This is my little hound dog. His name is Flops.
Flops is the product of a backyard breeder, and sometimes I amuse myself by referring to him as a throwback, since he more resembles a Basset Artésien Normand than a classic basset hound. (I don’t think he is one, nor would it even matter.) He’s dealt me a great deal of misery, but he’s the canine love of my life.
His previous owners knew we were dog people, and they asked us about their puppy. They couldn’t manage him, they said; might we want him? They held him up by the scruff of his neck; 3 months old, all ears and feet, caked in mud and stuffed with worms. Of course we did. They’d called him Snoopy, but we rechristened him after his habit of collapsing halfway through all but the shortest walks.
That was five years ago, and he’s been through Hell. He had puppy strangles, entropion, red mange. At 2 years old, he suffered an injury that left his back legs paralyzed. He recovered after a nightmarish 6 weeks; the only lingering effects are a grouchy disposition and a fetching sway in his gait.
Healthy, well-kept basset hounds can be counted on for a good 10-12 years. We care for him as best we can, but given his setbacks, we expect 8 and will rejoice at 10. Whenever his time comes, I’ve prepared my husband and family. They’re gonna have to dig two holes.