If I had my ‘druthers, I’d want a lazy, blue tick hound dog. I’d liketo sit in an old rocker on a wooden porch, shotgun over my knees, spitting tobacco juice off the porch without even turning my head with the old coon dog laying up beside me, swatting flies with his tail, twitching his ears when they bother him too much. If an old truck rumbles up wanting to trade possum skins, my old hound will sit up, lean his head back and let out a bay heard in the next county.
Yep, that’s what I’d wanted until I researched hound dogs and learned that with one shake of their heads they can sling slobber 20 to 30 feet. It was then I decided I didn’t have any use for a hound dog. I don’t even have a porch. Or tobacco.
I figured the next best thing to a coon dog was a Bassett Hound. I had my heart set on one of those. One day my niece and I went to the mall in the next big town. I parked at a store I never park near to enter. And lo and behold, just like it was meant to be, there was the Animal Rescue Society trying to adopt out their orphans. And just as if heaven arranged it, there was a Bassett Hound. The sweetest looking dog with the droopiest ears and the saddest eyes, and the waggiest tail, with the friendliest disposition. He pulled the person holding his leash towards us. It was destiny. The stars had aligned, the angels were singing, everything was perfect.
But I had my wits about me. The voice of my conscience told me I didn’t need another dog. I had Drew Miller. What if they didn’t get along? What if there was something bad wrong with this one?
While the voice of my niece begged, please, please auntie, please.
So I did what all great aunts do, I made a deal. Let’s go take care of our business, and if he’s still there when we leave, we’ll get him.
Normally Ashy is a shopaholic. Not this day. She was in the biggest dang hurry to get out of there. We walked to the exit, and as fate would have it, there was Copper the Bassett Hound still waiting on us.
I adopted the dog and he pulled me to the car, tail wagging. During the hour car ride home, he managed to get in the front seat and then he crawled in my lap. Aw, how sweet, I thought, until I couldn’t steer due to his enormous girth pressing against my belly and the steering wheel. I had to pull over to push him out of my lap. Ashy giggled from the backseat.
Copper turned out to be one of the worst dogs I have ever known. The most stubborn, bull-headed, tenacious, ill-mannered canine that has certainly ever crossed my threshold. If he could get out of the fence, he would. And he never looked back. The dog had no loyalty to me at all.
I found myself losing my temper more with this dog than I care to admit. I do not like to give dogs away, I believe if you have a dog, it is for better or worse. But Copper had to go. It was for his own good. After about a year, I found Copper a new home.
I gave Copper to a co-worker on a Friday. By Monday he had disappeared from there.
He was a dog of the open road. A Gypsy soul. A rambler. No strings to tie him down. No fences could cage him in.
Even though I hated his guts and lives, I hope wherever he is, he’s okay. Maybe he’s in Paris by now. Wearing French sunglasses and drinking vino at a bistro, ordering a’ la carte’ and eating a’ la’ mode, reading the paper wearing a beret. Perhaps someday I’ll receive a postcard, signed only with a paw print. I’ll consider it as a small thank you for rescuing him from a deadly fate.
C’est la vie!