LOWDOWN Winter 2012

PRINCESS BESSIE-BOO (1999 - 2012)

A TRIBUTE BY SHEILA WILLIAMS


I miss her after each dinner licking the plates as they go into the dish washer
I miss her standing on the dishwasher door to lick the cutlery without my looking
I miss her ‘hoovering’ up the fallen scraps after having finished the evening chores
I miss the welcome each morning after the night’s sleep
I miss not having her in the car.

I still wind down the back window so that she could sniff the air and be happy if I went into the shops.

I miss the walks and the ‘potters’ towards the end of her time with me. The sniffing of every blade of grass she passed by never went amiss, but the squirrels got away as did the adventurous neighbour’s cat towards the end, she became very tolerant in her old age and very wise.

She was a brilliant family dog and when she hopped into the car aged about eighteen months to come and join my family she never looked back. Instantly bonded with my then five year old grandson, Tommy, and they became inseparable. Beware though postmen, gasmen, meter readers, delivery men and any strange man who dared enter her boundaries. This lovable Basset hound became ferocious and our postman learned to not come near if the front door was open as my letters would have been shredded, as would part of his anatomy! Fortunately, he was very understanding - but a Hush Puppy she was not!

I met Miranda in Burgess Hill shortly after Bes came to us; and she suggested I bring her on the Basset walks run by Veronica Ross, as it would be nice to get Bessie used to other dogs and, what’s more, people!

I did, and here we are twelve years later, still going on Basset walks, what fun they have been, and have met many new friends - what’s more, all with Bassets!

Eventually, she overcame her fear of tall people - this was so when Tony went off to retrieve Bes after she went off on a deer hunt one time. He found her, but she would not be caught and would not come back with him. After many attempts at this he just turned round and left her there. She obviously weighed all this up and made a decision that she did not want to be left on her own and fortunately decided to follow this tall man back to the pack! I was very grateful to Tony, but she never did that again!

She turned out to be a great family dog and my other two youngest grandchildren, Sam and Erin, miss her. Now not able to give the odd titbit if there was too much on their plates; and miss the nudging on the knee to remind them she was there waiting for a piece of their dinner to pass her way.

Latterly, Dennis would have great early morning conversations with her whilst making the tea - saying she was the baddest dog in the world and how naughty she had been etc. Bes would just woof back at him showing those doleful eyes and without even bothering to get out of her bed, but of course, she just knew he was weak minded and the words were hollow as a biscuit or three always came her way when the tea was done!

The pain of losing her is still hard to bear and I know one day this will all happen again - in Ben Fogle’s words after losing Inca “Because grief is the price we pay for love”.

She has crossed over the bridge now and as Frankie so aptly said she is spending one whole hour sniffing one blade of grass and walking without stumbling - what a Princess she was!

Sleep well my lovely Bes.

WORDS AND PHOTO BY SHEILA WILLIAMS

I still wind down the back window so that she could sniff the air and be happy if I went into the shops.

I miss the walks and the ‘potters’ towards the end of her time with me. The sniffing of every blade of grass she passed by never went amiss, but the squirrels got away as did the adventurous neighbour’s cat towards the end, she became very tolerant in her old age and very wise.

She was a brilliant family dog and when she hopped into the car aged about eighteen months to come and join my family she never looked back. Instantly bonded with my then five year old grandson, Tommy, and they became inseparable. Beware though postmen, gasmen, meter readers, delivery men and any strange man who dared enter her boundaries. This lovable Basset hound became ferocious and our postman learned to not come near if the front door was open as my letters would have been shredded, as would part of his anatomy! Fortunately, he was very understanding - but a Hush Puppy she was not!

I met Miranda in Burgess Hill shortly after Bes came to us; and she suggested I bring her on the Basset walks run by Veronica Ross, as it would be nice to get Bessie used to other dogs and, what’s more, people!

I did, and here we are twelve years later, still going on Basset walks, what fun they have been, and have met many new friends - what’s more, all with Bassets!

Eventually, she overcame her fear of tall people - this was so when Tony went off to retrieve Bes after she went off on a deer hunt one time. He found her, but she would not be caught and would not come back with him. After many attempts at this he just turned round and left her there. She obviously weighed all this up and made a decision that she did not want to be left on her own and fortunately decided to follow this tall man back to the pack! I was very grateful to Tony, but she never did that again!

She turned out to be a great family dog and my other two youngest grandchildren, Sam and Erin, miss her. Now not able to give the odd titbit if there was too much on their plates; and miss the nudging on the knee to remind them she was there waiting for a piece of their dinner to pass her way.

Latterly, Dennis would have great early morning conversations with her whilst making the tea - saying she was the baddest dog in the world and how naughty she had been etc. Bes would just woof back at him showing those doleful eyes and without even bothering to get out of her bed, but of course, she just knew he was weak minded and the words were hollow as a biscuit or three always came her way when the tea was done!

The pain of losing her is still hard to bear and I know one day this will all happen again - in Ben Fogle’s words after losing Inca “Because grief is the price we pay for love”.

She has crossed over the bridge now and as Frankie so aptly said she is spending one whole hour sniffing one blade of grass and walking without stumbling - what a Princess she was!

Sleep well my lovely Bes.

WORDS AND PHOTO BY SHEILA WILLIAMS

(Ed. We absolutely loved having Bes staying here with us at Hounds Lodge. Both Pablo and Nico knew better than to argue with her should she decide to occupy one of their favourite beds. Not that she was ever aggressive to them - they just seemed to instinctively respect her.

As with all our female canine visitors, Nico would become very protective towards them and insist on escorting them around the garden, like a personal bodyguard. Bes, especially, appeared to enjoy this service, her busy little tail spinning like a rotor.

Though never the most enthusiastic walker, she still enjoyed our treks on the nearby South Downs. Our ‘boys’ would charge on ahead as usual, then realise Bes was not keeping up, so return and attempt - always unsuccessfully - to chivvy her along.

She loved her meal times, and loved sleeping. Over nearly forty years of Basset Hound ownership I have never heard a hound snore louder or longer than this sweet Princess.

Both Frankie and I have lovely memories of her snuggling up close to us on the sofa. She loved these evening cuddles.

Bessie was a true individual - bags of character. Like Sheila, we miss her so very much.

Sleep well, you precious girl.)

Sheila commissioned this special weathervane to commemorate Bes

Lowdown Winter 2012/13 Contents

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts