Our 2016 coonhound calendar is posted for sale now, just in time for holiday gifts for all your hound-loving friends. This year’s edition features one or more pet hound by name in each and every month. Come Rumi; come Poppy; come Penny; come George! Come Nutmeg; come Claudia; come Calhoun; come Hank! Come Willy and Rosie and Lilah and Arlo! Come Rebel, too! The pack is all here and wants to visit with you! Whether your preferred breed is brindled or plain, ticked or spotted, prefers fishing, swimming, farming or sniffing flowers, you’ll have a companionable hound friend overseeing every month.
Click here to order. The page will open in a new window. Remember to select January as your "starting month" on the order page, to avoid disappointment.
The calendars measure 11 inches wide by 8.5 inches high when closed and 17 inches high when open. The paper is heavyweight high quality white glossy held together by a refined wire-O binding. Each day’s square is big enough to fill in with personal reminders so your hound remembers his trips to the vet and play dates with friends. Your price is $17.99 plus shipping. Every penny of profit goes directly to our programs. We are an all volunteer organization with no paid staff. Thank you so very much for supporting our work!
by Marilyn Swan
When I retired after 34 years at a major corporation, I had one last thing on my Bucket List. Get a dog.
I knew I wanted an older dog so I went to a rescue site and there was a beautiful 5-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound, who needed a “furever” home. She had lost her home through no fault of her own and she turned out to be the perfect dog for me.
Daisy Mae has just one problem. She is terrified of thunder! Living in Florida, especially during the summer, there seems to be a daily downpour. Often, long before the storm, she would start pacing and trembling uncontrollably.
My vet suggested that I meet with a Veterinary Behavioral Specialist to address her fear. He explained that dogs get worse with age when they are so fearful. An older dog can perish from a fear-induced heart attack.
The Behavior Specialist came to my house and presented a plan to manage this fear during the summer, then work toward trying to desensitize her to thunder in the fall. I’d like to share these suggestions so that others can find some relief for their dogs.
First, we created a den for Daisy Mae. It is the floor of a closet, where she had gone to hide. I put a bed, blankets and pillows on the floor. I set up an IPod with CDs from a collection called Through a Dog’s Ear. They can be found on ITunes. This closet is part of a room that only has one window. I close the window blinds and the hanging clothes dampen the noise. Also, I have a Thunder Shirt wrapped tightly around her. In the room, I have a diffuser with Adaptil Spray that is on constantly. This product emits a smell that is similar to an appeasing pheromone of a nursing Mother Dog. Daisy Mae also wears a lightweight collar that emits this smell.
The den has become her safe place and she readily goes there when she senses hard rain or a storm. The Vet also prescribed a low dosage of Xanax, which I give to her about 2 hours before I think there will be a storm. This drug has stopped the shaking, which was so painful to watch. I was also cautioned that just trying to hold her during a storm was giving her mixed messages. She could have sensed that I was also afraid.
I am keeping a daily journal of Daisy’s behavior so that the Behavioral Specialist can evaluate her progress. It seems like the Xanax is working because Daisy will sometimes come out of the den to eat even during a storm. Previously, she never would have left her den during a storm.
I am also giving her 2 capsules (100mg) daily of a natural supplement called l-Theanine made by Swanson. It is a calming supplement. Not all of the L-Theanine products are safe for dogs. Avoid any products that have xylitol in them. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can be toxic to dogs.
Another wonderful tool has been the new TAGG GPS Plus pet tracker. It attaches to her collar and through an app on my phone, I will always know where she is. Certainly we know that coonhounds can run if they catch a scent off leash. Should that happen, not only do I get a text message, I can easily find her whereabouts on the phone app. There are several other great features on this product to track her daily activity and her temperature. It is modestly priced and the monthly subscription price is well worth the peace of mind it gives me. The system can be purchased online.
I hope these suggestions will be useful to other coonhound owners. I hope they can find a Veterinary Behavioral Specialist in their area to ease their dogs’ thunder fears.
