LOWDOWN Summer 2008 page 5

FINALLY, NOTHING BUT BASSETS

Brian Malin

Because of his problems, Allsorts will always be special for me. He is an excellent guard dog and nothing is allowed in the courtyard. Unfortunately, the courtyard is shared and our neighbour has cats whose wanderings are fiercely challenged!

We discovered early on that he was very fierce when the doorbell rang. Perversely, he would drive us away and prevent us going to the door; but, when a visitor entered, he was pleased to see them. I suggest that this was dominance, again to show he was in charge of penning us in. In a rare moment of inspiration, I replaced the bell with a portable strobe light, so he isn’t triggered by the sound. Heaven help us if he realises the light is the key!

In the fullness of time, we were parted from the delightfully good Honey, who was always trying to calm down Cooper, Oliver, Allsorts and then we lost Uncle Oliver - a lovable lump to the last.

Help! We only had Cooper and Allsorts. Bassets were reigning supreme.

A lady at dog training was a rescue officer for Newfoundland rescue and casually mentioned a 2 year old was coming in following a marriage breakdown. Excitement from me, but caution from Jill, who cannot cope without thinking sensibly first - the opposite to me, who tends to jump feet-first into the mire. I was persuaded to wait a few days at least - difficult grooming, major slobber, etc., etc.

Fate again, or was it a spell cast by Bassets since departed? Enter Barnaby. I met his owner’s daughter walking round the block the day he arrived and he was pulling unmercifully. She mentioned her mother was then aged 84 and never went out walking, so Daughter was doing her best. Apparently, Mother was hanging on to banisters and doors in fear of being knocked over by this powerful (but adorable) hound. We said if Mother became ill, or wanted a holiday, we would happily look after him.

A few months later, I saw in my rear mirror a figure running to catch us before we entered the courtyard. It was Daughter, who explained Barnaby was too much and Mother was now due for a nursing home. I half-heartedly mentioned Basset Rescue, but she said it would be a happier agreement if we incorporated him with ours. Not half, we thought!

We had to be sensible and realised much gradual introduction was needed with our boys - especially Allsorts. We took ten weeks and Daughter and Mother, who clearly loved him, obliged our every whim. Eventually, he successfully stayed overnight and we now had a pack of three.

Barnaby was such an easy rescue thanks to the owner’s patience with us and he responded really quickly to obedience classes. The instructor was amazed - especially at the recall - but, of course, these things seem to last only for the duration of the class! No, that’s unfair, he is willing to oblige and will reduce his tendency to being randy if enough hounds tell him off.

For all the dogs, we give great thanks; and hope others will feel moved to write in about their hounds.

When we next have a vacancy I hope to take on a Bloodhound - shortish coat, and Jill seems almost convinced - unless, of course, the Bassets cast another spell!

Brian Malin

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

Because of his problems, Allsorts will always be special for me. He is an excellent guard dog and nothing is allowed in the courtyard. Unfortunately, the courtyard is shared and our neighbour has cats whose wanderings are fiercely challenged!

We discovered early on that he was very fierce when the doorbell rang. Perversely, he would drive us away and prevent us going to the door; but, when a visitor entered, he was pleased to see them. I suggest that this was dominance, again to show he was in charge of penning us in. In a rare moment of inspiration, I replaced the bell with a portable strobe light, so he isn’t triggered by the sound. Heaven help us if he realises the light is the key!

In the fullness of time, we were parted from the delightfully good Honey, who was always trying to calm down Cooper, Oliver, Allsorts and then we lost Uncle Oliver - a lovable lump to the last.

Help! We only had Cooper and Allsorts. Bassets were reigning supreme.

A lady at dog training was a rescue officer for Newfoundland rescue and casually mentioned a 2 year old was coming in following a marriage breakdown. Excitement from me, but caution from Jill, who cannot cope without thinking sensibly first - the opposite to me, who tends to jump feet-first into the mire. I was persuaded to wait a few days at least - difficult grooming, major slobber, etc., etc.

Fate again, or was it a spell cast by Bassets since departed? Enter Barnaby. I met his owner’s daughter walking round the block the day he arrived and he was pulling unmercifully. She mentioned her mother was then aged 84 and never went out walking, so Daughter was doing her best. Apparently, Mother was hanging on to banisters and doors in fear of being knocked over by this powerful (but adorable) hound. We said if Mother became ill, or wanted a holiday, we would happily look after him.

A few months later, I saw in my rear mirror a figure running to catch us before we entered the courtyard. It was Daughter, who explained Barnaby was too much and Mother was now due for a nursing home. I half-heartedly mentioned Basset Rescue, but she said it would be a happier agreement if we incorporated him with ours. Not half, we thought!

We had to be sensible and realised much gradual introduction was needed with our boys - especially Allsorts. We took ten weeks and Daughter and Mother, who clearly loved him, obliged our every whim. Eventually, he successfully stayed overnight and we now had a pack of three.

Barnaby was such an easy rescue thanks to the owner’s patience with us and he responded really quickly to obedience classes. The instructor was amazed - especially at the recall - but, of course, these things seem to last only for the duration of the class! No, that’s unfair, he is willing to oblige and will reduce his tendency to being randy if enough hounds tell him off.

For all the dogs, we give great thanks; and hope others will feel moved to write in about their hounds.

When we next have a vacancy I hope to take on a Bloodhound - shortish coat, and Jill seems almost convinced - unless, of course, the Bassets cast another spell!

Brian Malin

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts