She started the night at my feet. Midway through, she curled between my legs. By morning, I will have black-and-tan hindparts in my face.

I’m trying to sleep with a dog. But it’s not happening. We are in a tiny camper. It’s almost midnight, I’m awake. Ellie Mae, the coonhound, is snoring like a retired chainsaw.

Earlier today, I tried to fish with this irksome dog. We were supposed to be catching trout, but you can’t fish when you have a coonhound dog-paddling through ice-cold water. When she finished, she smelled like reclaimed sushi.

And now we’re sleeping in the same single bed.

She started the night at my feet. Midway through, she curled between my legs. By morning, I will have black-and-tan hindparts in my face.

This morning, we went for a walk through the woods to do her necessaries. But she wasn’t in the mood to do business. She saw a squirrel dart across our trail. She was gone for a few hours.

She loves squirrels, even though she’s never successfully captured one. The closest she ever came to such was when she chased my neighbor’s overweight housecat through the neighborhood. She ran the cat straight onto Mister Donaldson’s roof.

Mrs. Donaldson told me that Ellie howled for a solid twenty minutes at that cat. It took three middle-aged men and a two-story telescopic ladder to rescue the poor feline.

Ever since the incident, the Donaldsons quit sending me Christmas cards. And when I see them in the supermarket they don’t make eye-contact.

This dog is going to be the death of me.

For supper tonight, Ellie rode shotgun while we drove into town. Every dog I’ve ever owned has ridden shotgun. Cody, Lady, Boone, Joe. God rest their souls.

There’s something about a dog in my passenger seat that does it for me.

Our main order of business for the evening was supper. I planned on picking up something to-go, and eating back at the camper.

I parked in town, and instructed Ellie to wait in the bed of the truck while I secured a burger. She agreed. We shook on this.

So, I waited for my order at the bar. I watched the television in the corner. I noticed heads turning. A few laughs. Fingers pointing. I heard dog claws on a wood floor.

A coonhound pranced through the middle of the joint. People took turns petting, rubbing, talking in high-pitched voices. The hound sat beside my stool, staring at me. I told her how disappointed I was in her.

Ellie only blinked, scratched, then passed gas. A string of drool dangled from her mouth like a swinging pendulum.

“That your dog?” the waitress asked.

“I’ve never seen this foul creature before in my life.”

But it was too late, the waitress was all over the animal. People are powerless against floppy jowls and big eyes.

And now I’m back in the camper with a dog who has her hindsection on my pillow. There are raucous smells being emitted from her tail pipe. She is snoring so loud I’m wearing earplugs.

I’m not going to lie to you. This was supposed to be a fun camping trip, but I’m miserable tonight. Absolutely miserable. Even so, you ought to see this angel face of hers.

If this dog ever left me, my life would be over.

And I would surely die.


  1. Patricia Gibson - November 27, 2017 4:05 am

    You have to live dogs. I love mine too!

  2. Jakki - November 27, 2017 4:06 am

    You know your coonhounds Sean!

  3. David Helms - November 28, 2017 2:19 pm

    Hey Sean. Dave here, friend of Connie Baggett. I recommended you to somebody on Facebook today who complained she had to step back from social media because she was seeing so much gloom and doom and misery and hysteria. “Try this fellow,” I told her. “He’s a fellow bearded Southerner (I’m bearded, not my female friend) who believes in dogs and people and good things. Sort of an anti-journalist.” Which is harsh because Connie and I used to be journalists. Have a good one.

  4. Melissa Mikkelsen - December 21, 2017 2:53 pm

    Yes. My coonie is scared of the heater. Everytime it clicks on she is up and crying and wigging out. Havent had a good nights sleep in weeks. Someone told me to let her sleep in the garage and I told them I would sooner put myself in the garage. Its cold out there! Love my doggy. ?

  5. Deb Bettis - December 21, 2017 4:57 pm

    My spoiled Weimaraner, Luna, snores louder than my Mom did. And my Mama could naturally born saw logs. When I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking I must be down at a seaside harbor, because I just KNOW I heard a foghorn blaring in my ear, I stop for a moment, then remember…Oh, yeah. That is just Luna! And I love that big, bad girl to pieces.

  6. Lane Russell Schrock - January 27, 2018 1:18 am

    Hi BruceAnnit’s really good to hear from you in the story of your fem ale dog it’s just heartwarming isn’t it funny how we want to sleep ///real close to their hindquarters of our dogs but can hardly do that with a human. We really missed you at the class reunions in California boy was it fun! You can’t play hooky the next time!
    So great to hear from you!!
    Lane Russell Sch rock

  7. Kristine Schmelter - March 20, 2018 12:26 pm

    Always love your stories Sean!! I have had a hound of some sort my whole life, I get it!! Pure ❤️. Don’t ever stop living and sharing your life, your audience is grateful!!

  8. Smitty - March 20, 2018 12:57 pm

    Nailed it! Again.

  9. Gale Smith - March 20, 2018 1:39 pm

    Speeno, Butch, Sport, Joe, Lulu, Kewee, Bubba, Sissy, Smitty, JR, Furby(my current owner),……I have measred my life by the dogs that were in it.

  10. Cathy Callender - March 21, 2018 3:33 am

    Oh Sean, I read this this morning and this afternoon we found our old German Shepherd had gone to Heaven! We are devastated! Thank you for loving dogs too!?

  11. Rhonda - March 22, 2018 9:16 am

    I think there’s a reason why DOG is GOD spelled backwards! I sure do love my obnoxious, manipulating, bundle of pure, unconditional love, dog. And I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t love her too.

  12. Brenda Nowicki - November 23, 2018 8:14 am

    Sean, I know you survived Ellie Mae crossing the rainbow bridge. But that last line…I’ve said it a thousand times about my Gracie Rene. I’m old and could never get another fur baby. Sometimes I worry that it will be me that leaves her. And I have no one to send her to. I was fine 8 years ago when I got her. Then my health just went south! I’m homebound now. But if I didn’t have her I don’t think I would have made it the last 3 years. She’s no coon dog but she’s my baby!! Unlike a large dog she makes me laugh every time she has gas!! It scares her bad!! She jumps up and turns around to see what happened!! LOL I read your stories every night! Like Gracie you make me happy. I don’t know if you read these but I just wanted to let you know I love you too! Give Jammie a love pat and tell Thelma and Odis that y’all have a fan in Tyler, Tx! Happy Thanksgiving

  13. Alice - November 23, 2018 11:55 am

    What a sweet heartwarming story God Bless you Sean❤️❤️


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