American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
Through A Dog’s Ear:
TAGG GPS plus
The opinions expressed in this guest blog are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily endorsed by Coonhound and Foxhound Companions.
By Stanley Coren, Ph.D.
One factor in George Washington’s becoming president was dogs.
George Washington, the Commanding General of the Continental Army and later the first President of the United States, had a life-long association with dogs. His major concern with them had to do with fox hunting, which was one of his great delights and passions. During his years in Virginia he would ride out with his dogs to hunt foxes every week and sometimes two or three times a week. However what is not well known to most people is that his dogs would make it easier for him to become the leader of the new nation that emerged from the American Revolution. Nor do most people know that he would ultimately bring a new breed of dog into the world.
As an educated and devoted farmer, Washington knew the basics of animal breeding and husbandry. With his usual painstaking care he began to build a pack of hunting hounds. They became his hobby, and his passion. Washington's diaries are filled with his accounts of his dog breeding and eventually he created a unique breed of foxhound that he called "Virginia Hounds."
Washington's feelings about these dogs can be detected in the names that he gave them. There was Sweet Lips, Venus, and Truelove. These shared a kennel with dogs named Taster, Tippler and Drunkard, but we don't have time for a psychological analysis of another love that is perhaps indicated by these names.
With the rise of discontent against British rule, the Continental Congress was formed to discuss the relationship between the American colonies and King George III. Washington was appointed as one of the representatives from the colony of Virginia. Congress met in Philadelphia, and Washington found the conditions quite difficult since he obviously could not, simply at a whim, mount his horse and assemble his dogs to hunt foxes through the streets of the city. However, Samuel Powel, the wealthy Mayor of Philadelphia, and his lovely wife Elizabeth Willing Powel, rescued him.
Elizabeth Powel had originally taken notice of Washington, when she had been struck by his handsome elegance. She described her first encounter with him saying, "His movements and gestures are graceful, his walk majestic, and he was walking with a tall, exceedingly graceful dog of the hound type as he strode down Walnut Street." The dog was one of Washington's favorites, Sweet Lips, who he kept as a companion while he stayed in the city. Elizabeth, from her comments, was obviously attracted to both the look of the man and the look of the dog. However, she stopped the Virginia gentleman to comment specifically on the dog. Washington was seldom modest about his dogs and he proudly informed her that it was a "perfect foxhound" that he himself had bred. It was Elizabeth who brought Washington to her husband's attention. Samuel recognized that this was a man with political as well as military talents and that it might be in his own political interests to foster an association with him.
When Elizabeth had met Washington and Sweet Lips, he mentioned his disappointment at not being able to hunt while Congress was in session. Elizabeth suggested that her husband might be able to help solve that problem and invited Washington to join them for dinner at their home. It was through the Powels that Washington was offered a chance to ride to the hounds at the Gloucester Hunting Club, across the river in New Jersey. It is usually claimed that the Gloucester club was the first foxhunting club in the New World. Washington impressed everyone in the club as being a "splendid horseman" and his dogs were also deemed as being impressive because of their "stamina and sagacity."
Mayor Powel was very well connected in both the political and financial worlds, and many of his powerful friends were also members of the club. The men that Washington met through his visits to hunt with the club were the men who had the ability to sway the current government. They liked this man from Virginia. He was intelligent, organized, had a commanding presence. It also appeared that he was honest and moral, and, not to be ignored, he had a love of dogs and hunting. When Washington made a gift of some of his Virginia Hounds to these men they were pleased and appreciative. Their appreciation would turn itself into a lobbying effort that would help to win Washington the command of the Continental Army.
