Shared from Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue- several incidences of returned fosters and adopted hounds recently, once again through no fault of the dog, but the dog is the one that has to be rehomed and disrupted.  A very discouraging situation. Please, if you are considering adopting or fostering a shelter or rescue dog, take the time to read this very informative piece.


    Do you really understand decompression??

If you have ever walked through the kennels of an animal shelter you surely can attest to the stress of the experience. Perhaps you can remember the first time you entered one. It might have been a memorable experience! They are very very loud. It is non stop barking, howling, whining, and yelping. The sound can be deafening at times and if you are not used to it or it is your first time, it can cause a heavy dose of anxiety to rise in your bones and make you want to turn around and walk out. It’s intense. Now realize that you CAN turn around and walk out. Those dogs can’t. They are there all day, all night, all week, all month. It shouldn’t take too much contemplation to realize this isn’t the ideal setting for any dog. Some dogs can be there for months on end if it is a no-kill shelter.
The longer they are in there the worse the mental trauma can be. While some dogs will completely shut down others seem to amp up, developing numerous anxiety based behaviors that border on neurotic. While the observable behaviors might be different, the source is the same, stress from being in there. Recognizing that this type of experience can have an impact on a dog’s state of mind, it’s baffling how people think that by simply putting a leash on the dog and taking it home means everything is suddenly going to be O.K. As if anything is that simple! So many of these dogs end up back at shelters for a wide variety of reasons, including aggression, because their well intentioned new family did not take the time to research the proper way to bring a dog from this type of environment home. When the dog starts acting in inappropriate ways or even worse, becomes aggressive, everybody is quick to blame the dog’s “troubled past”. It’s not the dog’s past, it is the dog’s present. The first day in a new home is not the day to meet other family members, loud and energetic toddlers, other dogs, the cats, the super nosey neighbor who wants to give your new dog hugs and kisses…. NO……NOT AT ALL……
The name is indicative of  what it means in terms of what the dog has been through and what the dog needs. All the stress from the living conditions the dog is coming from needs to be addressed. The dog has been under a lot of stress and pressure. The dog needs to “decompress” and take some time getting back to a balanced state of mind. This will not be achieved with going from one crazy high activity place to another. The dog should not be introduced to the couch for endless hours of belly rubs on day one because you feel bad the dog had a rough past. That makes YOU feel good. This isn’t about you and what you like, this is about what is best for the dog. Remember? For at LEAST 2-3 WEEKS, your new dog’s life should be incredibly simple and boring. Keep the affection to a bare minimum, keep talking and training to non- existent levels. You want as much silence as possible. Have a daily routine or schedule 100% planned out prior to the dog coming home. This should be the dog’s day mapped out. From bathroom breaks, to crate time, to short walks in quiet boring places, the entire day should be on a schedule. Dog’s find exponentially more comfort in routine than they do belly rubs and cuddles. For that reason, keep the affection to a bare minimum. This is not the time to shower the dog with affection as all that will do is reinforce an unbalanced state of mind and confuse the dog as to YOUR role in their lives. The premise behind decompression is allowing the dog to get back to a neutral and relaxed state of mind, opposite of what it just came from. Your dog needs leadership and calm predictability. These two things are crucial to the dog becoming appropriately integrated into the foster home. Allowing the dog time to decompress without having to deal with a whole new set of intense stimuli will set you all up for a successful future.
KD Matthews


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I am becoming obsessed with coonhounds living in big cities.  Here is the story of Willow, living large in LA !!  Thank you Adam Sklar for adopting a coonhound and for sharing your story with “the family coonhound”.

Is there a problem with my ears?

Adam Sklar <>
Dec, 2018, 12:58 AM

I grew up in a small town in Canada. It was the kind of place that you could walk around barefoot and feel the mud between your toes. It was the type of place you could play till dark. I knew nothing of blue tick hounds until I read Where the Red Fern Grows. Instantly I felt like Billy the main character and was hound crazy. We didn’t have much money and my ma worked 3 jobs. It just wasn’t going to happen. Fast forward 25 years. I’m married with 2 pups. A beagle and a jack russell. Sweat Pea is a hound, her love knows no bounds and she’s our life. She is dying of cancer and so we thought that bringing in a puppy hound would revitalize her.

Seriously cute !!!!

Getting a new pup isn’t something you just do, we did lots of research before we got our little blue tick,Willow. She is smart, sweet, and absolutely beautiful. Hounds make great family pets due to their easy going nature. That being said they are stubborn and their nose leads the way. I’ve decided that as long as I have dogs it will be a hound. Long ears and doughy understanding eyes are always there for love and support. Hounds are great city pups for so many reasons. Long walks and hikes are especially needed as they are very active. I wouldn’t have it any other way!


