Houn’ Dog
Mary Calhoun ~ Roger Duvoisin ~ William Morrow, 1959

Sorry about the miss yesterday folks, but I’ve been nursing my sweet Sugar Dog. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll be losing him today. In honor, I thought I’d highlight another lender (thanks Thingummery) about one particular pooch with a knack for smellin’ and bellin’… though Sugar was always more of a snuggler than a fox chaser.

Of all the noses and all the voices of all the dogs back in the hills, Houn’ Dog was the very best. Old Houn’ Dog had the sharpest smeller and the sweetest beller. With that nose of his he could smell out a coon two miles away. He could track down Old Man B’ar when B’ar hadn’t been by for three days.

And when he picked up the smell of Slyfoot the Fox — well, you could hear Houn’ Dog’s beller clear over in the next county.

Reading about the exploits of this spunky little hound, it reminded me of another dog memory. When I was little, my family used to vacation in Saluda, North Carolina every summer, a town somewhat famous for its annual Coon Dog Day Festival. That town was also the first place I remember being heartbroken by the loss of an animal. One summer, we picked up a sweet stray that we found on the tennis courts and aptly named Tennis Ball. He spent the whole vacation parading around town with me and my sisters and sleeping at the foot of our beds. We were so enamored with this pup, that come the final day, we decided to take him home with us. As we loaded the car, we couldn’t find him anywhere. After a thorough search of town, my mother finally found him by the railroad tracks, where he’d been hit by a car. I think we cried all the way home over that dog.

He was a good one, but not as good as this one has been. Now I’m off to get some snuggle time and spend the day with proper goodbyes. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my all-time favorite books, My Dog Skip by Willie Morris.

The dog of your boyhood teaches you a great deal about friendship, and love, and death: Old Skip was my brother. They had buried him under our elm tree, they said—yet this wasn’t totally true.

For he really lay buried in my heart.

Thank you, Sugar Dog, for sharing nine of the best years of my life.

Also by:
Petunia, Beware!
The Rain Puddle
A Child’s Garden of Verses
Veronica and the Birthday Present
Donkey Donkey
Petunia’s Christmas
The Old Bullfrog
Petunia Takes a Trip
Our Veronica Goes to Petunia’s Farm
White Snow Bright Snow
A Frog in the Well


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