Hound Dog Bound Homeward

Saturday evening my sister, visiting from Bedford, and I met up with my cousins and had dinner at Hanover Tavern.  Our reservations were at 6:30, so we were done with our dinner relatively early.  I took my sister to my parents' house, and being a little tired, did not linger.  I'm careful driving at night this time of year.  Deer and varmints of all kinds come out at night.  My desire is not to roll into or over any of them. 

As I approached a stretch of road where I typically see deer, I noticed an animal on the side of the road.  I saw the reflection of my headlights in its eyes first.  As I appoached I also saw a red light.  Once I got closer, I could see that it was a walker hound wrestling with a deer carcass. 

I slowed down as I passed.  The dog did not even look up as he was so intent on gnawing on that deer carcass.  I knew that he had a radio control collar, so I felt that he was easily locatable.  But I quickly had thoughts of how cold the temperatures would get.  And the dog was clearly hungry.  For any who have ever seen a deer hound at running weight, they quickly know that there is not one ounce of fat on those dogs.  Hard to know if the dog's hunger was from being far afield for a while, or just tired from a long day running deer.

I turned around.

My experience with dogs such as this is that they are generally smelly and skittish.  I decided that if he would not come to me, I would at least give him some dog food.  (I happened to have some food in my car).

As I approached from the opposite direction, there were several cars that were oncoming.  (This road is a country road, and I was about 150 ft from where my husband had a time-space intersect with a deer).  I slowed down and put my hazard lights on and weighted for the cars to pass.  The dog did not even look up, so intent he was on ravaging what was left of that deer carcass.

I approached him slowly and talked softly to him.  He was skittish and hesitant.  His body language was much like Daisey's when I first got her.  I pulled the dog food out and all hesitation left him.  He came toward me and I grabbed him by his collar.  I took him to the passenger side of the car.  I fumbled with  my phone trying to find the flashlight function.  Then, I had a hard time keeping the dog still to view the phone number on the brass tag.

My first dial was a mis-dial.  The second dial I located the owner.  He said, "My wife had just asked me if I was going to go out and look for the dog. I told her I was going to wait for the kids to go to bed."  I gave him my address (this is the country, so no worries on that), and I told him I would bring the dog to my house.  I managed to get the dog in my car, though he was reluctant.

Once I got home, he was unsure about going into the garage.  I had no wish to introduce him to my gang of 4.  I coaxed him him.   I gave him some water which he lapped up eagerly.  I offered some homemade food.  He would have NONE of that!  My son said, "Don't tell the guy that you fed him, or that dog will not get any more food."  I don't know if it was true or not, but the dog was too thin...as every hunting dog is this time of year.  But his coat was clean and his fur soft.

I looked inside his ears.  They were filthy and smelly.  I cleaned them out, and he was surprisingly good with my ministrations. 

His owner came quickly.  The dog was as happy to see his owner as the owner was to see him.  "C'mon boy; let's go home!"  The dog wagged his tale with his whole body and melted into his owner's legs.  He said that the signal was out of range, and that the dog was probably reluctant to cross through the swamp again.

Both united...and no sleepless night for me worried about a homeless hound dog.


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