Chase is an all-American hound
Joy began when I volunteered to mentor a dog at our local animal rescue. The oath I made to myself was to stay with Chase, an “all American Hound,” until he was adopted to a loving family or individual. When I began my journey with Chase, he was very nervous and anxious to leave the run that he shared with three other abandoned friends.
At first, I didn't see the beauty in this beast. Chase tugged on his lead and when we visited the dog park he was more curious with the surroundings than a relationship. He sniffed the ground, walked the fence, and marked his territory. Chase and I eventually established a routine and he was the first to bound out of his run's door and lifts his head for his lead. We always stopped by the front door for treats, where he selected a few to take to the park. I knew Chase was responding to my attention when his long black tail no longer hung down between his brindle legs. His espresso coat was accentuated with an earthy brown undercoat and dollops of white on his chest. Chase's brindle tipped ears flopped as he took long, easy strides, and his lengthy black tail curved high over his back and wagged in the air. He embraced the freedom of the park to play, run, and take many a splash in the dog park's pond. Slowly, I had earned his trust and companionship.
Occasionally during our visits, Chase only wanted to sit next to me on the picnic table for a long hug or scratch. He would lean as close as possible as if he wanted to shield me from the wind or cool outdoor temperatures. Many times he would just lie down and chew on a rawhide treat. When I would move, he would pick up his chew and move, too. Even when Chase seemed occupied, he never let me out of his sight.
After four months of spending valuable time with Chase, we became best friends. His gentle spirit and playfulness touched my heart. He would run through the tunnel for a treat, or approach children in the park and give them a lick as thanks for their hugs. Many a race and tumbles would occur with other dogs in the park. Splashes neck deep into the pond for a good bath was a favorite.