This sad, flop-eared beast is formally known as Champion Siefenjagenheim Lazy Bones, and if his name seems awe-inspiring (like him, it has its roots in Germany and refers to "Siefen's hunters' home" after his breeder), it is no less so than his record. He is a 4-year-old basset hound with a record as long as his ears, and is the undisputed king of his kind.
On the dog-show circuit, Lazy Bones is known and respected as a fierce competitor, rarely beaten and sporting a record which should be an inspiration to any ambitious puppy. But at home on Long Island with Frank Hardy, his handler, "Junior," as he is known to his friends, is a relaxed, engaging character who insists on sleeping in the Hardys' own bed and spends a good deal of time going through garbage pails to supplement the lean diet he is kept on. Junior, like any star, puts on weight easily, and doesn't show as well when he is fat.
Hardy first saw Lazy Bones as an eight-week-old puppy, at 3 a.m., after a party in Michigan. Possibly fired by the spirits of the occasion, he bought him on the spot for a conservative $150. He later sold him to Chris G. Teeter, of Birmingham, Michigan, the president of the Detroit Kennel Club, who has since refused $10,000 for him.
Teeter had been a breeder of cocker spaniels until his son, ill with arthritis, saw a basset on TV one day and asked to have one. Teeter bought a hound and soon switched almost entirely to the breed. He also owns Champion Slow Poke Hubertus, who was kingpin until Lazy Bones came along. The Hardys, specialists in handling hounds, board Teeter's bassets much of the time and show them for him.
Junior's accomplishments are staggering. When he enters the ring at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia's show this weekend, he will be gunning for his 129th best-of-breed, his 69th best-of-hound group and his ninth best-in-show. He has won every national basset-hound specialty show ever held and has been best basset both at the Westminster and at the Morris and Essex. At the latter he scored what Hardy feels is his biggest triumph so far, when he won best-of-hound group this spring, beating, among others, Champion Shirkhan of Grandeur, the great Afghan who won best-in-show at the Westminster in 1957. Last year he was named Hound of the Year by the American Kennel Club.
Lazy Bones' stud fee is $150, and he has sired more than 300 offspring, 15 of which have already finished their championship. He may travel to compete in Mexico and France in 1958 (when flying, Junior is considered just plain excess baggage and locked up in the luggage compartment), and his plans for the future include a possible romance with Cleo, the female basset star of the TV program The People's Choice.
Between shows and stud dates Junior sits around the house and dreams of bigger and better hamburgers. He gets a weekly beauty treatment, which he accepts with a good deal of nonchalance. As bassets go, he is sitting pretty.