Kimberly Robinson
Henry, the Bassett Hound, and his owner Rick Ramage love walking around Lincoln Park and the Westcrest Dog Park but when Henry goes off leash, he's apt to just about instantly disappear, letting his nose lead the way.

Pet of the week: Henry is a loyal galoot

Rick Ramage got his dog Henry, a Bassett Hound three years ago through Craigslist. "A friend of mine said, 'You need a Bassett Hound' , I had been talking dogs, and he got a couple of dogs and was looking at this one and found two labs." He went out to Kent and bought Henry from a private owner.

Henry has no special diet just kibble and canned food but sometimes gets a supplement of leftovers or "a bone here and there, but not too much."

Ramage said he gives Henry a fair amount of exercise, which is partially why he's slender but, "I just don't over feed him. If I did, because I live in a place with a lot of stairs he would end up with ruptured vertebrae. I had a Daschund like this and while he was overweight he ruptured vertebrae."

Ramage describes Henry as "inquisitive, sleepy, and wants to smell everything, then he'll go lay down and sleep for the next 20 hours."

When he's up he's active Ramage said. "He has a couple of baskets of toys and he will play with a toy then leave it behind and grab another one. He likes to chase balls, as long as there's another dog chasing it. He prefers to chase the dog that chases the ball. Bassetts are not known for chasing balls. He will fetch a ball once or twice, which astounds many of the other Bassett owners but it's sort of a one-off for him," said Ramage.

For a fairly large dog Henry can be quite surprsing. "He's a disappearing act in motion," said Ramage. He will vanish. If I don't have him on this leash, "Ramage said tugging at Henry," he will disappear, go and keep on going. At the dog park I've had three people and we'll be talking and like, "Where did he go?" and none of us can find him, and it's a fairly open area." That's at the Westcrest dog park though they both enjoy walking in the Lincoln Park area.

Henry has some erstwhile friends, other dogs owned by neighbors, but they apparently don't like him because, "He's a big goof," Ramage said. "He's like that cartoon character Baby Huey. Big galoot who wants to play and little dogs, they don't appreciate it when this big playful dog jumps up and down."

Bassett Hounds are of course very distinctive looking dogs, with long ears, sad eyes, and short legs. "A lot of the thing with Bassett Hounds is that they are a bit of an optical illusion," explained Ramage. "It's a small dog, to most everybody, until you put him up next to a lab. They have about the same body size but their legs are so short."

Ramage loves Henry and said, "He's loyal as hell and he always wants to be right next to me, unless he smells something down the road, and then he couldn't care less about me. It's either all love or I'll see you in a month."

Editors Note: Definition of GALOOT

: fellow; especially : one who is strange or foolish

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