Moz and I were finally taken back to the Wild today. We have been imprisoned in nice warm soft beds ever since the Disappearance of the Humans, followed by the Eternal Presence of Humans. Those were (and still are) some of the best months of my life: spending cold mornings curled up on a beanbag/someone’s bed/the old mattress we were given, especially when the beanbag was in front of the heater, with the Givers of Food and Belly Rubs always around. But it is still amazing to get out to the streets now, and now we can go into the Wild too!
Marshall was pretending to quote some great ancestors of his to describe his excitement. He’s so full of himself because he’s practically a bred pedigree. Just because he is exactly one eighth pure whatever and exactly seven eighths something else specific. I’m at least one single breed! I just say that it was overwhelmingly full of life and stories. I do have a way better nose than him.
I was so entranced by this old world that I ran almost six metres from the start, before I had to stop because the smells were nearly knocking me over. And also the Holder of the Leash was telling me to wait through the lead. I found something delicious under a dustbin while she was distracted, but tragically she noticed before I could taste it.
I ran halfway down the main trail before I had to stop, due to breathing difficulty caused by dirt being kicked up onto my tongue that was hanging out nearly to the ground. At least Marshall wasn’t sprinting off to avoid the ants. What a baby.
We were surrounded by the Creatures of the Wild – the Tall Stripy Angry Marshalls (there’s an interesting story about why they are angry, and why they are Marshalls), the Horny Thingies and the identical Non-Horned Thingies (some may call them buck, but that’s uncreative), some small fluffy squeaky animals and the smell of previous dogs.
Almost every other human we met said something like ‘Awww, go basset!’ or ‘Keep it up, Basset! Run! You can do it!’ There was one large group of such people, in the company of one other who hid behind them when Marshall the Monster came past. It feels so good to make passing people smile. If they don’t smile at the sight of my brave, noble, and inspiring mission to keep up with that show off baby brother, if they don’t smile at the sight of top-gear basset hound, they don’t deserve to.
The river at the crossing, where the rocks make it just possible to get over, was wider than I remember. The Younger Humans had to jump across. One Older Human picked me up from the cliff, which is now at human elbow height, as I stood at the little notch known as the Loading Station. I was carried over the rocks, river, and then all of the other rocks up the other bank. I was held in that squishy bit behind my ribs, which was not comfortable.
I had so much energy left afterwards that I even helped the humans by jumping up halfway into the back of the car, they only had to lift up my back legs like a wheelbarrow race.
And Marshall jumped on me the whole way home.
-Chloë the Basset Hound
First walk in a small local nature reserve – home to some zebras (zebb-ra, I should know, I’m South African), small buck (antelope) and possibly one dangerous, but seldom seen, bush pig – on the day that it opened after it closed because of the pandemic. Dogs are allowed on leads. There are multiple paths through the bush over the hill. It’s pretty much just a park with some smaller southern African animals and overcrowded with free-range long grass, low bushes and spiky trees that are only just broken through with paths.