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The American Foxhound

 

Well, I have been strolling down memory lane with this one. Truly. I mean, how many kids get to bring a hound home to have her puppies and then get to experience the joy of opening a stall door and seeing a litter of tiny foxhound puppies come bounding out!? Oh, what joy.

Daddy and Jumbo, Kelly and Top, Kim and Signal, Me and Rookie, Momma and Alfie

The cutest ever. So this week has been a sort of “happy time” revisiting for me. Just today I sat and talked with my sister about our experiences and memories of foxhunting in MS. Run-away horses that came from the race track who were hard to handle in the field but eventually made lovely hunters. Hounds… the Walker pair named Mason and Dixon. Too funny.

My memories of the hounds themselves were very sweet, jovial, loving and affectionate. How they listened to the sound of the horn and my father’s voice (the Huntsman).

Its hard to forget the sound of a hound on the trail of a fox, or the shout of a “Tally-Ho” (when the fox is seen). There is barking… and then there is the bay or cry of a hound. Much different.  The heart races… in the horse and the rider at the sound of a hound on the scent.

I recall waiting with a group of 20 or so other riders as my dad “cast” the hounds into a wooded area. Everyone quiet and listening. How exciting it was to hear the cry of one hound… then two… then the whole pack. The horses heads would pop up. Their ears pricked forward… listening.  As the pack opened in full cry, the horses danced- ready to follow.

I have never known of a fox getting hurt or killed when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was older that I hear of how different hunting could be. Our hounds “ran them to ground”… into their holes until another day.

There was the knowledge that if there were no fox there would be no sport. It was all in the chase. There were many stories of fox “playing” with their pursuers, running in circles, confusing the hounds and then going to ground. I hope that sort of hunting can still take place, for the history, the sport and lovely, bounding foxhound.

 


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Gorgeous print and fabulous memories!Thanks for sharing.

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Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.

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