Monday, July 7, 2008


Ah, the Fourth of July weekend.

As always, the Fourth of July weekend made me think of my old dog, Buster, who passed away a few years ago.

Yep. He used to love the Fourth of July.

Yeah, right, and he’d turn down a juicy steak and a belly rub.

I’m sure not many dogs are thrilled with bangs, pops, crackles, whistles and all of the other ear popping stuff that … especially …my neighborhood feels it has to detonate in order to properly celebrate our nation’s birth.

Buster sure wasn’t. He’d freak for the entire weekend and a few days before when diehard enthusiasts would prematurely shoot off their loads.

Shaddup, I’m talking about fireworks.

Anyway, it wasn’t that he was one of those little excitable yappy dogs. Buster was a basset, a breed known for their … well, shortness … and also for their calmness. They could usually sleep or eat through just about anything, except maybe a M80.

And bassets have other attributes, like an incredibly keen sense of smell, second only to bloodhounds and pregnant women; and jaw strength second only to pit bulls and gum-chewing little girls.

And though they are a gentle breed, when it came to food, Buster was a vicious beast, capable of a truly fearsome power beg. He was known to attack young toddlers bearing food by, tripping and snatching whatever kid-slimed mash of food was clutched in their grimy hands, looking to smear on anything non-Scotch-guarded.

Another thing that used to drive me nuts was when I was walking him and some kid would come running up, saying, “Hey look! It’s one of those hotdog dogs.”

Bassets are not the ‘hotdog’ dogs! The little ‘hotdog’ dogs are dachshunds, not bassets! Bassets are much larger … capable of squashing a dachshund with their aroma alone.

And they aren’t even related. Bassets were bred from bloodhounds in France hundreds of years ago. Dachshunds were bred from, well…, um…, hotdogs, of course.

When we were originally trying to decide what kind of dog to buy, I sold Sandy on the idea of bassets. I grew up with one, so based on first hand experience I knew that they are the friendliest dogs.

What I didn’t remember, or maybe it had been somehow erased, was the stink. Hound dogs can build up a stench until it literally becomes a physical presence.

Not that that was a bad thing. Little blocks of basset stink come in handy for a number of practical things around the house like propping open doors, tripping burglars and it can be sliced up and used for mulch.

Well, anyway, I neglected to tell Sandy about what a hound dog smells like, a crime for which she continuously found me guilty. For example, Sandy and I were watching a DVD when Buster, who had been lying in deep slumber (one of the more frequent basset positions), was suddenly roused by the one molecule of popcorn smell that accidentally wandered near his nose.

He came nosing around, seeking to Hoover up whatever popcorn that tumbles down my shirt. And there’s usually a lot, because when I eat popcorn, the whole object is to stuff as much as I can into my mouth. While this efficient technique keeps me from having to continuously dip my hand in the bowl, it also created a surplus that Buster felt was his charge to remedy.

So he’d come sniffing around, his stench following at a discreet distance. Sandy’s attention would be on the movie … until the stench wafted near her … and then she’d growl, “Buster, YOU STINK!”

Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but she wasn’t yelling this to Buster. She’s looking right at me, because it’s my fault we didn’t buy a poodle which is a lot smarter and better smelling than a basset, primarily because, as we all know, poodles are really descended from steel wool.

Yeah, those fireworks sure bring back memories.


Fang Face (coming in 2009)

The Heat of the Moment

The Adventures of Guy … written by a guy (probably)

The Next Adventures of Guy … more wackiness

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