How adorable is a basset hound puppy?   Enough to win two never-been-dog-owners like us over.

It all started with Tilly.  Tilly was a basset hound owned by the Simonsons who lived up the street from me when I was a kid.  She was as close to having a dog that my family ever got.  DSCF0034Every Sunday (when the dog catcher was off duty) Tilly walked around the neighborhood visiting her friends.  We even kept dog biscuits on hand just for such a visit.  Tilly would walk up the steps to our back door and give her characteristic “woof”. My Dad and I would play with her outside until it was time for her to move on to her next friend treat.

So, when Tom and I decided to bring a dog into our life, a basset hound was the natural choice.  We called her Siena because she was predominately the orange brown color of Siena.  She had a black square on her back with a symmetric white circle in the middle.  A tri-color beauty.

Acquiring Siena just happened to coincide with our move to Mexico City.  If we were going to make a life change, we were going to do it in a big way.  We were two of 250,000 Americans in Mexico City in 1994.  Siena may have been the only basset.

I loved her long ears.  I didn’t even mind cleaning them regularly.  Those sad but loving eyes could always get me going.  But I never really responded well to the Tasmanian devil routine.  I wanted the dog that would curl up in my lap while I read.  The one that walked obediently at my side down the street.  The one that would sleep late on weekends.  That just wasn’t Siena’s style.

Siena eventually was adopted by the bright eyed 8 year old daughter of the American Ambassador to Mexico.  It was love at first sight for the two of them.

I’ll always have a fond spot in my heart for bassets, as the first dog I ever loved.  But I know now that pairing up two dog novices with one of the most dim-witted species in the animal kingdom is just begging for trouble.

I hope there is another dog in our future, but I will be certain to invest in training this time around – for me…