April 16, 2021

Henry Visits His Mom

I always told the breeder, Michelle at Out West Bassets that I would bring Henry back for visits. This week was the plan since I am now moving in 12 days. I also wanted to see how he rode in the RAV4 compared the passenger seat and floorboard of the Tacoma. He was smaller then and I found out yesterday really quick after we left that he is so long that he has to ride in back. As he will ride with Stella on the way to the Midwest.

With all of the grown basset hounds behind their fence barking and howling when Henry jumped out of the car, he was a little timid and scared of all the noise. One particular basset was louder than the others with excitement and was trying to push her way between the wood slats of their fence ... it was his mom, Belle. She knew who he was almost immediately. Strange how dogs can figure that out.

Michelle's two boys were just as happy to see him. After all, they were the ones that handled Henry his first few weeks of life until I picked him up at 8 weeks old. Once Henry got use to the barking hounds and they got use to him and quieted down, his tail never stopped wagging. He trotted, ran, and pranced proud at times from one person to another getting attention.

She was really happy with they way he looked. The kids commented how soft he was. She commented how great he looked and how big he was at 10 months. (the 29th). She said his size comes from the champion male that produced his dad Fred. All of these adults can be seen on the website I linked at the top. Henry really like being back on their ranch, a true ranch passed through the family for over a 100 years.

He also got to meet their dog that is not a basset, you can barely see him in the background. He also had to sniff their cat that came out to see what all the noise was about. Luckily his nose was not swatted by the cat.

This is Henry standing next to his mom, Belle. She was a little grumpy and growled at him a few times when he tried to sniff noses. She was just coming out of her heat cycle. So she was excited to see him from behind the fence, she was not that happy to have him inspect her.

This puppy was born in a different litter about 4 months after Henry was born. They kept calling her a sister so I am guessing that she has Fred as her dad too. There is the non-basset and the cat in the background.

Michelle was really happy to see him and posted the five photos on her Facebook account. I could never be a breeder because at 8 weeks your puppies are leaving and mostly likely will not be seen again in person. Pictures yes, but not in person. So I was happy that I and Henry brightened her day by bringing him out to visit. Here we are leaving the ranch on land owned by them, heading back to I-10 to head home. It was around 50 miles of freeway east of Benson. Traffic was never backed up but they have been doing some repaving on I-10 just outside of Benson if you happen to be traveling through the area.

I bought the RAV4 because the cargo area is lower than the FJ and Tacoma and will be easier for me to help Stella get in the back for our trip plus any future trips to the vet. Since she can no longer stand up nor sit up with her front paws on the bumper or the floor of the FJ and Tacoma I had to get something lower, where I could lift her inside. With my hip replacement last year, I just don't feel it is a good thing to be lifting ~85 pounds almost chest high so her front paws clear the bumper or floor to lay her inside. 

The RAV4 TRD OR should work for the trip. It was very comfortable for the hour and a half drive to and from the ranch. One thing I did not know or forgot from the last one I had, the back seats do not pull out like they did on the Tacoma or FJ. They just fold, leaving a gap between the back of the front seats and the folded rear seats. That will be filled with stuff I am taking with me and I will make that level with the folded seats. I am also going to buy tethers for Stella and Henry in the back not only for safety but another reason.

The rear door opens and closes mechanically and slow. It is going to be challenging to have two hounds stay in the cargo area as I close the rear door and it goes down so slow. I might read the manuals today and see if I can turn off the default setting so I can close the door myself, at a faster pace. Walter will be riding up front with me and I have a tether for him that attaches to the seatbelt preventing him from flying into the dash if I have a sudden unexpected stop.

I will LOVE the gas mileage with the RAV. I have my plan set up for gas stops. Some of those stops will be one for me too as well as letting the hounds out for a break. It will take longer to make the trip than these figures show but this is the fastest I can travel the 1650 miles. Mileage and driving time was taken from an online map I was using "from to" see see where I could find gas stations that would be open past midnight.

I am excited about making this move. That is surprising in a way because I never thought or planned on leaving Sierra Vista. Everything is scheduled and ready to go except ... a firm date for my VW bug to be picked up to be transported to Indiana. I have a Plan B just in case they cannot find a shipper by the 27th. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have made this same route in my life, to and from Indiana from the beach in Carlsbad California. I could almost drive it in my sleep. Coming out here with only Heidi and Stella, in a 4Runner pulling a small 5x8 U-Haul trailer, I made the trip in 35 hours including all stops. I did have a flat tire in Oklahoma that took almost 3 hours to get back on the road. 

So it looks like my estimate taken from maps online that told me how many miles and driving time is almost 10 hours shorter than my estimates coming out here. I KNOW for sure it is not a 24 hour trip but one closer to 35 hours total.

A couple of people have asked me, why don't I take my time, stop and see stuff along the way or go camping? I have found from the past it is too hard to travel with three dogs and two hands. I also have a dog now that does not like riding in the car so the shortest trip possible will probably make him very very happy. Yes, it's Walter. Plus I have always driving "straight through" on cross country trips. From Whidbey Island WA to Indiana was the longest. I think I slept while driving I-80 through Nebraska on that trip or at least with one eye open, the other sleeping.  LOL

So it was a nice visit for Henry. It was good to see Michelle again and all of her basset hounds. I also learned a little more about my new vehicle.

Overcast this morning in the "Wild West".

Oh one other thing before I leave. This week I have had two couples that are into bicycling here, telling me they are leaving Sierra Vista. One has lived here 17 years and they never thought they would leave either, but their house is listed for sale. Both couples are moving back to the Midwest. This is not to justify my move but to show that things are changing here, enough for people to leave. Those coming in from California and New York either don't know what's going or or don't care.


  1. So nice that you were able to take Henry back to where it all started. Yes, Mom's know their "children." One of my Yellow Lab's pups was adopted by friends and every time they met they did the sniff sniff differently than when they met other dogs. There is just a special bond.

    Might talk to the vet about a tranquilizer for Walter just to try and keep him calm during your trip. We gave them to our "girls" when we had the big 4th of July fireworks event each year and it did help. Take care and safe travels.

    1. Thanks and I will let you know how Walter does.

  2. Henry is SHOW... he is just a stud muffin that knows he is Mr. Handsome.