I have a quiet one. My Bloodhound rarely barks. And her long, sorrowful bays only happen at night. Sleep baying. It wakes my husband and I up… but Frankie finishes each round, paws twitching, never opening her eyes. Not once. I can’t help but wonder which scent memories have been conjured up in her vivid dreams.
In spite of her quiet nature, she is still quite the talker and her powers of communication are a stunning display of hound-doggery.
Heavy sighs: Dinner’s late, she’s disgusted.
Throaty grunts: Hoping to score after-dinner treats, Frankie does a full-body fridge block and grunts when I ask her to move. My after-dinner workout includes pushing 85 pounds of hound dog out of the way and running the length of the house shaking a box of doggie treats.
High-pitched nose whistle: A supreme universal being has crossed her path… a cat! Both curious and fearful of felines, she lets me know one’s nearby and keeps a worshipful distance.
But for meaningful hound dog conversation, look to the paw.
The Power Paw. That left front foot tipped in purest white fur speaks a language that’s impossible to ignore. Whether she flings her empty ceramic bowl across the kitchen floor, scratches her snout before letting loose a mighty sneeze, thumps the edge of the bed letting us know she needs a middle-of-the-night pee, that left paw drives the message home.
Yet it’s the quietest moments when the paw speaks the loudest. In times of trouble or sorrow, like when I learned a dear friend had lost his battle with brain cancer, my Bloodhound reads my mood and senses my loss. Placing a paw on my leg, she comforts me. That’s the true power of the paw, friendship, and love. And sometimes that big pink tongue snakes out of her jowls and catches a tear or two.