Washington's affection for dogs is vividly illustrated in an incident that occurred during the Revolutionary War. It was when American forces were trying to contain British General William Howe's troops, who had occupied Philadelphia. During the Battle of Germantown, which was not going well for the Americans, Washington was encamped at Pennibecker's Mill. On October 6, 1777, a little terrier was seen wandering the area between the American and British lines. It turns out that General Howe's little terrier had somehow gotten loose and had become lost on the battlefield. The dog was identified from its collar, and brought to Washington. His officers suggested that he might want to keep the dog as a sort of trophy which might weaken the morale of the British general. Instead he took the dog into his tent, fed him and had him brushed and cleaned. Then, to the surprise of everyone, Washington ordered a cease fire. The shooting stopped and soldiers on both sides watched as one of Washington's aides formally returned a little dog to the British commander under a flag of truce.
At the close of the war, Washington retired to Mount Vernon to continue his agricultural work, to engage in Virginia politics and to fulfill his dream of creating "a superior dog, one that had speed, scent and brains." He had decided that his Virginia Hounds were too lightly built and were lacking in the strength for a long sustained hunt. In addition they were too easily distracted from the trail of the fox by other things. During the war Washington had developed a warm personal relationship with the Marquis de La Fayette, the French general and political leader whose assistance was vital to the success of the revolution. In their many private conversations Lafayette had praised the French King's staghounds for their stamina and focus when on the trail of a quarry. So Washington began a long correspondence with his old comrade-in-arms to try to obtain a few of these dogs as breeding stock. The hounds that Washington wanted had originally been bred in the French royal kennels and were not easily obtained, however Lafayette continued searching and he eventually managed to find seven large French hounds that he promptly sent off to America.
Washington quickly set about breeding the larger French staghounds to his smaller Virginia Hounds. He was very selective in his breeding, carefully breeding dogs with desirable attributes to others that had different qualities that he also desired. He was looking for a hound whose size was a bit bigger than his Virginia hounds but considerably smaller than the French hounds, while still retaining the speed and strength of the French imports. The dog needed to have better running speed than the English foxhound since the hunt was generally much swifter given the broader expanses of open ground in the Americas. His experiments were successful and Washington is credited as being the main developer of the American Foxhound.
Washington's experiments with dog breeding would be cut short by political pressures. In 1787, he headed the Virginia delegation to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and was unanimously elected presiding officer. During his long stay in Philadelphia he again spent time with the Powels and he also visited the Gloucester club to hunt with a few of his newer dogs and to renew acquaintances. Washington's foxhunting friends used their influence to buy him support from members of the Electoral College, which had been established to elect the President of the United States of America. After the new Constitution was ratified and became legally operative, Washington was unanimously elected president. How much of this honor was due to the political support that he gained as a result of events set in motion because the wife of the Mayor of Philadelphia stopped to comment on a handsome dog, we will never know.
Washington would never have time to return to continue to shape his "perfect hounds." However, there would be a few additional changes made to the breed in the early 1800s, when Washington's friends at the Gloucester Foxhunting Club would take his basic foxhounds and cross them with some English foxhounds to make them look a bit more like the Old World version of the breed. Nonetheless, it is certain that George Washington—the first U.S. president, the heroic general and the Virginia farmer—had clearly defined the model of what the American Foxhound should be.
Copyright © SC Psychological Enterprises Ltd. May not be reprinted or reposted without permission of the author.
“Canine Corner: The Human-Animal Bond” :
The opinions expressed in this guest blog are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Coonhound and Foxhound Companions.
Copyright © Covertside Magazine
Retired foxhounds can make it as house hounds with the right training
By Polly Wilson
I have a habit of bringing home strays. Therefore, it should not have come as a surprise that I brought Benny home. Benny was clearly becoming fond of hanging about with the second field rather than hunting, and, although we all loved to have him with us, it was time for Benny to retire. He was one of the original pack members from when the Few Hounds Hunt became the Green Mountain Hounds. Aptly named, there had been only three couple regularly hunted by Elaine Ittleman, MFH and huntsman, at the inception of Few Hounds Hunt. Three years before his retirement, Benny was nose to the ground and in the game. As the last few seasons progressed, he slowed down. By the time Benny was actually retired, he was beyond ready. I called his name and he hopped into the truck. I told friends that he came with his golf shoes and a condo in Florida.
