11-1-03 Schooling for the Hounds
This weekend Dave and I had an awesome
opportunity to watch hounds work. Saturday morning we took 15
hounds to the coyote pen in Athens. Jane and Devon were our
hosts Friday night. Meadowbrook farm was a welcoming sight on
a warm autumn evening after a 2 1/2 hour drive. The barn light
was on and the hounds were quickly placed in straw laden
kennels. We sorted through the group, who tolerated who, etc.
Quickly we realized that Flanker and Ike would have to sleep
in the trailer due to their successfully maneuvering over the
stall door. Ginny was put into quarantine due to an early heat
cycle. The Jacob's' farm is lovely, almost as if it were some
cozy B&B. We enjoyed a delicious meal of Cornish hen, sliced
potatoes and yams, fresh green salad and cranberries, cherry
cheesecake pie, and a lovely red wine. We went out to check
the hounds and were soon off to bed. We arrived at John T.
farm at 7am and what a treat! 250 acres of rolling hills,
fields, and partially covered woods. The fall foliage was
spectacular and there were Black Angus lowing in a field
nearby. I was instructed to pull the trailer right up to the
fence and let the hounds out. They soon got busy emptying
their bladders and playing around. John turned out one of his
best, Quaker, and after some sniffing and tail wagging, they
were off. We heard the blended overture of many hounds. John
instructed us on which path to take to get the best view. We
climbed up and down hills and valleys until 3pm. The first
ridge held an incredible sight, our first coyote. We saw a
stream of hounds crossing the rolling hills. I tried to
identify each one with pride, what a sight to see. Yes, Jane
and I squealed with excitement. The hounds we took included
some of the pups you named at the auction: Eisenhower (Ike),
Eliah, E-bay, E-hee, Elvis, Andy, Alliance, Gus, George W.,
Ginny, and General. Garnet and Flanker were their also for
some needed training, NO DEER! I will give you a short summary
of each hound's performance. General and Flanker pursued the
coyotes relentlessly. We had to pull them off of the hillside.
Flanker was so tired, Dave thought he would have to carry him
home. General subdued his game to a short distance of a few
feet and would not leave until put onto a rope. Ike, who had
been the star last time, was a bit leary as he had been
shocked by a fence early in the day. Garnet was pretty much
the lead hound, with Flanker, following John's best hounds. It
was great to watch them work. They would over run a line and
then check it and find it again. We had the fortune of seeing
the coyote and then watched them follow the line. Devon, Jane,
Dave, and I worked our way through the woods and sat on the
top of a high ridge for hours and listened intently, eyes
keen. Ebay was very slow to start. She reminded me of a house
dog on a walk in the park. She would not leave our sight, even
when the entire pack passed us in hot pursuit. Once, the
coyote passed her as if to say, 'Hey, get with the program!'
She followed shyly only to return to the safety of her humans.
George passed by and she left briefly only to return again. We
tried to ignore her affection so she would join her pack.
After about an hour I noticed she would leave a little longer.
John told us not to be concerned and that when they are ready
they will just go; eventually she did. She lifted her head to
hear the exciting sounds of music and with an encouraging
nudge from George, she followed. I would not call her a great
hunter but she ran with the pack, tongue hanging out and
smiling. Over the 8 hours we were there I felt I learned a lot
from John and his hounds. I tried to listen to each hound's
distinct voice. Most of the time John's hounds led the pack,
but several occasions arose where I would see Flanker, Garnet,
and General pass his hounds. I was once told by Henry Hooker
that the scent was not good when dew or rain drops hangs from
the trees. We had a brief shower about noon and witnessed this
phenomena. The hills were quiet and the hounds came and laid
at our feet with little action or music in the hills. We had a
long walk back, so we took 6 hounds back to the trailer at
about 1:30. They packed in and followed us. Shortly following,
the other hounds began to run again and continued until 3pm. I
looked at the tree limbs and the dew drops had finally dripped
from the branches. I think Henry Hooker was right. The coyote
were very smart and used to this game. You would see a black
coyote go in the woods with the hounds and then they would
come out the other side at the heels of a light colored one.
If they were pursued by one hound, they would turn and face
him. The hound would stop, knowing that he was alone and
without the support of the pack. We would watch the coyote
silently trot through the woods without a sound. I was amazed
how hard it was to spot them because of their colors and
silent demeanor. This was an excellent experience for the
hounds and wonderful to watch. Hope you enjoy the picture.
There are pics of the coyotes but they are difficult to see.
Enjoy! Tally ho, Pam
I knew it was
time to give you an update when earlier this week my tongue
froze to my horn! I felt like the little boy in a Christmas
story who had his tongue stuck on the flag pole. I am having a
great time with the seven pups I have in my care: Elmer,
Elvis, Eli, Eisenhower (aka Ike), Eve, E-hee and last but not
least, Ebay. Ebay has shown the most talent so far. She gets
down to business and really uses her nose. She is very
obedient and wants to please me. She always comes to the horn
and kennels up without a problem.
E-hee is a lover! He is usually right at my side and would
make a great Seeing Eye dog! He is not shy but enjoys the
company of human companionship. I'm not sure these are good
traits for a fox hound and hunting. I do know that he will
always return when "Gone Away." He does have a lovely voice
and tells me so every time I blow my Horn!
Eve has shown great promise as a hunter.
She is very shy and this was made worse a couple of weeks ago.
We were in the neighbors back field and they have a very nice
friendly paint horse. The horse has seen the puppies many
times before. Well, this day she decided to chase Eve. She
rolled her like a bowling ball and scared poor Eve to death!
It will take some time but hopefully she will calm down. With
some TLC and time she
is getting better.
Ike likes affection and is a nice looking hound. He does have
one bad habit, he follows my beagle. When I walk hounds it is
5:30 to 7pm due to my working. I take out 7 hounds and 3 pet
dogs. Buddy is a 10yr old Australian shepherd,
Tucker is an 8yr old Beagle, and Lilly is a 1yr old Jack
Russell. We really have a great time.
everyone in line. He will growl if they misbehave. Lilly has
taught them a lot about going through thick brush and how to
squeeze under fencing. She also inspects all ground holes. She
is so cute with her nose stuck in a hole with just her rear
end sticking up, tail pointing to the sky. Tucker hunts on his
own schedule and wonders anywhere he pleases. The problem
is Ike likes Tucker and follows him. When Amanda was home for
Christmas she had to walk a mile to bring Ike back after he
followed Tuck. Last night Ike did it again. I called and
called, finally Ike responded to the horn and left Tuck and
came back to me! I was so proud of him! He received lots of
hugs when he returned.
and Elvis are very obedient to the horn but they tend to want
to have too much fun. Their daily ritual is to find a frozen
road apple (horse manure) and fight over it. They also have
given me trouble when play time is over and it's time to go
back into the kennel. They lead the other puppies to
escape route and head to the neighbors cat food. Well, one
night I had enough. I took my 2 way radio and as I came back
from our walk I had Dave stand by the fence. I armed him with
my crop and
not panties!) I told him to crack the whip if necessary. Well,
they decided not to kennel
up so Dave
cracked the whip, LOUD!!!!!! My horses spooked and I
for hours, my house dogs ran for their lives, I caught my Jack
Russell for the first time, She was shacking she was so
scared. I think that one crack
animal for a 2 mile radius. The most important thing was the
puppies kenneled up and have ever since!! GOOD JOB!!!!
I try to walk the hounds ever day so if you would like to join
me give me a call. The weekends I walk during the day. The
best part of walking the hounds besides the great exercise are
the beautiful sunsets. Yes, it's usually pretty cold but for
me it is worth every minute. Happy New Year to all of You!
Love Pam G.