Basbeaux Lévrier

(the skinny one)

A jester, a pizza joint, a greyhound... Basbeaux

Picture of Basbeaux runningI was whelped in October, 1993 and raised at a racetrack in Florida, where I went by the name J.D.'s Beach Bum. When I retired from the racetrack I was loaded into a truck with thirty other greyhounds, all to be distributed to greyhound adoption agencies up and down the East Coast. In the lottery of life, I and one other greyhound, named Bill, drew the ASPCA national headquarters in New York City. After I'd been there a few days, some greyhound lover noticed us on their Web page and informed the Greyhound-L mailing list that we were there.


Picture of Basbeaux lying on Zebra-skin rugDeborah Peters, a regular list reader who'd been lobbying for a second greyhound since about five minutes after she got her first one, Odo, persuaded her husband Stephen Bloch to visit the ASPCA and take a look at us. I got to them first, just as I returned from my evening walk. I started with the time-tested "hide your nose in his armpit" opening gambit, then moved on to the "lean on someone's leg and gaze up with gorgeous, mascara-ed brown eyes" strategy. They never had a chance. (Incidentally, Bill, using the "nervous Nellie" approach, apparently found a home in the New York area too. But the ASPCA still gets an occasional greyhound; if you live in the New York city area and have room for a dog, check out their list of dogs available for adoption.)

Anyway, a day or two later they brought Odo to meet me. We almost completely ignored one another, but they decided if we weren't actually fighting, it would probably work out. So they brought me home to their apartment in Queens, where I found all sorts of things to lie on.

Picture of Basbeaux draped over his nest in an S shape, his head on
the floor

Deborah and Steve agreed immediately that they didn't like the name "Beach Bum", so they started looking for another name. After considering exotic, dignified names like Omar and Said, they realized I was entirely too goofy for that, and settled on Basbeaux, the name of Deborah's favorite Indianapolis pizza joint, which in turn claims to be named after a medieval French jester.


Picture of Basbeaux curled up with squeaky toy In my new home, I spent great time and energy in the study of Squeaky Toys, in which I shortly taught Odo a thing or two (like, if you shake a squeaky toy really hard, it squeaks a lot and then stops squeaking entirely). In exchange, Odo showed me how to climb Stairs, which I now do at a sprint while he takes them one at a time (but then, Odo always was a bit of a stick-in-the-mud).
Picture of Basbeaux
curled up with his legs tangled The Greyhounds is an ancient breed, dating (depending on how precise you are) to at least the Middle Ages, perhaps as far as Classical Egypt. Some of my ancestors posed for the marginalia in the Book of Kells, and here's my attempt at one of those poses.
Picture of Basbeaux resting
head on ball If you'd like, you can see more pictures of my housemate Odo, or both of us together.

Another picture of Basbeaux on his
nest Here's a more recent picture (February, 2004) taken by dog-sitter Allison Wolcoff (who, incidentally, does pet photography and animal care professionally.)

Picture of Basbeaux asleep, with fuzzy frisbee hanging out of his
mouth


In January, 2004, Basbeaux abruptly lost a lot of weight and energy. The vet found that he had a high temperature, put him on intravenous fluids and antibiotics, and tooks some X-rays, which revealed an enormously enlarged spleen. The spleen was removed the next day, with no indication of what was wrong except that it had grown much larger than it should. Basbeaux quickly regained his appetite, weight, and lust for life, only to lose weight and energy again a month later. For several months, he alternated between good spells and bad spells, and the vets were unable to identify any reason for the problem. In August, 2004, while lying on the dining room carpet, he stopped breathing of his own accord. We still don't know why.

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Stephen Bloch / sbloch@adelphi.edu