At left is a photo of the beginning of the swimming race at the Trailing Hound Trials we attended with Bear. Note the raccoon in the cage on the cable to the right. He is just above the water and to the left of the woman in the pink shirt. His name was Ralph and he was there every year we attended and for many years before then. Bear is to the left in the picture. He has a green leash and is on the bank behind the other two redbones, under the man in the blue shirt with the cowboy hat.
The objective in this race is for all the dogs on the shore to see the raccoon and get all excited. When the gun goes off they are to leap into the water and swim across the lake as someone pulls the raccoon along over their heads to a tree on the far side. First dog to the tree wins.
All was going well -- Bear was straining at the end of the leash, barking his head off with the rest of them. My son let him go, he ran into the water with the other dogs... and stopped. You could almost see the lightbulb go on: "Phooey on this swimming stuff! Aren't we supposed to get to that raccoon as fast as we can?" So he whirled, left the water and raced around the lake. He was indeed the first hound to the tree. But, once again, he had broken the rules and was... disqualified!
So... he never quite made it as a coonhound, but we love him anyway!