Sunday, 11 September 2011

Independence Day

If you are not owned by a Basset (yes I have got that the right way around), certain aspects of their behaviour you may find extremely frustrating to say the least. If you live with a Basset(s) you simply try and laugh it off and press on regardless. I have two sons, one studying at University some distance from me, the second works in finance and lives a lot closer. Consequently Nick my eldest often helps out as a Basset sitter. The hounds love Nick, he was one of the first humans they met. He is also 6’4” and loves nothing more than a play scrap with the hounds. They behave like forlorn love lost puppies when Nick arrives. They also do absolutely NOTHING he says. To them he is a mate, a pal someone who has a scrap with them gives them a biscuit. They are certainly not going to do anything he says because he is not in charge. He can’t be, he is Nick and he must ‘sort of’ be their brother. Life according to Bassets….

In the last couple of weeks a major rugby tournament in Twickenham, London   meant that I was away from home very early and arriving home very late. Nick obligingly stayed at my house and agreed to look after the Hounds. I left a comprehensive (typed) list to assist him during the day:~

“Dear Nick,

  • Please don’t walk the boys before 2pm if it is too hot as they simply won’t move.
  • If they tell you that they have biscuits every 30 minutes this is NOT true. Do not be fooled by gooey eyed looks and saggy ears.
  • They get dinner at 5pm. There is no variation on this. Do not believe any Basset watches they may refer to.
  • They have ONE crunchy biscuit/tripe stick after dinner. This referred to as ‘pudding.’ Ignore any protestations that they have more than one. NO, lying on the floor feigning starvation does not mean they can have two.
  • We have a large rear garden. YES, they are allowed in the garden despite any suggestion by them that they are not allowed off the sofa after dark. You may need to gently shove their more than substantial butts off the sofa in the general direction of the back garden. 
  • Any problems just call me on my mobile (‘cell’ to our cousins in the USA).

Lots of love, Dad.”

Leaving home ‘early doors’ nick was met by Lewis & Monty who began their usual celebratory play fight in the living room. Some time much later I arrived home having celebrated two games of rugby…well shall I say celebrated maybe a little too much!

The hounds were asleep on their sofa although Lewis managed to open his  left eye about 0.00005 of a millimetre. He also appeared to take a very deep gulp and nudged Monty with his nose. They both now raised their heads not more than an inch off the sofa but were now very wide eyed. Something was afoot, as they had not come to greet me. 

Me ~ “ Where did you take the boys for a walk then Nick?”

Nick ~ “ I didn’t Dad. They got to the front gate and just refused to move….”

Me ~ “WHAT? Refused to move??”

Nick ~ “ Yep, and I would swear that Lewis suddenly adopted a limp. Monty looked at me like he was telling me that they NEVER go out without travelling in the car. They both turned around got back on the sofa and would not budge. I thought they may be a bit unwell so I didn’t risk it. ”

At this point I turned to face the hounds, they had got down from the sofa and both looked a little unnerved.


If the hounds could have grabbed the car keys bleeped the fob and got in the back of the car they would have done. They had been found out. I have never seen two Bassets move SO quickly toward the front garden and a well trodden walk route. The moral of the story is this:~

  • Do not believe Bassets, they invariably are having you on.
  • Their motives are usually driven by food.
  • They all hold Basset Equity cards and can “out act,” most of Hollywood.
  •  Going slow on a walk does not mean they are tired. It means they do not like the route you have taken.
  • If you leave them in the care of others ensure a full briefing is given. Alternatively arrive home to find your Basset(s) on your favourite sofa eating a pizza whilst supping a beer in front of your TV.

We I change them for anything else? Of course not!

The hounds have also created a new sport. BMX. No nothing to do with bicycles and dirt paths. Well it should do, unfortunately Basset M X involves hounds invading a local track to play with the kids….more to follow soon!