by Ruth Myles
Isn’t it just cruel, pitting stubby-legged creatures against each other in the Great Basset Race, all for the enjoyment of their two-legged caretakers?
Not so fast, says Janet Naclia of Calgary Basset Rescue Society, the group behind the event.
“Well, you know, they are trackers. They do like to run. The funny thing is that they don’t really run,” Naclia says with a laugh. “That’s why we have the race. They’re stubborn and silly and goofs. One runs, one has a nap, one goes one way, one goes the other. There is no hard labour involved.”
The seventh-annual Basset Hound Waddle is expanding this year, with a dog agility event (with a category for bowsers other than Basset hounds), a canine-themed marketplace, a barbecue and a silent auction among the activities. Last year, more than 100 bassets (as well as a sprinkling of other breeds) and their people took part in the event. The proceeds go to the Calgary Basset Rescue Society, which takes in hounds in need of a home. That’s not to say that it’s a difficult breed, Naclia points out, just that they have their own way of doing things.
“They are known to be a stubborn breed. They were independent hunters back in the day,” she says. “If I were a dog, I don’t know if I would come when called, either. ‘Hey, I’m lying in a sunbeam here’ So, it’s a perfect mesh with my personality. Also, they are extremely loyal and they love, love, love people and other dogs and kids. They are good for people who are lazy, like myself.”
That’s not to say bassets don’t like their walks, because they do, but when they’re done, they’re done: Naclia says she has yet to meet a basset owner who hasn’t had to carry their floppy-eared friend home from a walk.
The four-legged fun takes place Saturday at Springbank Pet Resort, 104 Commercial Court, just east of Calaway Park, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Send Swerve your pictures from past Basset Hound Waddles or take some at this year’s event. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.