I’m a lucky coonhound. I’ve heard stories about other canines who say goodbye to their people first thing in the morning but then don’t see them again until it’s late and dark. Nope – I’m lucky! My people go to work every morning but one of them always tries to come home in the middle of the day to take me outside (I like to stretch my legs and get fresh air around midday – it helps me to think of what I want to do when my people go back to work).
Today was one of those lunchtime stroll days. My person came home and took me to a local park. This park is a big open space with some little bridges with water that runs underneath. It has nice walking paths but I really like this park because it has great smells! (I don’t think my people know about the raccoons that walk along the stream. I know they know about the other dogs that walk through and I’m pretty sure they know about the ducks that hang out in a thicket. I try never to mention the skunks.) In general, I try not to alert them when I get whiff of a really great scent – It seems to alarm them. I don’t like to worry my people.
Only today I not only worried my person – I think I freaked ’em out. In my own defense, it wasn’t my fault. I was walking along – nicely on my lead I may add – when all of a sudden I caught a whiff of a non-canine species. The scent stopped. I looked up and there it was just down an embankment, near a stand of tall grasses – a cat! I know from my previous visits to the park that there are mice that live in that thicket. I knew in an instant what that cat was doing and it wasn’t making a social call!
I did what every coonhound is bred to do – I sprung into action! My person kept screaming “Leave it, Leave it” – (people don’t seem to like canine/feline hostilities) – but this was life or death for the mouse family! I charged the cat – dragging my person along so they could witness my act of bravery. Just as I was inches from snatching that feline, it sprung into a tree. It must have been about 10 feet up but I jumped hoping to at least drag him down by his foot. I missed by about a foot. I was about to make another attempt but my person was yanking my head (My people really need more training with my Gentle Leader!). I had that cat cornered! YANK! I was baying as loud as I could! YANK! I caught a cat! YANK! I wanted everyone in the park to know that I had rescued the mouse family from certain death and had my suspect surrounded! YANK!
Then suddenly the yanking stopped. The cat was still in the tree. I was still baying but I felt myself rising up – only I wasn’t jumping. My person had picked me up! My person was going to lift me closer so I could grab that cat! Only my person started walking in the other direction with me in their arms. I trust my people so all I could figure is that my person had a different strategy for reaching the cat.
As we reached the car I noticed my person was out of breath. The whole episode with the cat upset my person! I hadn’t realized, since I was so focused on that feline, that my person had been worried. I’m pretty sure it was about me climbing the tree. Canine parents can be so protective. My person just didn’t want me to hurt myself climbing the tree. It’s so touching to know that my people love me so much that they come home at lunch to take me outside AND try to protect me from trees too! I love my people! But could you do me a favor? Please don’t tell them why my breed is known as Treeing Walker Coonhounds – I really liked my person holding me close and carrying me to the car. Did I mention I love my people?