Neverending Saga: The Bloodhound

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Marty

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I imagine at some point in his life, he was quite regal and proud but now he was reduced to nothing. The bloodhound was seen wandering around the foothills of the mountain back in August, and sometime around Labor Day weekend, he surfaced up here on the mountain by my house. He roamed around the road right here in the same area going from one house to another, as if he were looking for someone; then he would disappear into the woods. Sometimes, I would go without a sighting for days.

On sunny days he often took up residence in my yard and in the yards of some of my other neighbors like he owned the place or was waiting for someone. I don’t know if he was lost or dumped but his sad face said he was clearly missing someone. I couldn’t get close but I could tell he was thin, weather beaten, and so tired, just so very tired. He was over turning the garbage cans making one heck of a mess. Some people fed him and others wanted to shoot him and at one point I was told one old man down the road filled his butt full of BBs. He loved to lay around wherever he could on sunny days, and then, he would be back on the road walking back and forth limping, exhausted and so hungry. On rainy days I never saw him except once when he lay underneath my truck. But usually when it rained, he must have taken refuge somewhere in the woods I supposed, or perhaps in an abandoned barn.

He wouldn’t come when called and avoided people and human contact. The more I called or spoke to him, the more it would drive him away. I would put food out for him at the end of the driveway but he would not come to eat it until I backed way off so catching him was not an option.

He was huge in stature, so much bigger than my German Shepherd. and I must admit his large size was intimidating so I didn’t mind keeping my distance. He really liked my lawn for some reason and sometimes he would stay here all day long and sleep out front. His presence was causing a problem because I couldn’t let my dogs out to the bathroom if he was here; they would go after him and want to fight him. We were getting tired of picking up our trash that he spread all over the yard and into the road, but how could anyone get mad at a dog for just trying to survive? We couldn’t.

Giving some thought, I realized he first showed up at the foothills right around the same time frame when this State holds the World’s Longest Yard Sale, a huge tourist event, and I couldn’t help but think he may have been lost by someone who is not local. For days I scanned the internet as best as I could trying to find out if anyone had lost a bloodhound that matched his description but I came up empty. I made the usual calls for a full month, trying to get some help for him and of course, no one wanted him, and he couldn’t be caught to bring him to any Humane organization, not that we have one. I took some pictures of him early on back in August to show around town but clearly he was loosing more and more weight by the minute. I made up flyers and posted them in town and at the vet’s office trying to located his owner but he went unclaimed.

Finally I did an internet search and found a bloodhound rescue a few hours from here. From past experiences, I figured I was wasting my time but I wanted to call anyhow. I left a message and within an hour, my call was returned. This rescue had something installed on their phones that allows conference calls so I was on the phone with a lot of people at once and explained the situation. I must admit I was already floored when they returned my call and even more shocked when they said they were very eager to help. They were willing to come right away, right that day until they realized I didn’t have the dog caught and secured. I explained further that it was going to take a few people to round him up and that is only if we are lucky enough to spot him. It would be hit and miss and might take hours if not days for a sighting, but they could stay here until we got the job done. The rescuers said they would come and give it a shot. I told them our best chance of finding him would be on a sunny day as he’s always out walking the roads on pretty days.

The rescue was scheduled for Thursday but I called it off due to pouring rain. Friday was a bust because the fog was so thick; I couldn’t even see my barn from my back door.

The rescue was on for Sunday. The sun was out, but the bloodhound wasn’t. They were already on the way and darn it, there was no sign of the bloodhound, just what we all worried about. They were calling for freezing temperatures in the high 20’s that night, and that poor dog did not need that. I spent all day looking for him everywhere in hopes that when his rescue team showed up, I’d know right where he was. I rode up and down the roads till I was blue in the face, had dog food out in the driveway, but he didn’t show up. I enlisted two of my neighbors to drive around to help locate him and they were more than happy to do anything to help get him rescued. We were even stopping people in the road asking if anyone has seen him, but we came up empty.

