Hound Dog Workout for One

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Hound dogs drool, but you probably knew that. I did, too. But did you know that when the drool starts to reach the floor, that’s the cue to do the shake?

What’s the shake, you ask?

It’s when the hound dog flings her head back and forth, batting herself with her mile-long ears, her face literally smacking her face, and flinging dog drool over anyone in the vicinity.

To be fair, Whoopi really only seriously drools when she drinks water. So, we’ve taken to watering her on the porch. Better for all of us because who wants to step her bare foot in a slippery pile of dog drool? (trust me on this one)

Hound dogs also bay. Like seriously loud. Ian says that when Whoopi is really barking he can feel it in his chest.

Ian and Whoopi have been spending a lot of time together. This is because he is the only person in the house large enough and strong enough to walk Whoopi on our property without great personal risk. (Ian is only 13, but he is 6 foot, 180 pounds of shot-put tossing muscle.)

As I’ve explained before, we live on a hill. Six acres of lovely countryside, but not a level spot of ground anywhere. Walking up the hill with Whoopi is nice. She is a sturdy tow-rope and it’s fairly easy going. Walking back down is another story. Once she has momentum on her side, I’m a goner. I stumble/run/ski along behind her like some kind of looney-tunes character, yelling “whoa” and pulling with both arms.

Walking both ever-enthusiastic Ginger (who is still here!) and Whoopi together is a silly idea.

I know this and yet this morning in a momentary loss of sanity, I decided that I’d take them both for a three mile jaunt up the road and back.

I’ve been a runner for many years now. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve read the recommendations that I should add an upper body workout to my exercise regime since running really only works you from the middle down. Us old people need to work out to avoid losing muscle mass. I’ve tried lifting weights in the basement but that’s just about as boring and tedious as sorting the silverware or going to the dentist.

Today, I discovered that running can be not only a good lower body workout but also an extremely challenging all-over workout. All you need is a 72-pound bloodhound determined to follow every scent that wafts by.

Our hollow echoed with me yelling, “LEAVE IT!” and “GOOD GIRL!” in between serious bicep building yanks that worked me all the way through my hamstrings and Achilles. It reminded me of a boot camp class I took years ago at the Y in which we had to tow truck tires across a parking lot. This was just like that, only imagine that the truck tires are gunning it in the opposite direction. Poor Ginger was a like a little rag doll each time Whoopi made for the hills, scooting along behind me all embarrassed at the end of her lead.

Comical doesn’t begin to describe it.

Add to this lovely scene the fact that Whoopi is spooked by large trucks and noisy cars and panics when they pass on our narrow road with no shoulder. Fun times.

We made it home and now Whoopi is sleeping on the deck and Ginger is snoring beside me and I feel like I’ve run a marathon.

I think I will be the first to admit I’ve taken on a little more than I can handle with this herd.

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Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and occasional cowgirl who lives on a hillside farm in Southern York County, PA. You can find information about my books and all my writing adventures on my website CaraWrites.com.

7 thoughts on “Hound Dog Workout for One”

  1. Lol, thank you for the post. We used to have Saint Bernards and had drool towels all over the house. This made me smile with good memories.

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  2. Lol! I have a bloodhound who is a trained search and rescue dog. She is amazingly obedient when working and practicing. However casually around the house, “LEAVE IT!” and “OFF!” are our biggest commands since she about 35 lbs bigger (the runt of her litter) than yours. She “surfs” every high surface. Counters, opening the breadbox on the counter, the kitchen sink, and the trash can when being changed from under the sink cupboard. She doesnt jump on people but I use both commands for the surfing. Lol! I discovered Whoopi while looking to adopt another bloodhound. Your land is beautiful!!!! I dont have that kind of space. Our fenced yard is called Fort Knox. It’s a large suburban lot. My girl, Maya Lou, is walked down to our private beach alot. I worry about pavement and sidewalk temps in the summer so we head to our cottages on the beach too. I wanted to know is she trained well to “come”? Is she trained off lead or on a long lead? What about food aggression, riding in the car, does she swim, and does she have to be crated if you leave the house? BTW I’m lucky not to have much of a drooler. Sorry about the questions but I was really curious about her. Please feel free to Em me at grosskopf@gmail.com Thanks!

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    1. Wow – your girl sounds quite impressive. I’ve read about how amazing bloodhounds are for search and rescue.

      I don’t think Whoopi had any good training when she was younger (she’s five). She came from South Carolina and was probably used as some form of hunting dog. She’s covered in scars, the worst one runs completely around her hips as if she was caught in a cable or wire at some point. I’m amazed at how trusting she is, considering what must have been a tough youth.

      She comes to a whistle and generally to her name, but I’ve never had her outside off a lead. I’m too worried she’d jump on a scent and end up in the next county.

      She’s generally good about food. Her previous foster taught her to wait to be invited to eat, and generally she will.

      She’s great in the car and I’m guessing she’d love to swim as she does drag me towards our creek. Someday I’m hoping to take her down there, but haven’t had time to brave the poison ivy.

      We do crate her when we are gone from the house because she’s so happy to go in her crate. I have a feeling she’s spent a good portion of her life in one, though. We only crate her because we have a lot of counter surfaces and three teenagers, so they are rarely cleared and the only safe place is on top of the fridge.

      She’s a sweetheart. I hope a hound person finds her soon.

      Thanks for reading!

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