Nicki Messina and Dabber Doo Dog from Solvay, NY

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Human: Nicki Messina

Canine: Dabber Doo Dog

Location: Solvay, NY

Type: Basset Hound / Beagle mix

Our Story:

We had sadly lost our 11 year old apricot poodles, the only comfort I took was that they were old and lived a good lovely long life. But my son was heartbroken, as was I, and my sons 7th birthday was coming up, so he decided to get him (and me) a new puppy. I told him to go to a shelter first, but he had told me he had gotten a number from a flyer of a lady that was left with one beagle basset puppy from a litter she had.

He was on his way to the shelter as it was, so seeing as we were looking for just that kind of dog, it was a perfect match. A week later, my son’s birthday falls, and all day long he waited for his present. To my dismay, my husband got stuck working late that night, and when he left her had to drive another hour and a half away to get new puppy pants. SO my son waited up as long as he could, all the while following me around the house, “Mommy, where’s daddy with my present, mommy what time is it, mommy what’s taking daddy so long….”  Soon his little mouth fell quiet and he fell asleep.

An hour later, in walks my wonderful husband with a tiny bitty basset hound beagle. He was no bigger than a beenie baby. (Though yes, he was well old enough to come home to a new family.) He was bundled up in my husband’s jacket and he looked more than content just to cuddle there for the night. But I would not let him. I swooped him out from his comfy resting place and held him up to my eyes. He opened his, which were big as can be, and stretched his nose out to mine. He gave a little whine that let me know he just wanted more cuddles, so I happily obliged. My husband kindly reminded me that this was my son’s present not mine, and laughing, I carried him into the boy’s room to meet his new brothers.

Our youngest son was out cold and nothing can wake him once he’s out, and it took some doing to rouse my birthday boy, but what worked was setting the new puppy on his pillow next to his sleeping head. Right away puppy began nosing and butting the sleeping child and when his eyes opened, a smile of mass proportions spread across his face. He put his arm around him and said, “Wow, this is my present?” My husband and I just smiled and said “Yes, he’s your new best friend.”

There was no more sleeping for child or puppy for a good two hours, and once they did fall asleep, they fell asleep together on the living room floor, arm around puppy, puppy nose in child’s face. It was beautiful. The next morning we all tried to think of a name for such a dog who had super big floppy ears for such a tiny puppy. I wanted to name him Lenders (because he’s a beagle…get it? haha). But it was my son’s dog so it was only right that he got to name him. He said “His name should be Dabber.” When I asked why, he looked at me like i was simple and said, “Because mom, he has a dab of white on his tail.”

These days, a year and a half later, Dabber Doo is a rambunctious, loud, fast, protective member of the family. He loves going to the dog park to play with his buddies. Car rides are a daily must. And food?….Let’s just say this dog is very well fed. He sleeps with me on the couch after making sure his brothers are tucked in at night, and when that proves too uncomfortable for him, he sprawls on his back in my sofa chair and snores, just like his father.

I stopped buying him a lot of toys because he’s happier to play with empty milk cartons, one of which he is enjoying right now, and he has his little stuffed animals that he perfers over hard rubber chew toys or balls. He takes ME for walks, for he is quite strong and once he gets a scent in his nose, well, he won’t stop until he finds where the smell came from, which is usually the base of a tree in the park around the corner. He gets quite put out because he can’t climb the tree, though it doesn’t stop him from trying. We love our Dabber Doo Dog, he is one of us, and always will be.