Monday, January 16, 2012

Inside the Basset Brain

For a little over six months I have lived in the company of a Basset Hound.  When first I entered this new reality I made the assumption I would be sharing my life with a dog.  You know the species.  They love to please since they are man's/woman's best friend.  They can be trained to do things like sit or come on command.  That sort of stuff.
I must confess that the first five or so months were more often than not frustrating.
Until one day I realized like a so the world isn't flat sort of enlightenment that I wasn't living with a dog at all.  I was living with a Basset Hound.
Here, then, is my quick summary of Basset Hound life.
Basset Hounds reject the notion of Alpha Dog.  They are happiest in a leaderless, formless amalgamation of dog.  I should have figured this out at the Southern California Basset Hound Picnic during which I attended an obedience demonstration.  After saying 'come' to her Basset Hound the ersatz human Alpha Dog waited a good ten minutes before her Hound finally wandered in her direction.  No other attendee expected more or less.  Silly me.  I simply assumed that I had not heard correctly and was actually attended a demonstration on disobedience.  I now have a clearer understanding.
Understanding their rejection of Alpha Dog leads me to my next insight.  Basset Hounds have no aggressive urges.  They are amiable traveling companions with no expectations of the journey's purpose.
And while they travel, Basset Hounds have no need to mark their territories.  They are not land owners.  Walking a Basset Hound, then, is as unpredictable as using Curious George for guidance.  The Basset Hound follows its nose as far as the leash allows.
Now that I've given up all dog like expectations Bradford and I get along much better.
I will keep you posted as I delve deeper and deeper into the Basset Hound psyche unless, of course, I've plumbed its depths as far as they go.  In which case I will just have to make stuff up.
Whatever the case, I will keep you posted.

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