Holly is my magnificent Coonhound and first dog.

Holly, the Huntress

I adopted her from the local Humane Society on August 25, 2009 when she was 3 years old. It’s been a fun ride, and it continues to be amazing!

Holly is a Black and Tan Coonhound/Treeing Walker Coonhound (we think), and a wonderful, intelligent, friendly, beautiful girl.

When I first adopted her she was a bit of a basket-case. She jumped at everything, we couldn’t even go out for walks on windy days because the wind in the trees scared the fur off of her.

Holly is also the dog who came with me through my dark days of training. After she became dog reactive due to my complete training incompetence I went through the whole “dominance” training phase. Poor Holly, she put up more than her fair share of my ridiculous notions.

Eventually, after about a year of idiocy, stupidity, and a superb lack of common sense, I found something I wanted to teach Holly, but that I couldn’t use correction based training for. I wanted to teach her to carry things.

I picked up the clicker that a relative had given me years before, and that had been forgotten in the back of a drawer, and five minutes later Holly was carrying, picking up, and bringing things like a proper Retriever.

A regular Retriever!

After that I went through a complete attitude shift. I threw out my prong and choke chains, tossed the “dominance” theory in the trash along with all the ridiculous correction based training ideas I had, picked up my clicker and treats, and haven’t looked back since.

Holly got her Canine Good Citizen on August 21, 2010.

She got her Therapy Dogs International certification September 26, 2010.

About a year and a half after I began having problems of my own. As Holly had gained confidence and skill, I lost it.

I was eventually diagnosed with Agoraphobia and Severe Social Phobia, Holly had already learned of her own accord how to help me. It was very easy to teach her several other helpful tasks that made life much easier. She became a Service Dog in Training.

For a while she was perfect, and I was confident that she would graduate in a few months. She loved doing her job, performed tasks beautifully, and was about as close to perfect as she could get.

Unfortunately, several months after starting our Public Access training she began exhibiting stress in public. It became quite apparent that she was uncomfortable working in public. It was not enjoyable for her, and it was becoming dangerous for me.

Holly washed out/retired in mid-August 2011. She is so much happier at home, she has regained all her old spunk. She still comes with me everywhere that is dog friendly, and still does her tasks. She walks dogs with me, and is mentoring Brigantia, my Service Dog candidate, in tasks, basic manners, and life in general.

I look forward to many more years with Holly. She’s beyond amazing, and words can’t even describe how glad I am that she’s a part of my life.

 Holly was born May 1, 2006

Holly’s favorite toys are the ones that other dogs have.

Holly is a cheese connoisseur, she likes Brie better than Swiss, Swiss better than Mozzerella, Mozzerella better than White Cheddar, White Cheddar better than Yellow, and she likes spiced Goat Cheese (soft) better than anything else.

Holly’s favorite beverage is Raw Goat Milk, at room temperature thankyouverymuch.

Holly’s best buddy is Dozer, the Miniature Schnauzer from Just Between Us, and Belle, my best friend’s dog.

Holly likes other dogs, just so long as they don’t get in her face.

Holly will chase squirrels, raccoons, and cats. She’ll kill squirrels, not cats, and I don’t know (or want to find out) about the Coons.

Holly doesn’t like swearing. She’ll leave the room as soon as she hears an explitive that’s beyond PG.

Holly loves exercise. Her prefered distance is nine miles a day. The only time I’ve ever actually seen her worn out was after a sixteen mile walk in the pouring rain.

Holly hates the rain and water. She firmly believes that hounds melt in the rain.

Holly is not a morning dog. She likes to get up around 9:00 in the morning, any earlier and she’ll sulk and glare for a few hours.