Today’s post is dedicated to all those brave souls who have basset hounds, or any dog breed that finds mischief. While I am more of a cat person, I remain eternally grateful for the very many lessons in unconditional love afforded to me by the dogs I have known–especially the two beautiful souls who inspired the characters “Mitzie” and “Bailey”….
Chapter 19—Bailey Button and the Snack at Craft Corner
During Bailey’s first month with us, she managed to eat all kinds of things she shouldn’t have eaten at all! One day when Lolly was at school, and Grandma Brown was at her “Hen Club”, I watched with shock and awe as Bailey ate all of Lolly’s left over Easter chocolate. I was always told that dogs and cats should never eat chocolate because it could make us really sick. I guess there is some truth to that because shortly after Bailey finished eating she ran straight to Grandma Brown’s new bedroom carpet and puked. To soothe her stomach Bailey then ate one of Grandma Brown’s favorite scarves—which she pooped out the next day (eventually, after much bum-skidding). About mid-month Bailey started “snacking” on my litterbox contents and she made a horrible mess in doing so!
As she cleaned up after Bailey, Grandma Brown said all kinds of words that were rather costly, or at least they seemed that way because she kept putty shiny coins in a jar Lolly called the “Cuss Jar”. Finally, just days before her first month anniversary, Bailey decided to snack on the contents of Lolly’s craft corner. What a mess! Bailey was covered in glue, and glitter. Lolly couldn’t stop laughing because Bailey ended up with a couple of popsicle sticks stuck to her tongue, and a button stuck to her nose. From that day forward, when my girl spoke to Bailey, she called her Bailey-Button.
Grandma Brown had trouble seeing things the same way Lolly did. The whole snacking at craft corner was the last straw for Grandma Brown. She lost her temper and started scolding Bailey. I remember the few times Mitzie got scolded, and I have to say, it was my impression then that most dogs take to heart any scolding they ever got. Bailey is not most dogs. When Grandma Brown yelled and scolded, Bailey jumped up and down and started puppy playing with Grandma Brown. Once Grandma Brown got Bailey to sit still, Bailey still seemed unclear about the whole concept of scolding. In fact, she kept looking over her shoulder as if to see who Grandma Brown was really scolding.
During Bailey’s bath, Bailey kept howling and crying. She put up such a ruckus that Grandma Brown seemed to be getting more of a bath than Bailey was. Every time Bailey shook her head, those big floppy ears flung suds, kitty litter clumps, and craft glitter all over the place. Grandma Brown got so drenched that soon her short white hair started to stick up into little spikes. Her glasses were so messy that Grandma Brown flung them off and threw them into the bathroom sink. The whole bathroom stunk like wet Bailey mixed with kitty litter, and the whole house smelled like wet dog. Grandma Brown kept saying that Bailey was lucky she had Lolly on her side. I am not sure what that meant, but I think it had something to do with how much, and often, Bailey made Lolly Laugh because throughout the whole bath experience Lolly laughed so hard that she ended up with a bad case of the hiccups.
Being the only cat witnessing these events, I can honestly say the whole thing was a huge assault on my senses. The one thing keeping me from freaking out and running away was the wonderful sound of my little girl’s laughter. Her laughter, especially the kind that causes hiccups, is so wonderful that no one could be around it and not feel joyous and safe. As Lolly giggled and hiccupped, I curled up on her lap and purred myself silly—which really didn’t take much given the circumstances. Grandma Brown, although frustrated, soggy, and a little cranky, seemed to be smirking despite herself.