By Steve Huffman
The trouble with Lucky the Basset Hound is that he never stops whining. I’m told he spent the first 10 years of his life basically alone in a fenced yard, so moving inside with people has to be a switch.
Which brings me to his first night at our house.
Meg made him a bed of blankets in the living room. He ignored it. We tried to get him to lie down at the foot of our bed. He didn’t seem interested, choosing instead to stand beside our bed and whine.
Meg and I finally decided to put him in the laundry room at the back of the house. We moved his bed in there, pulled him in by his collar, then shut the door behind him. There’s no heat vent in the laundry room, but it has to be warmer than what he’s used to.
Lucky whined a bit, but the plan worked well for several hours. However, at 3:30 a.m., I awoke to the sound of Lucky’s nails clicking across the kitchen floor. He’d figured a way to push open the bi-fold doors.
I put him back in the laundry room, put a chair against the doors, then returned to bed.
Lucky proceeded to wail (something he hadn’t done hours earlier).
I listened for 15 minutes, then climbed from the bed and let Lucky out. He followed me into the bedroom. I shut the door so he couldn’t roam (and pee about) the rest of the house, then ordered him to behave.
Lucky declined. He stood by Meg’s side of the bed and whined, then wandered to my side and repeated the process to make sure I was also aware of his discontent.
By 4 a.m., (having had it up to here!) I became the bad pet owner. I slipped on my bedroom shoes, pulled on a coat and took Lucky outside. Several years ago I built a clubhouse at the back of my property. Lucky followed me across the snow and ice to the clubhouse.
I went inside, made him a bed of blankets and noted the temperature (I have a thermometer inside the clubhouse) was above 40 degrees. Again, warmer than he’d have had it had Meg and I not rescued him 12 hours earlier.
Then I went back to the house and returned to bed. When I woke up about 8 a.m., Meg had already gone out to fetch Lucky (the clicking of his toenails on the kitchen floor again awakened me).
We have since fed Lucky and taken him for a walk. He’s old, but very friendly, appreciative of any rub to the head. Better still, I have finally found a creature that walks even slower than me.
As I write this, for reasons I can’t begin to fathom, Lucky has finally fallen asleep on his blanket in front of the Christmas tree. It makes me (temporarily, at least) glad that Meg and I chose to try and make his final years good ones.