Redneck Tales, ep. 1

And now for something completely different, hopefully to lighten the mood and inject some much-needed humor into an otherwise bad situation.

Tales from my redneck youth. Yes, I grew up a redneck: farm, hunting, guns, whole shebang. I mostly grew out of it, but I have some pretty good stories to come out of it. Perhaps there’s no better place to start than some of my childhood pets since they’ll likely come up again in the future: black and tan coonhounds.

Not my actual childhood pet, a stock image pulled from Wikipedia. It does the job.

The first thing you’ll notice is they look like some sadistic fuck crossbred a doberman and a mastiff. Which is good enough, because unless sufficiently motivated they’re some of the kindest, gentlest, most loving and attention-whorish dogs you’ll ever meet. They’re scent hounds, and probably the most surprising them about them is they’re loud — they’re vocal as hell, they have a deep and authoritative baying howl, and you can hear them for miles when they start up. There’s little funnier than watching a black and tan full-out charge somebody while baying, and that person having no clue what breed the dog is and panicking, when all the hound wants is a quick friendly sniff, a scratch on the head, and maybe even a treat.

Of course, when sufficiently motivated…watch the fuck out. They have an extremely strong prey drive, they can and will take down cougars (I was around when one instance actually happened), and they take down motherfucking bears in packs. Lesser known, is the fact they make fantastic guard dogs, mostly out of intimidation factor but also because they’re fairly empathetic dogs, can suss out fairly quickly a person’s intent, and they can and will turn that prey drive against hostile humans.

Such was the case about twenty years or so back when some jackass intruded onto my family’s property at the time. It was probably some idiot teenager looking to vandalize shit as was usually the case. The family had been in bed maybe an hour when the dogs started raising hell; that happened a lot, but they usually shut up in a few minutes on their own…not that night. My dad and I went outside to see what the hell was the matter, and got out the door just in time to see some poor fuck running straight into the forest across from our property with our dogs in hot pursuit.

Dad and I could have called them off, chained them up (we usually let them run free, since it was the country, they behaved themselves, and were generally lazy motherfuckers whose most frantic period of activity was dinnertime), and called it a night…but we were bored and wanted to see how this turned out. The dogs gave chase for about ten or fifteen minutes, changed to their treeing bay (hound thing, when their prey is cornered or chased up a tree they change from a short, higher-pitched bark to a deep howl), and not long after that went quiet. We figured the dogs treed the intruder, got bored and gave up, or had chased the intruder to their car or ATV at which point the intruder got away.

That is, until the dogs came back, one of them carrying a shredded pair of pants. As close as we were ever able to tell, the dogs chased the intruder to the point he had to climb a tree to get away, which is just about the dumbest thing you could ever do to get away from pissed-off coonhounds, and he either had to take his pants off and throw them to the dogs as a distraction, or fell out of the tree and was relieved of his pants by the dogs. The dogs were proud as hell of their prize, too, they presented the pants to us, rose hell until they got treats, and proceeded to tear the pants into an unrecognizable lump of denim by chewing and tug-of-war.

It was also the only time anyone ever trespassed on our property.