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Hard Nosed Big Game Hounds

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Resting Place for Special Hounds, Coon Hounds! Only!

When I was a kid my Dad took me by the cemetery, we hunted a lot in that area. When I started high school my long time buddy Jeff M. Dad's hunting camp was just up the road from the cemetery so we were by there often. Always seemed like a natural thing to have Hounds buried there, I mean Coon Hounds, cause only approved Coon Hounds are allowed. I guess there are over a hundred now. Something about the spot, very peaceful and you feel the reverence.

Let not your hearts be troubled,
for in his master’s swamp are many den trees.
If it were not so, I would have told you.
He has gone to prepare a place for you
and where he has gone Ole Red will go also.
Dogs, they say, do not have souls.
They only have hide and bones.
But I believe there is a coon dog heaven
and Red is gone were the good coon dogs go.
Anybody that coon hunts has to believe in God.
If you have known the music of coon hounds on a trail
and heard the excitement in their voices when they strike,
and seen their eagerness and determination when they tree,
if you have seen their courage and bravery
in a tough fight with an old boar coon,
if you have heard their anguished cries and howls,
if you have seen the ugly gashes
and bleeding wounds
and witnessed their resolve to never quit,
you know there has to be a God to make an animal like that.
And a God that that would make a coon dog
won’t forget him when he is gone.
There is a coon dog heaven and Ole Red is there.
And every night he runs
and the den trees are there in the old swamp
and the old hunter’s moon hangs low in the west
and the coons don’t go up no slick barked trees
and the carbide don’t run out
and there ain’t no bull nettle and saw briars
and old master always knocks the coon out
and lets Ole Red grab him and give him a good shake;
and then he gets a pat on the head
and climbs back into the kennel in the back of the pick-up truck
and goes home and sleeps all day.
‘Cause he knows in coon dog heaven he can hunt again
when the sun goes down and the tree frogs holler.
May the bones of Ole Red rest in peace,
through the mercy of God
and may the coon hunters light perpetually shine upon him.

In a small, grassy meadow, deep in the rich, thick wilderness of Freedom Hills, Key Underwood sadly buried his faithful coondog, Troop. They had hunted together for more than 15 years. They had been close friends.

The burial spot was a popular hunting camp where coon hunters from miles around gathered to plot their hunting strategies, tell tall tales, chew tobacco and compare coon hounds. Those comparisons usually began and ended with Troop...he was the best around.

Underwood knew there was no place in the world Troop loved more than that camp. It was only fitting, he decided, that Troop spend eternity there. On that dreary Labor Day of 1937, Underwood said good-bye to his legendary coonhound. He wrapped Troop in a cotton pick sack, buried him three feet down, and marked the grave with a rock from a nearby old chimney. On the rock, with a hammer and a screwdriver he had chiseled out Troop's name and the date. A special marker was erected in his memory. (from the Coon Dog Cemetery Website) www.coondogcemetery.com

1 comment:

James said...

There are many that wouldn't understand, I thank God I'm not one of them.

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About Me

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I’m a Southern Boy, just 56 last November, I get around here and there, Central America, Africa, Red Bay. I’m a Father, Grandfather, Husband, Artist and general flunky of sorts. Live in a little historic town in an old building I remodeled. Just wanted to hear myself think I guess, talk about the need of simplification, show some art, express an interest or two, brag on my dogs and see where it goes. That’s it!, That’s the deal, Thanks