May 20, 2009

How Can One Tell When A Basset Hound Is Peeing?

the length of a basset

We have two new clients for the next 10 days. They are Rufus, a youthful Basset Hound, and Riley, an older Beagle. I met them today and we went for a walk.

Let me rephrase that. We went for a sniff. These two guys are all about their noses. They pulled us in every direction as we moseyed down a new trail (well, new to me) and stuck their noses deep into the grass for what seemed like hours.

I get the importance of smelling, but wow, these guys are champs at it!  Combined with their low-to-the-ground stature, pulling us this way and that turned out to be the game of the day.  Finally, Gretchen figured out to use the treats she carries to urge them on and that worked like a charm. In fact, once she pulled out the treats, all the noses were focused on her. It was kind of funny.

"I think she keeps those treats in her backpack."
"I think she keeps those treats in her backpack."
"Or maybe they were right here."
"Or maybe they were right here."

Rufus was the most persistent, though once Riley figured out that Gretchen held the treats in her hand, well, he became equally persistent.

"Ruf! This way. Be a good detective."
"Ruf! This way. Be a good detective."
"As I suspected!"
"As I suspected! They are right here!"

Well, once they figured it all out, they kept a close eye on Gretchen. A very close eye.

"How does the dispenser work?"
"How does the treat dispenser work, Rubin?"

Walking down the path then became a game of moving a few feet and checking in with Gretchen to see if we’d gone far enough to merit a treat.

"I've gone a whole length of my body!"
"I've walked the whole length of my body!"
"Does she respond to a sad and pensive face?"
"Does she respond to a sad and pensive face?"

I tried to tell them that if they expected the treats, they’d never get one so the trick was to ignore her, keep walking forward, and the treats would rain from heaven.

They didn’t listen.

"Does happy and gleeful get us a treat?"
"Does happy and gleeful get us a treat?"
"What if I run and do tricks with my ears?"
"What if I run and do tricks with my ears?"

Guys, you gotta listen to me. Walk right by my side and you’ll see. Like pennies from heaven.

"Okay, I'm walking, I'm walking. Where are they? Where are they?"
"Okay, I'm walking, I'm walking. Where are they? Where are they?"
"I'm not as fast, but I'm walking. Look at me walking!"
"I'm not as fast, but I'm walking. Look at me walking!"

And just as I told them, the treats rained down.  After that, Rufus and Riley were thrilled to walk with us and so we wandered off the trail and up onto the grassy knoll just as the sun came through the clouds.

"Just keep following her, Rufus. She's the keeper of all things good!"
"Just keep following her, Rufus. She's the keeper of all things good!"
"Here come the treats!"
"Here come the treats!"

Oh, what’s the answer to today’s question? A Basset Hound is peeing when he stops in the tall grass, pauses, and tilts his nose a bit higher than normal. The leg might lifts, but you’d be hard pressed to see it.  Look for the nose. That seems to be the hound way.
Next up, Oshi and Perrito. Though I should tell you that Monty and I had a nice long walk first thing in the morning, but Monty’s story will come later.  Just wait.

We’ve been playing at the little field of late and Perrito asked specifically if we could go there today. Last night we had some nasty, nasty weather — thunder, lightning, rain like you wouldn’t believe — and Perrito was ready to stretch his legs in the sun.  Of course, he doesn’t really stretch his legs until I run and then he chases after me like he’s trying to herd me into a corner. When I first take off after a ball, I have to watch my step because Perrito is usually underneath me.

"I've got you just where I want you!"
"I've got you just where I want you!"
"I said I wanted you to go this way!"
"I said I wanted you to go this way!"

Perrito was particularly happy today because he finally got clearance from the doctor to run free without the helmet on his head.

"Did you notice? Not lampshade, Rubin!"
"Did you notice? Not lampshade, Rubin!"

Oshi didn’t seem to care one way or the other.  He was just happy to be outside with us. Well actually, he’s happiest when he’s peeing and then kicking up his feet to let everyone know how much he likes to pee.

Pee first...
Pee first...
...then kick
...then kick

While we were playing, Nell’s mom came by. Nell is an older black lab who can’t go on the long walks like she used to, but her mom still goes and so we got to visit with her a bit. She’s very nice.

"I know you! You're Nell's mom!"
"I know you! You're Nell's mom!"

After we played awhile, I hung out in the shade with Oshi. He likes the shade. I just like when there IS shade!

shade time
"I love it in the shade. Don't you Rubin?"

And Perrito posed for the camera…

"I look pretty good without my helmet on!"
"I look pretty good without my helmet on!"

I was pretty tired after all my exercise, so Gretchen let me rest at home while she took Monty to meet Gerta. Monty loves the girls. I mean, he LOVES the girls, but Gretchen learned something new about Monty today.  He loves small girls.  Gerta is anything but small!

"What I lack in petite, I make up for in cuteness!"
"What I lack in petite, I make up for in cute!"

Don’t get me wrong. Apparently Monty and Gerta got along just fine, but Monty didn’t do his little happy dance like he does when he meets small girl dogs.  He kept his distance from Gerta, though she did everything she could think of to get close to him.

"Hey big fella! I love it when you toss your ears back!"
"Hey big fella! I love it when you toss your ears back!"

Of course, it was warm by the time they went walking, so maybe Monty was just tired. He needs to see these photos because in my opinion, they make a nice couple.

"Nice flower, uh Monty?"
"Nice flowers, huh Monty?"
"Is it okay if I smell you Gerta? I'm a canine historian and I need to get your story, okay?"
"Is it okay if I smell you Gerta? I'm a canine historian and I need to get your story, okay?"
"Anything you need, big fella. I'm all yours!"
"Anything you need, big fella. I'm all yours!"

Gretchen said it was a bit of a struggle walking both of them. While Gerta is pretty good on the leash, sometimes she gets an idea in her head that the old lady up ahead or the man on the cell phone is a long lost friend and she pulls mightily. Monty, on the other hand is all over the place — a circular wanderer prancing at the end of his leash.  But even when he gets a bug-a-boo, he can pull too and the combination was a challenge at times for Gretchen today.  “If only I had a sled,” she told me.

"Did you see that, Gerta?"
"Did you see that, Gerta?"
"Sure did, Gert!  Let's see if we can pull Gretchen over there!"
"Sure did, Gert! Let's see if we can pull Gretchen over there!"

By the time Gerta got back home, she was mighty happy to have had a visit from both Gretchen and Monty.

"Thanks! That was fun!"
"Thanks! That was fun!"

And by the time Monty got home and we both got lunch (well, Monty got lunch and I finally ate my breakfast!). We were both happy and tired and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on the porch in the sun.  Did I tell you about that thunderstorm last night?  Well, if not, suffice it to say, the sunshine was a warm (yes warm!) welcome!

"Feels good, doesn't Monty?"
"Feels good, doesn't Monty?"
"Monty? Did you hear me?"
"Monty? Did you hear me?"
"Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!"
"Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!"

Though it may sound like this was the end of our day, it actually wasn’t. It was the end of a work day, but later in the afternoon we got one more walk with our friends Jessica and Quillette. No pictures — we were off the clock — but I’ve had a full day and I am ready for a nice, long nap so I shall save that story for another time!

Until tomorrow,

Rubin

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