Balu the dancing basset hound

Basset hounds are notoriously difficult to train. This must be a fact coz I read it on the internet.

Actually, basset hounds are highly intelligent dogs. They know exactly what we want them to do. The problem, though, is that they don’t really see the point. They’re like method actors. “So you want me to move from my warm spot and walk across the room to where you are? Well, what’s my motivation?”

By motivation, they of course mean a tasty morsel.

Getting a basset hound to do what you want him to do is hard. Unless what you want him to do is go back to sleep. So imagine how many hours – and how many tasty morsels – went into this…

Balu (and Balu’s owner), we salute you.


Steph Cha & Duke

Steph Cha is a serious writer of Korean-American feminist noir. She’s the author of three published novels, a regular food-and-book-review writer for the Los Angeles Times, and an impressively prolific Yelp contributor. She is also a crazy basset lady.

Duke is a basset hound. He isn’t a serious writer of anything, but he is the first basset hound owned by a writer of Korean-American feminist noir to be featured on this blog. (I’m pretty sure. I’ll have to check.)

Here they are. Isn’t Duke adorable! (And Steph too, of course.)


Steph and her husband (then fiancé) rescued Duke through Basset Hound Rescue of Southern California ( and, in doing so, fell completely, utterly, floppily in basset love.

He likes to eat, sleep, and play.  He chews cardboard to shreds and has a slobber flinging radius of several yards.  He suffers from a rather vicious strain of separation anxiety, which we are working on taming.  Otherwise, he is just the sweetest animal – friendly, loyal, and very playful.

You can read more about Duke on Steph’s blog where, as proof of her devotion, there are more photos of Duke than anything else.

The real gravy-laced treat, however, is the recent essay Steph wrote for Pacific Standard called: “Floppy, Wiggly, Spectacular: The Cult of the Basset Hound“. It’s a love letter to basset hounds; the true story of one woman’s descent ascent into a life of belly rubbing and ear stroking. Go and read it, it’s brilliant.

And after you’ve read that, you should totally read Follow Her Home, Steph’s debut novel and first in the Juniper Song mystery series. I’m about halfway through and really enjoying it. Hey, look, I’ll even provide links to all her books so you can buy them and raise money for BRNGB at the same time! (And remember, sales of Steph’s books also help Duke live a more comfortable life.)

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I asked Steph if she had any plans to include basset hounds in her novels, to which she replied:

There is a basset hound cameo in Beware Beware, but no major basset characters so far…

So far….? Sounds promising!

Thank you Steph Cha, for services to the advancement of basset hounds. And thank you Duke, for being cute.


Buy more for Bassets!

You can get the full Steph Cha look by buying these “as seen on screen, as worn by the author” basset hound owner essentials:

Big basset hound head t-shirt by The Mountain:

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Stylish latex basset head costume (for blending in at basset waddles):

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Follow Steph Cha on Twitter: @stephycha

Pass the basset, please

Here is a set of basset hound salt and pepper shakers.

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My parents bought them for us on a trip to the U.S. – in a time when such novelty condiments were still an actual novelty here in the UK. Now, you can easily buy them on Amazon, which is wonderful because who wouldn’t want a pair of basset hounds ON the dinner table? Just imagine the myriad ways you could amuse yourself at mealtimes. For example, you could do this…

Or this. Ahhh….

Also, because they’re basically a pair of basset hounds kissing (they have magnetic noses which stick together), they’d make a great wedding or anniversary gift for a pair of basset lovers.

Click here to buy yours. (If you do, a portion of the sale amount will be donated to the BRNGB.)

Hush Puppies Autumn/Winter 2015

When Mercedes-Benz let you down, you can always count on Hush Puppies. They know that, regardless of what you’re trying to sell, the basset hound should always get as much screen time as the product. That way, buyers don’t get bored and click away to– ooh look, bassets at the beach!

Still, even Hush Puppies can get some things wrong. For example, I notice in this video, the humans are sitting on the furniture and the bassets are sitting on the floor. As a former basset owner, I feel pretty sure that that’s supposed to be the other way round. Also, the humans are not feeding the bassets, which just seems… odd.

Anyway, here is Hush Puppies Autumn/Winter 2015 Brand Video 1, which may or may not be marketing speak for commercial/advert. Whatever… it’s cute.

And here is Brand Video 2. I feel they could have worked on these titles a bit more…

J.J. Morgan, the basset hound that charmed America

Here’s a great story on Mashable about the most famous basset hound you’ve never heard of.

J.J. Morgan was a huge TV star in the 1950s in America. You know that look your basset hound gives you when you’re asking it – very nicely – to move up a smidge on the sofa so you can sit down? That look was J.J. Morgan’s calling card.

“Morgan, a mournful basset hound, becomes a celebrity with his polished acting and superb critical aplomb.”

J.J. Morgan was actually the stage name of a 3-year-old basset called Sir Guy Elwell. He got his big break by being owned by the producer of A Couple of Joes, who decided that ‘what this show needs to liven things up is an unimpressed basset hound’. He was right.

J.J. was a huge hit, making several guest appearances and even having his own show (for which he was paid $25 per episode – presumably to spend on gravy bones). Life Magazine reports,

“On four successive days recently he could be seen in four different shows. On Wednesday he was in on a chatty interview which covered such subjects as the water shortage in New York and life in contemporary Spain (he had little to say, fell asleep halfway through)…”

You can read the full original story about J.J. Morgan in Life Magazine here.

J.J. Morgan basset hound and TV star featured in LIFE Magazine.