interesting point of view,” then goes ahead and does what she wanted to do originally anyhow.

Mr. Belvedere, however, was lucky enough to find someone who knows how to train him – and I think Sara thinks she was pretty lucky, too!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Memories of a Sweet Dog


Hi Everyone!

I can still remember picking Tyra out at the Humane Society.  We had lost our first dog, Shadow, about a year before, and our other dog, Woof, didn’t like being alone, so we decided to see if we could find a second dog so she would have some company.  Woof didn’t like the shelter much; it was too noisy and loud, so we put her back in the car and returned.  (It was February 14, so the weather was not an issue.)  The first run we encountered had two dogs in it, and two placards with their names on them attached to the door.  One of them said “My name is Tyra, and I know how to sit!”  Mark looked at both dogs, said sit, and one of them, a pretty dog with black hair and white, brown and tan markings did.  (She rarely sat on command after that, but the one time in her life it counted, she certainly did!).  We asked the shelter volunteer if we could adopt her, and the attendant said, “I think that’s an excellent idea!”

Adopted Dog, Shelter, Homecoming

Tyra’s Second Day at Home

No matter how hard a kennel or shelter tries, dogs that reside there acquire the very potent “Eau de Dog” scent, so as soon as we got her home, we popped Tyra into a bathtub, and washed her. From then until the day that she died, that dog never put a foot onto the tile portion of a bathroom in any house we resided in. Apparently, we had inadvertently scarred her for life!

Every dog has a unique personality, and Tyra’s outstanding characteristic was her eagerness to please – not in the goofy, sloppy, wonderful way a lab does, as if his whole world revolves around that instant in time his owner asks him to do something , but in her own quiet, determined way.  She had been left at the kennel by her first family because they had a baby and no longer had time for her.   I always had the impression that she was determined that would never happen again.  Of course, she couldn’t know at first that our family has one firm rule about adoptions of any animal, canine or human – once you’re a member of the pack, you’re always a member of the pack – but I suspect she caught on after a while.

She adapted quickly and well, as this picture from that first summer show.

Dog, photograph, sleeping in the s

Tyra in the back yard in Montgomery

Even better, Woof regained the ability to sleep in the sun and be happy even when Mark and I weren’t in the yard.

Dog, Sleeping in the Sun, Old Dog

Woof in the Back Yard When Tyra was There

We didn’t know it at the time we adopted Tyra, but she was not going to be the only new member of our family that year. In mid-November, at long last, the people at the Alabama DHR told us that they had a child they would like us to consider taking in as a foster child, with hopes that we could adopt her eventually. By December 1, 2004, Kayla had come to live with us. Here is a picture of all five us right about then:

Family Photo

Family Photo

We all had new experiences to share that winter, including the dogs experiencing the joys of having a child on the floor with her Dad and a bunch of Lincoln Log train tracks.

Dogs, Child, Play

Train Tracks, Family and Paws

Kayla and Tyra bonded quickly.  It really helped Kayla understand what was going on with her when we could explain to her what happened to Tyra – and it helped Kayla trust us to keep loving her when she saw how we loved Tyra.

Kids, Dogs

Kayla and Big Dog

Sweet Kisses

Sweet Kisses

There are so many things that made her unique – like the fact that even when she was old and blind, she could hear you peel a banana from 50 yards away and arrive instantly to demand her fair share, or that the only time I ever knew her to intentionally go after another person or dog was when she thought one of us was threatened. She did it twice – once when she thought another dog was attacking Woof, and once when Kayla was four and answered the door when the doorbell rang, then screamed because she didn’t recognize the person there. That time, Tyra had four teenage boys treed on the trunk of their car in the few seconds it took Mark to fly from the back yard to the front door himself. I felt sorry for the boys – all they wanted were directions. Both times, there was not a mark on either the dog or the boys when all was said and done but she had made a believer out of all of them!

