It's Okay to Brag About Your Dog

It's just not okay to brag about your dog while it's still alive.

I was reading an article about the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard Labor Day Celebration—an annual fundraiser with music, food, a “liar’s contest” and all sorts of hound-related items for sale—when I came across an interesting epitaph:

"Bragg. The Best Coonhound East of the Mississippi."

Little tough to quantify, don't you think? Maybe Bragg's owner was just trying to be ironic, given the dog's name. Regardless, I appreciate the sentiment. I don’t brag much about my dogs while they're alive (not that there's ever much to brag about), but after my dogs pass on to the big WMA in the sky, I see no harm in telling people how I felt about them. After all, once a dog no longer walks amongst us, he can't adhere to a steadfast rule: To boast publicly of a gundog's ability is to ensure he'll embarrass you during the next hunt. All that the ghosts of dogs past can do when I overstate their abilities is blush.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Some of the gravestones pictured at the coonhound cemetery’s website make that clear. It's obvious the owners of the 200-plus interred coonhounds (all of which were hunting dogs and a few of which were national champions) adored their animals. Regardless of your preferred breed, I'm sure you can relate.

I, for one, can’t even look at the dog-bone shaped urn on my fireplace mantle for terribly long without sensing a curious salty liquid welling in my eyes. The urn contains the ashes of FC Sunrise Hey Dude, the best springer spaniel to ever live east of the Mississippi.

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