|Matthew Fennewald and his new Black Mouth Cur, July.|
This story starts a few years back with the loss of my previous cur dog Kettle. She was quite the squirrel hunting dog and had a sense of mischievousness unlike any dog I had ever owned. If I was working in my shop and she perceived me to be ignoring her she would lower her body to the floor and slyly come sneaking up. Then, with one quick movement she'd snatch my hammer, file, chisel, or whatever other tool I happened to be using and had laying on my bench and off she'd run. After getting into the yard she would spin around, crouch down, drop the tool, wag her tail furiously and bark. Not one to let her down on her tom foolery I'd come running out hollering. Her hunting was just as full of life and fun as her play. As soon as I'd come out the door with my squirrel rifle that dog would just about go crazy with excitement, knowing what was about to happen. She seemed to know the difference in guns too, as this sort of behavior was reserved for the squirrel rifle only. On the hunt, her quick "yip yips" would let me know she was on the scent of a squirrel and was usually followed by the full blown treed bark all dog hunters know and love. Kettle's time was cut short however and a sad day it was to come home to hear the news that the smartest dog I'd owned was gone.
And so, this past November, when given the opportunity to get a new cur, this time a black mouth, I jumped at the chance. I named him July, and he seems to possess the same spirit and love of life that Kettle had. He also seems to already relish the idea of hunting and is a terror on the barn cats we have around. Though only half their size he doesn't hesitate at the sight of them to attempt to run them down and usually ends up with them treed in one of the many oak trees that dot my yard. I have started training him with both a coon tail and a squirrel tail tied on a string that I'll pull around and let him chase. Though not quite big enough for actual hunting I have been taking him to run the trap line with me and am impressed with his patience and obedience. I imagine it is no small deal when you're a puppy and want to tear into the raccoon in a trap and your master says no to be able to listen to the command. I'm looking forward to getting him out in the woods for some real dog hunting as soon as he's big enough.
Matthew Fennewald, Cotton, Missouri