I’m joining in on Deb’s Wednesday Word link up again today. Today’s word is: challenging.
How does this relate to Hank’s birthday? Well, Hank is a bloodhound and bloodhounds by nature are extremely stubborn creatures. However, they are also very sensitive to correction and easily get their feelings hurt. As you can imagine, this mixture creates quite a challenge when trying to train and raise a bloodhound, and keep him from becoming unruly. Bloodhounds are also very large dogs (almost always over 100 pounds), so it’s important to have them well trained before they’re fully grown.
The challenge presented by a bloodhound is a rewarding thing, though. It requires you to work hard with your dog, thus bonding with him in the process. I think a lot of challenges we face in life are like this. Some are challenges we choose, like raising a puppy or running a marathon, while others are ones we just have to face. It takes hard work and dedication to overcome both types, but it’s so rewarding when we do!
Yesterday was Hank’s fifth birthday. I cannot believe Barry and I have had him for nearly five years. It seems like just yesterday we were picking up 7 week old Hank on July 4, on our way home from our honeymoon. He was so tiny back then, although 19 pounds is actually quite big for a 7 week old puppy.
He has grown from a rambunctious puppy into a strong and handsome dog. Hank loves chewing on a rawhide and playing fetch in the yard.
Most of all, he seems happiest when we’re all home and he can just relax with us and with Scout. Napping is a hobby he is very passionate about.
I got Hank shortly after graduating college, which also happened to be shortly after getting married. He’s the first dog I’ve ever been able to call truly mine and I couldn’t ask for a better “first dog.”
Hank is a bloodhound, and it’s very much apart of his nature to track. All of his features contribute to this – from the long ears that waft the scent into his nose, to his wrinkles which act as blinders to keep him from getting distracted. It’s ingrained in him, and using his nose is something he has done on his own from the time he was little. When he was a few months old, Barry and I started working with him tracking us. This past year, we became involved with a bloodhound Search & Rescue group. It has been amazing to watch Hank tackle challenges, improve, and learn new tracking-related skills.
In turning five, Hank is now officially middle-aged. He still acts young and runs around like a limber puppy, but he does have a few gray hairs growing in on his temples and muzzle. He’s not worried, though, as he hears the ladies find a touch of gray reassuring. A sign of wisdom and maturity.
He still likes to play, though. His favorite game is fetch – even though he’s not always the best at actually catching the ball!
We celebrated his birthday with a new birthday rawhide….
….and some puppy ice cream.
Scout got to have some too, of course, because it wouldn’t be fair to just give Hank stuff.Scout’s birthday is in August, so both dogs will get to celebrate again in a few months!
If you have pets, how old are they? What challenges have you faced with them?