A Bark from Beyond

When you live in Los Angeles, you become accustomed to certain services not available just anywhere. The stretch limo made out of a sports utility vehicle. Silicone implants for your calves (the ones on your legs, not the ones in your barn). Acupuncture for the cat. We’re a little spoiled here. But the latest craze is available to the rest of you, too–pet psychic consultation by phone.

Lydia Hiby does not consider herself a psychic. She prefers the term “animal communicator”. Whatever. You send her a check, then call her at a specified time the following week. She spends 15 minutes communicating with the animal. The animal doesn’t need to come to the phone. It can even be asleep (good news for Basset owners!). Well, we just couldn’t resist.

Lydia asks only what breed/species of animal she’s communicating with. When I told her Hennessy is a Basset Hound, she immediately asked whether she was small for a Basset (she is). She said when she asked whether indeed she was Hennessy, Ness became quite indignant that she wasn’t recognized. It turned out she had a lot to say. Continue reading

Nuthin’ But a Hound Dog

You’ve seen the statistics. Random violence and sarcastic outbursts are way down in Los Angeles this year. Yes, I’ve had to make some changes. You see, I now answer to a Higher Authority.

You probably think it’s easy to become a member of the Basset Hound Club of Southern California. Au contraire, my frére! First you have to fill out an application and take the oath. The oath basically says that you will do all in your power to further the interests of the Breed, and that you will not, by your actions or behavior, do anything to embarrass the Breed. Note that the dog is not required to take this oath–after all, they’re Bassets and public embarrassment is pretty much part of the package.

After your sponsor presents your application, your name is published in the Newsletter and they wait two months to see if anyone objects. If not, the Board votes on whether or not you’re in. You get decals (two), and a membership card. Somehow I survived this rigorous process, and this year I’m a proud, card-carrying, decal-wearing member. I was determined not to blow it at the annual Basset Hound Picnic. Continue reading