Posts Tagged ‘gus’

I can’t quite explain why right now, but for a couple of reasons I am not doing a lot of things I normally do these days.

Frankly I am leading the life of a 19th-century tuberculosis patient, except I’m not in the Swiss Alps and I don’t have tuberculosis. (I think. I hope! Wouldn’t it be awful?)

Don’t worry or anything – I’m not sick or in legal trouble or anything bad, just temporarily not in my normal sphere. I’m just explaining why I haven’t been writing much lately and why I probably won’t for a little while.

Anyway. List of weird/awesome things that you’ve missed out on:
– Gus caught a rat. Well, he may have caught a rat. Either way Ben caught him with a rat corpse in the back yard. It may have died of natural causes and he was just being a scavenger.
– We are starting the Big Home Renovation on Tuesday! I will take pictures and make videos!
– I planted stuff in the garden and so far not all of it has been eaten.
– Still no firm date for Call of Cthulhu: The Opera, but lots of progress.

And last:

The Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra returns on Tuesday! The Cameron House, 10 PM!

It’s just one set, opening for Friendly Rich, but still awesome.

So that’s all for now…look for me resuming normal blogging in a month or two. Or maybe inspiration will strike tomorrow. Who knows?


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You all know Gus, right?


Yes, THAT Gus. Gus the Beagle-Basset. In case you don’t, let me tell you more about him.


Gus has a few problems. When we got him at 6 months, he was overweight and had almost no training (including house-training…that was fun). He didn’t make eye contact with people. He had separation anxiety and would howl in the most heart-breaking way when we left the house. He had to be fed in a separate room from Madeline and confined until she was finished eating, or else he would attack her and steal her food.

Still life with Gus and pumpkin

Unlike Madeline, who is a very bright dog and a quick learner, Gus was (and is) very slow to learn new things. It took him a long time to learn not to pee in the house. It took him a long time to learn a routine that would allow him to eat in the same room as Madeline without incident.

It took him a long time to learn that, when we left the house, we were coming back.

I don’t know just why Gus is, to put it charitably, a bit slow. Probably a combination of poor maternal nutrition, early puppyhood neglect, and maybe a few kicks to the head. Because he’s a rescue dog we don’t have any way of finding out. But I do know that, even though it took a while and he’ll always have some issues (he still needs to follow a food routine and he’ll always be a bit chubby), he’s become a wonderful, loving, fun dog. And I wouldn’t trade him in for the smartest Bagel Hound in the world.

Mostly because I already have the smartest Bagel Hound in the world.

So what’s the PSA? Did I write this just to wax sentimental about my slightly developmentally delayed dog, or do I have a point?

It’s this: It’s spring. I’ve been seeing lots of new puppies in the dog parks. And if you’re thinking of getting one – maybe you promised your kids that if they do well on their last report cards they get a puppy, or maybe you’re taking up running and want a dog to go with you, or maybe you just want a dog – don’t go to a breeder and get a $2000 puppy. Go to Petfinder or your local shelter and get a Gus.

Sure, there will probably be issues. But you can work through them – we did with Gus – and there will be issues with any dog you get. And at least when you get a Gus you know you’ve saved a living creature from a painful life and a pointless death.

I feel that way too sometimes

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We’ve been on a clean living and cleanliness kick lately, so this morning I made the bed right after getting up.

I know what you’re thinking, smug clean-freak people – “Why is that unusual? I do that every morning, right before I exercise for 30 minutes and sweep my already spotless floor!”  Well, lah-di-dah. It’s like flossing – I go through phases. Sometimes I do it every day when it’s my turn, sometimes I don’t.

Anyway, the dogs like to sleep in the bed during the day, especially when it’s cold and rainy.  Normally they burrow under the covers and make a little nest.  Madeline does this even when the bed is made, much to my annoyance.  Gus has never quite figured that one out.

So this is what he did this morning:

In case you can’t tell because of the matching duvet cover and pillow shams, he has burrowed under…a pillow.


I’m kind of impressed by his problem-solving skills.  Clearly his thought process went something like:

– I want to get under the covers.
– I can’t get under the covers.
– Maybe I can get under this thing.

I’m also impressed that he got under the pillow without flipping it over and losing his little nest.

"Will you please turn off the light and let me get some sleep?"

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Bassets in the country:

Gus and my mom

Madeline, sad because no one will play with her

I know it doesn’t LOOK very country-esque…Today I’ll take them to the big park near here and you can see them attempt to interact with Canada Geese.

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So it’s mid-June (OMIGOD WHERE IS MY LIFE GOING GAAAAAAAAAAAH), and more things are coming out in the garden.

Weird things that I thought were weeds actually turned out to be lilies. They haven’t opened yet, and because of all the shade we get back here I have a feeling they never will, but it’s good to know that someone planted them intentionally.

But best of all are the roses.


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I was awakened this morning at 5:30 by Gus trying to get into the bedroom. The door was sticking against something, so I got up to see what it was.

A glass of water I’d left on the dresser by the door had apparently exploded* at some point during the night. Seriously. Water and glass all over the place. So I shooed Gus away (to protect his tender little paws) and cleaned it up. A shard was jammed under the door, which us why (fortunately) Gus couldn’t get in. Think of poor little Gus and his poor little paws. Plus it’s bad enough having to clean up broken glass in the middle of the night; it would have been much worse to be awakened by the howls a frightened and injured Basset Hound/Beagle.

Anyway. I am up. Have been since then. It’s sort of hard to compose your nerves after that. I swear, one of these days I’ll get a full night’s sleep.

* This can happen to any glass at any time. I was once making soup in a pot with a glass lid when the glass exploded, ruining not only the put lid but the soup as well. Fortunately I had stepped out of the kitchen for a moment or it might have ruined my eyes as well.

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1 While he doesn’t LIKE them, Gus does not actually eat cats.* Unlike Stephen Harper.

2 Gus is lazy enough to avoid antagonizing foreign leaders, but tough enough to growl at them if they approach his food.

3 He will encourage agriculture, especially animal husbandry.

4 He is a symbol the country could unite around – who doesn’t love cute puppy dogs?

5 He will lead energy conservation efforts by encouraging/insisting that people stay home and do as little as possible.

6 Gus will never, ever involve Canada in a pointless dick-measuring excuse for a war**, unless someone tries to steal his food. Then it’s nuke time.

7 He will decrease healthcare costs by introducing the revolutionary new Hound Therapy. When you feel sick, sad, or just worn out, you go to Gus’ office and spend half an hour just hanging out on the couch with him. Safe, cheap and effective.***

8 Gus won’t promote anti-gay, racial, or religious bigotry, since he loves everyone without qualification.

9 Because this country needs change, and a mildly brain-damaged basset hound/beagle couldn’t POSSIBLY do any worse than we’ve had already.

* Mostly because he can’t catch them.

** He’s been neutered.

*** Obviously this won’t cure your cancer or genital warts, but it does make you feel better in the case of a mild cold or just a bad day, and is certainly more plausible as a therapy than, say, Reiki.

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