According to Adam, he is a huge lover and advocate of hounds. He adds, ” There is nothing more special then the love of a hound.”


                                                                    Where is the pet aisle ????

Sooo much to see !!!!!



                                                                Ready to cruise !!!  


Update: At the time of this posting, Sweet Pea has crossed over the bridge. We mourn with you Adam, and know the pain you are feeling. Just remember she is waiting for you at the bridge.  They may be gone from our lives but never from our hearts !!



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I am very excited to work on this blog post. I am always searching for coonhounds being stellar in various, unusual and unexpected ways.  Soooo, this post highlights Tim Root and his beautiful coonhound Pandora, or Dora for short.  Dora is a TWC that Tim adopted from a shelter several years ago.  According to Tim she is a total couch potato and quiet at home. It is evident that he loves his girl. She even helped him with his wedding announcements !!

Channeling the inner lounge hound  How is this comfortable ????


Tim also reports that his now wife was “less than enthusiastic” about adopting a coonhound, but Dora won her over and now “they’re almost inseparable”.  I mean seriously, how can you not fall in love with a hound that does your dishes????

Now to the “other side of Dora”.  Tim is a huge outdoorsman, and in the course of pursuing that hobby, ran into several deer hunters who complained about having sleepless nights because they were not able to recover their harvest after a successful day of deer hunting.  Tim did some research and discovered there was a “leash tracking” dog license in his home state of New York. He took the test, got the license, and Linwood Tracking and Recovery was born.  Hunters were skeptical at first but Tim reports that Dora is amazing and has turned skeptics into believers. He always hears  “That dog is AMAZING!” Dora’s current personal best is a track of about two miles straight to the deer.

                                                                                                                                     AHROOOO ! We did it Dad !!!!


Tim says he and his wife will always have hounds. He is sooo happy he picked Dora and cannot believe someone just threw her away  at the shelter.  The two most unlikely people to share a conversation, me a vegetarian since 1982, and Tim an avid sportsman and hunter. This is a good example of how opposite ends of the spectrum can come together. Dora and Tim provide a great service to the hunters whose prey would be lost and “wasted” if not for their service. Tim is a responsible hunter and absolutely treats Dora as part of the family.   I can totally appreciate that!!  Tim’s license does not allow him to charge for his services, nor does he expect anything when he goes out. He adds that if people want to give him money for his help, he donates that money to the shelter where he got Dora.

The beautiful and talented Dora. Couch potato princess by day, kick butt tracker by night!! Kudos to the fabulous coonhound. Dora proves my point so well, that coonhounds can do just about anything !! They are not “just hunting dogs”.  Thank you so much Tim, for sharing your story with me.  Please keep us posted on your adventures with Dora, and welcome to the family !!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Please check out  Tim’s facebook page for Linwood Tracking and Recovery.


The amazing and beautiful Dora!


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Christmas Puppy

As much as we all love that commercial with the darling irresistible puppy popping out of the box on Christmas morning,  the reality is that a puppy for Christmas is just bad timing.  The holidays stretch our already overloaded schedules to the max, many people travel, and the holidays are well, just stressful. Please wait until a more appropriate time AND when you do pick that “time”, please consider a rescue dog first. They are not “second hand” or “damaged”, they have been let down by humans, and they are so grateful – they KNOW you saved them. I believe that with all my heart. And they will reward you with more loyalty and love than you could imagine. 


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Why Adopt a Coonhound

After I read the information in Brad Marlow’s post on facebook, I had to request his permission to use the information for a blog post.  And then I waded through the comments and my thoughts did a complete 180 in reference to how I would use or respond to the information.   His post on facebook created quite a fire storm of passionate responses.

Brad Marlow is with Bradley Marlow.
July 17 at 6:36 PM

Why rescue hounds, especially Coonhounds? That’s a often asked and legitimate question for those not in the know.
For those not familiar, Coonhounds are one of America’s oldest breeds. Yet, they have the stigma of just being a working dog, not privileged enough to deserve a safe, loving home. For example, in some areas of the South, Coonhounds replace the Pit Bull as the most euthanized dog in shelters.
In South Carolina, Coonhounds are exempt from animal welfare laws. They can be kept without regard to the animal’s safety and well being.

