Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'll BBM you later...

This is Butter's gRIM face...

When I am stressed or in a mood coming from work, Butter is quick to pick up on it. She guards me and denies anyone else access to my near vicinity. The BlackBerry people may never have heard about Butter, but Butter knows all about gRIM. The soft growls she utters translates to: 'I'll BBM you later...', which, in Basset speak means 'Bark, Bite and Maul'.

...and Horton's when he realizes that he is in deep trouble.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


If Horton had been a human boy, his teachers and parents would probably have diagnosed him as a prime candidate for Ritalin use. When hunting with the pack involves creeping up on something and lying in wait, he is easily distracted and often forgets what they were busy with. He'll get bored and start running up and down with a squeaky toy or bark at the other hunters - he probably finds silence frustrating. My neighbors do not. They like silence after 8pm, as do I.

Mr. Horton is a 7 year old puppy with goldfish memory.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Vet, Again

Yes, Nougie's visit, so soon after the previous time. Nothing serious though, just a squirt of vaccine up the nose. The waiting room was not as full as it can be, but the patients in line before us were in consultation for a good while, so I took Nougat for a walk. As usual the first house just next to the vet had loud dogs which alerted the rest of the street's resident dogs that someone peeing on the sidewalk is on the way. It makes for a noisy and unpleasant walk. Nougat is a very sociable animal and the more dogs bark and jump up and down, the more she wants to meet them since barking loudly and jumping up and down when you are super happy is how things are done at home. I tried to explain to her as we walked along that all is not always as it seems, but before she was willing to heed my advice a snippy little dachshund pushed his snarly little muzzle through a fence and nipped her on the nose. My baby' expression was that of a kid on the playground who's sandwiches were taken from her by the school bully. Two houses further a big dog looking like he wanted to inflict serious injury was accompanied up and down their fence by a young spaniel running with a chewed plastic bottle who shook it furiously at each turn at the end of the fence. I turned us back to the vet where we resumed waiting. Still Nougat wanted to say hello to each sick moody dog and every doggie so much smaller than her that they snarled in self defense.

I don't think Nougat will ever understand why any other dog can even think of not being curious and friendly towards strangers. You see, in our house you have to have a good reason to get snarly, like another snout in your food bowl, someone in your bed, or someone drooling on your yummy snack or your favorite toy.

Please bark hello before you bite.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Do Horses dream of Rabbits?


Horton nearly always dreams. (Sometimes I think even when he is awake).
Mostly they seem like rabbit chasing dreams accompanied by little short yelps, sometimes he wags his tail. It all depends on the kind of day he had. I really don't know what prompted this one.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The meaning of Nougat


According to Wikipedia:

blah...blah...blah...The consistency of nougat can range from soft and chewy to hard and crunchy depending on its composition...blah...blah...blah.


bark...bark...bark...Nougat can be a sweet little angel or tough, demanding and obstinate..bark...bark...bark.

According to Terry Pratchett:

Even with nougat, you can have a perfect moment.


All the time! Except when she is being obstinate.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pet Vet Info

We think you should have a look at this site. Very informative.


You might have wondered from our previous post how Team Menace sent (or 'scent' if you have a big fat nose) a whistle to all message.

Also known as hose-to-nose texting, a funky fax or wet tweet.

Emails are strictly Basset-to-Human  in the form of a puddle on the floor with a no-reply address.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hansel and Gretel

No, this is not that story, this one is much darker because we know  the Bassets involved. They are not talking about it, which makes the imagining of something horrific all the easier.

Horton and Butter were once called No. 33 and No. 61, as were indicated on the small cages in which they lived in one of the laboratories of a big pharmaceutical corporation. They were part of a research experiment that has been going on for, well, we can never know and never guess. Lets just say that it was a drug trial involving the lower brain functions*. No.33 and No.61 were to be retired since they were around 7 years old and could therefore no longer handle the effects of the drugs administered to them.

The night before they were to be retired, a burglary took place in which the laboratory was ransacked and all the animal cages opened. No one can say who did it and why. All the animals liberated that night has decreed not to ever speak about it in order to protect the parties involved.

But enough of this sadness. What we have to focus on is the second half of the story in which No.33 and No.61 make an escape by using their good looks and ingenuity. That night they ran in the moonlight for many, many miles - since the laboratory was far from any place where people might ask questions. When they reached a tar road they stopped for their legs were not used to walking, let alone run. No.61 was very tired indeed. They nestled in the tall grasses and fell asleep.

It was the sounds of goats bleating that woke them up. There was a man who was taking goats from Gauteng to his brother in Mpumalanga, where there were mountains and loads of grass and leafy bushes to keep busy goats happy. The man had stopped beside the road to cut some grass for the goats who have already eaten all the hay intended for the trip. It was the smell of the big bucket of water on the back of the truck that gave No.61 an idea. She pressed her nose underneath No.33's long ear and softly growled and snarled something in Basset language.

The man came back with a big wad of grass which he threw into the back of the pickup. He watched as the goats started eating. One of the goats chewed on the grass without enthusiasm and said 'behehe-behWoof when the man looked at it. Something bothered the man, and then he remembered that it was his pipe that he had left on a rock beside the pickup. He fetched it and they drove off.

They stopped once more when the man wanted to buy some tobacco, which is where No.33 and No.61 got off the truck and sneaked away into the bushes.

They were picked up by a rescue society a long time after that. We know this because they were skinny and sick and hungry. They were named Hansel and Gretel by the rescue people.

That is where I met them and that is why I brought them here, that is why they got other names. We have decided that they are Bassets who no longer needed those names filled with such sadness.
And because she is happy now, Butter cannot walk without wagging her tail in lazy sweeps, and because he is happy, Horton cannot help but play and make a lot of noise.

dramatic reconstruction

*Back to reality: both Horton and Butter have neurological damage. Horton has epilepsy and Butter suffers from head tremors under certain conditions. Although Butter has improved much, Horton's condition has not changed but remains stable. We are working at eliminating and minimizing possible causes. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bofa likes Jazz

I like to call him Jazz-Jazz. He is super fast and busy and by the time you have uttered his name, he has zipped past you and is on his way back so soon that you have to do a double take saying his name. Jazz-Jazz is the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Fudge, the apple of his human father's eye and Bofa's most favorite cousin.

Jazz could run lighting fast even as a puppy. From the start Bofa loved nothing more than to chase his cousin. Jazz was so small that when he finally got tired he would allow the Big Basset to 'catch' him and Bofa would put his big mouth over the little guy's entire torso and 'hold him down'. Most of Jazz's hair fell out after that first visit and at first we entertained thoughts that he was allergic to Basset spit. I had nasty visions of no more full family get-togethers. Luckily not. So the fun goes on whenever we gather, 3 humans and 8 dogs. I know that Mr. Fudge sometimes worries about the gang of drooling and ear flapping monsters* chasing his son. But he need not worry, his youngest has the feet and mind of Hermes - fast with a couple of tricks up his sleeve.

There goes Jazz...

and here he is back to see what it is I'm doing.

* As usual, whatever Bofa does must be the most fun thing anyone can do. It took 10 seconds for the other three to join in the chase. Mostly they just run and stand around barking and run and bark and wait to see what Bofa's next move will be.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Subwoofer: a loudspeaker component designed to reproduce very low bass frequencies

Subwoofer: Sub: low/deep
                   woofer: BARK-er, someone who barks

 Subwoofer: Butter 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


When I stopped outside the main gate this afternoon and waited for it to slide open, I watched the Bassets line up against the inside gate as usual before they started up their roof raising ruckus. Then I realized that they have a lineup pattern. From left to right: Nougat, Bofa, Horton, Butter. It never differs. I started thinking about other patterns they always repeat and came to the conclusion that three of the four are left pawed. Nougat and Horton beg with raised left paws, Butter scratches whatever exposed part of your leg she can reach with her left paw. Horton struggles his slow-down-the-gulper bowl to the left. Bofa, I think, is ambidextrous, as always he has to do things differently. (He doesn't need a paw to beg, he just tells you).

Bassets originated from France. In French the word for left-handedness is Gauche, which apparently means awkward or clumsy. Absolutely Basset incorrect. No left or any other pawed Basset falls over their feet unless tripped at a high speed. They trip over their ears when they're puppies - which does not make them clumsy, everyone knows that Bassets eventually grow into their ears.

Southpaw also refers to left handed boxers (human variety) and left handed baseball players.
However, the word is more appropriate when describing low left pawed dogs. South(closer to the ground)pawed.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


109kg of Basset processed: washed, toweled and fluffed. Way too tired to attach a fresh pic for you, besides, the flash bounces right off them and will continue to do so until tomorrow afternoon when all evidence of  gleaming coats will have been gotten rid of.

Today's accomplishment is quite a feat if you take into account that the length of the bathroom is one Basset and a head, width, one Basset less tail. Room for Human's backside to stick out and knees to buckle when heaving ton of Basset into bath: limited.

Here is a pic of Bofa having a conversation with me. This is NOT what his face looks like when I carry him from the lounge to the bathroom because he refuses to budge. He gets into a foul mood as soon as he realizes that he is the only dusty Basset left in the house. Bit of a shouting and snarling match between the two of us when it is his turn to come clean. I should punish him and put ribbons in his hair. That will teach him...

