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Wednesday, 09 February 2011

Banjo Was A Good Ol’ Hound

By Vicki E. Jones

The shelter had named him Banjo and the name stuck. He was a beautifully-marked Beagle-Bassett from a litter of nine with full-size ears, when we adopted him at four months of age.

We soon learned that he could bawl like a Bassett, was stubborn like a Bassett, loved children, and had a Bassett Hound’s appetite. He was never full!

Banjo would help himself to garbage, bawl at us for more after he ate a meal and if I yelled at him about anything, he would scrunch up one side of his mouth, brace his feet, and bawl right back at us! He didn’t care what we thought and he was just too funny for us to be angry.

Several weeks after we adopted him, we had a sofa re-upholstered in vinyl. He was housebroken, so we went out to supper to celebrate. When we returned, there were huge holes all over the sofa and big patches of vinyl and foam were missing - simply missing. They never did come out of that dog. He digested it – foam, vinyl, everything.

We thought he would outgrow his talent for getting into trouble, but when he was eight years old his gluttony got him into even more trouble – very serious trouble.

Our daughter brought home two boxes of Snickers, Milky Way and Nestle’s Crunch bars. Lots of chocolate - toxic to dogs. She closed her bedroom door and thinking she had shut it tight, left the candy bars on the floor.

That evening, I opened her door and found two empty boxes where 24, full-size candy bars had been, along with a few tiny bits of wrappers and foil inner wrappers. Banjo had eaten 24, full-size candy bars - foil, wrappers and all.

I found Banjo on the family room couch and for the first time in his life, he wasn’t feeling well and didn’t even bawl at me to give him supper. His belly was bloated and he was moaning a little. I knew that a deep-chested breed like a Bassett mix could bloat, go into gastric torsion and die, so I loaded him into the car and headed for the puppy doctor.

On the way there, Banjo got carsick and did what any Good Ol’ Hound would do: He puked up all 24 partly digested, high-chocolate-content candy bars, bits of foil and paper wrappers all over the dashboard, seats, and carpet of the car.

By the time we reached the puppy doctor he felt much better but for the first and only time in his life, he didn’t feel well enough to bawl at me for the supper he had missed.

It wasn’t funny at the time - he could easily have died. But looking back on it years later, I couldn’t stop laughing at his sheer gluttony and all the trouble it got him into. I even wrote a song about it called, Banjo Was A Good Ol’ Hound and had a demo made with a male demo-vocal artist, instrumentals and a banjo player, at a studio in Nashville.

I laughed when I thought of it then and I still laugh when I think of it now. I will always love him and miss him, because Banjo always made me laugh.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


I never had a Basset Hound, but my sister had a guinea pig she named Banjo and my daughter ended up with him.

He would 'whee, whee, whee' for lettuce and sit up just like a dog. We had him until he died of old age and he was one of the nicest pets we ever had.

Maybe gluttony goes with the name. ;-)

Vicki - Nice story, great dog!

I was certain I had heard your song, 'Banjo was a good ol' hound'. But I came to, and realized that what I had heard was Trini Lopez's, 'Sally was a good old girl'! - Sandy

I love loving dog stories. This was a good one. They remind me of the "good dogs" in my past. Thank you.

Poor Banjo and poor you and poor car seat. A great story.

Yuck, we pet owners really can put a good spin on dog stories..I felt like I could see him; you would think after devouring a couch, his ol' stomach could have tolerated some chocolate..Lord knows maybe that's what he thought too...great writing..Mary

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