We met Lola for the very first time at a Bassett Hound rescue picnic in northern New Jersey. It was a beautiful day in October 2009. When we arrived, we saw some dogs wearing little orange vests that said, "Adopt Me". After spending time with the dogs we were interested in, I asked John, "Which one should we get?". His answer was very quick. He replied, "The one no one wants." I knew he meant Lola.|
All along, we were under the impression that Bassett's were low key, a bit on the lazy side, and moved in a sluggish manner. Not our Lola. She was a petite Bassett, very active, super confident, and had so much spunk. She was very skinny that her head seemed so big, she had a torn right ear, had a skin tag, and was dirty. But there was something about her that was so lovable. We took her home that day.
Fast forward a few months. We learned that Lola is not a "social" dog. She is the type that didn't play with other dogs, kind of a loner. She had to warm up to people she first met because if you were too eager to pet her right away, she would snap at you. Her first meeting with a stranger was on her terms. But, once she felt comfortable and safe, she was welcoming. We believe she rather be with humans than other dogs.
Lola was so active in her younger years. We lived in a two-story house and she would have no problems darting up and down the stairs. She was also able to run and jump over a pool stick. We've never seen a Bassett do that! But, she also had her lazy, laid back moments, especially by the pool and sunning herself.
Our Lola was spoiled rotten. When we snacked, she snacked. She was introduced to cheese puffs by Patty's mother, Edna. Edna used to come to Delaware and stay for a few months. While we were at work, it was Edna and Lola home all alone. We're still not quite sure who babysat who (did Edna look after Lola or did Lola look after Edna?). One day, Patty came home from work and Lola met her at the door. Patty noticed that Lola had orange smudges on her nose. So, Patty walked into the living room and asked her Mom, "Have you been giving Lola cheese puffs?" Thinking she would get in trouble, Edna nodded no, but Patty noticed her orange finger tips! Patty turned around and left the room and then heard Edna talking to Lola saying, "Okay, this is your last one." This story always made us laugh! Some of Lola's other favorite snacks were; popcorn, peanut butter with honey, bacon, potato chips, Chees-it crackers, and homemade chicken or beef broth popsicles with an edible jerky stick. Yes, she was spoiled.
Since Lola loved sunning herself in the summer, she loved being warm and toasty indoors too. In the colder months, Lola and Patty would sit by the fireplace in the living room. Her bed was positioned near the heat and she loved it. We did this practically every night in the winter. But then John got the gas bill -- yikes! No more fireplace relaxing evenings for a while. Again, Lola is very spoiled. We ended up buying her a small electric fireplace that didn't use much energy. It had a fake flame, cool to the touch, and blew enough hot air to heat a 300 square-foot room. Her bed was directly under the heating vent so she was always very cozy.
Lola traveled well and we made many stops so she could stretch her legs and we needed that also. She loved being in the car in her soft create go wherever it was we where going. Just being with her pack made her happy. Setting up her bed and food bowls and bedding as soon as we checked it to a hotel made her feel right at home. Lola loved Going to Johns parent's house for the day to watch John mow the lawn . Lola would lay under a tree and watch John ride the mower around. When she was sleepy she would retreat into her soft crate for a nap and look out to see what was going on every now and then. As long as Lola was with her pack she was very happy and content.
As the years went on Lola slowed down. No more climbing the stair or running around yard. Still as long as she was with her family she was happy. A ramp was place on the steps so she could navigate up and down a few steps on her own to go out side to do her business. Her days where filled with alot or relaxation on the deck with John. Lola's back legs soon did not like to do what her brain wanted. It grew increasingly difficult to get around.
The day finally came when we knew Lola was no longer happy and her medication was no long helping . One afternoon as John was laying next to Lola on the deck when Lola started kissing John on his face . We beleive Lola was letting John know that she was ready to cross the rainbow bridge. A few days later John and Patty helped Lola find the Rainbow Bridge. Many tears were shed and a feeling of pure sorrow was felt as John held Lola till the end.
Today Lola is with us in spirit. We believe she is waiting to be with us again. She now has a place on our mantel with pictures and a memorial candle. We will think of her always and never let her unconditional love and spirit die in our hearts.
If you've never heard of the Rainbow poem you can find it on this site. If explains how Pets and owners find their way back to eachother when that time comes.