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. http://www.surfdogs.org

How to decorate your home with basset hounds

Step One: Use basset hound drool to stick up wallpaper…

Actually, the title of this post does not refer to the practice of allowing your basset hound to assist with the painting and decorating (Henry Basset, I’m looking at you) but to the much saner idea of filling your home with as many basset hound themed knick-knacks as possible.

To that end, I have found some available-in-the-shops-now items that you might wish to put on your Christmas list or (who am I kidding) buy straight away.

Remember to use Easyfundraising.co.uk to send some much needed pennies to BRNGB – all of the items below qualify. If you haven’t already signed up, you’ll find a handy banner over there on the right (or below, if you’re on a mobile) which you can click to do so.

For the living room…

Basset hound cushion

Basset hound cushion by hunkydory home at notonthehighstreet.com

This cushion has the slobbery end of the basset on one side and the waggy end on the other, so best to buy two so you can display as shown. At £35 per cushion, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s so stylish that the cost is entirely justified don’t you think?

For the dining room…

Basset hound placemat

Basset hound placemat by Simon Hart Design at notonthehighstreet.com

This fabulous placemat can be personalised – with the name of your hound, perhaps? – and you can also get a matching coaster (and serving tray, and mug, and cushion, and….). Placemats cost £14.50 each.

For the kitchen…

Basset hound treat jar

Recycled Basset Hound Jar, by HirosHeart on Etsy

Isn’t this perfect? It’s just a pity they ship from the US (unless you’re reading this in the US, that is). The jar costs £10.64 at time of writing and shipping is £15 but maybe if you ordered more than one, it would work out cheaper. I think you’ll find you need one each for tea, coffee and sugar, plus two or three for tasty basset noms…

For the bedroom…

Basset hound table lamp

Dexter Dog Table Lamp, M&S

I’m only 96% certain this isn’t a dachshund. Hmm. This basset hound table lamp is a must for any discerning hound owner. Only £55 from good old M&S.

For anywhere…

BRNGB calendar

This one’s a no-brainer! No home would be complete without this gracing its walls. The 2016 BRNGB calendar is available now and features a gorgeous rescue hound for each month. Only £8.50 from the BRNGB shop!

3 music videos starring basset hounds

Basset spotting is a sport in our house. Whether we’re fast forwarding through a commerical – “Wait, was that a basset? Rewind rewind!” – or cringing through an episode of 2 Broke Girls – “Did you see that basset hound walk past? Rewind rewind!” – basset spotting turns any viewing experience into an exciting adventure. It’s just a shame it happens so rarely. We need more bassets on TV.

Spotting basset hounds in music videos is even harder. Just as you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, so too do you have to watch a lot of bad music videos to find one with a basset hound in. Thankfully, I’ve done the hard work for you so you can just watch these ones!

Tip: Be sure to watch each video all the way through to make sure you see all the basset bits.

New Radicals – Get What You Give
Short but sweet clips of a basset hound running through a mall…

Vitalic – Poney Part 1
Dogs defying gravity. The basset hound first appears at the 50 second mark.

Mayer Hawthorne – Her Favourite Song
Not only is the basset hound the coolest dog in this video (coz it’s the DJ), it’s also the only dog which gets a kiss. I think we know why.

There’s also Nelly’s ‘Ride Wit Me’ video, which has a basset hound riding in a truck (blink and you’ll miss it) and there MUST be a video in some vault somewhere of Elvis singing to a basset hound, but apart from that, I know of no other basset hounds in music videos. But maybe you do?? Comment below if you do!

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: https://www.facebook.com/Delilahbasset

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: http://packdog.com/delilah-28

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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

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.)

stephcha&duke

Steph and her husband (then fiancé) rescued Duke through Basset Hound Rescue of Southern California (http://www.bassethoundrescuesocal.com/) 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