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basset hound

Rosie: Dominating the Dog Park

I live in a dog-friendly complex. A group of resident – including Rosie and me – regularly hang out in the center courtyard and let our dogs play. There’s nothing like the sound of a basset bark or watching Rosie try to keep up with the other dogs with her stubby legs. When they run in circles, she always takes the inside track.

Rosie and the Rope Toy - Trooping Home

Rosie and the Rope Toy – Trooping Home

Often when someone brings a dog toy to these gatherings, it becomes communally owned, and at the end of the play session, it will be left on the grass for other dogs to play with. The same is true for big sticks we find near and around the complex.

Rosie doesn’t care for dog toys except sticks and ice cubes. She loves to chew on these. Besides giving them a cursory sniff, she generally ignores tennis balls, Frisbees, and the like. I was surprised to see her pick up a rope toy the other day during our morning walk. She scooped it up and triumphantly trotted home with it in her mouth where she promptly dropped it on one of her beds and left it there for the rest of the day.

That afternoon, I grabbed the toy as we headed out for her afternoon stroll, and I tossed it back into the grass. Rosie didn’t seem phased by this. She ignored the toy and took herself on a smell tour of the area, until it was time to head back into the house. As she crossed the lawn, she picked up the toy nonchalantly and carried it back to our condo again – where she dropped it on our doorstep.

She doesn’t play with this toy. She doesn’t chew on it. She just brings it home and drops it – almost every time we go out for the last five days. Does she do this to flaunt her dominance over the other dogs? She may not be able to keep it up with them when it comes to running, but she can control their rope toy.

Rosie’s such a funny dog. Follow her on Instagram to see more of her adventures.

Paying it Forward to the Hounds

I adopted Rosie from the Arizona Basset Hound Rescue in 2012. Having this dog completely changed my life. I am beyond grateful to this rescue organization for saving her. Now we’re paying it forward to other hounds.

Rosie and I at the AZBHR Picnic 2014

Ruth and Rosie at the AZBHR Picnic – October 2014

Before they rescued her, Rosie was in rough shape. She had neglectful owners who didn’t notice that she had growths in her mouth that had to be surgically removed. I doubt they ever trimmed her nails because they got so long they curled under and were digging into the pads of her paws. Somewhere along the way, someone or something took a notch out of one of her floppy ears. How could anyone treat this dog so badly?

The Rescue got her out of that situation, provided the medical care she needed, and placed her with a foster family who showered her with love. I remember the day of our meet and greet. I took one look at Rosie and thought, “We’re done. That’s my dog.” It was love at first sight.

The Arizona Basset Hound Rescue cares for and places dozens of dogs every year. They even have “Angel Hounds” that are on adoptable due to medical reasons or other issues, but that the Rescue places with a foster family and cares for them for the rest of their lives.

Pirate Pup - March 2015

Pirate Pup – March 2015

I’m so grateful to this organization for taking care of Rosie, and I feel lucky that I haven’t had to flinch any time she’s needed medical attention. She’s been a bit of million dollar dog with a getting valley fever in 2013 and then glaucoma last year. I’m fortunate to be in a position that I can provide for all of her needs.  I feel that it’s the least we can do to help this Rescue care for other dogs in the same way.

Rosie and I will be walking with the Arizona Basset Hound Rescue in the Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 12th to raise money for this organization. The rescue calls this event Waddle O’ the Green. This name is perfect because basset hounds’ spines are so long that their butts sway back and forth when they walk. One of Rosie’s nicknames is “Waddles.” We are well on our way to reaching our fundraising goal, and we would love it if everybody in our extended circle of loved ones could contribute to this cause.

Rosie has brought so much joy to my and other people’s lives. I feel this is the least we can do to pay it forward to the next hound that needs rescuing.

Because I Said I Would

Rosie's Dog Beach

Rosie’s Dog Beach

Happy Puppy by the Sea

Happy Puppy

Earlier this year, Rosie’s lost an eye to glaucoma. When the vet told me that it was only a matter of time before she went completely blind, I decided to make sure her life is awesome. I’ve always wanted to take Rosie to the beach and see how she reacts to the crashing waves. Now that the weather is getting cooler, I started looking for off-leash dog beaches in southern California. When I discovered Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach, I took that as a sign and made a reservation at a dog-friendly hotel to celebrate her upcoming birthday. (My baby girl is turning 8 this month.)

