We just pulled into our driveway after being on the road for weeks. I step out of the vehicle and hear a low-pitched howling coming from my house. It’s a baying sound you could hear a mile away.
The bloodhound’s voice is special. A single howl can last three or four seconds, maybe longer if there is a squirrel or a UPS employee involved. Their deep groan is rich, throaty, hoarse, and sounds like the Marlboro Man trying to sing Handel.
They’re comical dogs. A bloodhound has paws the size of baseball mitts. Their ears get caught in their mouth when they eat. Their skin is a few sizes too big for their body. In other words they're the perfect animal.
We are dog people. And I am a bloodhound guy. It runs deep in me. I have loved hounds since boyhood, when my cousin and I first saw Ellie Mae Clampett and her bloodhound, Duke, in a TV episode of the “Beverly Hillbillies.”
My cousin had a severe crush on Ellie
Mae. But I was in love with her dog.
As a young man, I had friends whose fathers were avid hunters. They used bloodhounds to track raccoons through the South Alabamian forest, usually at night. You’ve never seen anything more poetic than five hounds tearing into the midnight woods beneath a yellow moon, howling.
The hunting party would hike through groves of swampland, carrying lanterns, chewing short cigars. It was cold and damp, and I wanted to go home because I’m not a hunter.
I’m a fisherman, not a hunter. There is a big difference. A hunter is brave, tireless, he will endure hard weather, dire odds, and will sit motionless for hours without even scratching his back pocket. A fisherman has koozies that read: “She thinks my belly’s sexy.”
Often, a true fisherman will spend all day out on the water enjoying himself before he realizes he…