Benny is an example of a retired foxhound who was ready to move from the kennel to the hearth and he did so with ease. Since then, I have taken three other hounds, all with equally big personalities and each with a different take on retirement.
Last year, a hunt member who was considering retiring a hound from her hunt had asked Terry Hook, MFH, what he knew about re-homing a hound. Terry then referred her to me. It has occurred to me that fellow hunt members might (in secret) be calling me “the crazy hound lady.” After a couple of emails about what to expect from a hound in the house, she thanked me and sent a picture of her new family member. I began to wonder how often people take retired hounds home. Is it common practice with hunts in general? How successful is the practice of letting members take on hounds? So, I put out the question to followers of Foxhunters on Facebook and to the huntsmen I knew, and this is what I found.
WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT
Kate Selby, huntsman for Green Mountain Hounds, says that she believes that it becomes clear when to retire a hound. “An older hound who is slowing down is one thing, but when they can’t physically keep up they can become a danger to themselves. Exhaustion, increasing lameness issues, and inability to recover quickly from a day out are all clear signs that hunting days are coming to an end.”
Ittleman has two retirees from her days as huntsman. She would rather see a hound in work for as long as it enjoys the hunt. When it is time to retire a hound, however, she prefers to see hounds go to a hunt member who understands what kennel life has been like and will understand the personality of a foxhound. Lorraine Groneau of Limestone Creek Hunt has retired out many hounds. “Some just do better to stay at the kennels and some have great second careers as house hounds,” Groneau says. When Limestone Creek hounds are adopted, a formal agreement is signed by the huntsman, MFH and the new owner. Terms are clear that the new owner is responsible for the hound and will incur all expenses henceforth. For hounds who prefer the consistent life of a kennel, Lori lets them stay on and employs them to teach the puppies their manners. Some hunts have designated retirement kennels. The Iroquois Hunt has The Hound Welfare Fund, a non-profit run separately from the hunt, which allows their venerable retirees to continue their lives in the kennels. The Hound Welfare Fund works hard to raise money to support the retired hounds.
Deb Riley of Middlebrook Hounds is, whether by choice or by proxy, the staff for the retirement pack. Her farm, Finalea Farm, is aptly named for the hounds who get the pleasure of retiring there. She also confesses to keeping a couple of retired staff horses, and a few cats, too.
Riley says, “First, you must know that foxhounds are the most grateful of all the dogs I have ever had the honor of taking care of ... or loving. They go day-to-day having the love and affection of one person — the huntsman. They return his love by hunting and working hard to find chase for him and the field of followers. They look at him with love and affection and then tiredly return to the kennel awaiting his next arrival. In the end, they transfer that love and affection — if only for a brief time — to the people that show them love until they leave us to go hunting with the ultimate huntsman above.”
THE HOUND IN THE SINK
Retiring a hound from its pack can be stressful. It’s a bit like what Eliza Doolittle went through in “My Fair Lady.” Until you witness it, you have no idea how refined a life house pets have in comparison to kenneled pack life. The good news is that, generally speaking, foxhounds are smart. They learn fast and they want to please. The bad news is that foxhounds like to run. They have a curiosity that makes great hunters, but can cause havoc when they decide to check out the new neighborhood. Hounds have a hard time figuring out what is okay and what is forbidden when it comes to countertops, tables, and other high places. Finding a hound in the sink is always a surprise. If you have other dogs, they may be stunned at how fast a hound can devour its own food and then grab its companions’ dinners as well. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention that house-training an older hound is tricky and should be the number one priority to maintain peace in the house. Once again, the good news is that they do learn fast with firm instruction.
It takes a bit of time and patience to retrain a hound. One key element to making the transition easier for everyone is making — and keeping — boundaries. If you love your white couch, then make that room off-limits. If you can’t get out for a walk for exercise, then fence in an area for your hound to move about. Expect holes. Digging is what dogs do; hounds do it really well. I find a large dog crate creates harmony for all the occupants of my house, including the hound himself. It is a cozy place to den up.
It might be six months before you see the changes, but your hound will adapt. Or, as my friend and fellow hunter from Old North Bridge Hounds, Suzanne Adams, says, “I’ll never have another kind of dog but foxhounds. They are so devoted.”
As this season end approaches, you may notice a hound in your pack who has slowed down, and prefers to stay by the huntsman’s stirrup. Maybe the hound missed a few meets. This will be the hound that needs a retirement home. Step up and ask the huntsman or staff if there is a need for adoption. You will not be disappointed and neither will the hound.
Polly Wilson hunts with Green Mountain Hounds, where members call her “The Hound Lady.”
CafePress has fixed their website issue so the calendars are now orderable. We are so sorry for the inconvenience to the dozen people who had orders cancelled.
We are sorry to report that we are having trouble with our calendar ordering site (CafePress). Please check back here in a day or two -- we are working diligently to get the problems resolved with the June and October month photos disappearing.
We might have the best photographs ever featured in our iconic annual calendar — we are truly excited to offer it to hound lovers everywhere. Check out that totally adorable hound puppy on November with the spotted ears — unbelievable! Look at those crazy flying ears on January's coonhound! Did you see August — that wet, goofy Redbone in the swimming pool? April's portrait subject is so very soulful. Your heart will melt when you see this white-faced girl. The old hounds are the best!
Click here to order. The page will open in a new window. Remember to select January as your "starting month" on the order page, to avoid disappointment.
The calendars measure 11 inches wide by 8.5 inches high when closed and 17 inches high when open. The paper is heavyweight high quality white glossy and a refined wire-O binding. Your price is $17.99 plus shipping. Every penny of profit goes directly to our programs. We are an all volunteer organization with no paid staff. Thank you so very much for supporting our work!
Wear your coonhound pride during the holidays!
While looking at calendars, don't forget to look at our other great gear for the holidays.... notice how some of the headlines read "Happy Howlidays" which could be really cute on shot glasses!
By Melissa O'Brien
Two years ago we adopted a blind coonhound whose name was Priscilla when we met her at All Breed Rescue. Little was known about her. She came to Vermont from a shelter in the south; she had had puppies just before making that transition, though none of them survived. She was about 5 or 6 years old, and she was missing one eye. The other eye was clouded over by what we though might be a cataract condition, but we later learned was scar tissue.
We renamed her Daisy Mason, paying homage to the magnificent woman who was the housekeeper in the home where I lived and worked in Kentucky for many happy teenage summers. Daisy Mason, the woman, was small of stature but large of personality. She worked her way, daily, through the southern mansion inhabited by the wonderful Jones family, with grace and always, always, humming a tune. Miss Daisy Mason, like her canine namesake, was loyal, loving and peaceful. A true southern grande dame survivor.
Though the story of her past remains a mystery to us, Daisy has taught us that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that she may have been neglected or abused. She probably was, and yet she shows no signs whatsoever of having gone through those hard times. She lives each day as if she has no memory -- a deep and powerful blessing. Last year, after living with us for just eight months, Daisy made it through the difficult testing process to become a member of the Therapy Dogs of Vermont family, proving that though one may have been "disabled," displaced or mistreated, one has the capacity to turn those struggles into something beautiful.
Daisy, once abused, is one of the most powerful healers I know.
Lessons From a Blind Coonhound
“I thank God daily for Luke, because he is Michael's best friend, and they have a bond that no one can describe.” The words are Nicole’s about her husband Michael. And Luke is Michael’s 4-year-old Bluetick Coonhound service dog.
Nicole’s husband, Michael, suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder. (ASD is a neurological disorder resulting in developmental disability that affects communication, social understanding, behavior, activities and interests). After severely injuring his back while working at his uncle’s shop, Michael was left barely able to function. Even worse were his feelings of futility, depression and despair.
