My parents moved to “the country” when I was just a squirt. I grew up on a stretch of road where our “next door neighbors” were a quarter mile away. We had the Martins and the Wickers next door, neither of them had young kids, but when I got to be a little older than a “squirt” I went to hang out with Norbert Martin. Farther down the road were the Hocks, and they had the most awesome dog, Daisy.
Daisy was the best Bassett Hound. She’d make her rounds visiting the neighbords, and I have memories of many warm, summer afternoons sitting on the back steps with Daisy. One of these memories involved me ‘n Daisy sitting on the back steps with my snack: Town House crackers covered with honey. I wish I had a physical picture of this moment or a drawing of it, but I don’t, so you’ll have to just imagine it. There we sat me in my pigtails (or braids) and Daisy with her long ears, soaking up the sun, 4-year-old me talking to Daisy and her listening to my every word. I started licking the honey off of the crackers, because that was the best part, and Daisy looked at me with her saggy-baggy eyes and her long, floppy ears… I was powerless to her irresistibility… So, I held out a cracker for her to lick the honey off of as I licked honey off of a second one, and then I ate both crackers. Repeat with the next ones… Daisy was happy (though I imagine she’d have been happier with being allowed to eat the crackers too), I was happy because I shared and because that made Daisy happy, and all was right with the world.
Sadly, things didn’t end well for Daisy. A few years later, Daisy was making her way toward our house (she always walked on the side of the road), and someone ran her over. I was very upset about poor Daisy, even though we had dogs of our own, they weren’t Daisy. I still have a soft spot for Bassett Hounds (well, pretty much all hounds and their soft, floppy ears), but there will never be another Daisy.