25 Feb The Problem With Basset Hounds

Last night, I came home from the grocery store and set my bags on the kitchen counter. For dinner, I’d bought a roasted chicken from Whole Foods. Those chickens aren’t cheap (cheep) but they’re really convenient. We get two meals from one, then make soup from the left-overs.

My groceries parked, I went upstairs to see Jill. She was on the internet, reading about Hartford, CT, which we’re going to visit next week. I checked my own email. Ten minutes later, we both went downstairs to put away the groceries.

The first thing I noticed was that the cardboard carrier for the roasted chicken container was lying on the floor. I knew this was trouble. Frieda, our basset hound, is notorious (in our household) for stealing food from tables and countertops. I thought I’d put the chicken in a safe place, six inches from the counter’s edge. Frieda isn’t a big dog, but she’s long and, where food is concerned, she’s willing to stretch. Jill and I have been amazed at her ability to get things she really wants from hard-to-reach places.

This time, we were doubly amazed. Within the span of ten minutes, she had not only sneaked the chicken — quietly — from the countertop, but then carried it into the pantry, where she wouldn’t be heard. And then she ate the entire chicken. She left nothing behind, not even a nib of bone. Ten minutes.

Jill and I howled in protest and moaned our regret and frustration. Frieda just stared up at us expectantly, wagging her tail. She was still hungry. Since we had NOT caught her in the act, we couldn’t scold or punish her. But we were pissed off, me especially, as I had to make dinner.

Frieda the basset houndWhat made it all the more painful for us was the fact that Frieda doesn’t exactly enjoy eating—it’s not like she takes her time or savors the flavor. She just gobbles down whatever she can as fast as she can. This is a dog that will eat her own turds on occasion. Now, let me confess that we have had Frieda on a diet. She was getting heavy, which can cause basset hounds back problems. But, the truth is, she was just as ravenous when she wasn’t dieting as she is now.

Basset hounds are all nose. They want nothing but food, it seems, and will spend most of their waking hours sniffing it out and then go to any lengths to get at it. The only good thing about this trait, at least in Frieda’s case, is that she’ll eat anything –really, anything–you give her. This comes in handy when she needs medicine. Hand her a pill, any kind of pill, and she’ll eat it without hesitation. If you want to see an example of her appetite, check out this video:what will Frieda eat?

Frieda the basset houndAfter Frieda ate the whole chicken, we worried that she might have some problems digesting her treat. She had a perceptible bulge in her belly but she slept well and, apparently, she’s not going to suffer either indigestion or constipation. She possesses exceptional genes, we have decided–survivor genes. She’s a dog that could live through strive and famine and nuclear war because she will not be thwarted. In her way, Frieda is a super dog.