Hounds from the Hardwoods to Hollywood

Show Notes

Some people spend their whole lives wondering if they ever made a difference in the world. Brian Calvert does not have that problem. 

On this episode of the Houndsman XP Podcast Chris is joined by Brian Calvert and his better known and world famous Bluetick Dixie the Praying Dog. After a series of tragedies in his life Brian developed a plan to make a positive impact on the world.  His plan included getting a Bluetick puppy, Dixie, to use as a multi purpose hound. He had plans to track some deer and do some local therapy work for veterans and Riley Children’s Hospital.  What happened next far exceeded those expectations.

Dixie has been involved in multiple Honor Flights, flying U.S. Military veterans all over the US. She has recovered hundreds of deer for deer hunters and a few days later walked Hollywood Boulevard filming movies. She makes regular appearances at Children’s Hospitals where she drives a scaled model of her Jeep, bringing smiles and comfort to parents and their children.

Dixie and Brian appeared on the Amazon Prime Reality TV Challenge show called The Pack and quickly became a fan favorite. Brian and Dixie travelled around the world competing with other dog teams in multiple challenges.

Dixie is no ordinary dog and Brian has found a higher calling for his Bluetick companion. 

Listeners will get a behind the scenes look at;

  •  what it is like to be involved in Hollywood production 
  •  what it is like to spend every minute of every day for 54 days straight with a hound
  • How Dixie is making a positive impact for houndsmen to the non hunting public
  • How dixie is honoring America’s heroes with Honor Flights, military funerals and service as a therapy dog

Stay tuned folks, this one has it all, joy, humor, and tears. Dixie the Praying Dog is on the Houndsman XP Podcast.

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] The Hounds XP podcast is fueled by joy Dog, food joy. Dog food has a rich tradition of supporting the Hounds man of America. Founded in 1945, joy is proud of its history and the relationship it has built with the American Hounds man. And in 76 years, there's never been a recall made with a hundred percent American made high quality ingredients.

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Joy will fuel your hounds and fight for your freedoms fueled by joy.[00:01:00]

This is the Homan XP podcast.


The original podcast for the Complete Hounds Men. I get your,

we're. The podcast that represents our lifestyle of extreme performance.[00:02:00]

Yeah. Good boy, ranger uniting Houseman across the globe from east to west, north to south. If you're gonna catch a cat or a line, you have to have teamwork. We take you to the wildest places on earth. Yeah. So how many days do we can spend every, as much as I can, to be honest with you.

Anytime that I get I'm out there. Join us for every heart pounding adventure on Hounds Man xp. I'll tell you, like I tell everyone else, I'm gonna hunt whether you're here or not, so you might as well be.

Hey, some people spend their whole lives wondering if they ever made a difference in the world. Brian Calvert doesn't have that problem. Brian is from Central Indiana and on this [00:03:00] episode of the Homan XP podcast, I am joined by Brian in his better known and world famous blue tick. Dixie, the praying dog.

After a series of tragedies in Brian's life, he developed a plan to make a positive impact on the world. His plan included getting a blue tick puppy to use as a multipurpose hound. He had plans to track some deer and do some local therapy work for veterans and Riley Children's Hospital, but what happened next far exceeded those expectations.

Folks, Dixie has been involved in multiple honor flights flying US military veterans all over the us. She's recovered hundreds of deer for deer hunters, and then a few days later, she's walking down Hollywood Bull Boulevard filming movies. She's been on billboards all across the country and around the.

She makes regular appearances at [00:04:00] Children's Hospital where she drives a scaled model of her Jeep through the hospital, and this brings smiles and comfort to parents and their ailing children making a huge impact and a lasting memory for those families. Dixie and Brian appeared on the Amazon Prime Reality TV challenge, called the Pack, and quickly became a fan favorite.

Brian and Dixie travel around the world competing with other teams and multiple challenges. Nope. Dixie is no ordinary dog, and Brian has found a higher calling for his blue tick. Companion listeners will get a behind the scenes look at what it is like to be involved in Hollywood production, what it is like to spend every minute of every day for 54 days straight with a hound, no breaks, just you and your dog.

