His name is Dudley. That's the name he came with, and at times he's like Harry Potter's spoiled cousin. Our Beagle, Buddy, died a year ago a week after the 4th of July, and our Chocolate Lab, Belle, died of Lymphoma this past Spring on Memorial Day Monday. We were dogless until my wife dragged me to a pet adoption show at a local supermarket. We walked up and this three-year-old Basset / Beagle mix walked right up to her. She bent down to pet him and I saw tears falling to the ground and said to myself, "Oh, 'doo-doo'! We're going home with a dog!"
He combines the best and worst of both the breeds.
We were told that he had bitten someone, which is why this particular shelter ended up with him. When they asked the previous owner what happened when he bit, they said, "Well, we were partying Saturday night and all drunked up and when he got up on the counter to get food we were hitting him in the face to make him get down and he bit my mother!" The woman from the shelter said, "GIVE ME THE DOG!" Some people should not be allowed to have children, let alone dogs.
We were warned that he had anger management issues when someone tried to take food from his mouth. Apparently they were feeding him only a half a cup of food a day, this for a 50-pound dog! We give him about two cups.
To make a long story shorter, I've been bitten about five times so far since the beginning of September, the latest being tonight while trying to get a AA battery away from him. We got him to drop the battery and I whisked it away with my right hand, but he attacked my left hand and I didn't get it out of the way quick enough. We usually have a Mexican standoff while he growls and snarls (I've described it as a four-letter growl--not just "Leave me along" but "Leame me the f--- alone!") and I stand there looking down at him and growling back at him from a position of superiority until he submits and responds to a "Down" command and stops growling. We did that tonight, except that I had a bleeding left hand while getting him to go Down. He does respond pretty well to that command, which surprised me for a Hound. I had a hard time getting either of my Labs to respond consistently to a Down; someone must have beaten it into him for him to respond so quicklyy, and so submissively. He still has issues about being interrupted from some activites, but we're working though it. I tell people I've got too much blood invested in this relationship to give up now, and that if he doesn't shape up in the next 10 years or so he's outta here.
When the guys at work kept razzing me about being bitten all the time, I replied back to them with an EMail, telling them that when he bites me it hurts, but then I think about the late Medal of Honor recipient Silvestre S. Herrera, who was born in Mexico and volunteered with the Texan National Guard during WWII. After reading about what he went through
(I hope you like La Bamba
), and after remembering the young man I saw at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center who was missing a leg, I figure I have nothing to complain about--it puts it all in perspective. I just hope my coworker, Jim, the rest of the Maryland National Guard, and all the other servicemen and women make it back OK.