I’ve always felt passionate about this club. In fact, one of my first memories of it involve me and my little sister ages 7 and 6 dressing up in a Basset Hound costumes made by my mother. Marvelling at how brilliant my costume was, I was oblivious to the cooing of my fellow exhibitors and committee members, some of them, unfortunately remember it to this day…
Years have gone by and I find myself Treasurer and Show Manager of a show that has been a part of my childhood and has shaped my love and fascination of Basset Hounds, and dogs in general. It’s a terrific opportunity for me because I can personally contribute and make an impact on the club and the health of this breed.
The South of England Basset Hound Club holds a number of dog walks around the south of England allowing not just exhibitors and dog showing owners, but the general public too to socialise and talk about their favourite breed while going on walks in the South of England from the forests of Alice Holt to the beaches of Sandbanks. A number of breed clubs all around the country do activities like this and it’s a wonderful way to bring people into the dog world and bring together the community.
However, does this mean we can’t do more? After all, we are representing Basset Hounds as a breed, there are a lot more to them than meets the eye.
Dog Events such as Discover Dogs in London involve over 200 breed stands representing every registered breed including the Basset Hound. We are the club that usually looks after the Basset breed stand educating people who are interested in the breed and what is involved in owning a Basset Hound. We are not in any way selling our breed to others but more ‘promoting’ your breed; not just explaining to others reasons to get a Basset but reasons not to get one, allowing people to assess whether getting a Basset is right for them depending on their circumstances. And this is a step in the right direction.
For a number of years now the Basset Hound has been recognised as a ‘High Profile Breed‘. A total of 14 breeds have been on the High Profile list due mainly to conformational issues. Since then the Kennel Club has been working closely with the clubs associated with these breeds including the 8 Basset Clubs in this country and the South of England Basset Hound Club.
It is up to us, working along side the other breed clubs, health groups and the Kennel Club to keep identifying these health issues and finding ways to resolve, not brush over them. The future of the Basset Hound doesn’t only depend on Basset exhibitors and breeders but on the general public and we mustn’t turn our backs on them either. Even though I’ve got the privilege to be Treasurer and Show Manager of such a wonderful club that’s touched my childhood, I do feel like I also have a more important job: preserving the health of the breed for future generations to cherish.