Rosie and I spent two days at Rosie’s Dog Beach and she loved it. She loved laying on the sand and walking up to strangers to request pets and belly rubs. She wasn’t too keen on the water at first. I think the crashing of the waves scared her a bit, and there’s was so way she was going to go swimming like some of the other dogs. By the end of the second day, she was happily running along the water’s edge with my friends’ dog and didn’t seem too upset when incoming waves brushed her paws and undercarriage.

Long Beach is a remarkably dog-friendly city. Several businesses on 2nd Street had water bowls next to their doors and many restaurants had dog-friendly patios. One restaurant, The Attic, even had a dog menu so Rosie enjoyed some sliced sausage while I had a veggie burger. We also stopped by Pussy and Pooch where Rosie was treated to a birthday paw bowl of duck with pumpkin sauce and chia seeds.

Sleepy Puppy

Sleepy Puppy

The main downside of Long Beach is its lack of parking. Rosie was so tired from playing at the beach that I put her in her utility wagon and pulled her the three blocks to Eggs Etc. from our parking spot because she seemed too tired to walk. (She had the spring back in her step after downing two bowls of water, resting at my feet, and eating the bacon from my combo meal.)

This was a wonderful trip to give Rosie. Every night when we got back to our room, she fell into her bed for a long deep sleep after the day’s excitement. (Yes, I brought her big plushy bed with us. I swear traveling with a dog requires almost as much stuff as traveling with a toddler.) It was so cute to watch her crash out after having so many adventures.

Rosie’s Schedule is My Schedule

Rosie my Beautiful Pirate Pup

Rosie my Beautiful Pirate Pup

For those of you who haven’t been following recent events, my basset hound Rosie was recently diagnosed with glaucoma in her right eye. Apparently it’s a common problem for this breed, particularly female bassets around age 6 or 7. (Rosie turned 7 in October.) When we couldn’t get the pressure in that eye to go down, we were forced to surgically remove it. She had already gone permanently blind in that eye so the surgery eliminated the pain caused by the glaucoma.

The surgery was a success and now I am the proud owner of a “Pirate Pup” as I like to call her. She’s been doing great since the stitches came out last week. Now that we’ve taken care of her right eye, our focus has shifted to making sure she maintains the vision in her left eye as long as possible.

Rosie is currently on 4 different eye drops. Two of them are available as a combination drug so we will be dropping down to 3 medications soon. Three of Rosie’s medications have to be administered every 8 hours. The other medication is a little more complicated – she has to get it every 12 hours, the second dose of the day has to be given by 6pm (according to her doctor glaucoma attacks are most likely to hit between 6pm and 10pm), and it has to be stored in the refrigerator. She also has an emergency glycerin kit. If she ever goes completely blind, I have to mix 50mL of glycerin with milk and pour it down her throat.

Footnote for my fellow science geeks: Potassium permanganate (KMnO4) + Gylcerin = Spontaneous purple flames. Neat Stuff!

So now Rosie’s schedule is my schedule. It’s pretty easy to stick to her medication schedule on the day she comes to work with me but I have obligations where she can’t come with me so for now she has morning medications at 6am and 8am before I head off to work, and then she gets medications at 4pm, by 6pm, and before I go to bed. If I ever want to go to bed early, I’ll have to set an alarm to wake me up at midnight for her last doses.

Did I mention each eye drop has to be given at least five minutes apart? Otherwise each medication won’t be absorbed properly. Lucky for me, Rosie is much better about getting eye drops than taking pills.

From what I can tell, this is going to be our schedule for the rest of her life or until better medication comes out or she loses the vision in her left eye. It’s an adjustment but I’m ok with that. I think we’re all on board with the program of making sure she can see for as long as possible.

Ruth & Rosie – 2 Years and Counting

Rosie and I have officially been together for two years. In some ways it feels like longer and in some ways it feels like I just got her from the Arizona Basset Hound Rescue.

Rosie's First Thanksgiving - November 2013

Rosie’s First Thanksgiving – November 2013

My life is completely changed because of her. If you want to get to know your neighbors, get a dog and take a walk every day. Rosie and I have walked over 1,000 miles together and I know way more people in my neighborhood as a result. We only skip a day if she’s sick, the weather’s really bad, or she’s at the kennel. I think it’s so cute that some people only know me as “Rosie’s Mom.”

We had a lot of adventures this last year. One that wasn’t so fun was valley fever. I was tickled to learn that the doggy pharmacy delivers but not the human one. Thank goodness I figured out early on that she’ll eat anything off a spoon with peanut butter on it. Shoving those pills down her throat was not fun for either of us. We recently got the good news that her titer is staying low without outside intervention.

Rosie’s always gone to work with me, so when I decided to get an official office space, one of my requirements was that Rosie had to be able to come to work. Thankfully we found a great space that we share with a handful of other lawyers. They’re so cute when they pop by my office to say hi to me, when really they’re there to pet Rosie. I had to get a baby gate to make sure she stays contained which is hilarious given how un-maternal I am; and yet, now I own and can operate a baby gate. My clients love her.

Rosie Snoozin' at the Office - March 2014

Rosie Snoozin’ at the Office – March 2014

Rosie’s become quite the car traveler, complete with her own car harness and back seat cover. We went on a big road trip last year, but I don’t think that will become the norm for us. We try to hit the dog park at least once a week. It’s adorable watching her try to keep up with the big dogs. If they’re running in a circle, she’ll take the inside track. And man can she bark. I have one of the loudest dogs at the dog park.

Rosie Watching "Dog TV" - November 2013

Rosie Watching “Dog TV” – November 2013

Did I mention my dog is a ninja? She wears four tags on her collar so she typically jingles when she walks, but if there’s something she wants – like to get on the couch or to snag a bite of something at the edge of the table, she can jump up without making a sound. When you see the evidence of her wrongdoing and look at her accusingly, she gives you this look that says, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

I love my baby girl. At six, sometimes I think she’s starting to show her age, but that’s hard to tell given how mellow bassets are in general. She definitely lets me know she can still run and frolic with the best of them . . . when she feels like it.

Ruth & Rosie – 1 Year Later

I’ve officially had my rescue basset hound Rosie for a year! I love my dog.

Pet me pleaseAnd can I just say that I won the dog lottery when I got this creature? She’s so sweet, well-behaved, and just a good dog. Her worst habit, which I find endearing, is the fact that she howls when the phone rings. When she wants attention and you’re sitting down, she walks up to you and puts her head on your knee or the chair – whichever her head can reach.

She’s a basset, so she’s a bit stubborn by nature. When we go walking, she’s not an alpha dog, so she doesn’t like it when people or other dogs are walking behind her. She just plops her butt down and waits for you to come to her, hopefully give her attention, and then follow you after you pass. At 60 pounds, she’s quite an anchor when she wants to be.

I’ve tracked her likes and dislikes on Facebook this year. It’s been pretty fun to see what turns her crank:

  • Rosie Likes: rawhide bones, tennis balls, belly rubs, fish, beef, chicken, rice, apples, mango, pineapple, peanut butter & butternut squash.
  • Rosie Dislikes: squeaky toys, stuffed animals, strawberries, lemon, carrots, & celery.

Rosie BoneI love my baby girl. I nearly cry every time I have to travel and leave her at the kennel (or “camp” as I call it). I can’t sleep when she’s having medical issues – like when she got a lung infection. I was up every couple of hours to make sure she was breathing. Then there was the time I learned the hard way that she’s allergic to fabric softener. She was wheezing until I ripped the recently-washed sheet off her bed at 1:30 in the morning.

Did I mention Rosie’s smart? She knows she’s not allowed on the couch, so she doesn’t do it when I’m around, but occasionally I’ll find a throw pillow on the floor from when she knocked it off while finding a place to snuggle in. She also knows where the UPS Store keeps the dog treats and will help herself to one if the box isn’t kept out of her reach.

So here’s to my baby, Rose Louise Carter, and to many more years together.

Belly Rub Please

Adventures with Sick Rosie

It’s hard being a dog parent. When your baby gets sick, they can’t tell you how they feel. I feel helpless when she’s uncomfortable because I can’t fix it instantly. My rescue basset hound Rosie and I have been on rollercoaster with her health lately.

Rosie's Pills

Rosie’s Pills

A few weeks ago I came home and caught Rosie up on the couch (bad dog). When she jumped down and lay on the floor I noticed she was breathing kind of hard. That was odd because I didn’t think I surprised her that much. I let it go and went on with my day. About an hour later I checked on her and she was still breathing hard. That wasn’t normal so I called the vet and got her an appointment within the hour.