That's an interesting story right there on its own, how Dixie makes a [00:05:00] positive impact for Homan, for the non-hunting public, and how Dixie is honoring American heroes with honor flights, military funerals, and service as a therapy dog. Stay tuned, folks. This one has it all. Joy, humor, and tears. Dixie, the praying dog is on the Hounds Man XP podcast.

Test, test. Tell 'em. Test tell em

I'll travel around the country and stuff and people will talk about Bob and Tom and I was like, ma'am, we were listening to Bob and Tom in Indiana before they went national, yeah, I do. Dixie's the, one of the Grand Marshals for the Miracle Ride and Tom is the other like Grand Al for it.

He hosted Oh no kidding. That charity motorcycle ride for Riley Children's Hospital. Yeah. So we'll lead that on Jeep our real Jeep, and we'll have a Riley kid ride with us and we'll lead all the [00:06:00] motorcycles around the city. No kidding. How do you get the, how do you get the Jeep charged up enough to roll around the city like that?

Not that Jeep. Our real Jeep. Your real Jeep. Okay. I got you. There's a lot of layers of this story, that's for sure. And I appreciate you. We welcome to the Homan XP podcast, Brian. And you're just the the you're the behind the scenes guy. The real star is sitting right there with you, Dixie, the praying dog.

And Dixie is a blue tick hound. She's a good looking hound. I'm looking at her right now. And how did you come about, let's just start right at the beginning of how Dixie, the praying dog all came about. It, it actually started back in 2012. I I lived here in central Indiana and I was a truck driver.

I'm still a truck driver, but at the time I was driving the truck and I, my neighbors called and said there was something wrong with my house. They smelled smoke and they seen some burn marks on my house. And I told 'em, I said, Hey, [00:07:00] just go in and bust the gate down and go in the back door and get my dogs out.

Unfortunately they couldn't get in there cause all the smoke and all three of my dogs died in the fire. One of 'em was a German short-haired pointer. He was 14. We bird hunted off and on a little bit, not as much as I would've liked, but the other dog was a blue tick coonhound German Shepherd mix.

She was four. And then the other dog I just rescued the previous Friday from running around on the streets, we couldn't find his owner. And it was a hound of some type. Yeah. But unfortunately, all three of those dogs died in the fire. Very difficult time for me. It's like losing my kids is, most of your listeners, all your listeners are hound guys and dog guys, so just imagine losing all, all your dogs at one time and all your belongings at one time. And that's what it was just, and I lived by myself, so it was very hard to deal with. Luckily I had a good support system with, family and friends and all that. So we're finally getting through all that.

That was 2012. . September of August of 2013, I get my house back, finally starting to get [00:08:00] things rolling again and getting back to normal. The thought of getting a dog is still nowhere in my mind. I'm still devastated over losing those dogs from the fire. October rolls around 2013, I'm filming for an outdoor TV show.

My buddy has a, has his own TV show Eddie Brosen, and at lunchtime I wanted to go cut a limb down outta one of my stands, and I went. It was the first corner of my property. I had to ride a four-wheeler halfway there to get back in there. Just wanted to cut this limb down, get out of there, come back and hunt.

In the evening, I go back there not wearing a safety harness. I never wore one. Then I just thought I was too good, yeah. It's not gonna happen to me, like most of us thought in those days, I climb up, sit flat on a platform, lean forward to cut a limb down, put my foot on a limb.

and the limb I put my foot on was about as big around as my leg. And it snapped and broke and I fell forward and I fell, my, that stand was about 18 feet. Yeah. I fell 18 feet headfirst, and at the last [00:09:00] second I tucked my shoulder and I landed on that limb when I hit the ground. Knocked me out, didn't know where I was at. Like I said, I'm by myself, cell phone's in my Jeep. And I finally came to, and I'm trying to process what had happened and then I realized I can't see and I can't breathe. So then I knew something serious was wrong and I was like, man, I just need to lay here for a few minutes and figure this out, and then go from there.

