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The Pawgress Report: The floppy-eared Flash

By Nick Murphy

Introducing Flash, political science professor David Smailes’ beloved basset hound.

Smailes and his girlfriend Maureen adopted the floppy pup from a rescue shelter in Tennessee. Before long, Flash and the other rescue dogs were transported to Rhode Island, where they would meet up with their new families.

It was time for Flash to find her forever home.

Given her stocky and stout characteristics, both Maureen and Smailes agreed that Flash would be the perfect name for the low-riding hound.

Despite being nervous during the car ride home, Flash was eager to be part of the family. “The very first night we brought her home, she jumped up on the bed and it scared Maureen to death,” Smailes said.

“She just loves to be with people,” he added.

Before long, Flash began a morning ritual of barking at the neighbor’s dog, Sparky. “If we even said the name Sparky, Flash would perk up and run to the window to bark,” said Smailes.

Over the years, Flash accrued her fair share of admirers with her endearing “perpetually sad”

expression and her placid demeanor. “She’s just so approachable, and a face like that isn’t very threatening, so people of all ages are comfortable with her,” Smailes said.

“She’s the goofiest dog and she fetches so many compliments. ... If there is such a thing as

reincarnation, I hope I come back as Flash,” he added with a laugh.

While her fanbase is ever-growing, Flash’s number one fan is Maureen’s youngest grandchild Sidney.

“Of the four grandchildren, only Sidney was really interested in Flash. In fact she fell in love with her, and so did Flash,” said Smailes. “You could really see how they connected right away,” he added.

Sidney shows her appreciation for the droopy-faced Flash by drawing her pictures and giving her plenty of belly rubs.

When she’s not indulging in a barrage of belly rubs from her best friend, Flash loves to chow down on some of her favorite snacks, either pizza crusts or peanut butter.

“She’s actually a pretty picky eater, but she does have a few favorite snacks,” Smailes said.

While she may be a selective eater now, at one time Flash had no qualms about scarfing down an entire tray of cupcakes, leading to a jittery three-day sugar rush.

Flash has since settled into old age and while most of her mischievous days are behind her, she is still full of life and love. Her glaucoma has left her blind in both eyes, but she still manages to navigate her home with ease.

“We were nervous at first, but she relies so much on her hearing and sense of smell that she copes with her blindness incredibly well,” Smailes said.

“Dogs are like that – they adapt” he added.

No matter what comes her way, Flash doesn’t let anything slow her down.



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