|My girl in the sun|
Through all of this pint-sized misconduct, the only action Zooey took was to look pitifully at the adults as if to ask, "Why is she doing this to me? Please make it stop." Sometimes she walked slowly away, but unless she went outside, there was really no escaping the toddler torrent. She didn't growl; she didn't snap; she certainly didn't bite. She took it like a champ (I think the peanut butter I gave her helped).
|Goofing off with the hose|
Bred to hunt raccoons and other large game (I have a former student whose family has 25 couples - 50 hounds - who help protect their cattle ranch from mountain lions), coonhounds are loud, mouthy, and boisterous. They are also independent and stubborn. Some of the coonhound people I know talk about their hounds "closing their ears." When a scent hound is on the trail, she doesn't hear or listen to you, and it's almost impossible to call her off; Zooey can ignore me with the best of them. No amount of calling and begging and cajoling will distract her. That's great if we're out on a hunt. Not so super when I am just hoping for a stroll through the neighborhood and she suddenly realizes that we're two houses away from a discarded McDonald's bag.
|They also make great pillows.|
|Snoozing is her forte.|
|Having a coonhound is|
like drinking from a fire hose.
Of course, Zooey has already graced this blog multiple times in regard to my running. She is my running buddy and quite possibly the only being on the planet who gets THAT excited to get up at 4:30 for such an activity. She meets each run with the enthusiasm that only a dog can give. That enthusiasm is really all that gets me up on those mornings. That and the fact that Zooey will jump on top of me if I hit the snooze button even once. I know, though, that even thought I might not want to crawl out of my warm bed, by the time we're ten minutes into the run, I won't regret getting up at all. I'm one of many who benefit from my loyalty to my loyal companion. What's great about having a coonhound in this instance is that since coonhounds are hunting dogs, they can run and run and run. So far, Zooey's only gone 8 miles with me (on longer runs I drop her off at home and head out again), but I know my girl has many more miles in her.
Now, there are many awesome websites out there that can tell you a great deal about coonhounds - what their natural temperament is, how low maintenance their coat is (although their ears are a different story - floppy-eared dogs need aural TLC), and even some great information about who should and should not get a coonhound. My favorite is Coonhound Companions. This website was founded by a group of wonderful people who want to spread the word that coonhounds aren't just for hunting but also for keeping your feet warm.
But this is my blog.
So here are my ten favorite things about coonhounds.
- Their snoring makes yours much less offensive to the non-snorers in the house.
- Their Frito-feet never stink. But they will make you have a hankering for Frito Pie.
- A coonhound will take all the petting you can give her and then some. She will let you know when you are done petting her. And when you are NOT done.
- The kitchen floor - and sometimes the counter - will always be clean.
- If you want to take a nap, you never have to explain yourself, although you may have to share the bed or couch.
- Forget doorbells - all you need is a coonhound who bawls or chops to let you - and your neighbors - know that someone's here.
- The softest, most velvety-silky ears ever.
- The aroo-roo-rooo and tail slap when they want something really bad is too cute to not let them have that something, even though you just derailed any training that you may have done.
- Coonhounds are so patient with young children.*
- Every day with a coonhound is an adventure; buckle up and enjoy the ride. That's what it's all about anyway.
|Snuggling with "Little Zooey."|
At the end of the day, I think about all the animals who are surrendered when they no longer are convenient for their owners. Zooey, with her counter-surfing, Holden-harassing, at-the-UPS-guy-barking ways, is anything but convenient. But I love her in spite of that inconvenience. And probably because of it, too.
*Just a note - while coonhounds are, as a breed, excellent around young children, every dog is different, and if you plan to bring home a new furry family member, make sure that you do your homework on not just the breed but the specific animal you are considering.
Now... go get you a coonhound!
|Pure Love is a Tummy Rub|