But something told me, if you lay here any, any longer, you're gonna die. Yeah. Wow. How I did it, but I wheeled myself to crawl to my four-wheeler and pull myself on. I couldn't use the left side of my body and rode that four-wheeler out. Every bump I felt, I could feel the inside of my body burning. Like bones were shifting or something. Yeah. I got out the road and I'm in the middle of nowhere. and the highway department just so happens to be coming by, cutting limbs down, getting ready so the combines can come down and take the corn out. And I flag 'em down. And they seen that I was in distress and they called the ambulance.

And they took me to Indianapolis, the Methodist Hospital. And once I got in there, they put a chest tube [00:10:00] in me to drain all the blood outta my chest cavity. And then the doctor came in to see me and I told him as much as I could what had happened. Yeah. Cause what you made the right decision.

If you would've laid out there like you wanted to, you'd be dead. , you were something. . So the best thing you could have done was got up and got out of there. But I ended up breaking my clavicle like four different places. Broke every rib on the right side. Got my body, collapsed, my lung. You puncture along with a rib?

Yeah, I That's what causing internal bleeding? Yeah. I destroyed lung. It when, in that burning sensation I was feeling coming out of the woods with my rib. That was, they broke inward. Yeah. So they were still stuck in my lung. And every time I moved it was ripping my lung apart. . So that was, oh man, that was the majority of my pain was my chest.

And I bruised some vertebrae in my back and lacerated my liver and all that type, all that stuff is meaningless. They were just worried about, my lung because that was potentially, and spent two weeks in the hospital, six days in I c u with a [00:11:00] chest tube. And while I was in the hospital, I had my sister take photos of me just so I could have down the road.

And she didn't understand at the time why she wanted these photos. When I looked like I was dead from the hospital, I said we're gonna help people. That's, and most people don't pose for photos at that time. Yeah. So it was, we're gonna help people down the road, but she didn't see what I was seeing at that time.

And, two weeks in the hospital, that's a long time to process stuff. So just came through the house fire. Now I've got this. , near death experience. I'm like, man, I gotta do something positive here, right? Let's this through. And I knew I wanted to get a dog again in the back of my mind.

Just needed to decide what type of dog and what I wanted to do. So in that hospital room, I decided at that time I wanted to get some type of a hound so I could track deer with it. But the main thing was to use it as a therapy dog to help veterans and help disable kids. Yeah, that was my thought at the time.

That was 2013. Like I said, man, it, I just wasn't mentally there yet. So [00:12:00] about 2015, I started getting the, i the bug to get a dog. So I think I'm ready. And my dad passed away in 2015 and just, I just needed something, man. Talk about a string of bad luck right there, man. 2012 to 2015, that all happened.

And right before I had fall, right before my house had burnt down, I had lost my job that I'd had at, we won't say which major delivery company, but I drove a semi for. Yeah. But due to an injury I had there they terminated me and ended up having a long lawsuit with them. And, but all that kinda all there at the same time.

And it was almost like somebody was knocking on my door telling me, Hey, you need to do something different but be, do something positive and I can't this to get a dog. And I wanted the hound because when you do therapy work, your job as a therapy dog handler is to put a smile on people's faces. And all of us knowing how hounds are, the big ears, the sad looking face that makes you smile.

So that was a me, the first dog I thought of. Then I just had to decide what type of hound I wanted. So I [00:13:00] did a lot of research. I fell in love with Blue tick because one of my dogs that died in the fire, she had blue tick in her. Yeah. And I can remember her demeanor, how gentle and loving she was around kids and people.

Anybody she met, she was like that. And everybody told me, that's a lot of blue ticks and a lot of hounds are like that. Yeah. . I called around and I found a lady that raised Gascons, blue ticks in West Virginia. She didn't have any puppies ready. And she led me to a guy in South Carolina called Blue Tick One Kennel.

Yeah, he's no longer in business now. He he un unfortunately passed away from cancer, I think three years ago now. But he had his he had his bloodline going for 40 some years. , he'd been doing it that long and, a couple different people told me that was the guy to talk to.

So I called him up and he had just had a litter. It was just perfect timing. He sent me some pictures of this, of his puppies and told me to pick the one out that I wanted. Said so, cause I couldn't come and see him in person cuz he's a, 12 hour drive for [00:14:00] me to where he was at 11 hour Drive.

