Showsight Presents the Treeing Walker Coonhound

JUDGING THE TREEING WALKER COONHOUND

By Amanda Alexander

H er name was Tim’s Creek Faith. She was a five-month-old frisky pup out of a nice Hardwood Echo female and sired by Tim’s Creek Bob. She wasn’t my first Tree- ing Walker coonhound but she was my first coonhound pup that was purchased with the express purpose of campaigning in licensed Nite Hunts. She was starting to put the whole raccoons climb trees and are fun to chase scenario together when I acquired her from Don Abernethy of Hickory, NC. I had known Don Aber- nethy, his father Harold owned a small convenience store, my whole life. I had went to school with his two daughters and his son and had in fact been ask to leave class and report to principal Stone by his wife who often substitute taught at my school. Don was an avid Beagler, turned coonhunter, and the consummate hounds- men. To say that he had a way with dogs is a gross understatement. Whether it be experience or just an inherent way with dogs, Don always seemed to know the right thing to do at the right time with his coonhounds. Faith’s sire Bob was one of the best if not the best coonhound I have ever had the pleasure to hunt with and I was honored to get a pup by Bob. It would not be my last. Faith had beautiful rich colors, and was a friendly tail-wagging dog that lived for a pat on the head and to hear the words, “Good job.” To kill time at the events, I trained and practiced with Faith to compete in the Bench Shows. She would be eligible at the age of six months while her Nite Hunt career was still a few months away. My show career one could say started as a way to “do something” with my dog during the daylight hours.

“MY FIRST WIN AT A COMPETITIVE DOG SHOW

would come not at a small event but at a larger Regional Qualifying Event in Seagrove, NC.”

I would learn a tremendous amount while showing Faith. For the first five shows I attended the lesson would involve losing with grace. My step-brother Terry would attend these events with me and most often it was he that would be fuming at the conclusion of judging. I was being “out handled” as they say and had to step up my game. My first win at a competi- tive dog show would come not at a small event but at a larger Regional Qualifying Event in Seagrove, NC. Th ese events are

scheduled to qualify dogs for the World Coonhound Championship. I would show Faith there against some top breeders and handlers and I would win Best Female of Show honors. As I waited patiently for the o ffi cials to fill out my win slip, I would learn another valuable lesson. Max Sum- merlin was filling out slips along with David Gardin. Both have been my friend from this moment forward. Max handed me the win slip and said, “ Th is is your win slip and this paper states that you are

286 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2014

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