My History with Hounds

My heart goes out to my Facebook friends caught up in the tornado watches and extreme weather. One FB friend lives in Moore.  I’m happy to report her house and hounds are all safe.  So is she.  But it’s especially hard for me to watch the images on TV of injured people and animals coming out of the wreckage.

couch potatoBack in 2006 I lost my home and virtually all my possessions to a natural disaster. I kept a blog about my journey (since taken down), and someday I’ll share those posts again.  Just not now.  Strangely, reading all the tornado-related FB posts and comments doesn’t make me think of that time in my life. Instead, my thoughts were on the pets of those affected by the tornado.  And then I  started thinking about my pets, and my history with hounds.

So, I thought I’d share a bit about myself and my dogs.

My parents raised Chows.  Aloof protectors, I loved our dogs, but never felt that greater connection to a dog until I met Max.  Max, a Rhodesian Ridgeback-Pitbull cross, technically belonged to the neighbors, but for several years he spent 40+ hours a week at our place.  I was devastated when he passed away on May 5th of 2008.  (We’d just moved back in months earlier.)

Upon reflection, I think I may have rushed into my next dog, Frankie.  I adopted her on June 16th of that same year.  I’d always loved Bloodhounds, read up on the breed, and was absolutely certain I knew what I was getting into with a hound.

Ummm, no.  No one is ever prepared for their first Bloodhound.

regal hound At that time, all I knew was that I wanted the opposite personality of Max, because no dog could ever replace him, and I didn’t want to be reminded of traits I missed so much.

Boy-oh-boy did I ever adopt the total opposite personality!

Max: loyal, prey-driven, obedient to a fault, learned commands quickly. Almost never on leash, even out in the brush where I couldn’t see him. Yet I’d call and he’d be bounding through the underbrush to return immediately.

Frankie: Where’s my dinner?

Frankie is my first Bloodhound.  In my childhood, my Bloodhound was a stuffed toy I cherished. Sometimes I call Frankie my “starter hound”… because eventually I’ll adopt another.  She’s a smallish 85-pound hound with a busted tail.  The tail didn’t happen on my watch. I adopted her at 2 (?) years old, and 65 pounds, from a Lab rescue where she and the other dogs were fed once a day.  These folks did the best they could and I am grateful.

Frankie came with a lot of issues, which is why she is a one-and-only hound. Her biggest issue is, of course, food!  If you’re a Bloodhound person reading this you’re probably laughing your head off thinking, what hound doesn’t have food issues?  (*SIGH* You’re right!)

Anyway, she FREAKS OUT on other dogs who happen to be around food.  Any food. Otherwise she plays well, just as long as treats aren’t involved.  This limits socialization, but not group walks or training.

On training: she’s stubborn.  I’ve tried obedience.  The entire class cracked up with laughter as Frankie became more and more determined to not do anything I asked her.  For example, it took three of us, me the trainer and the trainer’s assistant to get her to lay down.  Me pushing her shoulders down and the other two easing her front paws forward.  Frankie tensed her entire body, like a steel tripod, refusing to cooperate.

And yet…

At home, relaxed, she’s pretty good with commands. Right up until she decides not to do something.  I’ll give her a command (“sit!”) and she’ll crane her head up, bat those beautiful eyes, and ignore me.  It’s like she’s saying, I know exactly what you’re asking me to do and I’m not doing it.

I might even get a little tail wag with that “no.” So there!

She’s a gentle girl who worships, and fears, cats. She’ll get spooked by litter floating in the breeze, but she’s fine around gunshots. She’s always on leash except when she’s in a fenced area or inside.  Her brain seems to be 98% in her nose. Doorbells drive her bananas. And sometimes, when I look in those gorgeous brown eyes of her, I’d swear she is my grandmother reincarnated.

Maybe that sounds a little kooky and I shouldn’t have shared that here, but what the heck. I really do think she is my mom’s mom returned.

So I’ll end this post on a question: do you think our loved ones can reincarnate as our pets?

The Wisdom of the Buddhist Bloodhound
This book is a humorous introduction to the basics of Buddhism according to Frankie the Bloodhound – debut author, kitty enthusiast, and seeker of higher thought. She has compressed thousands of years of spirituality into 39 nuggets of wisdom in this unique canine interpretation of enlightenment that will delight dog lovers as well as readers on the trail to greater awareness.
Only 99 cents on Amazon!






Bloodhounds and Buddhism?

The Wisdom of the Buddhist Bloodhound This is me and my husband having fun on Kindle… with our dog.  Introducing THE WISDOM OF THE BUDDHIST BLOODHOUND featuring our very own Frankie Rose. Not only is she incredibly photogenic, but just look at that face.  You can tell there’s a lot of deep thought going on between those oh-so-long ears!

This book is a humorous introduction to the basics of Buddhism according to Frankie the Bloodhound – debut author, kitty enthusiast, and seeker of higher thought. She has compressed thousands of years of spirituality into 39 nuggets of wisdom (with full-color photos) in this unique canine interpretation of enlightenment that will delight dog lovers as well as readers on the trail to greater awareness.

Who would have guessed that the high-strung Bloodhound we adopted four years ago off Craigslist would make her literary debut on Amazon?


Walmart and the Eightfold Path

My husband and I had a big fight in the parking lot of Walmart. Over a garbage can. He wasn’t my husband back then. We’d only just moved in together (2001) and in the process of “nesting” I busied myself with vanquishing his bachelor ways. As a newly-minted couple, this was our first big blowout. I’d crossed the line when it came to the kitchen garbage can.

Years later, that very garbage can rears its ugly head… in a book my husband is writing about Buddhism. I’m trying very hard to lead a more aware and enlightened life, so editing the final draft I’ve had a chance to reflect. Some aspects of Buddhism come naturally, others I need to keep working on.

Example of Wrong Action:

During a garage sale last summer a neighbor racked up $25 worth of bargains and promised to pay me later that day. You can guess how that turned out. Not a dime. Seven months later, my keen sense of dog poo timing means every time I take my Bloodhound out for a walk she somehow manages to “lay timber” in this neighbor’s yard… where I’ve NEVER picked it up.

Example of Right Action:

Coming home from a Portland Trailblazer’s game I got on the wrong train. I wound up heading in the wrong direction, changed trains, and somehow found myself STILL on the wrong train and heading to the airport late at night. By now, the once fan-packed cars were empty. Except for me. And a young Hispanic guy who was bleeding.

A lot.

His knuckles were a crisscross of open wounds. He sat directly across from me and stared. I wanted to say something, but really, what could I say? I felt a little scared, too. He looked angry. I finally thought of something I could do to help him.

My friends tease me about being such a girl scout, prepared for anything. In my wallet I carry a half dozen bandages and some first aid cream. Digging through the folds of my wallet, I fished out my medical supplies. I leaned forward, held out everything I had and asked him if he needed help. What happened next surprised me. His eyes filled with tears and he hurried off the train at the next stop. Not a word spoken.

Compassion came naturally to me that night and it doesn’t in other situations. Like with dog poo. Logically, I know I need to cut out this passive aggressive Sh%^ (literally!) and stop judging the neighbor, but as I edit the pages of my husband’s book I’m left wondering if a fight over a garbage can in the parking lot of Walmart was what actually set me on the path to enlightenment… as slow and gradual as it might be!

Jamie Brazil is the author of the contemporary romance, Prince Charming, Inc. and a coming-of-age novel, The Mayan Sisterhood.