Meet four kindred spirits: Georgia, Gabby, Ike and Rick. Georgia is five years young, spunky and quick, friendly one minute, aloof the next, a mirror image of her daughter Gabby, a mouthy squirt with a competitive drive that pops up every time the going gets tough.
Ike, on the other hand, is a more laid back individual, another blood relative but unlike the others in drive and mouth. Then there’s Rick, the so-called owner of the first three but in reality, the person who drives the pickup, buys the food, and yes, cleans up the yard.
The foursome is often seen together, busting their way through briars and brush, yelling and howling, and chasing here and there. Chasing nothing but a smell for the most part but hey, it’s their favorite thing, something that is bred in and as natural and instinctive as anything could ever be.
On less exciting days, Rick Truman operates a busy insurance agency in Carrollton. His beagles, Georgia, Gabby and Ike, could do without the insurance business because it interferes with their purpose in life, that of rounding up every rabbit they can. And so on every opportunity the four of them head for the hills.
Hunt or hike, it matters not. In fact, Truman would just as soon enjoy the joy of the watching and listening as the tiny hounds work like determined gold miners to sniff out hiding bunnies and track them through every tangled mess of thorns and weeds imaginable. The majority of chases end only when the rabbit goes to ground or winds up in a hunter’s jacket.
Truman had one fine beagle for over a decade, a dog and an outdoor activity he embraced. As his best buddy aged and slowed, Truman began to think about a new floppy-eared replacement. Thus, he adopted Georgia, who by all observations may have been the one that did the adopting.
Georgia is what could be called a rabbit machine. She searches for them, jumps them, and pursues them with a vengeance. Every hunters dream hound. Truman decided that he ought to expand his four-legged holdings and bred Georgia with a talented beagle from across town. He kept two of the pups, the makings of his twelve-legged pack.
“They all have their own personality,” Truman said as he instructed his hounds to search for a rabbit on a fine winter afternoon.
Georgia is bit mouthy, Gabby a bit competitive, and Ike a lot easy going. He’s bigger and slower but he’s going to be a good one, Truman said.
In three hours of non-stop rabbit chases, Truman’s hounds proved their worth, scouring the Carroll County hills for game and all the while singing the announcements of their progress in a musical rhythm of howls that echoed through the valleys and trees.
As Truman rounded up his hounds and loaded them for the ride home, it was apparent that thoughts weren’t on the day’s end but on the next time this foursome could be back in the brush. Three tired little rabbit dogs and one proud fellow, a perfect foursome indeed.