Welcome to hound town


So I was a big fat fail on the "Name our new dog" poll. The design of the blog cut off the bar graph portion so I have no way of reading the results. Duh. But we do have a name - from all of the Instagram comments and texts and various suggestions over social media and in person, we would like you to meet …

Fletcher Curtis Skelley

And he is a hoss.

Why Fletcher? The Engineer named our other two bassets, Jake and Baxter - so this time I finally got to name a dog after one of my all-time favorite movies. A hint - 

When my friend Allison saw that Fletcher was one of our choices, she posted this on my Facebook:

My vote is for Fletcher. But only if he can also go by Nostradamus or Don Corleone. Too bad he'll never be 6'5 or 6'9 with the Afro.

That's comment gold, people. 

We have always had medium-sized bassets but this guy is a chunk of dog. We met his foster mom Brandi in Guntersville yesterday and Little Kid was so excited that she stayed home from summer camp. She counted down the hours … and then the minutes. When we pulled up at the meeting place, I took one look at him and told A., "That is a big dog."

But he is sweet and good and so friendly. Did not make a peep on the car ride home. I would not have known he was there if I did not see the white tipped tail wagging. He has taken a shine to the Little Kid, they already are very attached to each other. He went upstairs looking for her at 6am which was fun to get him down - looks like the baby gate will be returning to Casa de Skelley. I wonder if she will be closer to this dog since he will be here for her elementary years, versus her baby/toddler years with Baxter.

He's a Stage 5 Clinger right now, which we expected. Having lived with other dogs at his foster home for a whole year, we have been concerned about how he would adjust. At bedtime he tried to get in the bed with us, but luckily the big guy can't jump that high. I sat on the floor with him for a little while until 10pm and then informed him that it was time for bed. He got up once during the night and wandered for a little bit before going back to his dog bed and then got up with The Engineer. He seems to really like television, which I remember Baxter did too. He watched football and Law & Order. So far Fletcher is enjoying the Disney Channel and he will stop everything to watch a dance sequence. I think he will adjust well once he realizes that he is the #1 Dog in the Skelley household and does not have to share attention with any other fur balls.

Fletcher has yet to eat anything but pizza crusts because I am a sucker. I know some of you pet owners out there are Gasp!PeopleFood and I'm sorry (I am not really sorry). We do have the same food that he ate at his foster family so I think once he calms down, he will start to eat again. 

Our neighbors the Bs left him the cutest welcome goodie bag with some sweet treats and a note:

Needless to say that he liked his treats a lot. You can tell he is used to being quick so he can get his - he will take your hand off when getting his treat. Now he is a drooler, Good Lord is he a drooler. It does not help that he completely submerges his head in his water bowl, which is hilarious to watch. I  am wondering if Baxter's meds (which made him very thirsty) also dried up his drool because I had forgotten what it was like to experience flying drool. I need to stock up on my magic erasers again - I have found that they are the best way to remove dog from the walls. And the shedding … I look like I am wearing fur leggings. I guess as Bax got older, he shed less. Fletcher is the sweetest guy, though.

We have had a few small puddled inside - something else that I anticipated. Baxter never had accidents until the last week of his life when he had several. So we thought Fletcher would smell them and try to mark his territory - we will have to stop that before it starts. We let Bax slide on a lot of things, but we are trying to establish some better habits with the new pup.

Adjusting to a younger dog has been interesting. I didn't realize how our life revolved around our elderly dog. Baxter's days of long walks and dog parks were behind him, but once again, I find myself thinking of ways to tire out Fletcher so he will sleep well at night. He does not sleep as long or as deep as Baxter did. I also did not recognize how sedentary that we had become with Baxter. He was always our furry lump but I think that we were approaching human lumps. I see us spending more time on the patio with him and I am pricing dog stairs to get him into my crossover. I threw my back out picking up Baxter at his largest and The Engineer had a time getting him out yesterday so I know that if we are going to be mobile, we need an easier way of getting him my automobile. I think he will be a fixture at the soccer field this fall.

