Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Coon hounds and coughing

That's my morning in a nutshell. The whole point of building a house in BFE was to get away from Other People's Noise (not to be confused with Other People's Children, but I do try to avoid most of them, too), but the wee hours of the morning found me dragged back to consciousness by the sounds of 'joyful' dogs. For those of you not familiar with the mechanics of "running the dogs", it goes a little something like this:
A.) Imagine the noisiest hound dog you've ever met. This morning's versions sound like beagles. They make a baying sound, deep to high-pitched, when they alert, so now imagine that...

B.) In order to get the dogs to "hunt" and not just want to frolic in the cold morning grass, they didn't get any food yesterday... or possibly the day before. Now imagine you're the dog, just let out of the cramped kennel. You stretch your legs and launch from the tailgate of the truck and then you smell it... the tantilizing scent of a twenty to thirty pound ring-tailed rodent. All you have to do is find it, allow your human to shoot it, and the entrails are your's for the taking...

C.) Because you (the dog) are the property of a seventh generation hill jack, your owner's land is free and clear of all enticing rodents. The knuckle-dragger has friends though, friends with their own dogs and land, or parents with well-stocked acreage, so for a case of beer and a mornings' worth of shotgun shells, you have access to much better hunting grounds.

If I seem disparaging against my "neighbors", it is only because of my husband's heartbreak. Several years ago a black and tan coon hound showed up in our yard. She was about eight months old, thin, and scared of loud noises. (She pushed her way in through the living room window screen to be indoors during a summer storm.) We had Betty for sixteen days while trying to find her owner. Finally, one of our newspaper adds paid off and we knew where Betty belonged, once the owner's wife mentioned a small umbilical hernia. We popped her into the van and away we went, but 'Boris' says to this day if we'd known how horrible that dog's living conditions were, we never would have taken her back. It was sort of thing nightmares are made out of. I know there are hunters who appreciate their dogs, or even (dare I say it?) love them, but that's less than ordinary in these parts.

My children are all snot-full and miserable, with scratchy throats and coughing. The sounds of gleeful hunting at sunrise were not welcomed, as now the kids are all up and hacking away. The honey bear is half-past empty and the tea supply is low, so poor 'Boris' will have to journey out to the grocery for supplies. He was planning to do it anyway, but it's nicer when your five kids don't sound like they're dying all over the store. Now I need my decaf, a shower, and some quality time with Clementine. Type at y'all latah. C


gaylen said...

Oh poor Bette - I had no idea and maybe it's better that I didn't. How on earth can people treat animals so cruel.

Sorry to hear you have a houseful of snot. I woke up with a scratch throat. I'm less than pleased - especially since I'm soon, oh so very soon, on vaca. Hope the house feels better soon :) g

Annalea said...

Ugh. One of the worst things EVER is to have your kids woken up before they're ready . . . especially when they're sick. (Or when you're sick--that's my lot today.)

Living in an area with a supply of multi-generation-deep rednecks, I understand so well what you're saying about their animals (and their living conditions, for that matter). I'm not one who has animals in the house (well, except for tropical fish ;o), and don't get as attached as many animal lovers do to their pets, but I'm a firm believer in taking good care of animals, and in respecting their dependence and trust in humans.

Pet some nice yarn, maybe knit on something, and have a great day at the shop, Cami. We're seriously considering a move away from my wonderful LYS, and I wish I could take them with me (or move Clementine's to the Puget Sound!). Have a great day!

Thimbleanna said...

Man, sorry about your waking up experience. And sheesh, I get behind a few days and you've posted a ton! Great pictures -- you know we love pics! Beautiful fabrics -- I wish I had the time to spare -- I'd help you out with that bag!