Bassets: Are They Couch Potatoes?
Most people think of a basset hound as the perfect couch-potato dog. Most bassets are low key, don’t disturb my sleep kind of dogs. Many also claim that because basset hounds are stubborn by nature (after all, they were bred to follow their nose and get that rabbit out of the briar patch) are therefore difficult to train, and few expect them to be obedient. I have had bassets in my life for over 30 years. Some of my bassets were downright stubborn and I learned to follow their commands. Others, especially my current 9-year-old basset obeys me simply because she loves me. But recently, after following a new “friend” in Facebook, I found out about a basset who can do something that never in my wildest dream did I imagine a basset being able to do. He just recently became a CS-ATCH, which I found out means Canine Specialist Agility Trial Champion. His name is Diesel, and his slave or guardian (I hate the name “owner”) is Shelly Nowicki Gordon who is the president and intake coordinatior of ABC Basset Hound Rescue of NY.
So let’s find out a little bit about this amazing hound. Diesel, according to Shelly, came from a backyard breeder (BYB). Most of the rescue bassets come either from BYB or puppy mill because a bona-fide breeder will take your hound back if for some reason you need to have it rehomed. So don’t be fooled when you purchase a basset. It doesn’t matter that they have AKC papers, as the American Kennel Club is not vigilant about what type of breeders are breeding the dogs. Anyway, if you are to get a BYB dog, you might as well get a rescued dog. It’ll make room for new rejected dogs to be rehomed rather than facing euthanasia in a shelter.
Anyway, back to Diesel’s story. Diesel and his sister Andi were purchased together. But the person who bought them could not housetrain them (bassets take up to 18 months to realize that the grass “carpet” and not the indoor carpet is the place to go). This person, however, did the right thing. She didn’t take the dogs to the shelter, where more than likely they meet death within a few days, she took them to ABC rescue. At ABC, foster homes were set up, and the person changed her mind. She was going to try and work with them.
A month passed by and ABC was called again. The dogs had to go. The person (female) could not housetrain them. The original fosters homes were full, so Shelly offered to help by fostering one of them. She figured that as they were only 7 months old, they would soon be adopted. Shelly chose to foster the male hound (Diesel), since she always had males.
The joke was on Shelly. For some reason, nobody wanted to adopt Diesel. And after few weeks, Diesel was adopted by the Gordon family. Lucky for Diesel, Shelly had a friend who was working agility with her basset hounds, which spurn Shelly to try to sign Diesel up for agility class.
So Diesel was taking classes, but it was not until the same friend who talked Shelly to take classes talked her to sign him up for local trials. At the first trial, Diesel surprised every one by getting the red ribbon for second place. Shelly was hooked.
Diesel Gets His Ribbons
Three years later, Diesel got the CS-ATCH that he and his slave were working so hard for. An exhuberant Shelly says that the day Diesel got his CS-ATCH was “ One of the best days of my life. From a dog that couldn’t be housebroken…to a dog that can do a teeter and weave poles.”
An exchange student from Germany who lived with the Gordons once said, “Diesel will do anything to make [Shelly] happy.” Shelly says that, “Standing at the start line next to me, running with him for 40–60 seconds, and crossing the finish line together…that makes me happy. Ribbons or no ribbons. He’s a great teammate and I’m honored that he was chosen for me.”
Diesel’s Triumphant Moment
It’s just awesome to see Diesel confidently go through the entire agility course. So, if you are into doing some agility work and want to have a basset. Don’t hesitate, if the dog loves you and you work hard together, you will be a great team.
And here’s a nice side note: In 2008, Diesel’s mom (Eeyore) was for sale in the paper. Shelly convinced the owner to turn her in to rescue. And she adopted her too. She’s a therapy dog and goes to a nursing home on Tuesdays.
As you can see, bassets rock. They are not for couches only, anymore.
By the way, if you live in the Northern NY state area and want to adopt a basset please contact ABC Basset Hound Rescue of NY.
Sea World in San Diego just pioneered a revolutionary reproductive technique that will potentially help threatened or endangered species in the wild. They were able to produce a healthy penguin via artificial insemination by using frozen-then-thawed semen. The result of this technique is shown in the video. He is a healthy 12-week-old penguin. Enjoy the video.
I just found this sad news at Noah’s Ark Website:
Today has to be one of the hardest days I have experienced in rescue. At 5:26 this evening, I had to say good-bye to BUBBLES. I am still in shock, as I am typing this. The last two days she has been happy and playful like she has been for the last three months. She quit eating even prosciutto this morning and I discovered her abdomen had become swollen. I looked at her gums and they were barely pink so I rushed her to the hospital. We did bloodwork and x-rays of her lungs to see what had suddenly changed. Her bloodwork was great and she was not anemic. She was not getting enough oxygen. The x-rays showed that the tumors in her lungs had almost doubled in size. One lobe of her lungs was not functioning at all and was putting pressure on her heart. She couldn’t get enough oxygen and fluid was building up in her lower half because of pressure on the heart. My only options were to say good-bye or to do a Thoracotamy and remove the lung lobe that was not functioning. I could not put this amazing dog through any more surgery. She has been the happiest I have ever seen an animal be and has loved every second of Life since I rescued her. I knew I had to say good-bye. I brought her home and let her rest in all of her special places with me wrapped around her in our typical spoon position. I made arrangements for Dr. Jason King, that knew Bubbles well and loved her, to come to the house to say our final good-byes. Bubbles went peacefully to sleep cradled in my arms.
I am sure this note is as much a shock to everyone as it is to me. I still can’t believe she is gone. If I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing. Bubbles had the biggest heart I have ever experienced. She fought to get her chance at happiness and she WON. She was the happiest most loving dog. We will all miss her. I wish we had more time together but the time we had was amazing. I have cherished every second with her since the day she was rescued. She lived her Life completely to the final breathe. She knew Love. She gave Love. She was Love. She will forever be missed and forever cherished. She never gave up on us and we never gave up on here.
The poor adult basset hound couldn’t get out of the way fast enough, as 23 basset hound puppies tried to get some milk from where there was none. Enjoy the video:
So you decided to get a basset hound? Great! First, however, make sure that you get your puppy from a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder will make you sign a contract that will bind you to spay/neuter your dog and will also inform you that your basset can always be returned to the breeder. A backyard breeder will not adhere to these two rules. A backyard breeder has no interest in the dogs, the betterment of the breed, or you. They are only interested in the profit. A better choice, however, is to get a dog from your area rescue organization. Sometimes, rescues have puppies. But most of the time, they have many great dogs in need of a good home. Think about adopting from your local rescue. In the meantime, enjoy this video: