Last February, I adopted a rescue Black & Tan Coonhound from Tennessee, a female about 11 months. Many of you helped me name her Scout - and sometimes I called her Sweet Pea. She was found along a road and while very thin didn't appear or act as if she had been abused - maybe just lost. We were lucky to have found her.

She was a terrific dog - oh-so-gentle, oh-so-graceful, sensitive, playful, intelligent, easy to get along with and easy to please - and very beautiful. She liked and trusted everyone. She brought joy to our lives and she lived joyfully – I can see her now spot a squirrel or locking onto a scent as she crisscrossed yards with that powerful nose to the ground. She was also very quiet, but in April, she discovered her distinctive coonhound voice and would occasionally howl while chasing or treeing animals in the back yard and at Cambridge on the Eastern Shore.. She would have made a good working dog.

She loved everyone - and everyone loved her. She loved bones – real, rawhide, and toy (and many are buried in the back yard), .Abigails's old toys, Little Falls Creek and walks where she could be off-lead (especially the long weekend walks) chasing geese, ducks and deer at the Eastern Shore, and the down love seat in the library.

She could so softly take the stuffing out of a dog toy – but not so much you couldn’t put it back so she could do it again tomorrow. She knew how to relax like no dog I have known before, those long legs, neck and tail completely stretched out A true daughter of the sultry South, she didn’t like it when the air-conditioning was turned on a few weeks ago. She didn't like traveling in a car, but the one boat trip she took with us at Cambridge over Memorial Day she was relaxed and I was hopeful of having another hound who would be a good water dog. She drank Chesapeake Bay water and brought me a crab. She ate like a lady and gained weight and height (Black & Tan females are about 50 lbs and 29” at maturity)...until about two weeks ago when she seemed very tired and I blamed it on the 97-degree weather.

She and I made a pact that we would have 15 good years together. But it was not to be. She was diagnosed yesterday with acute canine leukemia and she didn't have a chance. Life just isn’t fair sometimes. She's buried here at Tilden Street with Sam, our beloved mixed Ohio hound (1991-2004) and Devon and Maggie (the two English setters from the Margaret Thatcher 80s). The others were too big for me to carry home and bury - the collie Choo-Choo; the Newfoundland Sheba, and the Bloodhound Remy.

I will miss her. I'm sorry that all of you didn't get to know her personally. You would have liked her too.

Nancy Dutton

2 July 2008