LOWDOWN Winter 2008 page 25

THE VISITOR by Brian Malin.

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Amongst any bunch of visitors (family or otherwise) there will always be the VISITOR.

This unfortunate person arrives in an immaculate black suit or dress - often velvet - despite being asked to come ‘casual’.

There is also an inherent character defect, namely a lukewarm or even mildly hostile attitude to dogs who sense this and instinctively crowd round VISITOR, keen to show how friendly and harmless they really are.

Often the hounds will just have had a mighty drink and watery slobber cascades onto the immaculate VISITOR. ‘Don’t worry, it will all come out with a little water’, I say optimistically I usually carry a slobber cloth in my pockets and try to dry VISITOR with it. Plainly, the hounds enjoy drooling over embarrassing parts - so sometimes I feel discretion is more important than blotting!

The hounds’ social skills gather apace. The more VISITOR shrinks, the more they press home their affection, jostling each other out of the way and eventually this develops into play biting, which scares you know who into making the excuse of needing to wash my hands in order to find a place of refuge. Hounds are forcibly prevented from following.

Unnoticed, VISITOR leaves a nearly full plate on the coffee table - no need to explain what happened! VISITOR returns surprised and somewhat peeved - hounds are smiling and absolutely love VISITOR.

Everyone else is amused. I produce a fresh plate - no, I tell a lie - Jill does this because I am grinning too much. After all, neither I nor the hounds asked VISITOR to dress other than casual. The dogs were only trying to be friendly; and we know in the canine world if you abandon your food you must be replete. It is only courtesy to ensure all plates are cleared, which anyway is a very green, politically correct attitude - as well as a well licked dish doesn’t need washing! They wash - we wipe

The hounds are now calmly lying at/on VISITOR’s feet and enjoying being stroked. So, they have recruited another convert against all the odds.

Maybe VISITOR would like a year’s membership of our branch for Christmas!

Until then perhaps we can give up VISITOR for Lent. Does this count?

(Ed. This will ring true for every member!).

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

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Amongst any bunch of visitors (family or otherwise) there will always be the VISITOR.

This unfortunate person arrives in an immaculate black suit or dress - often velvet - despite being asked to come ‘casual’.

There is also an inherent character defect, namely a lukewarm or even mildly hostile attitude to dogs who sense this and instinctively crowd round VISITOR, keen to show how friendly and harmless they really are.

Often the hounds will just have had a mighty drink and watery slobber cascades onto the immaculate VISITOR. ‘Don’t worry, it will all come out with a little water’, I say optimistically I usually carry a slobber cloth in my pockets and try to dry VISITOR with it. Plainly, the hounds enjoy drooling over embarrassing parts - so sometimes I feel discretion is more important than blotting!

The hounds’ social skills gather apace. The more VISITOR shrinks, the more they press home their affection, jostling each other out of the way and eventually this develops into play biting, which scares you know who into making the excuse of needing to wash my hands in order to find a place of refuge. Hounds are forcibly prevented from following.

Unnoticed, VISITOR leaves a nearly full plate on the coffee table - no need to explain what happened! VISITOR returns surprised and somewhat peeved - hounds are smiling and absolutely love VISITOR.

Everyone else is amused. I produce a fresh plate - no, I tell a lie - Jill does this because I am grinning too much. After all, neither I nor the hounds asked VISITOR to dress other than casual. The dogs were only trying to be friendly; and we know in the canine world if you abandon your food you must be replete. It is only courtesy to ensure all plates are cleared, which anyway is a very green, politically correct attitude - as well as a well licked dish doesn’t need washing! They wash - we wipe

The hounds are now calmly lying at/on VISITOR’s feet and enjoying being stroked. So, they have recruited another convert against all the odds.

Maybe VISITOR would like a year’s membership of our branch for Christmas!

Until then perhaps we can give up VISITOR for Lent. Does this count?

(Ed. This will ring true for every member!).

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts