Easy is a Black and Tan coonhound. Once possessed of UKC and AKC papers (lost during an unpleasant period of his life), he is a handsome fellow. In his 7-8 years, Easy passed through several kind and considerate families, a neglectful/abusive owner, a shelter, and a foster home before coming to us. He hunted, slept on sofas and was loved. He also endured starvation, freezing cold, a terrifying wound, a long rehabilitation and the constant threat of death. Yet he came out the other side with several thousand pounds of calm, considerate, canine wisdom in a seventy-eight pound body; Easy is a better person than I.
I get approached by other men, men who are walking dogs on shoestring leashes, and they say, “Gee, I wish I had a real dog like yours.” That’s because we get our recreation and exercise on “hunts” in the local parks to locate and exercise the local squirrel population. Maintaining their tree-climbing skills is a vocation for Easy. Though his punishment for those failing to maintain those skills may seem harsh, it is all for the best. When asked by the local squirrel-feeding lady, “Do you think that is a good time?”, I can only reply, “Not particularly, but he does!” Easy is passionate in the pursuit of this hobby, marshalling his energy and resources in rest only to expend them in a great rush of activity and song. Similar to flying a line-control aircraft with a full-size fighter aircraft on the end, he is joyful and focused from his nose to his rapidly circling “helicopter” tail. This endeavor can lead him into dangerous adventures and requires the intervention of friends with a more objective view.
Easy accepts the hand that life dealt him. He stands stoically to receive the bandages, padding and protection that are to be his lot in life, without complaint. He deals with the inconvenience of his cats and the limits of his home turf. He luxuriates in the attention of his humans. He trains others in the protocols and traditions of his species and stands ready to be a friend to all. In short, he is Andy Griffith in a really good dog suit… and I am either Barney Fife or Opie, depending on the day.
We may be stupid, stubborn, lazy, smelly, loud and difficult to train, but he adopted us anyway….