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Celebrating Daisy Duke's 'gotcha day'

Joe Avento • Apr 7, 2019 at 4:00 AM

We recently had a celebration at our house. It was our first “gotcha day” for Daisy Duke.

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since we adopted this boisterous bloodhound who has lived it up enough — and caused enough trouble — to cover half a decade.

Since she joined our pack, there hasn’t been a dull moment.

I remember our first meeting like it was yesterday. It was at a park in Mooresville, North Carolina. We were already in Asheville, so a two-hour morning drive turned out to be well worth the trip.

We had no idea that drive would turn into such an exhilarating journey.

The minute a five-month-old pup lumbered up to me, stood up and gave me a slobbery kiss I knew. It was love at first drool.

A couple of days later, she was living in Johnson City.

Who knew that a year later, we’d be trying to break her habit of climbing up to kiss people? It was cute when she was young and you had to bend over to greet her, not so much now that she weighs 85 pounds, stands face-to-face when she’s on her hind legs and wraps her front paws around your neck.

It’s all good-natured fun, but the force behind her hug makes you feel like you’re being hugged by a bear.

We have joked about all the holes she is digging in our yard. Well, we joked about it when there were just a couple. Then when there were enough holes for a golf course, it was getting less humorous.

Now we could open a golf resort with more holes than we can count and it’s starting to wear on us. Rita the dog rescuer fills them in; Daisy Duke digs them out.

Then out of the blue, one day we caught Daisy Duke running through the yard with a small garden shovel in her mouth. It all became funny again. For the record, she doesn’t use the shovel to dig, at least not that we have witnessed.

That’s one of the best talents a bloodhound has. They test your limits until it drives you crazy and then do something so goofy that you can’t stay mad for another minute.

When I broached the subject of a new dog 12 months ago, Rita admitted she couldn’t say no. Not long before that our household had included six, counting rescues and fosters. Bringing Daisy Duke into the fold brought the current number to four.

In the year since Daisy Duke joined our family, I have been reminded on numerous occasions that we have other dogs as well. Bones the redbone hound, Fern the redtick hound and Piper the who-knows-what all know their newest step-sister gets all of the media attention and they seem OK with that.

Daisy Duke recently got some serious TV time when one of my friends, Paul Johnson, featured a video of her “singing” on the local news during their “Tail-Wagging Tuesday” segment.

“You haven’t seen anything until you’ve heard Daisy Duke hit the high notes,” PJ says as Daisy begins to bellow while I play the harmonica. “You just never know what she’s going to do next.”

That’s been true since the moment she came to live with us.

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