July 29, 2020

A Trip To See The Puppies

I had reserved a time for this morning to drive over to Old West Bassets and see the litter of 10 puppies a few days shy of 4 weeks old. There are five males and five females. I had decided before I sent in my deposit I was looking for a mahogany and white male. With hopes of one having a laidback attitude and not the 'king' of the litter. It took about an hour and a half to make the trip and the morning weather was perfect to drive with all the windows down.

The bassets are living on a ranch about 6 miles off the paved road. Beautiful country and a place you'd think you could camp but this is all privately owned land. I had looked at the route on the satellite map last weekend to get a good idea where I was going. My maps on my iPhone were pretty accurate if I were to follow the verbal directions. Out of all the puppies I have brought home at 8 weeks old over the years, this is one of the few times I was able to see, pickup and hold, talk to and look into the eyes of the puppy I thought I wanted. But there were a few things that would have to fall in place for me to get that. I was #5 in line to choose out of the 10 buyers and am #2 in line for those of us that wanted males.

Before entering the area of the puppies and their parents I scrubbed the bottom of my shoes on a rubber mat that had a disinfectant and water. This would prevent any chance of me bringing parvo to the litter from the ground I had been walking on back at home. Most were sleeping as I accepted the invite to sit in the box with all ten pups if I wanted. The male I wanted is that mahogany and white straight ahead in the photo at the bottom of the picture with a little black on his tail. In the upper photo he is the mahogany and white in the middle. I thought I had taken a lot of photos of him today but when I got home I found out this was the only one ... instead I had a lot of hands on time with him.

One of the people that wanted a female had changed their mind and chose a male. They had chosen the male that the person before me wanted. So I figured my chances just got better. If they wanted a tri-color (black and whites at this age) then most likely they would want that one on the far left against the little boy's hand. That would leave me next in line to choose and I'd have the pup I wanted since the first day I saw photos of the litter.

1 week old -- since they don't have names, they are called "color of their collar male or female" Tan Male was my guy. They were a laid back group of puppies. Not fighting, no yelping but all of that might come next week as they get older. As I sat down on the wooden ledge 'tan male' walked right over to me, I picked him up and our eyes met. All of the puppies had beautiful markings. All of them have all the attributes they are suppose to have, even long ears at 3.5 weeks old. When I held him with his back against my hand he didn't fight to get away or move. He just laid there relaxed. While talking to Michelle he fell asleep in my hands. He reminded me of a basset hound I had once before. Some of you know who that is.

1 week old face

Two weeks old -- I still wanted to look at the other males and even the females. I wanted to see how they reacted when held, or petted. Would they stay around or try to get away. ALL of them stayed around and enjoyed the attention they got. I saw again that I could never be breeder because I could never sell the puppies ... I'd want to keep all of them.

2 weeks old face. Looking directly in the camera for the 2nd week in a row is a plus with me. It's not for blogging purposes although I bet he will love getting his picture taken in the future. He didn't seem shy and that is another plus with me. He wasn't the litter bully which I saw in a bloodhound litter once. Yet he was active while a lot of the others were still sleeping.

3 weeks old. The camera setting were a little off in that weeks photos. He was not that light of mahogany and after a half week most of the black you see was gone. That is normal for mahogany colored bassets.  All bassets should have a white tip on their tails. It is to see them better in a field when they are tracking rabbits and you cannot see them through the tall grass. It is the correct asset for a basset, the white tail tip.

3 week old face. Again not quite that light but looking directly into the camera again, something that a lot of the ten puppies did not do.

While I sat watching and touching different puppies I had two of the females lay next to my shoe to sleep. One put her head in the dog dish filled with kibble and slept. Would I have a 3rd dog in the house with the same shade of red/tan/mahogany? I would if I decided to chose "Tan Male".

Well I was 100% positive of the pup I wanted. It was the real reason I made the trip today. THEN she said "I have something that might confuse you a little in making a decision. I have a female from another litter of 4 that was born a week before. One person chose this female and then decided to wait until the next litter."

As you can see, she is beautiful. Her dad is all black like that. Some of that black on her hips will turn the same color as her head. As soon as I picked her up and she didn't fight to get away ... I thought I as holding a "mini Heidi". I began to wonder if I wanted her instead of the tan male. It was a good thing that Walter was at home, not that he would have not liked being here ... but if I did not have Walter I have no doubt that I would have taken this female and the Tan Male I came to see.

