Sit, Stay and Read

about good dogs and their people

Archive for the category “Tales”

the band

Promo poster

The Modern Sound Puppies were a short-lived but popular girl group, with a devoted local fan base. The group split after a year, their break-up attributed to poor handling by their managers. Sophie, who performed under the stage name, Sophie Pauline-Diane, was quite a versatile musician, best known for her dazzling work on the congas and her brilliant back-up vocals.

She co-wrote their hit song, “Lassie’s Brother” with another member of MSP.

“Lassie’s Brother” (to the tune of “Johnny Angel”)

Lassie’s brother, how I love him
And I know that someday he’ll love me
and together we can make a canine family.

Lassie’s brother, he’s a Collie
but I’m sure someday he’ll recognize
that he could love Basset less than half his size.

I just lie here and get carried away
I dream of him and me, of where we’ll poop and pee.
When other boy dogs sniff me up for a date
I just sit down and wait, content to cogitate on

Lassie’s brother, how I love him
And I’m sure that someday he will see
how wonderful a Basset-Collie litter would be.


When my Dog had Cancer

It was a small, 5 pound bag and I’d left it outside on a table. The old guy at the garden shop seemed confident that this fertilizer wouldn’t be harmful to our dogs. After all, it was organic.

I never figured out her maneuvers but Sophie managed to get onto the table, tear into the bag, and eat most of the fertilizer, about 4 ½ pounds of it. As this gob of organic ingredients made its way through her GI tract, her belly began to expand. Pretty soon she looked like one of those dirigibles hovering over the floats in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Following her doctor’s advice, I stayed awake all night with her, accompanying her outside so that I could be sure that her retching was “productive.” By daybreak, I was a mess but my dog was up and at ’em, ready for breakfast.

Sophie was a Basset-Beagle, with a long body, short legs, and long ears that often got in the way of her substantial paws. She was the most adorable puppy I’d ever seen, and she was my first dog. There was no way I could have known what I was getting myself into, no way I could have fully appreciated the characteristics of her breed(s) such as: “good-natured but stubborn, independent . . . . not for first time dog owners.” When we went to see this litter of puppies, the farmer picked her up, nuzzled her sweet little face and said, “These are lovin’ dogs.” I was smitten.  Read more…

My Fig Lovin’ Hound

She was a charmer, a bit of a scamp, and as well-loved as any dog has ever been. We never thought she would live for 18 years but true to form, Sophie had another agenda.

This is a chronicle of the hospice I ran for my failing old dog during the last eighteen months of her life. The story is poignant but devoid of sentimentality, a testimony that our clumsy dance toward death went on much longer than I had realized and that Sophie kept her sweetness and sense of humor far better than I did.
Read more: FigLovin’Hound

The Venerable Basset


The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
— Dalai Lama XVII

Happiness can be elusive for us humans, but my dog had no trouble finding her path to that state of being. She wasn’t merely satisfied with her life, she was happy, from the moment she awoke and went thundering across the deck to greet the morning, to the moment she curled up in her little brown bed to go to sleep. She spent her whole life happy, and it came naturally. Maybe that’s why I was so instantly drawn to this puppy when I first laid eyes on her. We tried to call her Sophia but it didn’t take. It was a lovely, musical name but it was too refined for this Basset-Beagle. She let us know pretty quickly that she would be Sophie, sometimes Soph.

Read more…

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