I must admit, when I got Rosie, I had no idea what I was getting into. It was springtime, just a few days after Easter, as a matter of fact. My son had been wanting to adopt a dog for a long time. Finally, I caved. We already had one great dog, Joe. How much trouble could another one be? I was about to find out!
As a Kennel Technician at the local vet clinic in my tiny mountain village in Colorado, I knew the importance of there being good chemistry between dogs living in the same household. So, we loaded Joe up and away we went to the Second Chance Adoption Center. We would let Joe do the picking.
It took no time before Joe had his eyes on the most adorable, sad-eyed Bassett Hound ever. She was howling away until Joe came up and began to play with her. They ran around the grounds, chasing each other and having a blast. We had one more dog in the car on the drive home. Her name was Rosie.
When we got to the house, I opened the door and let the dogs in. By the time I got to the dining room, much to my chagrin, Rosie had helped herself to the Easter bunny cake I had on the table. I was not happy but one look into her sad, brown eyes and all was forgiven.
The next morning, I went to the vet clinic to feed, walk, and medicate the animals. That’s when I learned what Rosie didn’t like. She was not a fan of being left alone. She made sure I knew it by following her nose straight to the trash. She had eaten everything that could be eaten and shredded and scattered the rest.
Rosie required a lot of patience. But, she was getting better. She and Joe got along great and for that, I was thankful. When summer rolled around, it was time for us to go to Texas because we lived there in the summer at our lake house.
I had heard that Bassett Hounds can’t swim, but that turned out not to be true, at least where Rosie was concerned. She got right in the water and began to swim across the lake. Of course, I went and got her and brought her back to shore.
A couple was walking past and she took off after them. As it turned out, they had food and she was hot on their trail. That wasn’t the last time Rosie’s nose would get her into trouble.
I let the dogs out one day and ran back to grab something in the house. When I came back, Rosie was nowhere to be found. I searched all around the yard and discovered she had dug her way under the fence. Bassett Hounds are notorious for digging.
I scoured the streets, looking for her. Finally, I found her. She was bounding out of a travel trailer, a package of hot dogs clenched tightly in her jaws. A man was standing at the doorway of the trailer, cussing up a storm. Evidently, Rosie had nabbed his dinner.
Although Joe and Rosie were best of buddies, there was one problem – Rosie’s nose again. When I gave them bones, Joe would bury his to enjoy later. Rosie, being a hound, devoured hers right away. Why Joe thought he could hide a bone from a scent dog, I have no idea. No sooner would he bury it than she’d go sniff it out and dig it up.
Bassett Hounds have short legs but very long bodies so they can stretch to reach most anything…especially food! More than once I’ve been cooking a steak or pork chop on the skillet and left the room for a second, only to return to…an empty skillet. Never mind the meat was piping hot, Rosie couldn’t resist.
After all these years, Rosie still hates being left behind when I go somewhere. She spends the entire time looking for something to get into…something edible…like the treats on the countertop or anything else she can find.
No matter how much trouble Rosie gets into, all she has to do is look up with her big, sad eyes and it’s all water under the bridge. She is a sensitive soul, a very loving dog. Rosie’s biggest downfall is…her nose. It gets her into trouble every time.
One day, not so long ago, Rosie began to drop weight in a matter of days. She was throwing up sandy-looking vomit. We took her in to the vet clinic where she was diagnosed with diabetes. Now, at age seven, she takes two insulin shots a day and is on a very strict diet.
I have to watch Rosie even closer these days. Just yesterday, I was sitting outside, observing as she began to sniff out a trail. Intent, diligent, and downright stubborn, she sniffed up and down the yard until finally, she began to dig. I couldn’t imagine what it was she was digging so hard for until…finally…she pulled it up out of the ground. I looked at Joe and Joe looked at me. I shook my head. I should have known. It was Joe’s bone.
Rosie causes me to lose my sanity at times. She tries my patience every day. But in the midst of it all, she makes me laugh and smile as well.
It’s true… when I got Rosie, I had no idea what I was getting into. Had I read up on Bassett Hounds before I went to the shelter, I doubt I would have gotten one at all. They are stubborn, willful, and as mischievous as can be. They dig, bay, howl, and most suffer from extreme separation anxiety. Their uncanny sense of smell and their insatiable love for food get them into trouble, time after time.
But one look into those sad, brown eyes and I know…if I had it to do all over again, I don’t have to think twice about it. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.