I grew up with dogs, but I had never heard of a Treeing Walker Coonhound before. Elizabeth and I had looked for a rescue dog for quite some time, but had not found the right match for one reason or another. However, the second we saw Raleigh staring into the camera with his big ears and broken leg we knew we had found our dog.
We officially met Raleigh for the first time in a parking lot in Connecticut. He was in a van filled with other dogs that were also being rescued from a kill shelter in North Carolina. Raleigh did not jump up and lick our faces; he approached us cautiously and with curiosity. On the ride back up to Cambridge, he sat in the back seat calmly looking out the window as dogs often do. We knew it would take time for Raleigh to be completely comfortable with us and our home…
His story is a bit heartbreaking. He was originally a hunting dog, but he is extremely anxious of loud noises and so he was left in the woods. I am unsure of how long he was on his own, but it likely was not long as he ended up being hit by a car – resulting in the broken leg mentioned earlier. From there he went to a high kill shelter, to a no kill shelter, and then to someone’s home. His original adopter had some sort of accident where his broken leg was either put in danger or had pressure applied to it and so he snapped. That person, reluctantly, gave Raleigh back as the accident left too many issues with trust – and a dog like Raleigh simply needed someone that had strong foundation at trust at the very start.
Knowing that story, we felt and still feel lucky to have Raleigh as a part of our family. He keeps us company when we go running. He gently climbs on our laps and shoves his head under our arms (he’s a great snuggler). And he remains a dog that needs patience and persistence: he’s ~OK with kids, not so great with other dogs, and he’s been known to cause destruction on occasion. But he’s great with us.