I have had lots of wonderful news lately. A week ago my person brought home the September issue of Dog Fancy magazine. I was stunned to see that they had a feature article on my breed. You read that correctly – Dog Fancy had a feature article on Treeing Walker Coonhounds! Now before you start wagging your tail and doing the happy dance around your living room, I need to let you know that the article was short and not as informative or as truthful as it could have been.
Yes, they said TWC’s were confident and intelligent – but you knew that already if you read my blog. The article seemed to be mostly about hunting (at night) and chasing prey up trees. I’ll admit it is great sport to chase a cat but the other generalizations are way off base. First, I’m afraid of the dark, so why would I want to chase anything at that time of day? I don’t even go out to relieve myself without 5 spot lights on in my yard. I can’t imagine running around when I can’t see where I’m going. What if I stepped on something and broke a nail?
Which brings me to the prey part. According to the article, I’m apparently suppose to chase squirrel and opossum (what happened to raccoons?) with the occasional mountain lion, bear, cougar and bobcat thrown in! WHAT?? Are they crazy? I weigh 40 pounds. I’m thin and shapely. I try to make it my rule not to chase anything that is big enough to eat me for dinner. I might enjoy treeing the occasional house cat, but I’m not suicidal. If a mountain lion, bear, cougar or bobcat showed up in my yard I am confident I would smell them, and intelligent enough to stay in and urge my people to call 911!!
There was a time, when I first arrived in a Massachusetts shelter after leaving my birthplace of Virginia, when I longed for home. After reading that article, I have never been so happy to be living in my new home with my family! They have never taken me hunting at night (and I’m not sorry!) We live on the outskirts of a large urban city, so there are no large prey-driven animals (except the one’s who tend to rob banks and convenience stores). My biggest worries are the weather (I don’t like the rain) and whether I should sleep on the sofa or my people’s bed when they leave for work.
In fact, after reading that article, I feel survivors guilt for the other TWC’s that are not as lucky as I have been. I wish the article had spoken about the treeing walker coonhounds who end up in shelters. Or the ones who are just abandoned, lost in the wilderness after having chased prey, only to discover they have hopelessly lost the humans who considered them expendable. I am grateful to the people who drove me north, giving me the chance to find a loving home. Thankful for the animal shelter who allowed me to stay for months, never allowing me to lose hope that my forever people would come. I know I am lucky to have people, my people, who took a chance on me – a breed of dog they were completely unfamiliar with, but chose to love anyway. Dog Fancy may have written their article promoting what great dogs treeing walker coonhounds are, and it’s true. But what I wish they had stressed is this:
Treeing Walker Coonhounds: the Shelter Dogs You’ll Love to Love!