I’m often asked the question why I have such a love for Basset Hounds and why I chose this breed to share my home and my life.
There are several answers but mainly (and only those of a certain age will know what I’m talking about here!), as a young child I used to watch The Dukes of Hazard all of the time and those who know what I’m talking about will remember Roscoe with his beloved sidekick Flash who was of course a Basset Hound. I had never ever seen a real Basset Hound in the flesh until I went to stay in a little B&B just outside the New Forest with an old boyfriend in 1994. By this time I was 23. As expected, I loved the breed in the flesh even more so than the idea of Flash on the telly. So I was hooked, I would one day own a Basset Hound. Or as I’ve since discovered, you never own a Basset Hound……….they own you!
Now for practical reasons, I couldn’t have a dog of my own as I worked full-time and had a terraced house with a very small yard and it just wouldn’t have been fair. So from the age of 23 a lot happened until when finally at the ripe age of 37, I was in a position to have my very own Basset Hound. My husband worked from home at that time, we had spent many wonderful holidays abroad, I worked locally and was able to pop home at lunchtime etc. So now all we had to do was find the right dog.
I set about contacting all the Basset Hound rescue places I could in fact any rescues as I was sure that I would feel much better to rescue than to buy a puppy. The Basset Rescue Network that I support today was sadly not around in 2008 which if it had been I’m sure, I would have ended up adopting a rescue Hound.
None of the Rescues I contacted would entertain the idea as both my husband and myself were in full-time work. So we started making enquiries from KC Reputable Breeders of Basset Hounds. I found a lady who was based in Herne Bay and contacted her. She had a litter of puppies the day after my birthday in July 2008 which would be ready for homes at the end of September. It was too perfect, we were due to go on a cruise and would be back by the 19th September. So we planned to go and see the puppies upon return from our holiday.
So early that Saturday morning having just got back from a lovely cruise, we were heading to the Garden of England to meet our little boy. Penny the Breeder had explained she only had one boy left out of a litter of eight puppies.
I walked in the door of that house and was shown through to her conservatory at the back where I was confronted with the most adorable sight ever………….8 Basset Hound puppies all cute, cuddly and full of wrinkles. A very bold Lad came bounding towards the puppy pen and demanded my attention. The most handsome looking chap who I then found out they had named “Square Back” as he had a splodge of a white square of fur in the middle of his back and was told, he was the one boy they had left.
Needless to say I had fallen in love. I picked him up (and was surprised how heavy he was for 6 weeks!). He was just love on 4 legs, I didn’t want to leave him there, I wanted him now. We also met Mum who of course was equally adorable and agreed to arrange to buy him and collect him in 3-4 weeks time. On the way there, we had already decided what we wanted to call him and it was to be Buddy-Love. We had recently watched the film, The Nutty Professor in which Eddie Murphy had an alter-ego character who was trouble personified and very naughty called Buddy-Love. Little did we know then just how appropriate that was.
Move forward to Saturday 4th October 2008, ironically our 11th Wedding Anniversary and I couldn’t have asked for a better gift than to be driven to collect my beautiful baby boy.
He sat in the crate in the back of our car and was as quiet as a mouse for the whole 2 hour journey back home to Sussex by the sea. I remember distinctly my Husband picking him up out of the back of the car in the driveway and saying “welcome home little Buddy-Love”.
From that moment on, I knew I could never have any other breed of dog in my life. Hence why today as I write this, I have 3 Basset Hounds………my little boy who is 9 this year Buddy-love, Peach who is 6 and Daisy who is 4.
Bassets what can I say? They’re just crowd pleasers…………they raise a smile wherever you go. They are complete clowns and the most affectionate dogs I have ever known and I have known a lot of different dogs in my life.
People always find it funny that I am a Dog Groomer but that I own dogs that don’t need grooming. To which I always reply, all dogs need grooming, no Bassets don’t need a haircut every 4-6 weeks but my 3 have a good bath once a month, ears cleaned every couple of days, teeth cleaned daily and nails clipped every 2-3 weeks. Also, why when I’ve spent 6 days a week cutting dogs hair would I want to spend my day off doing my own dogs? The fact of the matter is that I quite often do spend my day off bathing and preening my Hounds but that’s beside the point.
I had a client once who said he had chosen me to groom his dog (which was a Cockerpoo) as he had seen that I had a Basset Hound. He said it takes a certain kind of person to own a Basset Hound. He had his own Basset at the time too. He was dead right. My advice, take all the books about dogs and throw them away. Bassets are not like any other breed of dog. The rules do not apply to Bassets.
I had all good intentions with my little Buddy-Love when I first got him, enrolling him into Puppy School. Well that was a big mistake! He was almost expelled! He was the class clown, of course the only Basset Hound who was more interested in rummaging through everyone’s handbags rather than doing what he was told! Hence why when I got Peach, I didn’t bother with Puppy School!
I can only assume that this is why so many of these beautiful hounds end up in Rescue. People just underestimate the amount of patience, willpower and determination that you need to own one!
That said, I am sold. Will I stop at 3?......at least until I can afford to move to a bigger house then who knows? Having slight OCD owning 3 really doesn’t sit well with me, of course it needs to be an even number.
Recently, I was at a local park getting my 3 hounds out of my van and a lady walking by said “oh Basset Hounds, do you only do Basset Hounds?” to which I replied “If only but sadly there isn’t enough of a market for that around here!”. Of course I love all dogs, I wouldn’t do my line of work if I didn’t but I always have a very special place for a Basset Hound.