The rescuers were very late and called saying they were lost. I was glad because I didn’t have a location on the dog. When will people learn that mapquest doesn’t know work around here!!! While Hus had them on the phone giving directions, all of a sudden, here came the dog walking right past our driveway. He went across the road through the little forest and then over to the neighbor’s front yard and sat down. I grabbed some dog food and drove over there and hoped he wouldn’t run off. He took my food but wanted nothing to do with me as usual so I backed off and sat with him on the grass about 15 feet away talking to him and praying he didn’t leave. That was the closest I’ve ever been to him and as soon as he stood, I couldn’t believe how skinny he really was; it was much worse than I thought, a pathetic rack of bones. It was like his ribs were going to bust through his skin in a second and the bones were coming out of his butt and something was horribly wrong with his eyes. I thought he might be partially blind. I kept telling him not to worry that help was on the way, but he ignored me and kept on eating. When he finished, I tried to coax him in my truck and that didn’t work. Mistake #1. When I tried to get a rope on him, that was it and he decided to leave and headed towards the forest. Mistake #2. Just in the nick of time, Hus comes jogging down the road with another big bowl of dog food to keep him occupied and the dog did the funniest thing: He acted like he knew my Hus. He was wagging his tail, ran to my Hus, jumped up and down and started to bark. I have never seen that dog act so happy before ever. I think his former owner must have been a man that resembled Hus and he must have loved him very much. While the two of them were having such a great time making friends, we were able to detain him long enough so the rescue team was able to get him. We helped load him up and it was bittersweet saying good bye. On October 18, 2009, the rescue was a success.

His new name is Bernard and he didn’t freeze last night. Instead, he spent the night on a big pillow in a warm room with another bloodhound who is his new best friend. He is now a house dog with 5 acres to run on with a lot of bloodhound friends that he is very happy with. The vet said he about 7 years old and he is going to be fine. The rescue feels that someone once much loved this dog and spent considerable time training him although he is skittish, he is very well behaved. They have decided to keep him instead of adopting him out and they tell me he loves fig newtons.

When I went out to feed the horses this morning it was unusual not to see my garbage torn up and spread all over the yard. I must admit I looked in the road a couple of times today forgetting myself that he’s gone and I don’t have to worry about this noble dog anymore.

This Bloodhound Rescue is amazing and are Heros. This is a very impressive highly efficient rescue organization. They returned my call quickly. They handled my call very well, collected as much information from me as they could, and were willing to come the same day they were called. They brought me up to speed on some key information about the Bloodhound breed so I would be familiar with their behaviors. They also told me how they are used for Pit Bull fighting bait which is one reason why their rescue was formed. I found that shocking considering his size but its true. They checked their data base in case he was reported as lost and had a vet on call to check for a micro-chip and intercept the dog if he needed emergency care. They had a place ready for him right away. It made no difference how far they had to come, and they didn’t try to pawn my call onto another organization. They were nice enough to call me today to let me know how he is doing and promised they would give me updates and send me his picture for Christmas. What a happy ending!

Have a great life Bernard. You are living with Heros.

http://www.easttennesseebloodhoundrescue.com/

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dreaminmini

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Awww, that is so wonderful he finally was able to be rescued. It's a shame we won'tnow his true story and if he were abandoned or lost. But, more importantly he is somewhere safe and he is loved.
 

laughingllama75

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YAY! that is awesome! I'm so happy for Bernard......that rescue sounds awesome. thank you so much for sharing that story, it really put a smile on my face.
 

LittleRibbie

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Marty, your such a nice person. Sounds the the bloodhound rescue is doing a great job too. I love the name Bernard. I was very surprized the 1st time I ever saw a BH....they are huge....I can remember that even their tails were powerful. Hard to believe such a beautful dog would be dumped....people never seize to amaze me.
 

Barbie

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Marty-

What a story!! You and hus are wonderful people. That sounds like a fantastic rescue and I'm so glad Bernard has a good home.

Thank you for putting the time in to helping this dog.

Barbie
 

Whitewave

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Oh my Gosh Marty...I am in Tears.....

I dont post too often but just had to tell you his story surely must be one of your next wonderful books..What a way of telling an animals story you have ..Wow what a great book that would be ....hint.. Id buy it for sure for my dog lovin daughter...

Thanks so much for helping this lost soul to finally find love and comfort again..You are a blessed person....

Jennifer
 

Filipowicz Farm

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Thanks Marty, and rhe rescue team. I have a friend that has a bloodhound they are great big gentle dogs.
 

minimule

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Yeah Marty! Thanks for getting the grand ole boy a place to live. I'm pretty found of the hounds and would hope someone would try so hard if my baby got lost.
 

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