Buford - A Loving Pup With Bad Manners
by Al Campbell
If you share your home with a dog, you'll probably identify with my
problem. Buford, the basset hound sharing my living space, has some bad
manners. They aren't always obvious, but they seem to crop up at the most
inappropriate moments. Let me give you a few examples.
Buford loves kids. That in itself isn't bad manners, but the way he loves
them causes problems. Youngsters visiting my home will be greeted by a
friendly, short dog with a wagging tail, but it's the tail that gets Buford
into trouble. While Buford hovers around the little folks, hoping to get a
friendly pat on the head, his tail swats the tiny visitors on the head
repeatedly. It isn't an intentional act, just too much enthusiasm for
young visitors that gets Buford into trouble. Whether it's intentional or
not, some parents just don't care for Buford's enthusiastic greetings.
Buford's bark is distinctive. While other dogs are content to merely
bark, Buford adds a baying sound to his bark. It's a select accent the
neighbors know as uniquely his. Unfortunately he thinks he has to let the
whole neighborhood know if an unknown person shows up near our house.
While it might be ok if that person is a prowler, most of the time it's a
person visiting a neighbor. There won't be many secret meetings in our
neighborhood; Buford will let the whole world know someone new has come to
While barking isn't always considered bad manners, barking in the middle
of the night is. Buford can smell a visitor who was in the area two days
ago. Of course, he always lets everyone know when someone new has been in
the neighborhood, and he often does that in the middle of the night when
most neighbors are trying to sleep.
Buford snores. I'm not talking about the cute little purring snore some
dogs do; Buford rips lumber with his snoring. I suppose it wouldn't be too
bad if he liked to sleep in another part of the house, but he seems to like
being near his human family when he sleeps. He's also fond of napping in a
crowded living room. Our relatives and friends don't always yell at each
other; they're just trying to be heard over the dog's snoring.
You know how the makers of those dog biscuits claim that they prevent bad
breath? Yea, sure they do. We tried that one on Buford thinking it would
make his pleasant attitude more tolerable. You know what I mean, he wants
to get close for a little scratch behind the ear then he has to breathe on
you. The result was unimaginable sewer breath that he bestowed upon a
picky relative who doesn't like dogs anyway. Oh well, who needs picky?
It's important to watch what Buford eats. If you don't, he might develop
gas. Normally that might not be too bad, but when Buford fluffs his fur
after a special meal, it's enough to wilt the hardiest flowers. To make
matters worse, he usually picks the close confines of an automobile or a
crowded living room to relieve the pressure. Remember that picky relative
who doesn't like dogs? He likes to exhaust near her every chance he gets.
Actually, I guess some of Buford's habits aren't that bad after all. He
has managed to clear the house of lingering guests on birthdays and
holidays with repeated skill. The house gets a little stuffy at holiday
time anyway. A good dose of sub-zero air is always refreshing after
everyone has filled up on a hearty meal.
Did I mention he gets blamed for a few things he didn't do?
~ Al Campbell