Dogs, beer and a tree

A cross post: How tacky! But with the addition of food, it seemed, sort of, passable.

My dog can outrun your dog!  Probably...

Looking very stately, and calm — lies, belying his temperament. Perhaps, not quite the right word to describe his apoplectic fits, though harsher, certainly have been used: Psychotic, inappropriately.

For every step forward – alleviating anxiety, soothing the aggression — there is a steep slide back, and since leaving him for a week, it has been more akin to a marathon backwards, back over the steep dunes, wading through neck deep, fetid swamp waters, infested with piranha. Our conversations have been much more complicated, the trust whittled, back to near square one.

The chop has returned as his greeting, to visitors and passers by; he is well known throughout the neighborhood — it is not likely that anyone would attempt to enter our home uninvited… Sometimes, invited… He has an especial dislike of certain men, and just can’t let that go, no matter introduction, or time. Conversation is fine, attacking, obviously not — we had gotten to a point of reasonably brief hysteria. The dream of long walks with the hound, remain that, the few times we venture out are either early or late, and require a tremendous degree of psychological preparation and planning — especially for encounters with small, yippy dogs that run about unleashed. The dog jumps six feet from a stand and can simultaneously wriggle from the best harness; he can never be left unattended in the yard.
He has his moments.

Not like he would, though, because he'd rather chase your dog.

It’s truly amazing — those ears! He leaps to attention and runs to the window to await Jennie’s arrival — before the car has even turned down the street! Never misses anyone walking down the street, whether or not the blinds are drawn. His nose is purportedly amazing, also, though we’re not really certain, as he tends to bury it in whatever it is he wants to sniff. Fifty percent of his weight is concentrated in his back legs, and when he races in laps around the yard, doing figure eights around the pool and garden — it is the most elegant gallop you will ever see, his legs crossing in mid-air as he prepares to launch forward with his amazing hind legs, leaning sharply into turns like a motor-cyclist, digging his feet in, skillfully, never losing his footing, dodging and darting. He can shift his path in the blink of an eye — one of our favorite games as he races: I try to tag him, he’ll suddenly dart behind me as I try to spin and catch him on the backside.

Before we got him, we attempted to do a bit of research, and it was stated that hounds do not seek a lot of attention. Ranger needs a lot of attention — and re-assurance. If he has just met you, he will allow you to massage his backside — he’ll walk up with those gorgeous Gordon Lightfoot eyes, begging to be pet, then as you reach for his head he will slowly walk forward; back up, if you pull your hand away. Once you are, over many months, finally accepted into his close circle of trusted friend, only then will he ask you to pet his front portion, preferably, firmly yet gently, on the sides of the neck. He likes a good massage, there, as well as over his eyes, as if he has a stress headache he’s trying to alleviate.

His voice, was what sold us. His deep, rich and clear Gordon Lightfoot baritone. He will carry on extensive conversation, discussing Hume, or chastising Riley for steeling his food, or simply arguing with his owner for being lazy and wanting to sit on the couch when he could be out playing with his canine. I never dissuade him from this, only the chops (if possible, we’d love for him not to view guests as prey), though, most people do not care for the sugary, throaty curls, either. Hilariously, the old joke about the dog howling at the moon? One time it snuck up on him and he ran into the garden fence with alarm, yowling away! Hilarious! And he wouldn’t stop! I did, eventually, ask him to come inside, as the neighbors were gathering pitchforks and torches.

When a hound owner hears that familiar yowl, they are instinctively drawn to it, seeking out the animal and hopefully, owner, to give a high five (Oh yeah! I trained him to high five!) to one or both and possibly get scratched in the face. Hound owners like to share stories, commiserate, they love to try to guess Fox/Walker/Redbone/Bluetick, or which mix. Only hound owners can understand how challenging working with these animals can be — they are working dogs, designed to GO! They know hunting, and do it exceptionally well. They are extraordinarily affectionate and intelligent — and expressive. Once you become a hound owner — there is a breaking in period; once you are broken, they will let you back in to your house — you cannot imagine not having them in your life.

There are very few Treeing Walker Coonhounds around this area, so we were looking forward to our trip to Short’s brewery, up in Bellaire, not only for the beer, but also, because the owner was reported to be a TWC owner as well! Proudly displaying pictures of his own, behind the bar. There were, no pictures of pups at the pub, when we arrived, and Jen asked the waitress, what of it. The dog, we were told, had been replaced.

Bitterly, we imbibed a Rhu Calliente, then Huma Lupa Licious to wash down a tree.

Or, even, just run alongside, because that's how he is.  Or, if it's a nice, warm, sunny day, he'll probably just stretch out in the sun.

A tree, in this case, being a turmeric roasted, cauliflower sandwich, with potatoes and slightly sweet compote.  I would ditch the potatoes for some fresh spinach, but they didn’t ask.

Very tasty, but perhaps not the best pairing with the Rhu — if one likes bitter ales, this is one that will grow on you.  Really, really nice flavors:

A hazy pale yellow Belgian India White Ale with impressive aromas of sweet lemon, bright grapefruit, subtle nutmeg and hints of pine. Caliente hops and Belgian yeast create a fruit filled bubblegum sensation, that’s enhanced further by the addition of tart rhubarb. The finish turns abruptly toward an intense spicy bitterness that smacks the palate leaving a lasting dryness.

Neat little town, Bellaire — wait!  What?  You thought this story was going to be about what?


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