Setter Downs' African Queen
(a.k.a. Rosie)
January, 1998 - December, 2008

Rosie was a gorgeous B&T! She was bred for show by my high school band director, Al French. But being the stubborn hound that she was, she refused. In 2003, after Al's untimely death and a failed adoption attempt that landed her in a kill shelter, Rosie eventually ended up in our home in Orlando via B&T Coonhound Rescue. My husband and I adored her at Hello! She immediately established herself as Alpha female, second 'in command' only to our male yellow Lab, Diesel. Her transition from kenneled show dog to indoor companion dog was apparently a seamless one for her, as we quickly had a hard time finding space on our own bed to sleep and often had to physically move her to make room.

Rosie patiently helped nurture, train and discipline the younger dogs who came into our home. She learned to love camping in the Ocala forest, and adored squeaky toys - often treating them like her own babies. She was an excellent weather barometer and would violently shake an hour before the slightest cloud cover moved overhead. She was not a fan of shopping at PetSmart and we never did convince her that water could be fun. She didn't even like to get her feet wet. But she was so loved!

Rosie began a very rapid decline late last fall. Our vet tried in vain to diagnose the problem, but whatever it was it was elusive. She got so weak she could bearly eat or drink. And for those true B&T lovers you know when a coonhound doesn't eat it is a bad day indeed! On December 2, 2008, her eyes pleaded for relief, so we had her put to sleep. She is buried in our backyard in her favorite sunning spot. Now it is so heartwarming to look out and see the other dogs sitting close by - missing her too. One of the things I miss most about Rosie is hearing that low moan-like sigh that inevitably escaped her throat when she lay down in her favorite spot for an uninterrupted nap. We always knew everything was alright in her world.

We thank God; the late Al French, and Betty French of Setter Downs Kennel in Varnville, South Carolina; and Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue for arranging for Rosie to come into our lives. I have always strongly believed that once Al got settled into his new home in Heaven he and our Lord had a chat. It was this conversation that started the chain of events resulting in Rosie coming to us.
It was definitely a "God thing."

Carla and Les Howard

12 January 2009