Her story here came to an end on March 22. We hadn’t really thought we were that close to the end, even though she was 14, but that weekend she simply couldn’t seem to lift herself up off our wooden floor or go down the stairs at all, so I dropped her off at the vet’s that day, afraid of what I would hear.  When the vet called me back, I think I knew what she was going to tell me before she said it.  Tyra’s back had many osteophytes on the spine that had grown to the point that they were impinging on her nerves. Dr. Mitchell explained that Tyra would be in constant, worsening pain from then on, and we made the only decision we could.

I am comforted by the thought that Tyra knew without a doubt that we loved her; Mark, Kayla and I all made it to the vet about 1/2 hour in advance so we could be with her, petting her and telling her how much we loved her, and then it was time.

I also expect that it was only seconds after leaving here that Tyra was with Shadow and Woof –  trying to help Woof explain to Shadow exactly what Mandy looks like.

Sleep well, sweet Tyra Belle.

Nancy

Riddle Me This!


Good morning Everyone!

Here’s a favorite family riddle:

WHAT’S BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER?

From Print Shop Professional 2.0
From Print Shop Professional 2.0

ANSWER:

 

 

 

 

Boo 1

BOO, ON SPAGHETTI NIGHT!

(Boo is one of Mandy’s nicknames.)

She looks very repentant when caught in the act, doesn’t she?

DSC_0614

Have a great day!

Nancy

Characteristics of a Buskey


Hi Everyone!

Meow0, who works over on the blog site Talented Tails, found the post last week with pictures of Mandy, Stella and Sawyer and wanted to know more about the buskey “breed,” so I thought I’d go over the characteristics all of you have helped me identify in buskeys that we have found so far.

1)  Geneology .  Buskeys are not an official breed, nor are they even an official mix like goldendoodles.  However, to classify as a buskey, a dog must have a basset hound and a husky as parents.

Basset Hound Husky dog

Mandy, The Quintessential Buskey

2)  What does a buskey look like?  A buskey has the long body and short legs of a basset hound, with hair about the length of a husky’s, and a beautiful curved fringed tail.  A buskey’s coloring is highly variable – so far, I’ve seen colors that range from typical husky colors (Mandy) to pure black.  Their eye color can range from two blue eyes, to one blue eye and one brown, to both brown.  Mandy’s eyes are enthralling – she has one blue and one brown eye, but if you look at the brown eye closely, you can see that even it has a patch of blue in it!

buskey, basset hound, Siberian Husky

Mandy – One Blue Eye, One Brown Eye

3) What does a buskey do?  Nothing it does not want to.  If you look at lists about how “trainable” dogs are, huskys (surprisingly) are close to the bottom of the list, and basset hounds (not surprisingly) even lower.  It’s not that they can’t learn to do things; it’s just that they’re only motivated to work on the things that interest them.  A buskey is highly independent.  Even when one is chastised for something, its nose never gets out of joint.  The buskey simply looks thoughtful for a minute, as if to say to the chastiser, “You have an interesting point of view” and then returns to doing whatever it was that got it into trouble in the first place.  Buskeys do love to run – and in spite of their short legs, they are amazingly fast.

Sawyer dives for something

Sawyer dives for something

4) What is a buskey’s temperament like?  A buskey has the most infectious joie de vivre of any dogs I have seen.  Imagine a dog that smiles all the time, much like a dolphin, and you have a good idea of the look on a buskey’s face 99% of the time.  The buskey I have, and the buskeys I have learned about are, without a doubt, the happiest, most content dogs the owners have ever had.  My Mandy, for example, is simply never in a bad mood.  Ever.  Unless you mess with her food bowl.

 

Bo, a black and white buskey, exhibiting the joie de vivre characteristic of the mix

Bo, a black and white buskey, exhibiting the joie de vivre characteristic of the mix

5)  Is there anything buskeys are exceptional at?  Yes.  Foraging.  Mandy grazes the counters and tables at my house regularly, unless we stop her.  Trash cans pose no obstacles to her, either.  I once spent $65 to buy a large kitchen trash can with a pedal and a self-closing lid to try to thwart her garbage foraging habit; she had it figured out in 30 seconds, and turned around to look at me, wag her tail and thank me for my thoughtfulness, since the self-closing lid was slower than the previous trashcan’s lid, so she had time to be more selective in the scraps she chose to pursue.  If there is an apocalypse, and Mandy and I survive it, I am following her to the nearest feeding ground.

