The Zen of Basset Surfing

Stressed? Under pressure? Feeling the heat? Boy, do I have a therapy for you.

Take one video of a basset hound surfing, once a day, and all your troubles will melt away.

See, this isn’t some ‘funny dog video’ of a sunglasses-wearing beach basset catching a wave. This is surfing the hound way. A gentle glide along a river. At sunset. With the wind in your ears. And Elvis – the star of this video – is a natural.

Elvis was rescued by Barb Ayers (the one holding the oar) some 13 years ago. Back then, he hated water. But with the help of Barb and Howdy – the original surf basset – he soon realised the secret of true happiness was riding along the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, while thinking deep thoughts. You can read Elvis’s story – in his own words – here.

Then there’s Dude, who takes things up a notch by being a surf basset who is also blind. Dude was also a rescue and sadly lost the sight in both eyes to glaucoma. But that hasn’t stopped him enjoying the sounds – and smells – of a good surf down the river.

I implore you to check out the Surf Dog Diaries website here and also to follow their adventures on YouTube and Facebook.

Surf Dog Diaries, Columbia River Gorge, OR
Barb, Dude, Elvis and Doodle the doxie. Image used with permission of Surf Dog Diaries.

Delilah the blind basset, rising star

Have you met Delilah? She’s quite the internet sensation in the making.

Hello Delilah!
Hello Delilah!

Delilah is a 5-year-old basset hound from Northampton (the one in Massachusetts, USA, not the one in England, UK).

Like all great stars, Delilah came from humble beginnings. Horrible beginnings, in fact. In 2010, she was rescued from a puppy mill by Wasatch Animal Rescue and from there, given a loving home by owner Charlotte. Delilah was only 13 weeks old, and covered in infected dog bites, plagued with ear mites, and suffering with kennel cough and intestinal parasites.

Thankfully now, Delilah is loved to bits and enjoying life – despite having glaucoma related blindness – and you can follow her many adventures online. When Charlotte was on maternity leave, she started posting photos of Delilah and it’s just snowballed from there. This beautiful, plucky hound has her own Facebook page, an Instagram account with over 3,000 followers, and Pack dog profile. She’s even appeared on Buzzfeed and her fame is growing: last week, her story was featured in her local paper, the Valley Advocate.

I think Delilah deserves even greater stardom. Don’t you?

How to become a Delilah groupie:

Delilah’s Facebook page:

Delilah’s Instagram: @de_li_lah (if anyone knows how to link to an Instagram account, let me know, coz I don’t)

Delilah on Pack:

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Delilah travels to Dubai in #WheresDelilahWednesday.
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Just hanging out in the shade, being cool.
Delilah working hard for Labor Day.
Delilah working hard for Labor Day.
Delilah and Charlotte
Delilah and Charlotte

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

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.