Friday, February 10, 2012

We have taken a vote of hands and paws and it was decided that the House of Basset will take a break tonight. We'll see you on the blog-side later this weekend.

Happy Sniffing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Snow White's Mirror

Everyone knows that the Queen was a bitch. The ALPHA bitch to be exact. We all know that Snow White (puppy)  left the castle (den) by some means (wandered off when the gate was left open) with the hunter (sly old dog) and went on to create a social life (pack) of her own. Her new friends were short little men with noses hovering close to the ground (Bassets, see?) who mined for a living  (dug holes).

You should get my drift by now. Everyone knows that the old fairy tales are loaded with symbolism and hidden meaning. The only thing that scientists still have not figured out is what kind of puppy Snow White really was. Theories range from blonde Lab to black toy Poodle (Disney has not helped a lot to clear this up). It has been established that the Queen was a Doberman, the Dwarfs - Bassets*, the Prince - a Vet (off course, who else has the knowledge and ability to revive a puppy with mouth to mouth?). There is not much enthusiasm yet in finding out the true identity of the King. Totally useless in defending his offspring from the Doberman. Probably a cat. Let's not speculate on that, it could go the wrong way.

There was another exciting discovery made during the 50 year project that was aimed at analyzing this tale. That fabulously honest mirror was the first version of a mood reflector, who would make you feel worse than you already did by saying out loud what you already felt and knew, or better when you felt, well, better already. We have a watered down modern day version - The Psychiatrist. (How do you feel about that?).

The fable probably got twisted over hundreds of years as dog lovers tried to personalize their best friends and convey to cat lovers just how human dogs are and how inhumane some people can be.

Back to the mirror. Dog people all have one or more or four. Just look a little lower. If you see that your nose is bigger and your ears more floppy and that love pours from your eyes, you'll know that all is okay and that  you are indeed the fairest of them all.


* How the symbolic dwarfs were decoded:

   Dopey = Droopy  (dawg, the famous cartoon Basset)
   Grumpy = Snarling Basset
   Bashful = Bashet-Full, meaning: Full of Basset, 100% Basset
   Happy = any Basset in this house
   Sleepy = tired Basset
   Doc = another vet
   Sneezy = Basset who vacuum sniffed a grasshopper up its nose.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Life in a Tumble Dryer

If I had a gigantic tumble dryer and left the door open by mistake, Nougat would have been the first to investigate the inside of it. Then she would have casually draped her front feet over the edge and lain down, making it look soooo nice and comfy in there. She might even have licked her lips to make it appear that she found a lost bone shaped biscuit in there.

Then, when the other three caught on, they would've pushed her out of the way to see for themselves what the inside of a gigantic tumble dryer was all about. And without any magic involved, the door would have clicked shut behind them and the dryer would have started doing its cycles.

The musketeers might have looked a little bit like this...

                                                                                                  or this....

and Nougat would have been somewhere else looking like this...

That is, if I had a giant tumble dryer.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tiger in my Garden

Butter's bark is not a bark in the same way that a tiger's roar is not a miaow. It is a deep, dark and serious event that makes the neighbors close their windows and lock their doors.


Butter knows this because she loves the sound of her own voice. She staggers the frequency in morse code that spells out  'I - know - I - am - irritating - you - try - make - me - stop - REPEAT'. This is normal conversation for her. The rest of the pack will 'whuff' and 'whoof!' and leave it there knowing that they got my attention.

Butter stops once you bark louder than her. Which is probably why the neighbors don't talk to me. They cannot bark at all. 


Monday, February 6, 2012

Hounds of the Delta Quadrant

If the Bassets were on the Federation Starship USS Voyager, the crew would not have minded that the journey home could take forever and a day.

Captain Katherine Janeway would have been particularly fond of the lowdown crew members and would have super doggy beds replicated and installed on the bridge. Who does not need four hooligans shouting 'We're gonna get us some alien postman ass!!' when the photon torpedoes are flying and smoke coming out of every  console on the bridge?

The Bassets would have liked Neelix  - he certainly would have always been ready to cook up some bone shaped biscuits. Neelix's hapless customers could have inquired what the Bassets had or lunch before dishing up for themselves. Even Mr. Vulcan (Lt. Tuvok) would have seen the logic in this - having four superior noses distinguish between hazardous flavors and those that can be safely consumed.

The Bassets would have been as vital as tricorders on every away mission on any planet surface. Just imagine how many lives could be saved if the Bassets could smell danger before anyone had to press a tricorder up against it.

Tom Paris would have taken Nougat on every Holodeck episode of Captain Proton because she is fast and curious and could easily fly with a little rocket attached to her back. She would try to befriend all the villains except for those who are cat lovers.

The Doctor would have insisted on Butter's presence in sick bay so that she can cheer up patients with the white tip of her waving tail or bite their ankles when they squirm or complain.

