Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bringing up a Baby Basset

My twelve week-old basset hound puppy climbed into my lap today. He needed a boost because he's two feet long but only about eight inches high. 

He looks like an El Greco painting as he snoops his long nose up my arm. The closer he comes, the longer his nose appears. Then he stabs me with those luminous eyes: brown as dark opals and gleaming like pearls.

He makes me realize what El Greco does: that artist extends arms, robes, and flames like an intake or sigh of breath which simply escapes intention. He draws our eyes up, and then he closes them. From his perspective, everything is too long, and we don't care. We just want this vision to continue like mist rising with dawn.

For the first time, my new dog came to me just to snuggle. He lapped his ears over my knees. He pressed his colossal feet against my arms. He kept juggling his back legs until I offered a corner of my chair. Then, he slid his head slyly so he could look me in the eye sideways: I'm happy here, he announced in his elongated language.

I had to slide him down from his perch, of course, to take another puppy trek around the lawn. Then, he could contain himself no longer. In true basset fashion, he leapt in every direction, and completed two flips, I am sure. He actually chose me as a playmate today, over his collection of toys.

Now, the only question is this: How will I juggle him on my lap when he is five feet long and weighs seventy pounds? Since he's so sly, and I am so curious, we'll have about a year to find out. By then, maybe El Greco will supply the answer.

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