Gay and Mary our walk leaders set us a stiff challenge from the outset: find the start.There may well have been more than the 14½ Basset Hounds who set out but the combination of a fallen signpost and whimsical Devon County Council signing led many of us round and around the narrow and high hedged lanes before - perhaps by accident - some of us stumbled on the car park. A couple of seven month old males mingled at the start to give them a taste of what a full grown Hound looks like, before we ambled off into the occasionally dank and puddly woods.
Not having seen Lily the half-Basset/Harlequin Great Dane for some months it is still a matter of some debate which gene is dominant. Half the Danish legs perhaps; sort of Basset ears, Danish colouring - but definitely Basset bark and impudence.
New arrival Merlin from Bodmin impressed us both by his size and placidness: never a hint of a bark even when surrounded by tempting females. Good humour prevailed even when Mary queried Gay whether we "should have met the road by now". Never mind, lunch was partaken by the shrunken reservoir, enlivened by some hounds convinced there really was a sausage buried deep in a rucsac.
Gay's Phoebe impressed us all by retrieving a stick thrown into the water, if only by coming out much cleaner than the rest of the pack. We were just jealous.
Mandy and our photographer
Ready for anything
Someone pulled the plug.
Merlin leading on
(This photo, the 3 below + bottom left by Andy Thomas)
Deep in the woods
Mandy + (I think) Humphrey