Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One dog’s life.

800 Miles to Long Beach work in progress.

It’s occurred to me that I’ve never introduced Henry, our Bluetick Coonhound rescue, here in my blog. He’s the newest member of our little menagerie, but as it turns out, he’s probably the eldest.

Last year around Thankgiving, he showed up one Saturday while we were down here working at the house. He was literally nothing but skin and bones, painful to look at; I almost cried when I saw him. He had a wound on his right hindquarter and he stank to high heaven, so we covered the back seat of the car, coaxed him in and took him to our veterinarian to see if he could be saved. It turned out he had heartworms, but other than that nothing wrong with him except starvation ... because Paul and I were still in our apartment at the time, my parents graciously offered to let Henry stay in their back yard temporarily (even though they have three Australian shepherds of their own). It didn’t take him long to work his way up to “inside dog” – my Dad is a soft touch when it comes to canine family members!

The vet guessed Henry is about 10 years old, but he’s very high energy, which I learned is typical of the breed – a bit much for a quiet suburban neighborhood. Henry made a quick recovery and soon was jumping the fence on a regular basis. When we moved out here to the country in July, we brought him with us, and he’s doing great. There’s plenty of room for him to run for miles and miles to wear himself out, and he always returns home after his rounds and hangs out on the back porch most of the time.

Because Blueticks are born hunters, I was a little apprehensive about how he would behave around the cats, but he’s never tried to chase them or eat them. Actually, I think he’s kind of scared of them ... he gives them a wide berth when they’re around and when one of them is standing a little too close to the doorway he’ll wait until they move before he comes in. He steers clear of Dawson, the dachshund next door, too. Pretty funny.

He and Trixie are best buds; they love to play together outside and in the living room. When I take Trixie for our twice daily walk (on a leash, because she absolutely cannot be trusted not to run up to the highway and race with passing cars and trucks, or the train!) Henry trots right along with us, occasionally taking off through the pasture or the woods, baying at the top of his lungs, and usually returning to join us a little way down the road. At night he and Trixie sleep together in the living room, Trixie on her blanket on the sofa and Henry on his blanket on the loveseat.

Not a bad life for an old hound dog!


Kelley MacDonald said...

You have such a big heart. He'd make a great painting, no?

Karen Mathison Schmidt said...

Hi, Kelley, thanks for all your great comments!

Yes, he would make a great painting. For a while now, every time I get ready to start a new one, my husband says (usually in passing, just a comment tossed over his shoulder) “Why don’t you paint Henry?”

So lately I’ve been studying him with my “painter’s eye” ... maybe you’ll see a bluetick hound painting from me soon!