And then …coincidence or providence?
Living next door to the couple was a breeder with a puppy Michael desperately wanted. But when he approached the breeder, he was told that the puppy wasn’t for sale, and a dejected Michael returned home empty handed. The following day, the breeder called; he’d changed his mind. Never had Nicole seen her husband as happy as the day that small Bluetick Coonhound entered his life. And the loving bond between Michael and Luke was instantly and immutably forged.
If not for Luke …
One of Michael’s many ongoing health problems includes seizures. Seizures, which Luke instinctively and instantly picked up on. After some further instruction from Nicole, the pup learned to recognize when they were coming on and what to do. He would remain with Michael the entire time, never once leaving his side, until the seizure was over.
The same holds true whenever Michael becomes depressed or is bedridden because of his back. Luke stays close to him, comforting and calming him with his presence, and providing the stricken Michael with the solace and reassurance he needs. And yet, this very special relationship doesn’t only work one way. Whenever Luke is the one in need of calming, Michael is there for HIM. According to Nicole, “They know just what the other thinks and wants.”
Once, during a walk through the woods near their house, Michael fell. Luke reacted immediately. He slid beneath Michael, braced himself firmly, and was able to hold Michael's weight while he managed to get back up. Now, all anyone has to say is, "Luke, help me up," and Luke will help that person up. With Michael, however, Luke knows even before he’s asked.
The pair is inseparable, and with Nicole’s assistance, the three of them have become regular visitors at a nearby nursing home, where they spend time with the seniors on the rehabilitation floor. Their mission: “to cheer them up and make their day,” says Nicole. Michael loves showing off Luke, Luke loves the attention, and the seniors love Luke. It is a single, joyous and rewarding love fest all round.
“Michael tells me that he loves Luke more than me,” Nicole admits, “that they have a tighter bond. Does this bother me? Does it make me mad? The answer is ‘no.’ And I will continue to say, ‘no.’ Why? Because I am walking with Michael, step by step, and side by side, just in a different way. I definitely love my Michael, and wouldn't change my baby for anything in this world.”
Article written by Nomi Berger. Nomi is the bestselling author of seven novels and one work of non-fiction. Nomi devotes all of her time volunteering her writing skills to animal rescue organizations both in Canada and the USA.
It started with a single stray hound and a pair of loving hearts.
The stray, ultimately dubbed Major Hound, was a Treeing Walker Coonhound found loitering on a regular basis outside the Wal-Mart in Farmerville, Louisiana, where Sandy Lunte lived. As a longtime devoted dog rescuer and re-homer working alone, she saw him as one more dog in urgent need of rescuing. She spent the next three weeks trying to entice him close enough to safely trap him, until finally, with the help of local vet Dr. Damon Odem, she succeeded. And so it was that this abused, abandoned, and beautiful dog snared Sandy’s heart, aroused her curiosity about coonhounds in general and ignited her passion for the breed itself.
Coming to Sandy’s own rescue, when she needed a second loving heart and a second pair of helping hands, was her close friend, Elisabeth Grant-Gibson. Sliding into her new rescue role with eagerness and ease, Elisabeth quickly acquired three foster dogs. Late one Sunday evening, as the pair was driving to Elisabeth’s house with yet another hound for her to foster, Elisabeth casually remarked, “We’ve got all hounds on deck now,” to which Sandy promptly replied, “That’s the name.”
With that, All Hounds on Deck was born and officially launched in June 2013. As to the playful logo with its prominent peace sign? It was the brainchild of graphic artist Amy Sliger. “Peace Love & Hounds is our motto,” says Sandy. “We’re peace-loving hippies. We also LOVE Coonhounds because they’re dear, dear dogs. Silly, funny, and oh-so-loving. They’re also terribly misunderstood and constantly mistreated around here. Since so many people don’t realize what wonderful pets and loyal family members coonhounds make, we’ve made educating the public about them a vital part of our mission.”
