A Basset Is An Asset

If a hard-hitting pundit like Elizabeth can post cute pet videos for filler, then a tyro like me would be over-scrupulous not to.

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I’m a dog person with no dog. For the moment, that’s right and proper. I live in an apartment and keep weird hours. I doubt a dog and I could make each other very happy for very long.

But mark my words: one day, I’m getting a basset hound. They’ve got everything to reconnmend them: sweet, unfemanding temperament; ears like swatches of velvet; cute little walrus feet; the look of a martyr at the stake. Critics love to point out that bassets aren’t especially bright. So what, I say. I’m rating pets, not chess partners.

My best friend has the Audrey Hepburn of basset hounds. At nearly eight years old, she weighs just over 40 lbs, and her belly has never hung less than a full inch from the ground. Strangers routinely mistake her for a puppy or a beagle.

By basset hound standards she may be a waif, but in those moments when she’s looks her most human — all dogs have those moments, as any dog person can tell you — she reminds me of Britney Spears. It’s something about her determined, stubby legs and imploring brown eyes. Also, my friend got her in October of 2003, just around the time “Toxic” hit the Top 40. Like nearly every Top 40 hit, it’s complete and utter schlock, but catchy schlock — a plucky little earworm. One day, seeing the puppy yawn extravantly, her tongue spilling out of her mouth, nearly to the floor, I suddenly remembered that line about “Your toxic tongue/Blah-blah-blah-blah.” Since then, I’ve always been in Britney’s camp, no mattter what damnfool stunt she’s pulled.

No human basset hound can be all bad.

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