About the time I was getting ready to leave one of their 'pet' basset hounds was barking at the cows to stay in the shade and give me room to turn around.  As I drove slowly past the basset after making a looping turn, I saw the basset hound walk away from the cows toward the house ... he/she had done their job I guess of controlling the cows.

The person on the list before me had not chosen yet but Michelle had left a message for them. She also thought they would chose the black collar male. I told her I had some things to think about on my drive home .. which pup to choose when I thought for sure I knew which one I wanted, until I saw that female. I already knew which one I should choose. I had already picked a name even before the litter was born. I wanted him the first time I saw that 1 week old picture. Plus the way he walked right over to me when I sat down inside the box. All the signs and energy were there to make the choice pretty obvious.

Of course when I got home after being around a total of 14 puppies, 6 adult basset hounds and their one spaniel all three of mine attacked at my shoes, ankles and hands with their noses trying to identify all of those hound smells left on me. Water was trying to wag his tail but he doesn't really have one to wag so Heidi and Stella made it up for him. Their tails were going a mile a minute as their noses were pressed against my shoes, or ankles.  After things settled down, Stella decided it was perfect time and temperature for an afternoon siesta. Too hot for Walter so he didn't last long.

I'm not sure for how long but all of us fell asleep on the floor in the computer room. I sat on the floor with all of them because I had to explain to them where I had been and what was going to happen at the end of August. While I was "passed out" on the floor, Michelle had sent me an email telling me the person in front of me had chosen the pup we thought they would, the "Black Collar Male". So "Tan Male" was mine if I wanted him. She said I could have a couple of days to think about it since the female from the other litter had come into play.

While the hounds slept, I spent another hour looking through photos of both the female pup and the tan male. Would two males in the house get alone? I have had three males in the house once and they all got a long and they did not have contest marking their spot all over the house like I expected they might. I doubt that Walter cares what the pup is just as long as it can keep up the pace when playing. Walter will be a few days shy of 7 months old with the 2 month old basset walks into the house.

What will Heidi's reaction be? Will being the same breed make a difference to her or is she just a 100% loner? I still knew which pup I should and wanted to choose. About an hour after she had emailed me I replied back to her that I wanted the Tan Male.

I forgot to mention that during our one hour visit, she mentioned that both of her breeding females came from a basset hound breeder in Indiana. I had never heard of the town she mentioned so I looked it up when I got home. It is in northern Indiana, small rural town. I lived in the southern part of Indiana. The mom and dad of Tan Male were laid back and friendly bassets. They were also LARGE size bassets, bigger than Heidi and Winston. When she let them out to visit me they came right up to me to get petted and get some attention.

Walter spent the rest of his day chewing the last small piece of his cow hoof. It's almost too small and I am going to have to throw it away before swallows it. Yes that small piece is hidden in his mouth in all of his photos.

So it turned out to be a good day. I got to see a LOT of basset hound puppies, met the breeder and a couple of her kids that gave all the puppies as much attention as they wanted. Stella got to sleep under the sun, Walter got to chew his hoof in private and Heidi got to sleep all afternoon in the air conditioned bedroom besides having lunch. My Reds finally hit a baseball and won a game. I had a big thick steak and enjoyed the fairly strong wind out on the patio.

I will say I was impressed when I stopped for gas at the intersection of Hwy 90 and I-10. It's a good size gas/mini mart and busy. EVERYONE that was out of their cars either filling their vehicles up with gas or going inside to shop WERE WEARING A MASK. Maybe that is why Arizona is seeing a decrease in positive cases and hospitalizations. Whereas my friend went to Sam's Club in Indiana which started their state wide mandate this past Monday and NOBODY was wearing a mask.

I tried the downsizing and minimal living a few years ago. It felt good to get ride of a lot of stuff I had stopped using. But when it comes to dogs, bicycles and cars/trucks it's never been that way. I didn't last more than 10 months with just one vehicle in 2018. I think the last time I had only one hound was in 1990 when Harry and I roamed the PNW and Colorado before moving back to Indiana. Soon after I had a 2nd basset hound and a bloodhound, living with 3-4 hounds  since 1995. 

I guess our dog walks next fall when it's cooler and the two pups are big enough to go with Heidi and Stella will be very interesting and I'm sure there will be a few people that will want to stop us and meet all of them. I am not sure what my 'plan of attack' is to walking 3 hounds and a dog with retractable leashes. Ha Ha

A great sunny day today but I hear thunder now and an alert just told me that lightning is 10 miles away ... all is good in the 'Wild West'.

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