Sunday, 27 June 2010


Bassets smell. Sorry all you Basset owners but they do, its a fact of life. You can bath them, perfume them, spray your cheapest aftershave on them but they will still pong. It must have something to do with all the folds of skin. You can spray them down with your garden high pressure hose but half an hour later you will still find some old biscuit and or your mobile telephone hidden in one of their many rolls. I remember watching some 'Fat Club' programme on TV . A lady from the USA was so fat that she was the size of Bournemouth. Apparently it was something to do with her metabolism. Yes, it was so faulty that she had to eat 973 pizzas a day washed down with a reservoir of Diet Coke ( like the 'diet' made a difference). Any how she developed an infection which involved her home being dismantled so that the 17 cranes and NASA could lift her onto a flat bed truck. Metabolism my arse, she just liked eating. Eating everything she could see. When they eventually arrived at hospital a careful examination revealed that a TV remote had become embedded under a roll of fat. Now I am sure that would stayed there had it not have been for the two batteries corroding and leaking out onto her Ned Kelly.
In a nutshell the folds hide all manner of nasties. The hounds are no different, I know that I have mentioned their body odours previously but we grow accustomed to the smells, the habits and the myriad of bodily functions.
In April this year my sister said that we simply MUST bring "The Boyz" up North as my niece 'Han' was desperate to see them. My sister lives in a big house. A big posh house. A big posh house that is so posh you have to go through security checks to get onto the private land. I love visiting sis but the thought of appearing with the hounds brought a whole host of fears ! I called ahead:~
Me " so uh..are you sure about bringing the hounds up ?"
Sis " Of course Han really wants to see them. She has told all her friends."
Me " You know they can uh a bit.. you know..."
Sis " what smelly?"
Me "Well yeah."

My Mam and Dad were at Sis's house and were offering support in the background. They had received the hounds during an earlier visit.

Mam " They weren't that bad.."
Me " Weren ' t they ?"
Dad ( in true Northern honesty) " Aye they bloody were. They bloody stink..."

Me " Sis if you are sure....."
Sis " I am, just bring them up and don't worry."

I "didn't worry' so much that I washed every item of bedding I could find. I sand blasted their dog bed and threw both hounds in the bath with a litre of "doggy bubbles." They smelt like a couple of poofs. We rolled up North in the trusty old T reg Volvo. Entering the 'gated'estate I realised that my car was worth considerably less than the garden mowers I was passing. Travelling the mile or so journey into the estate I could see children being hauled inside by worried parents.

" Quick ..inside Tarquin..........Gypsies.."

Car alarms bleeped as the 'anti thief alarms' were activated, Neighbourhood watch wardens had already downloaded pictures of the old Volvo to their personal contacts at New Scotland Yard. I thought to myself, " shit I'm glad I least washed it." Even the mutts shrunk down in the back. I was waiting to be stopped and asked at any point " for my papers."

Passing the Porsches, BMW X5's, Mercedes and huge 4WD cars I realised that we were THE CLAMPETS. I should have worn denim dungarees and a baseball cap. Even the hounds began to howl on queue . The twitching curtains must have thought the blood hounds had arrived to search for a missing hub cap (from an X5). Han rushed out to the car and I threw open the stink hatch. The Boyz flopped onto the driveway followed by a a cloud of fur and dust, shaking and slobbering they darted into the house with a small tornado of hairs curling behind them. Han was beside herself with excitement and was keen to display hounds to her friends. Han brought her closet friends and suggested that we " go down the woods" with The hounds. Tamsin, Amelia, Charlotte and Chardonnay duly arrived. No older than 7 (going on 25) they lined up for our trek into the bushland. I ensured that I had the requisite authorities from parents and we set off. Han , clearly the toughie and pack leader had to have both the hounds who led as if searching (for the hub cap). Twenty three feet later Charlotte was concerned that her £150.00 Ugg Boots were going to get dirty. Amelia announced she had a nut allergy.

Me " Well we will have to try and avoid dirty bits...........Amelia don't eat any acorns."

Tamsin " Are there snakes."

Me " Yes loads"

Tamsin (opening her IPhone from the leather wallet) " I m ringing Mummy.."

Me " I'm only joking Tamsin...sorry."

The Boyz were blissfully oblivious to all the excitement. Lewis had found a garden backing onto woodland that was home to dozens of chickens. He was transfixed. All Han's best efforts couldn't move the great lump. He was hypnotised by hens. Even Lord Monty usually bored by everything sat glued. I wondered what was going on in their world:~

Lewis " What are they?
Monty " Dunno, I think they could be parrots."
L " Parrots ?"
M " Yep I think so."
L " How do you know so much?"
M " Discovery Animal Planet."
L " Can we play with them?"
M " Nah...deadly"
L " What teeth you mean?"
M " Nah.. dope...deadly poisonous."
L " Really?"
M " Yep, see that red thing on their head"
L " yeah"
M " Full of deadly venom."
L " Glad your here."
M " Shall we drag the kids into some mud ? "
L " Sounds good to me."

Han had handed to mantle of hound leader over to Charlotte dragging her Ugg boots neatly into a pile of black slimy and extremely dirty mud. Tamsin stopped abruptly.

Tam " Kevin I have broken my ankle."
Me " No you haven't Tamsin, you will be fine.."
Tam " please carry me.."
Me " ok for a little while."

37 and a half inches later.
Tam " it's fixed now"
Me " Okay that's good lets go on....."

The trek short walk involved lifting Tamsin. Carrying two Bassets over a stream ( and back), carrying several small children over a stream ( and back). Looking after nut allergies, Ugg boots and broken ankles. The hounds behaved impeccably. During our trek they posed as Huskies, search hounds, wolves ( tough one for them!) and on several occasions St. Bernhard's. We all made it back safely and even the Ugg Boots survived.

Hounds never did find that X5 hub cap !!