Thank you all for the help I received in getting our dog Cletus (formally Clinton). Here are a couple of pictures of him.
When we first got him he was extremely underweight, a little timid, and very short on table manners. He was so thin and starved that the first few times we fed him he was trying to eat the food as we poured it into his bowl. He has some table manners now, as well as finally being at a healthy weight. He has learned to wait until we give him permission to come into the kitchen to eat, and he no longer eats like we are going to take his food away from him.
When we first got him we thought he was absolutely 100% harmless. That opinion has been modified a little bit. Heís harmless with dogs and people, and he's great with kids. He is, however, a danger to cats, squirrels, and other small furry woodland creatures. In fact the first time he howled around us was when he wanted to go in hot pursuit of a squirrel. If he sees a cat or a squirrel he goes straight into hunting mode. I must admit that I encourage him a little bit in this neighborly behavior, but in my defense Iíve even had some neighbors cheer Cletus on when heís on a trail howling. I promise I slow him down way too much to do any real harm to another animal, and while we have treed a cat and some squirrels we will never actually hurt them.
He was in bad shape when we got him, mostly from being neglected. We were lucky if he could walk for half a mile when we first got him. Now he easily goes for 3 miles, and I can run him for a little over half a mile before he falls back. In fact after only having him a couple of weeks we participated in a dog walk for charity in Austin, and he had no problem with it. He even met a one eared English coonhound, and a Blue tick. He walks wonderfully on the leash with the one exception of him seeing a small furry animal that is not another dog.
For the first couple weeks the only time he made any noise was when we put him in his kennel, and after 3 nights of him howling for 40 minutes or more about being in the kennel, I gave up the fight and now the big baby sleeps next to our bed at night. I think heís realized that heís not going anywhere, and after having him for about a month his personality is starting to shine through. He used to be a nearly silent dog. Now he whines when heís thirsty and his water bowl is empty, if we have not started his walk by 7pm he will definitely lets us know, and he howls with excitement when we come home. When my wife and I come home at the same time he will ping pong between us howling at one, and then howling at the other. The only other time he makes noise is when he grunts while getting an ear rub.
He craves attention, and will make sure he is in a room with someone else at all times. Iíve learned that he loves his ears being rubbed, and if you are petting him he will lean into you so much that heíll slide down your leg and onto his side. I donít think anyone can complain about that.
Thank you all so much for helping me and my wife find our dog. I am constantly trying to direct people here to rescue even more coonhounds. If 6 year olds had any say there would be at least 2 more saved. I cannot thank all the people that helped me enough in getting him. Everyone from Jerry Dunham who I talked to at length on the phone in the beginning, to Deborah who at the end of the process came to make sure we had a fence tall enough for a Coonhound and has continued to help my wife and I with pointers on training.
One final thanks goes to Jayne. Thank you for pointing Cletus out to us. He had not made the website yet, and without you pointing him out to us we may have gone with another dog. Heís the perfect fit, stubbornness and all. He is a GREAT dog.