In the 1980’s we lived for a time in the city of San Ramon, CA and purchased a dog wife (Mindy) for our old Blue Tick Hound Dog, Old Blue. Mindy soon blessed us with a rather large litter of 10 living puppies.
Now Mindy was not equipped with enough faucets to feed all the babies at once, so we resorted to supplement with baby bottles and formula. We didn’t mind because it was fun to care for and feed those growing pups.
Just in time for Christmas we placed an advertisement in our local paper, and soon prospective buyers came to select one of our family of puppies. One by one they were taken away, until we had 3 male growing pups left, along with their mom and dad, plus our daughter’s Irish Setter!
All this was in the city with neighbors close by !!
My husband could not bear to part with the last 3 males, as he said it was like giving up his own children. The neighbors began to complain, because hounds do howl and we had a dog gone yard full.
Rotating dogs helped a bit; some into the laundry room, others into a side yard and the big dogs into the main yard. Keeping the yard clean was also a task, and the neighbors complained again by calling the health department on us.
It was either give up the dogs, or move out into the country. What we should have done, and what we ended up doing were two different things.
To make a long story short after a year of house hunting and much red tape and a lot of hassle, we finally moved to a 20 acre place in the hills and fenced in a large area for our dogs to run.
Hound dogs love to hunt, and one of our young hounds could climb the cyclone steel fence and over he would go. Then he would run for miles and eventually he would return home.
One day we could hear him bellowing in the distance. My husband climbed into his pickup truck and took his shot gun with him not knowing what our pup had cornered.
Following the sound of the baying, he soon discovered our pup, JR at the base of a tree, where he had treed a bob cat. When JR saw my husband, the dog began to climb the tree.
My husband tried to coax JR to come down, so he could attach a leash and bring him home, but our dog was too high up in the tree and very excited and simply refused to retreat. He was on point and after his prey!!
There was only one option, and although he hated to do it, my husband shot the bob cat.
JR continued to climb trees, every time he saw my cat in a tree. One day, my cat said, “That is enough,” and he took off down the hill to find a new home. Weeks later my cat returned one evening to let me know that he was okay and then he was gone again.
One evening JR returned after a long night run, and collapsed on the driveway and died. At least he died happy, and by now he is probably climbing all the trees in dog heaven.