Here at Casa Faulk, we’ve been going through what I will henceforth refer to as the Coonhound Quandary of 2009. Let me preface this by saying that we did not get a coonhound. (Not yet, at least.) Here’s the long, long story.
With Wes gone many nights for meetings and hospital visits, I’ve recently come to appreciate BC, who stands careful guard over our house in his absence. There have been a few times she’s started snarling at the door and the front of the house, like she’s ready to kill someone on our behalf. Usually, the “predator” is nothing more than our neighbor just trying to mow his lawn. The absence of true danger aside, though, she’s still a great guard dog. I mentioned her skills to Wes, who quickly pointed out that while BC sounds like a beast of an animal, she IS just a miniature dachshund and likely wouldn’t be able to protect anyone despite her best efforts. And he’s probably right.
The more we talked about it, the more we agreed that we will eventually want a bigger dog to sleep at the girls’ end of the house at night. I can’t always hear what’s going on through the monitor, and if someone breaks in through a window, I want to make sure they’re greeted by a huge dog that won’t let them near our girls. Wes has long since wanted to transition our family from our trend of mini-dachshunds to a trend of more manly dogs. Manly dogs that he’d be proud to walk around the block, which would be quite a change from our tiny dachshie who is named after a flower. (Who, incidentally, was HIS dog before we met, which means that he can’t blame ME for the girlish breed and name.)
After a lot of research on dog breeds, we found a dog that is playful, loves children, gets along well with other dogs, is protective, is easily focused, and can be trained. And as a bonus, this dog is calm enough to refrain from jumping, won’t eat our furniture (ie, is not a Lab), and has a bite to back up its really loud bark. The dog in question? A coonhound.
Wes started watching the website for our Humane Society, and lo and behold, one day not too long ago a bluetick coonhound showed up. Housetrained, young (but NOT a puppy), well mannered, and great with children/other dogs. He somehow convinced me that we needed to visit the Humane Society in person and see her for ourselves. Which I resisted for a good long while.
It was clear why I had resisted when he finally got me into the building. Y’all, I’m not even kidding when I tell you that as soon as they opened the door to the kennels, that bluetick coonhound was the first dog I saw, staring holes through me from her kennel, willing me to take her home. Sigh. We looked at her, along with two other dogs we had seen online, and it became obvious very quickly that she was the only dog whose temperament would fit our situation, as she played with her kennelmate and licked us through the fence without jumping everywhere in an eager frenzy. (This is especially important for Ana’s sake, as she tolerates the occasional jump from BC but hated how Reese was constantly mauling her with kisses.) We asked if we could play with her, and as soon as they got her out, she bolted into my arms, nose to the ground, looking for a scent. The other dogs went berserk (as I’m sure you can imagine), as she kept sniffing us out, bellowing her throaty howl, and looking at us with her sad eyes, just daring us to walk out of there without her.
Which we did. But only because Wes very firmly suggested it, and I certainly couldn’t get that coonhound out by myself. (She’s a big dog.)
And so began our quandary. To get the coonhound, to not get the coonhound, to think with our hearts, to think with our heads… ugh. With trips, holidays, and vacations coming up, this would be the worst time for us to get a dog. We don’t have loads of extra money just lying around for all of the stuff (and food!) a dog this size would need. We have no way of determining how our girls would react to her, seeing as how the only way they could meet her would be in the chaotic kennel environment, which would (quite frankly) totally freak Ana out. And didn’t we just try to simplify our lives by downgrading to one dog? Why am I looking for another dog?! It’s just not a good idea.
And so, as we sadly concluded, there will be no coonhound. It’s just not the right time. (And besides, I’m now convinced, after some additional research that Wes doesn’t need to know about, that our next dog will be a Mastiff. Go ahead and Google that, and ask yourself — would I break into a house if that dog was waiting inside for me? I think not.)
What about you? What irrational purchase are you just itching to make? 🙂