Dog, eating, counter

6) Is the buskey a family dog?  In spite of its independent streak, yes, a buskey is a fabulous family dog, loving, sweet and happy.  They do well with children, and other dogs.  I have yet to encounter a buskey owner with a cat, so I’m not sure how they do with animals besides dogs.

buskeys, dogs

Tyra and Mandy Share a Walk

Mandy and Darwin confer

Mandy and Darwin confer

7) Where can I find a buskey?  Beats me.  Every single one I know of so far was adopted from a rescue shelter, so it appears to be pretty much luck of the draw.  If you ever see one, though, you’ll recognize it instantly.

Stella as a Puppy - the only buskey puppy picture I have!

Stella as a Puppy – the only buskey puppy picture I have!

8) Why bother writing about them in this blog?  It’s a basic consumer demand type thing – my first post on Siberian husky/basset hound mixes, which I used to highlight my Mandy, is one of my top 5 posts of all time – it gets viewed continually, and many people now are kind enough to tell me why they are looking and all of them either have or are considering getting a buskey.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Amnesia Anesthesia


Good morning Everyone!

Bibliophilic Friday will return next week with a discussion of Helen Hooven Santmyer’s And Ladies of the Club, one of my all time favorites, but today I wanted to share a couple of funny stories with you.

1) Anesthesia Amnesia

female dentist

A Trip to the Dentist
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Kayla has had the same dentist since she was 2, a wonderful woman she trusts.  Unfortunately, ever since she was about 7, she also has had to have a lot of teeth pulled.  So, while she doesn’t mind going to the dentist to get her teeth cleaned, she always is a little afraid that she is also going to learn that she has to have some more teeth pulled.

Last year, we found out that she needed to have four permanent teeth pulled out to make room for others, and the dentist recommended that we go to an oral surgeon so that everything could be done at once.  The other option was to stay with Dr. Miller, and go back twice.  Kayla instantly chose to go back to Dr. Miller.

The subject came up a couple of weeks ago, and Kayla started to share the story again.  Indignantly, Kayla said, “She was going to send me to someone else who would have given me amnesia!”  It was a few seconds before either Mark or I could stop laughing hard enough to explain that the correct word would have been anesthesia.

2) Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Tyra Running from the Rain Photo Credit: www.clickartonline.com

Tyra Running from the Rain
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Tyra also had a moment the other day.  Tyra hates to go out in the rain by herself.  She will happily go out on a leash with a human beside her, umbrella or no umbrella, but she does not do rain individually.  We have accidentally had all three dogs out in a downpour before; Mandy and Darwin come in soaking wet, but Tyra will be bone dry – even if all three of them never left the patio!

We have had a pleasant break from normal August weather, with the temperature getting down into the sixties at night and very low humidity, which means, of course, that the dew has fallen several nights.  The other morning, I let Tyra out and was talking her down the stairs.  When she reached the second stair from the porch to the back ground, a drop of water from the roof fell on her.  She immediately assumed that it was raining and started to turn back around.  It took all my urging to convince her that it wasn’t raining and to get her started back down the steps again!

3) Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Don't Worry; Be Happy! Photo Credit: www.clickartonline.com

Don’t Worry; Be Happy!
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Finally, we are always trying to encourage Kayla to dial down the drama she lends to every day ordinary events and I suppose somewhere along the way we have exposed her to the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  We were driving to Montgomery last weekend, and Mark was getting frustrated because the seat belt kept creeping up his shoulder until it hit his neck, starting to choke him.  I’ve been there and done that and it is extraordinarily annoying.  As he began to express his frustration, a voice came from the back of the car.  “Hey Dad!  Don’t worry; be happy.”  Of course, we all had to laugh again!

Have a great weekend!

Nancy