LOWDOWN Summer 2009 page 14

EVERY LITTLE (BASSET) HELPS by Sally King

Early one morning, I decided rather than taking Rolph and Clara to the seafront I’d take them round some residential streets. Just for a change.

At the end of one of them is a shopping street, which is a fairly main road, with several other roads crossing it and an even bigger main road at the top.

It is at this point that Rolph suddenly sprints off as though he's seen a cat. I tense my arm waiting for the lead to jerk - and SNAP! His leash breaks.

Suddenly Rolph is running up the busy road, heading towards the main road, off lead.

Within a split second, Clara and I are running up same street, with me screaming “Rolph! Rolph!”, which, let's face it, sounds pretty much like a human trying to bark.

Rolph has the wind under his tail. He’s not stopping. People making their way to work and families on their way to school are sort-of scattering as this woolly mammoth and screaming woman come charging up the street.

Then he stops. He looks at me. I think “he’s waiting”. And he dives straight through the door of Tesco.

I get there just in time to see the naughty tail charging up the bread aisle.

What do I do? I can’t take a second dog into the shop (he’s at the dairy produce now).

There are several very surprised-looking Tesco employees standing looking at this anomaly (vegetables and heading to the soap powder).

Do they help? Do they offer to hold Clara so I can grab him? No, this is Britain. Everyone just pretends it isn’t happening - except Rolph, who, by this time, is having a high old time among the magazines and confectionery.

I am standing in the doorway yelling his name, but what true basset is going to come back when faced with a shelf of doggie treats?

I throw caution to the wind. Clara and I enter the shop and charge up and down the aisles, still yelling, following a buoyant explorer as he discovers previously unknown territories (canned fruit anyone?).

Eventually, he decides the game's up. He comes to me reluctantly, but obediently.

We leave the shop.

And all the people we leave inside are still all standing stock still, with that very British “gosh, did I really see that?” look on their faces.

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

Early one morning, I decided rather than taking Rolph and Clara to the seafront I’d take them round some residential streets. Just for a change.

At the end of one of them is a shopping street, which is a fairly main road, with several other roads crossing it and an even bigger main road at the top.

It is at this point that Rolph suddenly sprints off as though he's seen a cat. I tense my arm waiting for the lead to jerk - and SNAP! His leash breaks.

Suddenly Rolph is running up the busy road, heading towards the main road, off lead.

Within a split second, Clara and I are running up same street, with me screaming “Rolph! Rolph!”, which, let's face it, sounds pretty much like a human trying to bark.

Rolph has the wind under his tail. He’s not stopping. People making their way to work and families on their way to school are sort-of scattering as this woolly mammoth and screaming woman come charging up the street.

Then he stops. He looks at me. I think “he’s waiting”. And he dives straight through the door of Tesco.

I get there just in time to see the naughty tail charging up the bread aisle.

What do I do? I can’t take a second dog into the shop (he’s at the dairy produce now).

There are several very surprised-looking Tesco employees standing looking at this anomaly (vegetables and heading to the soap powder).

Do they help? Do they offer to hold Clara so I can grab him? No, this is Britain. Everyone just pretends it isn’t happening - except Rolph, who, by this time, is having a high old time among the magazines and confectionery.

I am standing in the doorway yelling his name, but what true basset is going to come back when faced with a shelf of doggie treats?

I throw caution to the wind. Clara and I enter the shop and charge up and down the aisles, still yelling, following a buoyant explorer as he discovers previously unknown territories (canned fruit anyone?).

Eventually, he decides the game's up. He comes to me reluctantly, but obediently.

We leave the shop.

And all the people we leave inside are still all standing stock still, with that very British “gosh, did I really see that?” look on their faces.

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts