Hot on the Chase! There was always an abundance of working dogs at my grandparent’s farm. My grandfather, affectionately called “Pop,” some of his friends, and one of my uncles liked to go ‘coon hunting. My grandfather, who’d grown up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, raised some excellent Blue Tick coon hounds. He had spent many years in his youth following that same breed of dog in the mountains near Hiawassee, Georgia. In response to childish pleas, he would often let me lead one of the younger dogs around on a leash, pretending to hunt ‘coons. In actuality, the dog was being socialized so it could be handled by strangers. It was only much later in life that I learned that “my” men mostly used the hunt as an excuse to set out across the fields at night, find the nearest stump and sit down for a good bout of drinking. Once in awhile they would actually get a raccoon. They lost a dog one night when they didn’t follow on his baying trail, and he was unlucky enough to get caught in the water by a big old male raccoon. When the drink-fuddled men finally found the dog’s drowned carcass, the coon was still sitting on top of his head.