Across the South, Coonhounds are seen as a tool used for hunting. For many when that tool can no longer perform, it’s shot, starved to death, dumped in the woods to fend for itself until the coyotes get them, and for the lucky ones that do make it to the shelters, it’s a crap shoot if they’ll even make it to the adoption floor. Coonhounds are truly the under dogs of rescue.

My Beaux, an 80lb, Tri Color American English Coonhound, was dumped in the Cherokee National Forrest in the middle of a cold TN Winter. It took AC almost two weeks to catch him. That could have easily been the end of the story but fortunately for me, the shelter manager saw much more than a failed hunter.

After 6 months in the shelter and a couple of failed adoptions, Beaux was posted with a plea for someone to rescue or adopt.
The story doesn’t end there but let’s just save that for another time. Beaux doesn’t work anymore, he’s too busy lounging in the sun, sleeping in my bed, and being my best friend.

Coonhounds aren’t for the faint of heart or shallow of character and a sense of humor is a definite must. However, if you’re patient enough, you’ll be rewarded with unconditional love.

Beautifully stated !! And I cannot praise coonhounds enough !!  There are some passionate people out there that say a coonhound is being “mistreated” if made to stay in a house!! UHHHH I have photographic proof that is NOT true!!

Dixie with her snuggly


The leonard curlie Q                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                  Mom, you were awake already right ?????


UHHHH, Don’t know about anyone else but I am NOT seeing any signs of mistreatment here !!! 










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The “OTHER” other side of rescue !!

Just on a roll about rescue hounds, fostering and transport. Over the last few weeks I have transported or picked up some of the nicest, sweetest and  beautiful hounds I have ever seen. It makes my heart so glad to know that I am part of  their future happiness with a furever family.   If you don’t feel like you can adopt or foster a dog, please consider transport as an option. Usually it is about 3 hours of time, meeting someone, transferring the dog or dogs into your vehicle,  driving to the next meeting spot, and handing the dog to the next leg of the transport. And THAT IS IT!! Such a small commitment time wise and otherwise yet you are saving a life.  Meet Rosie, Grayson, Pink, and Maverick.  All four of these dogs were in shelters or fosters, hoping and waiting  for homes. Some were urgent and in danger of being euthanized.  All helped and sponsored  by Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue, an organization that works tirelessly to save coonhounds and hound mixes. Rosie is on her way to a home in Wisconsin,  Pink, after being fostered in Alabama and Kentucky on her way to her new home in Grand Rapids Michigan, Grayson  and Maverick are being fostered in Kentucky, are now with their forever families in Ontario.  Look at these precious babies, and consider contacting a transport coordinator. I will be happy to hook you up !! Just let me know where you live !!




OK Let’s go !!


Bundled up and ready to head North

Pink on route with transport driver Lois







                                                             Foster Grayson (on right) playing with my RileyB

Do you need a close up?

Foster hunk Grayson


Foster puppy Maverick

Livin’ large  and lovin’ life !!!!!! Cute foster puppy Maverick



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Please consider helping hounds by opening your home and heart to a foster, or by joining a transport to help deliver a very deserving dog travel to a safe destination on their way to a new furever home !!!!  

From the despair and heartache of losing a hound that I knew so briefly, to the hope that rescue can bring !! Over the past two weeks  I transported some very deserving houndies.   Rosie, a  sweet houndie girl,  to the rescue in Ohio County that will be her next stop on the way to a wonderful new family. The process of moving dogs out to open shelter space for other dogs in need is critical in the process of saving dogs. Rosie was a happy girl and a champion traveler.  No matter how many times I help with a transport, it never ceases to amaze me how they KNOW!! They KNOW they are safe. They look at someone they have never met before with those trusting eyes and never miss a beat. These hounds will be amazing friends for some very lucky families!

OK !! Let’s go !!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Sweet houndie Hope and handsome treeing walker  Grayson were both listed as very urgent code red when Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue pulled them from a shelter in central Ky. Hope is now being fostered in Canada, and Grayson the gorgeous treeing walker is being fostered in Kentucky.

          Fostering saves lives!!!


This traveling business is hard work!    

Foster hunk Grayson                                                                                                    

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RIP Sweet Kurt


 Two cheeseburgers and a vanilla shake please

Please help me say goodbye to Kurt. In the space of one week he was pulled from a dog shelter in Kentucky courtesy of Jean Stone’s Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue and taken to a vet. He was so happy and cooperative! He had a dental and all vetting thanks to donors and his local team Kristie Jones and Lisa Sparkman. He seemed strong and healthy. He recovered from surgery and came to me as his foster. He played in the yard with his foster brother Riley, another GJ rescue.

