My wife was home and I was working at the family’s organic dog treat shop, Terra Dog Bakery, in Norcross, GA, when a local resident brought a pup to our store. She told me that the gawky dog had been abandoned and needed a home. He was very skinny and also very young but he was still big for a pup. He had a pleading hound face, lanky legs, and big ol' floppy ears.
How could anyone abandon him? He looked like a purebred bluetick coonhound puppy.
The crazy part of it is that I've always wanted a bluetick, and thought it would be many years before I could ever get one, because we already have two dogs and a young child. But here he was, staring right at me, needing a home and someone to love him. He was a sweet boy, playful and clumsy like a baby. I told the girl that I would take him without really thinking on it for long. How could I let him go? We were not looking for a dog or prepared for another, but what would happen to him if I said “no”?
I have rescued a pup through an “adoption agency,” but never been in a situation like this, where the dog had been abandoned and arrived by serendipity.
So, I left my store that day with the new pup, my mind heavy with a million thoughts, trying to get a grip on what was going on. I stopped on the way home to get him some food and a new collar and leash. I held him the whole time. He was friendly with the people in the store who greeted him. We traveled home. I made sure my wife was seated before I broke the news.
Though it was a total surprise, she embraced him and began thinking of names. My son was excited and smiled as soon as he saw him. "If we are keeping this dog, I am naming him!" my wife said.
We settled on Jamie, after a character in a book she was reading. He looked like a Jamie.
We were upset that he had a rough start, but wanted to give him a shot at the life he deserves. Now, about a month later, Jamie is up to a healthy weight, and putting on more pounds (and spots!) each week. He is doing great eating a home cooked diet. He is such a great dog, very loyal already, playful, energetic, and curious, as any good hound is. Even though he is young (10 weeks), he is already about 90% potty trained and stands by the door when he needs to go out.
He is teething and he still finds puppy mischief, but all things considered he is the best pup I've ever had. He is very smart, and has already mastered getting over and around baby gates and other obstacles. We have been working on obedience, and he is responding well to reward-based training (pretty great since I bake all his treats!).
This guy is just a once in a lifetime dog, who came to me in such a crazy way. I feel that Jamie will be a great ambassador for the coonhound breed in our little town and anywhere we go. We intend to come up with a line of treats especially for coonhounds.
Even though our life together has just begun, I love the breed and am so excited to have one in my life!