Deemed useless by a rabbit hunting group for his tendency to wander, Xavier the basset hound was ordered to be euthanized if a home for him wasn’t immediately found. Luckily for him, Stacy Adams, who worked on the Illinois farm where the hunting dogs were kept, decided to adopt the two-year-old dog.
For two years, Xavier trusted only Stacy. “Xavier was painfully shy and had been abused by the people who ran the hunt,” she tells us. “My dad tried hard to be his friend, but Xavey was just too frightened. And then one day, while we were watching TV, he just jumped up into my dad's lap. I guess he decided it was time.”
Nine years later, this punchy pooch is anything but timid. Though he spends lots of time lounging, he has no problem letting everyone know when it’s time to play. He simply slaps the ground with his front feet, jumps from side to side and barks that loud basset bark.
Stacy is surprised by her eleven-year-old’s energy, but not by his disposition. “He’s the dog everyone loves,” she says. “He’s even great friends with my cat. Last year he had two herniated discs in his neck, and before surgery he let my cat clean his eyes and ears and snuggle with him.”
Now that he’s back on his feet, Xavier’s literally irresistible. “When he wants attention, he forces it on you,” Stacy tells us with a laugh. “He’ll climb up into your lap, put his head in your face and give you no choice—you have to snuggle with him.”