Francis (a found hound)

written by Joe Giampietro

Story begins in June of 2006, Out near Gilmer /Braxton or Calhoun County West Virginia.

Heading up route 33 towards Spencer I came across a rather old Treeing walker walking down the highway. I stopped and he came over to me, He weighed about 30 pounds and appeared to be on his last legs. I took him in my truck and started to feed him. He ate which was a good sign. The spot I found him in had no habitation for a few miles, no signs of missing dogs or such. I went to the animal control and there wasnt any missing dog warnings, (btw the animal control was just starting up so was new to the area). Instead of letting them put him down I took him back to Virginia with me.

After some in laws saw him they wrote him off and said the old dog wouldnt make it a few days. He appeared at least 12 years old maybe as old as 14, His right ear was tattooed with an A ? and some cross type symbol..He also had a mole on his snout/ the vet removed it..Well here I am writing his story two plus years later. I named him Francis.

Getting him vetted and getting the worms and ticks off him and cleaned up and eating reguarly again was a challange but worth it. After a little while he was tracking on his own.

He would just take off and track and would bay at a coon. He would wander and track until someone came to find him. That first summer I left a bag of dog food out by accident and this coon would come out and help himself, when Francis would go out he would go nuts and follow the trail all over. He seemed to enjoy it immensely. I purchased him some "Coon Tune" gel so he could track and work a bit. He enjoyed that as well. He enjoyed wandering and following the coons around this way, one time ending up in a large creek overnight. Spent the morning looking for him and there he was, Just waiting to come home after his hunt.

Francis had bouts of vestibular disorder where he couldnt walk for a few days at a time and then would get better on his own. He once came down with pancreatitus and beat that as well. He was a tough old dog. Francis seemed to beat all that life threw at him, a strong and good dog. He finally lost his fight a few days ago the morning of October 28th. His old heart just gave out.

He has lain in state in the pine box I made him with his favorite posessions for the past two days. His burial will be on Friday Oct 31st.

I am writing this in order to celebrate his life, He had hunted before and was trained well by whoever he hunted with. I have included a few photos in hopes someone may recognize him and at least know he had a good last few years and even in his passing has been given the respect he deserved. Please feel free to post this in his memory, and also to help further the American tradition he was part of and evidently excelled at. He was a wonderfull dog, good with the little ones, good all around. He will be missed.


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