Vol 21 Bertie basset
File this under Not Thinking Through All Eventualities
A long time ago, I became single-mindedly fixated with basset hounds probably because, given my inherent desire to be helpful, I was irresistibly drawn to that heart meltingly woeful expression, so much so that I would wave daily at a neighbour’s basset round the corner as I passed by on my way to work. I hope no-one saw me.
Bassets seemed fairly affable creatures, baldish and fairly short, a true advantage for training purposes when juxtaposed with say, a hairy, scarier beast like an Alsatian. Such was the error of my ways.
Also, I reasoned, why not, at the same time as satisfying my nurturing urges, do something for dogkind at the same time and wait for a Basset appearing, doubly sad faced, in the nearest dog sanctuary? A mite misguided perhaps, but admirable sentiments you might agree.
Some months of waiting later, we at long last collected a certain Bertie - his parents are divorced - from the shelter and proceeded for home. I had prepared for my new charge to be somewhat nervous, given his recent situation and placed a blanket on the back seat where I chose, reassuringly I thought, to sit with him. In no time, I was wearing the dog-sweaty, slaver- soaked blanket plus the bloody heavy Bertie, who proceeded to announce his new found freedom by migraine makingly howling his presence at every passing vehicle.
“Probably been cooped up for ages,” my husband roared through the racket, “he’ll be fine when he settles.”
Arriving home we quickly grasped the reason for Bertie’s heavy chain as he thundered up the path clanging me into the fence and posts en route and then, displaying the Basset’s second-to-none-but-the-beagle’s impressive sense of smell, rapidly inspected every single room urinating merrily in each.
“He’ll be fine, just give him time.” husband offered spying my spreading bruises, “it’s all new to him.”
Duly satisfied with his new surroundings, there was no stopping Bertie. Despite frantic efforts to distract him from his quest he muscled his way to the kitchen and made light work of three ploughman’s lunches off the worktop before riotously defecating a barrowful on the freshly laid almond blush terrazzo tiles.
Evidently, Bertie was disinclined to accept unsolicited visitors also since, when our children knocked politely (clearly I’m still in la la land regarding the demeanour of my progeny) to come in for their tea, Bertie had me pinned to the piano, easily as tall as me on hind legs, bellowing his furious disgust wildly into my face.
And, though the return journey back to the shelter barely one hour later saw him urgently devouring the back seat stuffing in the new-to-us Rover, I think I’ll leave you with the penultimate vision of Bertie, firmly mounted astride my husband, grim faced on the couch, zealously humping his Bear Grylls barbeque tee shirt for all he was worth.