Friday, May 1, 2009

What is the favorite dog in Bon Temps ? The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

Terry bought a very expensive Catahoula hunting dog about every four years.
He wasn't turning in the old models for new ones. Something always seemed to happen to Terry's dogs, though he took great care of them. After he'd had the first hound about three years, a truck had hit him. Someone had fed poisoned meat to the second. The third one, the one he'd named Molly, had gotten snake-bit, and the bite had turned septic. For months now, Terry had been on the list for one in the next litter born at the kennel in Clarice that bred Catahoulas.'

The idea that Native Americans bred their dogs with or from red wolves is not supported by recent DNA work. Several recent studies have looked at the remains of prehistoric dogs from American archaeological sites and each has indicated that the genetics of prehistoric American dogs are similar to European and Asian domestic dogs rather than wild New World canids. In fact, these studies indicate that Native Americans brought several lines (breeds) of already domesticated dogs with them on their journeys from Asia to North America.
There is a plethora of published sources detailing the domestic dogs found in prehistoric archaeological sites. Clearly, the red wolf was not the only canid located in the Mississippi River Valley before the arrival of Europeans. There were also foxes and grey wolves as well as various domesticated Native American breeds.
In the 1800s, French settlers arrived in Louisiana with their Beauceron.
They told of strange looking dogs with haunting glass eyes that were used by the Indians to hunt game in the swamp.[9] It is thought the Beauceron and Red Wolf/war dog were interbred to produce the Catahoula. The word 'Catahoula' is actually a combination of two Choctaw words 'okhata', meaning lake, and 'hullo', meaning beloved... or a French transformation of the Choctaw Indian word for their own nation, 'Couthaougoula' pronounced 'Coot-ha-oo-goo-la'.(Don Abney) Jim Bowie and brother, Rezin Bowie, who spent much of their youth in Catahoula Parish are reported to have owned a pair of Catahoulas. It was said that they would sleep with a Catahoula at their feet.During the early 1900s, Teddy Roosevelt used the Catahoula when hunting. Louisiana Governor Earl K. Long had an interest in the breed and collected them. This interest was recognized by an annual competition known as Uncle Earl's Hog Dog Trials. In 1979, Governor Edwin Edwards signed a bill making the Catahoula the official state dog of Louisiana in recognition of their importance in the history of the region.