This Web page was created by Ivana Marinkovic jan 2000 <--------------------------------------------> A Trip to Gospic

How hounds hunt

      Usually one does not see how the hounds behave when they catch up with the prey, but once I had the opportunity to see it from real close by. That morning in the autumn of 1994 a fox came into my yard: it did not look well, it's coat was dirty and it kept hiding under the hedge. I thought "Damn, now we have distemper". The dogs were not yet released from the stable where they were kennelled for the night (or they would roam and do all those strange things) so I tried to chase the fox away. It seemed frightened enough of me throwing sticks and I thought it was gone. But instead when I opened the door on the first group of hounds, it was Cezar and his two sons, they immediately went into the bush where the fox had gone - it had only left the hedge for another closest cover. In about two seconds the dogs had encircled the fox and started to bark (just plain bark - not the trail voice). When in the next ten seconds I got to the scene I was just in time to see all three of the dogs bit the fox at the same time. There was no signal from any one of them, no change of tone in barking, no one moved first, they just knew they are moving in all at the same time and so they did. I had already changed my thinking to "Rabies!" and yelled at the dogs to let go. Indeed they did let go, and again, all at the same time, all like one. I chased the dogs back into the stable (they were eager to have more of the fox). Amazingly the fox was still alive then, there even were'nt any teeth marks on it, but it couldn't walk any more; I took a piece of cloth as "insulator" and using it put the fox where the dogs can't reach, and in few hours it was dead. No mercy killing here, as tests are easier to make when the animal dies naturally (at least it used to be so in the old days, the tests are now more sophysticated but I can't say for sure). I checked the dogs for wounds, they were none but anyway first thing next morning I took them for additional rabies shots. I cut away the head of the fox and took it to the lab for testing, and sure enough, the test was positive - the fox was rabid. After that I slept fine for a week, but then started to wake with dry throat and headaches... I remembered that althought I did not touch the fox, I did check dog's mouths for cuts and so some of the saliva might have got on my hands and... There was no other but that I take the shots too. Luckily today's vaccine is not dangerous like it used to be twenty years ago, and given the same way as say the tethanus vaccine (which everyone but those who never leave the computer room should take). Now I have the lab report on the fox up on my computer room wall - as a trophy.