We’ve always had dogs in our family: Jeffry was raised by German Shepherds and Emily was raised by Keeshonden. When we got married, the first thing we did after finding a dog-friendly apartment was bring a rescued beagle-corgi named Penny into our lives. Then when we bought our first house, we got Penny her own rescued senior beagle (Bella) to keep her company and cured her separation anxiety for good. But after nine years of marriage, two children, and a cross-country move to California, first Penny and then Bella both passed over the Rainbow Bridge and we found ourselves in a home with a dog door, two children dropping food on the floor, and no dog to keep things clean.

Rather than start vacuuming under the kitchen table, we decided it was time to look for a dog! We had a traumatic experience rescuing a dog whose separation anxiety led her to attack the children, so when we came to visit Emily’s parents at their cabin in Grover, UT for several weeks in the summer of 2018 we felt discouraged and missed our kid-friendly hounds. Emily’s parents suggested that if we were looking for a dog, we should talk to Color Country Animal Welfare, since they rescue dogs who have been lost in the desert and often have more animals than they can find placements for. Emily didn’t have high expectations, but she gamely went online and starting browsing their Facebook page.

Enter Izzy, a young Treeing Walker Coonhound who had been found starving and emaciated, yet was still happy to be around people. She had been found nearly a month before and her foster parents were running out of time to keep her before their own summer travels began. Emily and Will (5) went to meet her. On that first meeting, she allowed Will to hug her without showing any signs of stress. She allowed us to feed her treats and then take them away without any aggression, despite still being significantly underweight. Every time Emily called her name, her tail wagged and she grinned.

CCAW allowed us to foster her for a few days to see her temperament. We discovered she was completely tolerant of both our rambunctious 5-year-old, Will, and our dog-obsessed toddler who wanted to snuggle. She got along wonderfully with Emily’s parents’ dogs, playing for hours with their puppy. She definitely showed high spirits and energy and had no house manners whatsoever besides being trained to potty outside, but her enthusiasm, extroversion, and love of people was evident from the beginning. We signed the papers and when we drove back to the San Francisco Bay Area, we brought a dopey, friendly Coonhound named Izzy with us.

She responded well to training, particularly crate training and leash training. Our first walk at the cabin she ripped the leash from our hands and led us on a chase for miles, until we thought we’d lost her. Now she can be walked by the 5-year-old without tugging at the leash. Whenever she goes on walks we get stopped by people wanting to admire her sleek beauty. While she accepts their affection (and adoration) eagerly, she simultaneously leans against Emily’s leg as if to say, “Sure, I like you, but this is my human.”

Emily Deckenback, October 2018