And I have been coming to terms with how taking care of an elderly, sick dog changed me. I find myself a little paranoid now (Now? Asks the Engineer). I watch him closely and worry about the effect of his extra weight on his health. I think about potential health problems and shorter life-expectancies. Worrying about Baxter took a bigger toll than I knew.

He has already met several neighbors and a couple of his new puppy friends and has taken one jaunt around the block. He will walk with us every morning to the kids' school so I think that will also get him some exercise, attention and maybe slim him down a tad.

He has the biggest heart - literally, he has a heart spot on his chest:

I am always nervous bringing a new dog into the home - I want everyone to love each other and be happy and settled. #neurotic I want everyone to co-exist in peaceful harmony. So far, so good.

Happy Thursday!

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Let's hear it for the boy


I am not even really a fan of that song but last week marked the first time in a long, LONG time that Big Kid and I were together by ourselves. Probably since The Engineer went overseas in 2007 for work. Little was born in January 2008 and since then if M. traveled, both kids were here or if one child was gone, he was here. So what does one do with a ten-year-old boy?

Sno Cones, a trip to Barnes & Noble to buy books for the car ride to Nana's, a Waffle House stop, dinner at Red Robin and a little shopping for Mom, which required some bribery. Gramma took him to the movies and the Space & Rocket Ctr. while I was in work Monday and as you can see above, there were several Pokemon games with his "bros," as they are known around here. Toss in some swimming and another trip to the movies with his day camp and everything was coming up Big Kid last week.

(That is actually not an alcoholic beverage above. It is a Freckled Lemonade from Red Robin and it is the best thing that I have ever drank in my life.)

The Engineer returned home on Friday, unpacked, packed again and then we all headed to his hometown in Tennessee for his 25th class reunion. By the end of the day, he had traveled through four states.

Confidential to Paris, TN: Hey Becky! :D

Pics are a little blurry due to the low lighting. M. has a core group of friends (if you were my son you might refer to them as his "bros,") that he has been tight with since they were kids.

They are all scattered across different cities and states and we don't see them often, but when they do get together, it is as no time has passed. They are a great group of guys and it was a fun weekend. Not meeting The Engineer until he was 29, I am always interested in getting a peek into his younger days. He was already established into a career and a pretty confident guy when we met so it is always fun to see pictures and talk to people who knew him when he was a sweet, shy teenager.

In other Team Skelley news, the response to Name that Hound has been epic with people IGing, texting and Facebooking their picks, in addition to voting here. Even the college kid who mows our yard put in his vote for Watson this evening. As of Monday night, Fletcher is in the lead, but you have one more day to vote!

Happy Monday!

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Name that hound


If you follow Team Skelley on Instagram (@teamskelley) you might have seen this photo last week:

This is Curtis. He is three and a happy fellow who loves kids, dogs and just having a good time. Our friend Mary sent his picture to us a couple of weeks ago and I immediately had this feeling that he was supposed to be a Skelley hound. So I talked to the medical coordinator at Basset Hound Rescue of Alabama, which is where we adopted Baxter and submitted an application. He has been with his foster mom for a year and really needed a forever home. We lost Baxter only a month ago but have known since spring that he would not be with us for much longer, so we have had several months to grieve and accept the inevitable. Even though the kids are very excited about having a new dog (Little Kid doesn't know what it is like to have a young dog), I have talked to them about it being okay to still miss Baxter and how Curtis is not a replacement dog.

Last week I exchanged texts with his foster mom Brandi to get a feel for his personality. His description reminded me so much of Baxter, who was also around three when we adopted him. We passed our home visit Wednesday and made plans to pick up Curtis next week.

But we have a problem. What will be his name? I don't think I can have a dog named Curtis. No offense to any dogs named Curtis out there, but that is like naming your dog Kevin. Or Tim. We need your help! These are some names the various members of the family have floated around. We need you to vote for your favorite below or submit your suggestion in the comment section below. The winning name will be announced on Wed., July 23.


Editor's note: Due to technical difficulties embedding the poll in this post, the poll is in the sidebar of this page under the social media icons.

Thanks for your help!

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