Although not exclusive to hounds, the rescue focuses on medium- and larger-sized dogs, who are often the most difficult to place. Having modeled themselves after several rescues they admire, what sets All Hounds apart from some of the other local groups is that they fully vet their dogs – deemed unadoptable by many -- while keeping their adoption fees low. “We’re also not limited as to where we acquire our dogs,” explains Sandy. “We take them from shelters, from dumpsters, and from the streets.”
Because All Hounds is such a new rescue group, their earliest funding came out of Sandy’s and Elisabeth’s own pockets, and they were the group’s sole foster homes, together with a local boarding facility. But as they quickly began rescuing more dogs, they started to work on establishing a network of temporary foster homes. And although they had begun by using volunteers strictly on an event by event basis, over time that base began to grow.
Their decision to pull a dog – whom they named Shemp Hound -- from a local shelter was a game changer for them. Although they had nowhere to place him and no funds for his medical costs, they posted his story on Facebook and appealed to the public to call in donations directly to their vet. To their relief and delight, their first fundraising effort was an unqualified success.
Building upon that success, All Hounds continued to use not only Facebook, but also some of the burgeoning websites devoted solely to raising money for rescues. Two of their own most effective fundraisers were leaving collection cans at area businesses and selling All Hounds on Deck t-shirts with their whimsical logo. Then, as more people became familiar with them, contributions from other donors, both public and private, began trickling in. And as a non-profit rescue, they continue to rely solely on the generosity of others to sustain them.
One of the unique features of All Hounds on Deck is that most of the dogs they save from certain death are re-homed out of state. And for these operations to succeed, all HANDS must definitely be on deck. And on call. Sandy and Elisabeth have personally driven dogs to the northeast four times. The majority, however, are delivered to their forever homes by volunteer transport, a remarkable and highly coordinated network arranged through an independent rescue coordinator. Like a relay race, a volunteer will drive a pre-arranged number of miles until another volunteer takes over, and so on and so on. Most transports involve between 20 and 30 different drivers and take between two and three days to complete.
A major support to Sandy and Elisabeth in the area of rescues and placements has been Jerry Dunham, founder of Tejas Coonhound Rescue, and an integral part of Coonhound Companions. Case in point: a beautiful, tri-color English coonhound they called Cindy Hound. Found in December on a highway in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, she was taken to the shelter, where she languished for weeks with no interest shown in her whatsoever. Despite being a sweet and obviously loving dog, she was scheduled for euthanasia by the shelter due to overcrowding.
In desperation, Jerry, who had first helped Sandy with Major Hound’s rescue, contacted her and asked for her help. All Hounds promptly posted Cindy on Facebook, and to everyone’s profound relief, a potential adopter was found and ultimately approved. After Jerry had arranged for Cindy to be flown to Monroe by Pilots N Paws, Elisabeth drove Cindy across country to New Jersey, where her adoptive family was eagerly waiting to welcome her to her forever home.
As part of their mission to educate the public about coonhounds, dog health and safety, and responsible pet ownership in general, Sandy and Elisabeth are frequent guests on several local radio and television programs. They also speak with students and work individually with children whenever they appear at public meet and greets. And they are currently laying the groundwork to visit schools with Jack, who is Sandy’s onetime dumpster dog turned certified therapy dog.
As All Hounds on Deck continues to grow as a rescue and in reputation, both Sandy and Elisabeth continue to lead by example. Sandy and her husband, Tony Cortellini, share their home with four rescues including, Major Hound, the Treeing Walker Coonhound who started it all, and Elisabeth not only fosters dogs, but her cat, Gin, lets them “cat-test” the dogs they rescue, while her backyard fence allows them to test for fence jumpers.
Article written by Nomi Berger. Nomi is the best-selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted morkie, Shadow, and devotes all of her time volunteering her writing skills to animal rescue organizations throughout Canada and the USA.
The Coonie Team