HEY Riley !! Let’s go sniff around the yard!

But suddenly it all started downhill. Kurt was showing all the classic signs of pain – panting heavily, throwing up – first food then water,  crying, and frantically chewing on anything he could find.  My friend Erin helped me get him to  Bluegrass Vet in the middle of the night and he got a shot to kill the pain. And an X-ray that showed Cancer everywhere.

After many conversations  with his rescue team, and his vet, he was sent to the angels. His pain was too great.

Checking out the sights

Let Kurt be an example of the old stray coonhound who was loved and cherished and planned for. He had a plan and a future. He had a team of people who adored him and cheered his every step on the rescue path. Who knows who his original family was. They didn’t deserve him. He was a loving and peaceful and happy soul. We all loved Kurt.  I am a firm believer in “signs”.  And I believe the strongest ones come when you need them the  most. On the way home from the vet clinic after saying goodbye to Kurt, I saw a rainbow! It was twilight and I could barely see it, but it was there. I am believing that was Kurt, letting me know he made it across the bridge. Call me crazy but I really do believe that !!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Heartfelt thanks to Jean at Gentle Jake’s, Anna Nirva, Lisa Sparkman, Kristie Jones, my friend Erin, and the wonderful vets at Bluegrass vet for caring about sweet Kurt, and showing him love and comfort in his last days and hours.


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Happy Hounding! Coonie Candids!

Rainy Monday —  motivation? in the little to none range  — Need a couple of coonie candids to perk me up !!!

You said Dairy Queen right ??!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Hug me !!! I said NO !!!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Rollin’ in the grass, it’s a gas ! Baby can you dig it ??                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      #hounddoghappy

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Adopt A Coonhound !! Why???

Long Ears! Kid & Dog Friendly! Athletic! Musical Voice! Unique! An American Original!

Top 10 Reasons Why Coonhounds Are the Best Dogs Ever!

My Handsome Riley B

(1) Touchstone traits of a hound make them great pets. They are sweet, sensitive companions similar to many of the other popular hunting breeds like retrievers and pointers. Coonhounds are guaranteed to make you laugh with their silly personalities and sense of humor.

Uhh  that hole in the yard?  Have no idea !! But look how cute I am !!

(2) They are an American original. Born, bred and developed in the USA!

(3) Most are not aggressive seekers of attention so a gentle hand on their backs or a stroke to their soft ears quickly leads to melting contentment.

(4) Grooming doesn’t get much easier! A quick swipe over their short, slick coats, nail trim and ear clean will put the polish to a hound.

(5) Most hounds over two years old have a great on/off switch. Full of energy and ready to rock when a job is at hand, then content to laze on the porch or dog bed for hours when it’s quiet time.

(6) Coonhounds rarely “borrow trouble”. While they are far from innocent if an opportunity presents itself, they won’t invent or create problems.

(7) Bred and selected to be workers, they have few congenital issues or problems that show up in dogs bred for a particular “look”.

(8) Kid-friendly and dog-friendly! Many hounds were bred to hunt in packs, so they have great social skills for the dog park or in your home.

                                           HEY !!!  You come here often ????

(9) Soulful brown eyes to drown in and long silky ears to adore.

(10) Stripes and speckles, spots and solids, reds, blues, tan, black, white, colors galore!
But you won’t want a “coonie” if…

You tell em Phoenix !!

(1) You can’t think outside the box. It takes a kind hand and creative approach to train a coonhound.

(2) You aren’t prepared to take care of their needs for a warm resting spot in cold, northern climes. That smooth, short coat won’t offer much protection when snow and bitter winds come rolling in.

(3) You aren’t ready to ensure that your confinement is adequate. While some hounds will laze on the porch all day and obey your commands on an off-leash hike, many will run through invisible fences if there’s game to chase or show off their skills as excellent fence climbers and jumpers.


(4) Your neighbors like to hear a pin drop. Coonhounds were bred to announce the finding of game in a loud, musical voice ranging from a soft “woo woo woo” to a loud, blaring operatic aria. Hound song can be one of the most beautiful sounds you’ll ever enjoy in life, but it can lead to neighborhood discord unless you’re prepared to teach your hound when and where its appropriate to sing.


(5) Coonhounds are large, athletic dogs that need to go to charm school and need a place and time to stretch their legs. They won’t laze happily at your side without a bit of training and without a chance to exercise.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         This information shared from the Coonhound Companions web site – a great resource for all things coonhound!   

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