Previously published – The Occasional Dragonfly Blog
Anyone with pets knows that home improvement projects can come with an extra challenge. I can’t tell you how many times one of the dogs has “helped” me paint the walls with a swish of their tail or the cat has decorated the house (and furniture) with paw prints made of paint or floor cement. I had experienced it all. Or so I thought.
Anybody who is familiar with the Basset Hound knows that they are considered to be one of the most good-natured, easy going and sociable of all breeds. They are affectionate, loyal and can cheer you up with a goofy grin. They are, for the most part, the most happy-go-lucky of all dog breeds. For the most part. For. The. Most. Part.
Wilbur has, for lack of a better word, a quirk. An annoying little eccentricity. A defect in his personality that can push even the most patient person over the edge. He has what is referred to as Resource Guarding, where a dog feels the need to growl and/or snap to convince other dogs or humans to keep away from a particular “treasure”.
These treasures are normally food related, but can also be a favourite toy or bed. If you read my earlier blog post The Basset Effect, you know that Wilbur has a particular fondness for food and will go to great lengths to steal it. And when he does, there is no way you are getting it back, or at least not without a good fight and possible blood loss.
Other than food, Wilbur has never exhibited any aggressive behaviour. So imagine our surprise when he became fascinated with, protective of, a sanding sponge. Yup. A sanding sponge. For those of you non-DIYers out there, the sanding sponge is a small rectangular block that has a roughness or grit on both sides and edges. It’s an awesome tool for sanding drywall and getting into nooks and crannies. It is apparently also a treasure to the Basset Hound. Or at least to Wilbur.
When my Dad was working on the drywall for our new fireplace he purchased three new sanding sponges and set them on the coffee table. When he was ready to use them only 2 sponges were there. Now, my Dad is at that age where he is starting to question his memory. Did he take the sponge out and put it somewhere? He looked all around the room, the main floor, but no sponge.
He shrugged it off and used one of the two remaining sponges. When it was time for a break he put the sponge down and left the room. When he came back a little while later… yup, only one sponge remained. You get where I’m going here right? One by one the sanding sponges disappeared.
Later on, Dad located all three sponges – in the yard. One near the firepit, another by the garden, and the final one, under Wilbur’s favourite bush, with Wilbur on high alert beside it. Dad went down into the yard to grab the first sponge. Wilbur eyed him and immediately came running to protect his treasure. There was no way Dad was getting close to that sponge. Grrrrrrrrrrr… Or the next one…or the next… Bassets can be lightning fast! Wilbur 3, Human 0.