The fractals are getting stale. My Fredonia pictures and writings are starting to make me feel like Grant Wood, so I thought I’d take a break and write about one of my other passions, rude disgusting pets.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the death of Toto. My wonderful companion of almost 20 years. Although Toto’s death has left a hole in my heart, we are in no danger of running out of pets. We still have 2 dogs and 3 cats left at home. What has happened is that the pack has shifted to make up for the loss of one of it’s own. Toto was all mine. Oh, he loved my husband and daughter, but I was his person. Where I went. He went. With his death, there is now a competition between our Basset Hound, Sid VanHalen, and our tom cat, Louis, cat to see who can replace Toto in my affections.

Don’t think that Sid being bigger and more aggressive than a mere cat would automatically win the contest. Don’t think, “Oh, but Bassets are so cute, funny, and lovable!” This may be true for some Bassets. It’s not always true of Sid. Our daughter has nicknamed him Basatrocious. He’s rude, smelly, and stupid. He gets a lot of mileage out of the way that he came into our lives.

In an earlier journal, I touched a little on how we got Sid. It was the night before my mother-in-law died. My husband and I came home from the hospital to get some rest and take care of the pets. We were walking the other dogs we had at at the time, Dorothy and Toto. Yes, I know I over did the whole Oz thing. I collect old Oz books and am from Kansas afterall. Anyway, out of the dark the skinniest Basset Hound in the world came running up to us. Sid was 22 lbs underweight and he had over 70 ticks on his body. He followed us home. Barking the whole way. Dorothy was not impressed. She was pack leader at the time and was just thinking about the extra work he would make for her!

The next morning, I called our vet and explained the situation. They said to bring him on down. I drove down Rio Grande Boulevard in Albuquerque with a Basset Hound sitting on my lap. He was alternately leaning on the horn and licking my face.

Finding Sid really got us through a tough time. He was a comical distraction during the preparations for my mother-in-laws funeral. My husband adores this dog. Because of poor nutrition as a puppy, he’ll never be the smartest Basset at the Waddle. And that’s saying something as Bassets weren’t bred for intelligence! We made two obedience classes with him and gave up. The trainer kept telling us how most Bassets were untrainable, and that if you watched dog shows, you would notice how few Bassets were shown. And they never won! Sid also developed a technique of yawning loudly and groaning while she was talking. Probably pay back for all of the insults, but it’s been over four years now and we’re still hooked on Sid VanHalen. He’s rude, smelly, crazy, and will eat anything with a food smell. He doesn’t differentiate between kibble, our food, or cardboard cereal boxes. Paper napkins are another favorite snack. I wash dog drool constantly off walls and furniture and have had to start a drool check of my clothing and shoes before I leave the house. I’ve stopped doing crunches at home because Sid lies across my stomach and licks my face as I try to exercise. Same thing if I do any yoga. He can also be really grumpy at times. We overlook that because of the neglect he suffered as a puppy.

As I write this, I’m thinking that inspite of his faults, Sid will probably become my animal. He can be horrible, but Louis is worse! How Louis and his damaged psyche came into our lives is a whole other journal entry.

Journal Comments

  • Vonney
  • Patricia L. Ballard