Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our Basset Hound is in Therapy

The therapist was smiling, but there was concern in her eyes.  Then she spoke the words parents dread: "You have a special needs dog."  Of course we immediately went down the where did we go wrong? path.  Should we not have passed up the class in Cambridge on Advanced Barking?  Why didn't we go to the Sit/Stay Symposium?  We were at fault, not doubt about it.

"Willa will have to meet with me once a month, as well as a weekly phone call,"  the dog therapist said.  At first we thought that Willa, our sweetheart of a dog who hides behind the sofa when anyone outside the family enters the house, would have to speak on the phone.  It was a relief to find out that either Bruce or I would have to speak.  Because I am rather phone phobic, the weekly consultation has gone to Bruce.

And then the next dreaded word: Antidepressants.  She recommended Paxil, 20 mg a day.  Yup.  A designer antidepressant.  I shuddered.  I was on Paxil years ago and walked in a daze for a week.  I finally stopped taking it when I entered City Hall and completely forgot what I was there for.  The next day I remembered it was to register our other bassets, Oscar and Shakespeare. If you've picked up a theme here, there is.  We name our dogs after literary figures: Shakespeare, Willa Cather, Oscar Wilde.  We are especially attracted to authors who were gay or "questioning."  In case we ever switch to movie stars, we've penciled in "Tom Cruise."

We were also told to assert our dominance over our bassets.   This did not go over well.  When I told Shakespeare to sit before he got his treat, he walked away.  If a dog can roll his eyes, Shakespeare did.  The thought bubble over his head went something like this: "Ten years with you and you now start to pull this crap?"  Willa, on the other hand, simply ran in circles.  I'm trying to convince myself that she's actually quite advanced linguistically, and has mistaken SIT for SPIN.

So we're trying our best.  And I'll update our progress later.


  1. Dogs can roll their eyes. Ours both can. Plus Alfie can do the one raised eyebrown dismissal thing. Yes really.

    Good luck with the therapy, keep us posted!

  2. well did you expect anything less from dogs in this family