Warning, if you are not a Bloodhound person DO NOT read this blog post. But if you are a hound person, read on! This post is all about ears.
My Frankie is a prolific digger of holes. She loves digging. A hole to China? Give her an afternoon. I only wish I could harness that energy and direct it, maybe have her trench a line to lay cable or something. Alas, instead I find myself constantly leveling those holes so I don’t trip and injure myself.
But here’s the thing, there is NEVER enough dirt refill them! Where does that dirt go?
Specifically, her earth-caked right inner ear (though the left one gets filthy, too).
First official HOUND DOG EAR question: Why is her right ear ten times dirtier than the left? Does your Bloodhound have one “dirtier” ear?
Which brings me to my NEXT ear query… starting with eye goobers.
You know the eye goobers. Icky slicks of “sleepers” seeping down her snout. They’re not anything to be alarmed over, and I try to keep tissues handy at all times to gently wipe them away, BUT occasionally no tissues, shirt sleeve or napkin is available and I improvise. Specifically, I’ll take the ends of Frankie’s long, lovely, dangly Bloodhound ears and wipe away the eye goober.
Yes, I’m a little grossed out by my actions, but I’d like to know if any other Bloodhound owners improvise in the absence of a tissue.
Finally, when your Bloodhound is sleeping, do you sometimes tip toe over and flip back her ear for better air circulation in there?
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.
Back 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.
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.
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?
My Bloodhound ate my bra. Chewed a hole right through it. Luckily, the hole is at the top of the right cup, and the bra is still wearable. (What was she thinking? Nylon smells nothing like dog cookies!). The point is, this used to be my BEST bra. It wasn’t my usual outlet-mall-discount-rack-$5.99 special. I shelled out serious money to buy it: A super-converter bra, strapless, backless, cross-back. All equally supportive thanks to its advanced architecture, underwire, and the little rubber skin grippers that may have been engineered by NASA and used on the Mars Rover. This is a seriously great bra. You wouldn’t even think hey, she’s wearing a bra in this picture.
And then I FOOLISHLY put it in the laundry basket…
Where the hound dog seized upon it one rainy afternoon…
Darn it! But I’m not tossing the bra (yet). I paid too much. Plus, what are the chances of finding a second one just like it? Shoot, I’d even settle for something similar. In the meantime, fixing the hole in is an option. Wearing tissue-thin T’s over a Franken-bra is not. My black James Perse razor-back is out of the question.
So I’m thinking layering… I’m thinking sweaters… and fabrics that don’t require perfectly smooth cups beneath… I’m thinking of the outlet mall. Because maybe, just maybe, I’ll get lucky and find a Super-Bra in my size, one that will NEVER EVER see the inside of a laundry basket, or the jaws of a bored Bloodhound.
Like many bloggers, in the closing days of this year, I am reflecting back on the months. Successes, disappointments, frustrations, and a lot of laughter, too. It’s all there. But I was also tried to recall a single moment that really stood out from the rest.
There was that ONE moment.
My memory jogged back to the T-mobile store a couple months ago, and I shuddered.
As the sales guy wrestled my phone open to replace my fried SIM card, a shower of dog hair floated from the phone’s guts to the countertop.
How does dog hair get INSIDE my phone? Does she secretly make calls on it late at night? In that moment, I felt my face burning. Dog hair? Inside my phone?Who has dog hair inside their phone?
I do, apparently.
The embarrassment was quickly followed by surrender. I own a Bloodhound. I’m with her almost all day, every day… so now there’s dog hair covering this man’s work station. Apologize profusely.
Still, as I cast about for a MOMENT, why did this one come to mind first? I don’t have an answer, but…
1. This moment wasn’t symbolic of this year. ( I hope not!)
2. This will never happen again (because I will slide the cover off myself and blow out the dog hair before I return to T-mobile).
3. If I worked there, fixing people’s cell phones all day long, I wonder where dog fur would rate on the scale of gross phone moments?
PS- In Frankie’s book, the Wisdom of the Buddhist Bloodhound, there’s no mention of Smartphones, but plenty of humor.
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?
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.
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!
I didn’t know there was a danger. Not a clue. One day we’re a normal household of dominant married couple with a docile Bloodhound, the next everything flipped. I blame Star Wars.
The first sign was pretty clear. My husband and I left Frankie, locked in the kitchen using a baby gate, for a couple hours. We’re good dog parents. She had water, food, toys, chewies and a comfy bed. When we returned, our home had sustained some damage… But before we could scold our wayward canine, a message overcame all thoughts in our minds. “This is not the Bloodhound you seek. She did not chew through the baby gate, get trapped in the living room and pee on the carpet. It was another dog.”
Obviously, our dog is a Jedi Master with incredible powers. Another example of her control, on our daily walks I know the names of all the neighborhood dogs (Andy, Lucky, Logan, Blue, Riley, Spot and Dusty), but I rarely remember their owners. Humans just don’t seem important anymore.
Then there’s the feeding schedule. My husband and I are slaves to it. There’s breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks between walks, pees… and sometimes for no reason at all. Occasionally there’s the double feed. After I feed Frankie, she will often use the Dog Force on my poor husband. “There wasn’t any kibble in this bowl. You will fill the bowl now. You live to fill the bowl. Burp!” Obi-Wan Kenobi had no idea what he was unleashing on us!
So, does your Bloodhound or dog have similar powers? I’d love to hear from you. If I don’t reply to your responses right away, it’s because I have an overwhelming urge to feed the dog a third lunch and rub her belly for an hour.
Jamie Brazil is a contemporary fiction author. Her comedic romance novel, Prince Charming, Inc., is a Night Owl Romance “Top Pick.”