I have walked Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs around this neighborhood, on these same streets, down the same sidewalks for 23 years. Never, I repeat, never have any of them grabbed anything carbon based and fought for the right to own it.
Last night was the second time in Parks' Basset history that a Basset Hound did just that.
I decided to walk the dogs early while there was still light since I was going to be walking alone. We left the house around quarter to 5. The two dogs have decidedly different ideas about what a walk is. DiNozzo the Over Effusive thinks a walk should consist of racing between major smell groupings and squirrel sightings. And then there is the slow cat creep for when the squirrel sighting takes place in hopes of actually bagging a squirrel. His body is sleek and heavily muscled, his legs are strong, albeit short, and his chest is powerful. He is conformationally built to run all day in the field flushing rabbits for the overweight feudal lord.
Chloe the Smelly Basset feels a walk should be termed a "smell" and taken slowly and deliberately. When she finds something she wants to smell, she throws her long tricolored body to the ground on her side and stubbornly refuses to be placed upright. Her nose is strategically positioned to be right over the desired smelling area. This happens 18 to 36 times in a mile. Which is why people at home are so amazed when I take just DiNozzo for a walk and we arrive home in 15 minutes after a mile. Chloe is build much like DiNozzo, but a bit shorter. No less powerful and muscled. My vet shakes his head and laughs to himself when we attend an appointment with him. He says in his entire career, he has never seen Bassets with so much muscle base. He thought Chloe was an anomoly, but DiNozzo is leaner and even more muscular.
So we are walking, even though I would not even deign to call it walking what we were doing. And nearly three qurates of the way home. I look down and DiNozzo has a full size pigeon in his mouth. A DEAD pigeon in his mouth. Happy as all get out. Trotting his way home.
Just about the time I notice, Chloe notices too. All hell breaks loose. He is not willing to give up his bird, Chloe wants to steal his bird from him and make it hers, and I want the darned bird away from all of us.
This reminds me of the night I was walking Bonnie Doon and Dutch and Frank was walking Chloe. Bonnie Doon and Dutch walked perfectly together. Like angels, they were. Did everything right. All the time.
I hear a commotion and look back to see Chloe and Frank in a fight to the death over a squirrel that had been hit by a car, rolled over for a day and left to bake in the sun for the afternoon. At some point the squirrel frizbee flies out of the mix of bodies and the din settles. Both Chloe and Frank stood there panting and exhausted, but squirrelless.
Something similar happened with us. Only it was TWO dogs and me, fighting for possessin of a recently dead bird. All squishy and feathery. And yucky.
Somehow, victorious, I realized I now owned the bird. I threw it as fast as I could, as far as I could. Which admittedly was not very far, because DiNozzo attempted to regain possession. I now had to drag two powerfully muscled, low center of gravity dogs who where fighting for their lives to get that bird. I made slow purchase, but step by slow heavy step, we put distance between us and that bird.
Fianlyy, when we were turned on to the next street, and the leashes relaxed a bit, I then thought about the locust incident.
Fortunately, collars were on correctly and securely. We made it home and I vowed NEVER to take both Bassets on a walk together at the same time, ever again.
glen: and I washed my hands about 30 times......