LOWDOWN Winter 2013

CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF BARNABY (2002 to 2013)
MALRICH VOODOO (Malrich Private Ryan X Bassbarr Just A Jewel)

CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF BARNABY (2002 to 2013)
MALRICH VOODOO

(Malrich Private Ryan X Bassbarr Just A Jewel)

by Brian Malin

With the blessing of Debbie and Malcolm Ellrich we took on a two year old Barnaby (Barnababy to the grandchildren) from an eighty-four year old lady who never went out walking and was scared he would knock her over. It seems she thought she was getting a Dachshund!

With his noble head and the gait of an aristocrat (gliding rather than trotting) he was one to be noticed. Absolutely faultless in temperament - but still a Basset - expert in stealing food (his neck stretching so that nearly all work surfaces were literally easy meat) and he was better than a vacuum cleaner in extracting crumbs from crevices and pre-washing plates in the dishwasher.

Barnaby gave as much to us as we did to him. I owed it to him to return to the show ring after an absence of eight years and he fed my ego with some success, quickly gaining his stud number and with two placings in three appearances at Crufts - Reserve and Second. He rekindled our interest in the Breed and without that enthusiasm I doubt I would have had the privilege - and pleasure - of becoming your Chairman.

Barnaby gave no indication that he was at all troubled at losing his sight over the last couple of years and somehow never bumped into obstacles. Only last Christmas Day caught in pouring rain and whilst recovering from bloat (spleen removed and stomach sewn down) he put his nose to the ground and quickly located a dead rabbit in dense scrubby woodland some thirty feet away. There then ensued a tug of war - me trying to hold the wet greasy rabbit hind legs while he clamped his teeth into its head! The only way we could prize it from him was by jacking his neck up by his collar whilst pressing a slobber cloth over his nostrils so he couldn’t breath. That's one determined hound!

Easy going, relaxed and thoroughly amiable - unless he was fixed on food - and with a lifetime crush on Lola, he was a delight. He formed a mini-pack with the others and we loved their interaction, especially when they all tried to cram into one basket on cold nights - a hopeless tangle of Bassets.

Without Barnaby some of the spark has gone out of all of us (as many of you will have experienced) but hopefully only temporarily.

We are left pondering whether at our ages it is selfish to make our numbers up or if as in the past it is an opportunity to give another hound a secure life for a while and rely on the undoubted expertise of Basset Hound Welfare - impressively shown to us all by the thoughtful rehomings by our Rescue Officer Sue Sampson of which we have first hand knowledge.

Life will be easier with two hounds but that’s not really the point.

Either way Barnaby will always be deep in our hearts.

Words & image by Brian Malin ©2013

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

With the blessing of Debbie and Malcolm Ellrich we took on a two year old Barnaby (Barnababy to the grandchildren) from an eighty-four year old lady who never went out walking and was scared he would knock her over. It seems she thought she was getting a Dachshund!

With his noble head and the gait of an aristocrat (gliding rather than trotting) he was one to be noticed. Absolutely faultless in temperament - but still a Basset - expert in stealing food (his neck stretching so that nearly all work surfaces were literally easy meat) and he was better than a vacuum cleaner in extracting crumbs from crevices and pre-washing plates in the dishwasher.

Barnaby gave as much to us as we did to him. I owed it to him to return to the show ring after an absence of eight years and he fed my ego with some success, quickly gaining his stud number and with two placings in three appearances at Crufts - Reserve and Second. He rekindled our interest in the Breed and without that enthusiasm I doubt I would have had the privilege - and pleasure - of becoming your Chairman.

Barnaby gave no indication that he was at all troubled at losing his sight over the last couple of years and somehow never bumped into obstacles. Only last Christmas Day caught in pouring rain and whilst recovering from bloat (spleen removed and stomach sewn down) he put his nose to the ground and quickly located a dead rabbit in dense scrubby woodland some thirty feet away. There then ensued a tug of war - me trying to hold the wet greasy rabbit hind legs while he clamped his teeth into its head! The only way we could prize it from him was by jacking his neck up by his collar whilst pressing a slobber cloth over his nostrils so he couldn’t breath. That's one determined hound!

Easy going, relaxed and thoroughly amiable - unless he was fixed on food - and with a lifetime crush on Lola, he was a delight. He formed a mini-pack with the others and we loved their interaction, especially when they all tried to cram into one basket on cold nights - a hopeless tangle of Bassets.

Without Barnaby some of the spark has gone out of all of us (as many of you will have experienced) but hopefully only temporarily.

We are left pondering whether at our ages it is selfish to make our numbers up or if as in the past it is an opportunity to give another hound a secure life for a while and rely on the undoubted expertise of Basset Hound Welfare - impressively shown to us all by the thoughtful rehomings by our Rescue Officer Sue Sampson of which we have first hand knowledge.

Life will be easier with two hounds but that’s not really the point.

Either way Barnaby will always be deep in our hearts.

Words & image by Brian Malin ©2013

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts