A Pawed Surprise!

An unexpected turn of events: my parents' breeder requested they take their dachshund puppy this past Sunday. The latter was supposed to occur after my departure from the Canadian prairies back to the American mountains.

Naturally, I'm ecstatic.

I'm covered in puppy kisses and bite marks from head to toe. 

This is a little distracting from all the work I brought with me, but, but, but....that distinct new-puppy smell!

Pelagea (Polly) was a bit perplexed, however:

"I didn't know I had a son...of a different breed." 

Polly lost her friend, Sharikov, a black and tan dachshund, seven months ago. Sharikov was a dog I adopted as an adult, but my parents eventually took him in, since I had dissertation-related travel obligations.

Two years ago, when Polly was herself a baby, the story was reversed:

Prairie Polly

Despite my earlier threats, I did not spend Friday's afternoon photographing rolled and sunlit hay bales against the backdrop of an endless prairie sky (or something just as stereotypical).

I did capture something equally idyllic--my parents' basset hound, Pelagea (Polly), and spent a bit of time at a provincial park here, in the very center of the continent.

Polly is an untamed beast much like any other red-haired woman!

She was my surprise gift for my mom two years ago, after our first family dog had passed away. She was also the sister of my first basset hound, whom I lost at mere six months of age due to an unforeseen health condition. This remains a rather painful subject to discuss.

It suffices to say that I feel an additional connection with this clumsy and outgoing dog who greets me with hysterical barking whenever I fly in for a visit.

And even if that weren't the case, how could you not fall in love at first sight with those endearing basset wrinkles? 

Bassets of Interior Design

Did you know that your basset hound can become an integral part of interior decorating?

Bassets were bred to have numerous wrinkles to trap scent, but it is those very features that transform bassets into the softest and, at times, cuddliest, pillow throws for your prized leather sofa. (*Note, for best results the basset must be sound asleep.)

These dogs also make an excellent stand for numerous purposes. I use my basset, for instance, to prop up my iPad mini to download snobby foreign films or nature documentaries. (*Note, for best results, the basset must be sound asleep: make sure you're not watching the likes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre!)  

And finally, no matter the color, the basset always comes in neutral shades, and we all know that those go with everything! 

The New Year

It's January 1st, and we're hiking in the mountains. The snow fog is so thick that it's even safe for the Sasquatch to come out without being detected. (Having relocated to the Northwest fairly recently, I'm already inclined to make bad jokes about the local cryptofauna.)

Aptly named Glacier, a cream Golden Retriever, is soon lulled into meditation by the falling snowflakes. Later, in a rare display of obedience--for a basset--Roediger runs back to his mom (me!), while Glacier is seriously considering chasing those mule deer down the mountain!   

Superstitious Russians believe that the manner in which you spend New Year's will reflect upon the way the rest of the year goes. I spent mine in the mountains with two excellent canines, so I feel pretty good about that!