By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Every few months, coonhound and beagle lovers and adopters, unified by their connection to Northeast Coonhound Rescue (NECR), take a group walk as a way of celebrating all things hound. NECR, a dedicated dog rescue that helps relocate Southern hounds to new homes in New England and beyond, often features its adoptable dogs on Hometown Weekly’s Pet of the Week page. On Saturday, October 31, humans and their lovable hounds gathered for a walk around the Elm Bank property on the Dover/Wellesley line.
Participants gathered in the parking lot to introduce themselves, have some coffee and donuts, and gush over each dog before beginning the trek. No one ever expects it to be snowy on Halloween, but walkers were prepared for the excursion despite the conditions. They dressed in boots, coats, gloves, and hats, while their furry friends dressed in costume for the holiday.
When the group was ready, they began walking onto the trail, boots, and paws crunching through the snow. Some of the walkers struggled with the icy ground, while many of the dogs pulled on their leashes to get ahead of the group. Luca, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, was fittingly dressed as a bumblebee as he tried to pull his owner to be in front.
There are always obstacles on trails when it snows, and the walkers knew it from the moment they stepped on the Elm Bank grounds. Dogs and their owners climbed under downed trees, dodged tree branches, and snow-hidden rocks. They reached out and grasped other walkers to avoid falling down. Some of the dogs enjoyed stuffing their heads into the snow to take in all the smells that nature could offer. Many other visitors stopped to ask members of the group if they were part of a club.
"Just the hound-loving club," replied one walker as his dog led him ahead.
For many, the best part of the experience was seeing how happy the dogs were about being with one another, and enjoying the trail. “You don’t know how many dogs are going to show up, but we usually have a nice turnout and it’s just so fun to see the joy of the dogs,” said Kathy Egan, an organizer of the walk.
“It’s fun to see all the dogs that were adopted long ago and now when they’re all settled in, as pets with their owners,” added Ann Lambertus, president of NECR. “It’s good for people who don’t have hounds yet to meet with owners and find out if these dogs are a good fit.”
By the end of the walk, owners and dogs alike were soaked from the falling snow, tired from trying to keep up with each other, and ready to continue with holiday festivities: a perfect start to the weekend for members of the hound-loving club.