Considering The Latter Lives of Sleeping Hound Dogs
An Honest Introduction is Needed . . .
to begin this rather sensitive piece. Why? Why not? I see the world and society in it as mostly-a hypocritical hey, day of each saying what they feel and not living-up to whatever they say. If it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, it is someone else’s fault . . .certainly not mine. Isn't that how Modern Man thinks? Women too, but not here. I think way too much of women to think like Modern Man with his lies and maneuvering.
Some time ago, years to be honest, I was blessed to be able to hear and enjoy this short story that my friend, Alfred, (his real name), read aloud in our fifth-grade year and the piece impressed me so much that I shared it with my wife and daughter many times.
The writer, James S. Tippett, who wrote this piece, was so simple and to-the-point that a tear welled-up in my left eye and I began to tremble with my emotions that were overwhelmed with appreciation about Hound Dogs and Their Older Years of Life, something like that. Honestly, I cannot think of the real title. Just glad to be able to call back the writer's name. Honestly.
Before I head further into this appreciation of Old Dogs, the friend of mine in fifth-grade was Alfred Cochran, and he lives in the same hometown as mine: Hamilton, Ala., he is married to a nice lady, Glinda, and she was recently-elected as our county coroner in her first time out of the chute, as it were. But the name of what he read eludes me. I suppose that is okay--after all, this piece was not about Tippet's short story. This one is about what I thiink about Old Hound Dogs.
Time to get Philosophical . .
here for a moment because being in a philosophical mindset is fine, but only for a sentence or two because if I got any longer than two sentences being philosophical would be like me sitting at a table eating a freshly-made strawberry pie. And if the pie was all I ate, I would be sick. You would as well. That is my life is a mixture of many ingredients.
I see the Old Hound Dogs as a once-working hound who was a great hunter, maybe treeing raccoon's in some tall trees in a swampland area and the hound's owner, a proud man, would be calling the hound's name a wonderful way to keep him motivated and keep up the chase in order to scare the raccoon into jumping to the ground so the men raccoon hunters can catch it and release it in an hour or so, because here we are in 2019, and Modern Man does NOT eat the likes of raccoon. Opossum, maybe. But no raccoon's.
Yes, the Old Hound is enjoying the wisdom of his youth by simply finding a good place in the sun and absorbing as many rays as he can before supper. He is so much in slumber that he will not bark, much less howl, because to him, the days of him howling and barking were devoted to the owner's kids, grandkids, and the owner when he was a young man and loved to take out into a dark night and let this hound (and others) chase a big boar raccoon to just see if this hound can still cut the mustard or not.
But this old hound dog realized a few months ago that his hunting days were over. And not a moment too soon because, (and his owner didn't know it) his hearing was not what it used to be--of course, nothing is. But the old hound is happy enough to get to the porch after a hefty dog dish of Purina Dog Chow and relax in the sun. If he were a human and just "put out to pasture," he might feel the twinge of guilt as he lay on the porch to watch other dogs riding in their owner's trucks and probably taking them to the vet for their annual shots or for something else . . . but not this hound. He is learning quickly how fun it is to NOT be in a hurry for anyone or anything. And during the first few days, he had no inkling that relaxing could be this much fun.
In Another Time . . .
this hound dog was in peak physical condition. Not as much with this dog right now. Just last night he tried to run across the yard and had to stop long enough to get his breath, but he is not so naive as to try and convince himself that he will suddenly be young all over again. Not on your life. He knows that he is old, but very fulfilled. He also knows that a lot of raccoons got away. But the same amount of raccoons was caught by him and gave them to his owner. This hound dog can even recall every detail of the last Raccoon Hunt that he and his owner was on that rainy Friday night near the owner's wooded property.
What a jubilation that he (the hound dog) felt when the dog's owner took the squirming raccoon and placed him in a burlap bag and within an hour, he was set free, but during these moments, the hound dog knew that all he was seeking now was rest and good place in the sun.
Such as Tippet's short piece about the old hound dog seeking a buzzing fly and then watching a rabbit in a dream that was running by. What a simple, yet-prophetic piece of writing this piece was, and although in all honesty, I would love for this story just to be included in Tippet's story, but too many times, one can produce a product that the producer knows in is heart that his product is good only have some expert knock it down with a big stick.
Enough knocking. Enough big sticks. I just appreciate you for taking the valuable time in reading what I felt about an old hound dog that I did see several years ago and when I retired, somehow I recalled on the last day of work that I performed, how it felt, possibly the same as it did for the old hound dog---first happy, then frightened of the unsure future, then a settling of what little product that I had helped to produce and those who bought my product were happy.
I guess in the very latter of days, both the old hound and me, were thinking and feeling the same way: Fulfilled. Our days were numbered. Now we wait. Just wait.
April 13, 2019______________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery