By Cheryl Hanschen
The annual puppy auction is one of the highlights of the year for Shawnee Hounds. This year Stacey Silver, husband John and son Carter hosted the party at their home near Carbondale and what a party it was. Great food, great drinks and live music on their beautiful lawn!
Of course the best part of the evening was meeting the twelve newest members of the Shawnee Hounds pack. If there is anything cuter than a hound dog puppy, I haven’t seen it. With their long ears, wrinkled noses, puppy breath and sweet little baby grunts, these cuties stole the hearts of everyone present, and gave lots of cuddles to prospective bidders. We look forward every year to seeing the new pups grow into their paws and their heritage as prime foxhunting hounds, but we are especially grateful for this litter. Their mama Apache gave birth to fifteen puppies and unfortunately died immediately afterward. For the first 48 hours, all fifteen puppies had to be bottle-fed every hour and fifteen minutes. Twelve of the little orphans survived, thanks to heroic efforts by Shawnee members, Gail, Heather, Kalie and Anne, and an especially loving and generous white German shepherd named Rosa who took in the seven smallest, just after her own puppies were weaned. The other puppies stayed together at Mama Gail’s. Without the hard work and loving attention of Gail, Kalie, Heather, Anne and, of course, Rosa, these puppies would not have survived.
At Shawnee we auction off the right to name the puppies. This year each name started with the letter I. By having the same letter for every pup in a litter, the huntsman and staff can more easily keep track of the age and parentage of the hounds. For the auction, each puppy is presented and the bidding begins. Normally, after all the puppies are auctioned, the highest bidder names his pup first, followed by the next highest bidder down the line. This year because of the unusual circumstances, Rosa’s family chose their pick Izzy, followed by Gail, Heather and Kalie who named Ironman, Itonya and Igloo. The bidders then named the remaining puppies Ishamel, Ichabod, Indigo, Isaac, Intel, Ivory, Iceberg and Idjit. This year also featured a raffle, with the first prize winner naming a puppy. Other prizes in the raffle were a Shawnee Hounds coffee mug and a free capping fee. The auction and the raffle brought in $3150.00 for the hunt.