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An Adoption Story: Baying Hound & A Loving Owner

by Dr Kathleen Hall

A while back, Canine Adoption Network (CAN) took in a dog, Cooper, from a family that banished him to a bedroom in the house because of his size. The family thought Cooper was a beagle but he turns out to be a Treeing Walker Coonhound.

Beagles and Treeing Walker Coonhound have similar coloring as puppies, but the Treeing Walker Coonhounds can grow up to 65 lbs. They are extremely fast, agile and are extremely vocal with a distinctive bay that allows their owners to easily identify their dogs from great distances while hunting. While very affectionate, they are best suited to a life of action outdoors and will suffer from being cooped up. While generally not considered suitable for apartment dwelling (these coonhounds require lots of exercise), they sure love to sleep and lounge around in the house.

Cooper was yelled at for almost four years and spent the last year locked in a room. As a result, he became very tense–you could see it in his posture and it was heartbreaking.

Our rescue group was already overcrowded, but we had to take Cooper in. He lived in a barn with other rescues but would rarely eat and when he did, he would vomit. He also had terrible diarrhea. The vet determined that Cooper had an ulcer due to stress and abuse, so we put him on special ulcer medication.

It became very obvious Cooper was not happy at the barn and yearned for human companionship. After a week at the barn, I took him home. Cooper’s baying was very loud, but we all learned to love it because Cooper was just being Cooper.

For a long time, Cooper was listed on and would attend adoptions regularly but no one was interested in giving him a forever home. In the spring, I received a call from a lady named Vicki who recently had some life-changing experiences and was looking for a dog companion; she fell in love with Cooper when she saw his picture on and was touched by his story. We decided to meet.

It was kismet. Cooper, being the Southern gentleman, was on his best behavior. Vicki and Cooper became instant friends and she adopted him immediately.

Here’s a letter from Vicki:

Cooper is doing very well. He is a little chubby at 70 lbs but that is due to thyroid issues more than treats. Cooper now lives in an all female house of two cats, a lab mix rescue named Zoey, and a much more recently adopted one-year-old Great Dane named Ellie Mae.

I moved to Ste. Genevieve, the oldest town of about 4000 people west of the Mississippi River. I would hazard to say most of the 4000 people are familiar with Cooper because of his distinctive bawl when he greets folks during his daily walks.

While he is still handsome as ever, his color is fading around his eyes and muzzle now; and next to walks and rides, his most favorite thing is sleeping on his leather ottoman. He still hates to get up before 10 a.m. and is still the first one in his bed at night. I think the only thing he misses being in the new town is Starbucks and the biscotti he got on his way to daycare three times a week (or maybe it is me who misses Starbucks)!

For all who read this and most importantly, to Michele and the Canine Adoption Network, who brought Cooper to me is to know in your hearts how very important the work you do every day is–not just to the animals you rescue–but for the people your animals “rescues.”

Cooper saw my family through two new jobs and a big move from Georgia to Missouri. In addition, many nights would have been very empty without his snoring to keep us company. The only reason Cooper and I are together is because someone worked to rescue and place him with a forever home. While our family is much bigger now, Cooper is still my best buddy and the first in line for pets and hugs and treats.

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