19th Jul, 2019

Written by Carien von Backstrom

Professional photography by Helen du Plessis Photography

Murphy is the sixth Bassett Hound we’ve been privileged to have in our lives. He’s also our third rescue – and, sadly, the first that was previously abused. He’s smaller than your average-sized Bassett; a bit of a dwarf size by my guess. He’s a beautiful tri-colour with a very skew right front paw – remnants of his “colourful” past, we think.

He was saved from his abusive life by the wonderful angels of SA Basset Adoptions. From there, he went into foster care and was finally placed at our home.

From fearful to friendly

The time spent with him has definitely been a test in patience. When he first arrived, he was terribly scared of anything male and used to bite and growl when he was sore or scared. Nowadays, he loves his morning cuddles with his dad or chasing my nine-year-old daughter through the house. Nursing him has also become easier since he began realising that we want to help rather than hurt him.

The other dogs in our yard love the new little one to bits, possibly thinking it’s a personalised, pint-size squeaky toy. He’s best friends with the Miniature Pinscher, and our most senior Bassett in our yard has adopted Murphy as his surrogate son.

Murphy is a very talkative fellow who has the habit of growling when voicing his opinion. This can sometimes cause loads of confusion when trying to figure out what’s the makings of a conversation and what’s an angry growl. 

Murphy’s life

Life with Murphy can sometimes be trying, especially when he seems stuck in his “fight or flight” mode instead of his usual happy, relaxed self. But one look into his beautiful eyes and all resistance melts. And the fact that a tummy tickle can break down his defences also helps.

He’s taught us that no matter how broken your background, there are always wonderful loving people willing to smother you with love. Murphy has a special place in our home and hearts. So much so that even the horses on the yard have found a liking to him.

SA Basset Adoptions rehomes approximately 20 dogs per month, but those surrendered to them which never get adopted number far more than that. I’ll forever be grateful to Adrienne and her wonderful angels for the tireless work that they do for this special breed!

If you too would like to adopt a Basset, or would like more information, contact SA Basset Adoptions on 083 357 5000, or email