Thursday, 22 March 2012

Life according to Lewis

We never get the chance to write anything. We get plenty written about us but nothing from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Look, life as a Basset is pretty tough you know. Take mornings for example. We are literally pushed off the sofa at the crack of dawn (usually about 7am). We have barely had about 10 hours sleep by then. Even if I don’t really fancy it, I am told, yes told, that I must go out in the garden, “for a wee.” Sometimes I don’t want one. I am quite happy to stay in bed and when I am good and ready will paw the back door. I am not a puppy now you know. All our protestations simply fall on deaf ears. Out we go. Last month we had frost and it was dark. Anything could have been in that garden. Just last week we saw a grey squirrel. Those things can be deadly, I’ve heard about them. They have got teeth like sharpened dominoes. Monty has begun little protests when we are forced out on a morning. He actually has a pee on the steps before he gets to the garden. Sadly they appear to have cottoned onto this and have taken to giving his bum a gentle shove so that he is forced onto that cold garden surface.

I have tried a new tact. I have found a hiding place round the back of the greenhouse. I wait till we are called in and completely ignore them. Its really funny how humans voices seem to get more high pitched the more stressed they become. I usually give it a good five minutes so that they put out a search party assuming (wrongly) that I have escaped. I then trot into the kitchen like nothing has happened. “what, what? I didn’t hear you shouting.” Monty is even better at this than me because he is a bit smaller. Because I am nearly 27 feet long hiding behind a plant pot 6 inches wide doesn’t really cut the mustard (we can but try).

The other garden pest at the moment is a ginger cat. Now shouldn’t these things be afraid of us? He gets on the swing chair outside and lies in the sun. I thought that this was a bit undermining. If my neighbour (the Staffie), saw this she would clearly think that Monty and I were pretty useless on the dog chasing cat front. Just yesterday he was out there. Yes out there lying in the sun like a giant ginger fluffy ball of wool. The back door was open so I thought I’d seize the moment. I’d show him.

I fluffed myself to my full height (about 9and a half inches) and put my best, “I’m very vicious” face on. I literally ran out of the back door making a beeline straight for him. I think I may even have let out a little growl. I screeched to halt in front of him and he opened one eye about a millimetre.

“Waddya want?”

“I’m a dog, get off my chair and run off.”


“Because that’s what cats do.” 

“This one doesn’t …....jog on.”

“Look I don’t want to get really nasty.”

“Ooooo, waddya gonna do, get the other daft Basset out?”

Lucky for him I was at that point, called in for a biscuit. Why won’t these felines take me seriously?

Whilst on the food front I have one or two issues there also. Aside from being man handled into the garden for a wee, we are also coerced into going for a morning walk. I say coerced because we only go on the promise of a biscuit on our return. The term ‘biscuit’ has a myriad of connotations. When they say ‘biscuit,’ I imagine a Boneo sort of size, You know a good three or four bites big and the sort of biscuit I can leave loads of crumbs behind on the carpet. They must have had an offer on down our local shops because the latest offerings are about the size of a grape and certainly not as tasty. Monty spits his out in total disgust (I eat it just to make sure there is no mess). These are the kind of issues that we have to live with you know.

We got a letter through this morning (or dad did), saying that we had to go the vets to ‘get some worms.’ (At least that’s what I thought it said). It seems pretty funny to me because, a) I don’t want any worms and b) why does a vet give you worms? Last time we were there the vet gave my dad some worms. Dad put the worms in a little bit of cheese and gave it to me. The cheese was lovely but the worms bit (which looked like a big white tablet) tasted horrible and I spat it out. So did Monty. We got more cheese then, but its’ funny because they must make that cheese with tablets in it as the next bit had one in as well. Dad seemed a bit cross that we kept spitting that bit out. We thought it was hilarious. We like the vet. We also do exactly what he says because it is then really funny watching Dad’s cross face as we invariably do very little of what he says. Dad also has to give him loads of money which is even funnier.

Life as a Basset really is pretty tough you know…….      

PS. Got the chair at last.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Clean sweep....

Why is it every time I update the hound' diary it inevitably  involves the very particular odour given off by basset Hounds. It can't just be my two can it? It seems that whenever I meet fellow Basset owners the discussion invariably ends up comparing pongs. I have decided to collate a few of the comments and post them (in no particular order). 

"My hound lies in front of our log burner. After about 15 minutes he begins to smell like cheese." (Presumably like Bavarian smoked cheese or similar?)

"***** smells a bit like road kill on a hot sunny day."

"They can't help it, its all the folds of skin, it kind of collects odours and keeps them. Keeps them until you have guests around and they move off the settee to greet them......."

"They seem to revel in giving off that 'special smell.' So special that I have shares in a perfumed candle company."

They can't help it. When you are twenty three feet long and six inches high, it is very easy to scoop up whatever has been deposited. I have tried several "pooch pampering" venues with mixed success. The hounds absolutely love it wherever they are taken but one or two members of staff have looked aghast when I have led them in. I have found a new outlet that I tried at the weekend. Determined that any perfumed hound odour must be retained as long a possible I created the correct environment with military precision. I collected freshly laundered bedding and ensured that it was suitably bagged and kept some distance from the hounds for the outward journey. The outward journey was the same old whiffy bedding and odours that they were very comfortable with ! They seem to revel in pongs that they have got used to.

Leading them into the parlour there were two poodles being coiffured on tables.The disdain on their long faces  was clear for all to see.

" Tarquin they appear to be letting anyone in here these days, what on earth are those two?"

"Darling I think they may be dwarf blood hounds Jeremy..."

"Oh yes I can see that now. Goodness they smell dreadful I think they may have being living rough."    

Undeterred Monty and Lewis mooched into the parlour like they owned the place. Owners were grabbing Foo Foo Trixie Belles type small dogs ensuring that they were well away from the hounds. Not through any fear of attack by the hounds ( which would never happen anyway), more through a fear that the hounds may get too close and a bit of whiff would rub off on their posh pooches. Lewis took a particular shine to a Yorkshire Terrier and sat all gooey eyed staring at her. I think it was the red ribbon tied in a bow on her head. She was about the same size of one of his ears but this clearly had not put him off.

I was instructed that it would take about an hour and a half and that I could leave the hounds. Leave them? I would have to drag them away. As usual they barely glanced at me when I left!

Two pints later (I mean an hour later), I returned to collect them. Lewis looked like a giant ginger ball of fluff. They both smelt wonderful. I mean it was hardly an Yves Saint Lauren Shampoo smell. It was more akin to a sort of recently cleaned carpet smell. You know, that stuff you spray on as a foam ,let it dry and hoover off. No matter! It was still a clean smell!

I placed my freshly laundered bedding in the back of the car so that I could ensure the maximum length of time before their old pongs returned. They mooched and shuffled about like they had no idea where they were. Their old pongs had gone and they simply could not 'compute' that this was their new world for as long as it may last. 

At this moment in time I am only walking the dogs on pavements and roads. They still smell so good at this time that they are mooching about like they don't recognise each other..............