I'm pretty sure that Horton would have assisted Seven in keeping her workspace clean and efficient. No one is better at producing a huge quantity of drool at a moments notice and then absorb it with his long ears.

And The Bofa? He'd be looking for vermin in the Jeffreys Tubes all day long - except when there is some Alien Postman Ass to be gotten. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rickie Lee Jones

If Bofa was a Rickie Lee Jones song, his name would have been Chuck E. Easy going and swanky like nightclub Jazz.

He is never sorry, never apologizes for anything he tried to get away with. He has never cringed when I reprimanded him, he shouts back in body language and sound like some flower child offering humor and peace amid turmoil.

He has never fetched a ball, nor does he run around with squeaky toys. His amusement is hidden in tall grass when he goes lawn snorkeling and in hopping around the lounge on beds  and the green couch encouraging the others to chase him. He is loud, verbal, fast, slow, busy, at peace. He is Chuck E.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Washcloth Face

Washcloth Face - To sleep so well that the furry skin on your face sticks to the side of your head and takes a while to slide back into position.

When sleepy, Nougat, at the age of three, still has a need to use my feet as a pillow and my legs for protection like she did when she was a pup. She'll eventually relocate to one of the beds when either my feet or the floor becomes uncomfortable.

You can see when Nougat is really tired, the pink spots on her nose turns bright pink. When she sleeps, she sleeps well. When she wakes up, which is not as easy for her as the others, she is groggy and ill tempered and suffers from washcloth face. It is not uncommon for her to lunge into attack if she is asleep and approached from the wrong side by someone trying to tiptoe past her. This moodiness was probably learned from me. My nose does not turn bright pink and I do not need feet to sleep on, but good luck to you if you wake me up at the wrong moment.

Puppy Nougat safe asleep in Grandma's arms.

The boys have adapted and came up with some ideas to protect themselves if they run into problems at night. In winter it is not uncommon for Nougat to climb into bed with anyone (except Butter, but more on that later) she thinks has the most body heat to offer. The moment she curls up and sighs you can see the discomfort of the original occupant. Bofa will complain with a long groan but will refuse to leave the bed. Horton however, is nervous from the start and does not move or make a sound. At most he'll give me a long plaintive look. Once Nougat is asleep, the original occupant of the bed is not allowed to move lest he be assaulted by the moody bitch who took over the bed. I'd often be awoken a few hours later by a soft continuous whimper uttered by Bofa or Horton. It is then my job to get up, talk softly to Nougat and rub her belly so that she'll wake up feeling safe and relaxed and whoever, Bofa or Horton can finally breath or stretch or scratch and get out of that bed as fast as possible. And The Nougat? She will groan, sigh and go right back to sleep.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Claiming of the Couch.

The Bassets have cousins who's humans are my sister and brother in law. The cousins are minute little miniature Dachshunds who can almost run underneath a Bassets without having to duck, therefore it was quite easy for mom and dad to accept their presence on the bed, chairs and couches. I knew that if I did not stand firm on this it would spell disaster for me. Like they say,  a careless once off  'Yes' to a Basset is a free pass for all eternity. Thus in our house and every where else we went beds and couches were off limits unless it was bought in a pet shop.

cousin Mambo
Cousin Salsa
Cousin Rumba

Unfortunately, Bofa does not stand for anything unfair. The cousins are allowed on our furniture since they are our guests, they're used to it and it is an easy way to prevent them from being trampled in a Basset stampede. Numerous times when they came to visit Bofa would come to me and bark at me with those 'explain this to me - you're so unfair' sounds he manages so well. It starts of low and deep and ends in almost a yelp.

fighter for justice and defender of the green couch

After the nth visit he had enough. He took the couch. Claim staked and dusted for all of Basset kind, for everyone and anyone who ever wanted to slouch but never had anywhere to do so.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tomato Thieves

Butter taking the weight off her stomach
Like I said, there is always an instigator when there is mischief afoot. Plucking green tomatoes when I have my back turned was Bofa's idea. I don't mind them grazing amongst the small cherry tomatoes, but the big ones, and green, are stomach killers. Try to take it away and the Basset becomes a speedy Basset hastening away with the prize. Attached, a photo of Butter after she had 3 (if the little heaps of tomato salad she left on the lawn are anything to go by).
Don't worry. I did supply the meds to make the tummy ache go away.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Water Cooler Conversations

Like corporate employees, the Bassets also have conversations around the water cooler. In our territory an old dilapidated birdbath serves the purpose. Normally I am out of range of the psychic chatter this involves, which is why I always assume that the gossip is about me. However, on this particular day, it was about the unspeakable thing Horton did that morning - steal breakfast and not share it.