Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Only sorry when you catch me

I don't believe in reprimanding a Basset I did not catch in the act. Since there are 4, you can never be sure who the real culprit is. More often than not there is an instigator who do not participate in the actual offense. Sometimes though, the identity of the criminal is as clear as drool flung across a muzzle. This morning I prepared the most scrumptious breakfast a Basset could ever want, the only condition for having it was that everyone waited until the usual time. Horton, always hungry, waited until he heard the bathroom door close and the shower running. How he got hold of a flat rubber-rimmed steel bowl well out of his reach is a secret well guarded from the alpha - me. The other three removed themselves from the scene of the happening crime. Bofa went back to bed, the girls waited in front of the bathroom door. When I found him, Horton was alone in the kitchen with a crazed look on his face as if he had just single-pawedly killed a herd of running food dishes. If I came around the corner while he was still busy that would have been his best - 'I am really sorry' face.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Pack

As I sit here, on this chair writing this blog snippet waiting for some network miracle so that I can log in and get a head start on tomorrow, my feet are crowded with bassets. They insist on being here, their ears carelessly flopped around the wheels of the chair. Every once in a while someone will groan to let me know that the floor is really uncomfortable (even though the nearest bed is 5m away). Soon we'll navigate that 5m+ and the groaning will turn into snoring. Hopefully.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Explorer

lawn snorkeling 
Bofa savors scents like a wine maker tasting if a good cultivar from a good year is ready to be bottled and labeled. This makes him an independent little explorer often wandering off lost in the intricacies of some strange aroma. I knew on our very first meeting. The little of Bassets were let out of the kennel to run around so that I could check them out. He was out in front and started sniffing the moment his feet touched the lawn. The direction and actions of all the other little Bassets were determined by him. They'd all check what he does and then follow suit. Little black and white pack lead by one boisterous dark spot sniffing the new world. If you want to see a howling mad hound, interrupt Bofa when he has discovered a new scent. Nowhere exists a kid who has thrown a tantrum bigger than this in a toy store.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dinner and a Show

Act 1: Butter. Butter signals the start of the dinner show by falling down and running with her legs in the air. She changes position each time I look with a facial expression detailing her intent to make me think she is weak with hunger.
Act 2 : Horton. His teeth starts chattering involuntary while waiting. Caramel Cadillac Marathon eater. He has been family now for 6 months+ and he still thinks someone is going to take his food away. No bowl in whatever kind of shape slows him down so his food is divided into three portions. When finished with a portion, he stands with one paw in the air as if putting up a hand saying 'Please sir my I have some more?' like little Timmy begging Scrooge himself.
Act 3: Bofa. Bofa eats like a food critic - slowly and with intent. It is not about nourishment but taste and texture. The bowl and it's contents are processed methodically in little circles. A spot of pellets are licked clean, spit back into the designated area. Picked up one by one again and chewed, swallowed. Little circle is then licked clean until bowl has a shiny spot. Proceed to next area. When done he tilts his head to the side until he gets hold of an ear and then proceeds to suck it clean, followed by the other ear which might be pressed against the floor with a nose and licked at the same time.
Final act: Nougat. This performance consists of much thank you growling and wiping your muzzle on your human's legs, or, worming in between said Human's bed cover and nightfall and running around (under cover) not only to clean one's muzzle, but entire body to be more thorough. BARK BARK roll grunt - thank you for supper. Can't wait till breakfast.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Wayward Basset

Unless you have something to bring to the table, forget it. There will be no negotiation. It is an effort and a half to get them inside around 23h00 if they are still 'busy' outside. Calling names and pleading has no effect unless you happen to rattle the cookie jar and at the same time prove your willingness to open it. The expression on their faces clearly says: 'Not ready to come inside. You come outside.'
Last night I made the mistake of not offering any reward when they all rushed inside slobbering in anticipation. 'Me human! I fool dog!' Droopy ears drooping further to the ground is a terrible thing to behold.
They made sure that I had an hour's sleep. At least. Vengeful Bassets running up and down outside wining to come inside, wining to go outside and waking up the neighborhood with delighted barking...well.

Friday, January 20, 2012

According to Nougat, a visit to the vet is only nice if you're on the other end of the leash.

We went for a quick visit, we have to start inoculating the Bassets against kennel cough for a little hound holiday in a couple of months. She hates it, regardless of the collie and the lab who wanted to exchange cellphone numbers (i.e., butt sniffing). When we got back home, I asked her: 'Was that so bad?'
'Yegh!' she said.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A quiet hound is a broken hound... or asleep

There is hardly ever silence in this house. Conversations are loud. Saying something does not have to mean something, as long as someone is listening.

The myth of the lazy Hound

I often have visitors who are surprised by the energy levels of the four resident hooligans. They often know someone else with a Basset which, according to them, only moves when it is fed. What I have noticed is that most Basset Bloggers are of the opinion that their hounds are active, playful and sometimes hard to keep up with. So what makes a happy hound?

2 is Company, 4 even more so. And the human, naturally.

Butter and Horton at rest. They are rescues who joined me, Nougat and Bofa half a year ago. It was tough in the beginning, having 2 insecure and skinny Bassets who felt they had to fight for everything they needed, including attention. I could not dare give affection to anyone and not cause a fight to break out. After lots of sedatives (for the human) and Dog Whisperer episodes, we got it right. I cannot imagine a life now without any one of them.

So this is not new...

I know I'm still the alpha in this house. I'm the only one able to reach the fridge door handle. Not only is it my job to open it and do the big hunt inside it for food (as a good and obedient human should), it is also my dubious privilege to hand out the spoils to the four slobbering enthusiasts at my feet. Here, caught in action, they are feigning independence by showing off their bird hunting skills. The birds raiding the bird feeder higher up were very amused.