Rosie's Pills in Peanut Butter

Rosie’s Pills in Peanut Butter

The vet said her lungs and heart sounded good and she was oxygenating well so we decided on wait-and-see approach. She said to bring her back if she got worse or exhibited new symptoms – like lack of appetite. That night she wasn’t very hungry. I put her to bed with the thought, “Please still be alive in the morning.” The next morning she wouldn’t eat at all so we zipped back to the vet for a 7:30am appointment.

Rosie Eating her Pills in Peanut Butter

Rosie Eating her Pills in Peanut Butter

The x-rays showed systematic lung inflammation so we ran blood work. By the end of the next day, she was on a steroid, an antihistamine, and an antibiotic. This was Ruth and Rosie’s first joint adventure with pills. Let me tell you, she doesn’t like them. She put up a fight when I put them in the back of her mouth and held her jaws shut. It took three attempts to get them all down the first time. Thankfully one of my fellow dog parents recommended putting her pills in peanut butter. That fixed everything and it’s really cute to watch her lick peanut butter off the spoon.

The steroids make her really thirsty so instead of drinking a bowl of water every day, she’ll drink a bowl of water every 4 hours. All that liquid has to go somewhere and there have been a few accidents while I was out of the house and during the night. Thankfully she does it on the tile where it’s easy to clean.

Of course when you can’t breathe, you can’t go for walks so we had to stop walking completely for a few days and now we’re doing short walks every other day until she’s totally better and gets her stamina back. I’m sure her doggy friends miss her.

I noticed she was adjusting her blankets into a ball and laying her head on it sometimes. I thought that might have made her more comfortable to keep her head and spine in alignment. I tried to make things easier for her by adding a pillow to her bed. She pushed it out of her way and ignored it.

Rosie will be done with all of her meds this week, but there’s a chance she has valley fever. She tested low positive for it, which means she’s either had it or she just got it, and since she’s a rescue dog, I don’t know her full history. We’re going to re-test her white blood count when she’s off the antibiotics. If it’s still elevated, we’ll treat for valley fever.

It’s amazing how easily we fall in love with our pets and how heartbreaking it is when they hurt. I can’t wait for my baby to be well again.

Sleepy Rosie

Sleepy Rosie

I Got A Dog

I adopted a basset hound this year. Her name is Rosie. We’ll celebrate two months together this week. I never thought my landlords (aka parents) would agree to let me get a pet, and I was shocked when they said “Yes” after two years of prodding.

I adopted Rosie from the Arizona Basset Hound Rescue. After I passed my interview and my home inspection, they started sending me picture of prospective dogs, and to be honest, I wasn’t that enthused by Rosie when I first saw her. Her head looked too small for her body in her picture but she was the right age (four years old) and her foster parents lived close by so I agreed to do a meet and greet. I knew within minutes of seeing her that she was my dog.

I was so nervous about becoming responsible for another life. I had never owned a dog that I was solely responsible for. I’m so grateful to my friends who have dogs and the clerks at PetSmart for helping me make sure I had everything Rosie would need.

Rosie’s had mostly a good life from what I was told. Her first owner took excellent care of her for about four years but then his job situation changed and he didn’t think it was fair to be away from home for as long as his job required. He supposedly thought he lined up a good home for her, but she ended up with someone who neglected her. Her nails looked like they were never trimmed so they got way too long and curved under her paws. Thank goodness she ended up at the basset rescue after only a few months in that situation.

Rosie is the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet. She has the cutest face and she is a total attention whore. We go walking twice a day and she has become one of the darlings of the neighborhood. She’s mostly mellow and well-behaved. We usually play with her ball every day.  Sometimes I roll it and she retrieves it and sometimes I roll it at her and she acts like a goalie. Sometimes she likes to throw the ball for herself and chase after it. It’s so cute.

When I first met Rosie, I tried to make her howl but nothing worked. I mainly wanted to make sure that she wouldn’t howl when I sang. After I had her for a few weeks, I learned that the only thing that makes her howl is the sound of a ringing telephone. It makes me laugh every time she does it.

Sometimes I look at Rosie and it’s so surreal that I have her.  Having a dog that sleeps at my feet in my office was part of my master plan for my law firm. We’re still working the kinks out of our relationship. She’s not always excited about meal time or walking at my desired pace, but I really couldn’t ask for a better dog.

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