The last few months, we've been noticing that our fourteen-year old basset hound, Besame Mucho, has been looking extra elderly. Her once black head is now completely grey. She can't see or hear anymore but still has her super sense that basset hounds are known for...smell! She is always appreciative for a big doggie bone and a good belly rub.
Besame is our first baby. We got her shortly after we were married in 2000. I remember pinning her ears up as a puppy with my pink roller clips because her ears were so long they would get in her dog bowl...then she'd come kiss you!
It was an unforgettable day picking out Besame. My husband and I went to a basset hound breeder's house in Azel, Texas. There must have been at least twenty basset hounds inside this little home. I remember thinking that there was so much love in that house. Imagine a sea of basset hounds all tap dancing around a country house, wagging their tails and passing out sweet kisses to any friendly hand that comes their way. There isn't anything cuter than a basset hound puppy.
My Dad is quite the singer. When we brought our baby home, he sang to her Besame, besame mucho, Como si fuera esta noche la ultima vez...Besame loved it, she would wag her tail as fast as a humming-bird flaps its wings.
Yes, Besame was our first baby...we were her pack. She has always loved to be right with us, preferably touching both of us. Later when we had children, Besame became Nana...just like in Peter Pan. She would lay by the bassinet babysitting our children.
I remember taking her to the vet when we thought something was wrong with her. I was so worried that when the vet's receptionist asked me, "What is Besame's last name?" I replied without hesitation, "Mucho! Her last name is Mucho." My husband shook his head and the receptionist laughed at me.
I have dreams about Besame. In my dreams, she talks like Scooby Doo. She saves our family from danger and leads us home...talking to us in her deep basset hound voice, "Follow me guys, I can smell the way home."
Our neighbor's love Besame too. She's wandered off several times...following a scent, a friendly child or the mailman. Everybody loves Besame! She's our neighborhood mascot bringing people joy and good luck one belly rub at a time!
Basset hounds don't walk, they shuffle. Our basset is a shuffle award winner. Every year in Hurst, Texas they have a "Basset Hound Shuffle" and one year Besame won big! You haven't lived until you've seen four-hundred basset hounds coming at you. They have many contests like howling, best trick, longest ears...Besame won the blue ribbon for "low rider" and "biggest paw."
Besame's soundtrack to life includes "Besame Mucho" and War's "Low Rider." They're two of the most perfect theme songs for our basset.
Besame will always be our blue ribbon baby. For now, she seems content sunbathing in the grass in the early morning, eating her favorite milk bones and getting extra belly rubs from loving hands.