But I had a buddy who lived in North Carolina that was gonna go down and pick the puppy up and deliver it to me. Uhhuh , me and my girlfriend lived together. Ex-girlfriend now, but at the time we lived together and we've all got 'em. We've all got 'em. Brian I was gonna, no, she knew that I was ready for a dog and I was just gonna surprise her with a puppy.

So I set up everybody to come to the house on a Saturday and was gonna have a big party. My buddy went down to pick the dog up on a Friday before the party, and he called me and he goes, Hey, we got a problem. I'm like, oh, great. That's all needs another problem. What's the problem? He goes the dog you had picked out, that you've been shown everybody pictures of that you were gonna get, he accidentally gave away.

Ooh. I'm like, how can you accidentally give away a dog that was picked out of a lineup, nine weeks ago? He goes, I don't know what happened. He goes, what do you want me to do? I'm like if he's got a female, I didn't wanna see her. That's my dog. I wanted the female get it and bring it. Let's go.

. So that's what he did. It's he brought her home and he kept her that night at my other buddy's house. And that Saturday morning [00:15:00] when I had everybody over at the house, I told 'em I had an announcement to make. So they all thought, oh, you're gonna, he's gonna propose to his girlfriend and this and that and the other.

Instead, I bring in this little puppy wrapping this blanket and she popped her head out. And that's, that was the first time that we had met. We'd seen Dixie in person and fell in love with her. She was nine, about eight weeks, eight and a half weeks old, and yeah. All ears and feet. And that's pretty much how it started.

But, let's talk about, let's talk about that premonition, that dream, that vision that you had to, to what you wanted to do while you were laying in the hospital. How this thing started. I want, I wanna dig into that. Yeah, man. I just wanted to I was grateful that I was still alive and not paralyzed.

That was the big, and I felt that God was sparing me. That's, I wasn't a, a huge churchgoer and all that, and I'm really still not. But for what I do with her now, I've had pastors tell me, Hey, what you're doing is she's a four-legged minister for what we're doing. Yeah. But [00:16:00] at that time, I knew that I had to, I wanted to do something positive just to the way I yeah.

The way I found you, Brian, was because a friend of mine posted a picture where you had gone to a wild game dinner that was being sponsored by a church. Yeah. And that's how I came across you. So you are doing that kind of work with your dog? Yeah. We, we try to do everything that we can.

We can't help everybody, but every weekend we're booked up. But, when the training process started, I had to work on a couple different, avenues here. I wanted to train her to find antlers and to find deer. . And I also wanted to that hardcore obedience that she needed to become a therapy dog.

Yeah. And eventually, , she's pretty much my service dog too, from the PTSD T S D and stuff that I have from that time of my life and that accident I went through I didn't realize up until about a year ago how much she was helping me as much as she helps other people, so that's just another thing that happened that I learned down the road.

But going through this obedient stuff was the main thing. I didn't want a [00:17:00] dog that I had to have on a leash all the time. I wanted a dog that I could have off a leash that would stay with me, listen to everything I said, be gentle with kids. I know it's a, I know it's a wish, right? But yeah, the only other dog you could have got, Brian, that, that would've been less suited for that would've been like a beagle.

Yep. And now everybody's telling, why did you get a blue tick to do all this stuff with? I'm like I just fell in love with that breed. And, they're how they are around people. And I didn't really think the whole process through as far as the type of hound to get, but I just fell in love with this dog and.

We just worked really hard when she was a puppy. So I stuff every day with her. If we weren't doing obedient stuff, I was, I had her smelling antlers. I had her, chasing deer, hide around the backyard, tracking deer , tracking hooves. Yeah. All that stuff that, everybody does when they get a puppy that they're gonna train to hunt.

If, be coon hunters, rabbit hunters, whatever you were training your dog to do. I was doing that with Deere stuff, but I was also trainer. The obedience, that a lot of the don't, [00:18:00] they're not gonna use their dog for that type of stuff. But I had twofold. I was doing ob hardcore obedience and I was doing the ascent tracking and scent training and all that stuff.

Yeah. So I, part of what we do on this show is try to talk about, how much you can actually do with these hounds. They're not just turn 'em loose and go get 'em type hounds. I was hog hunting this last weekend. And one of the biggest things that we hear from the non hound hunting public, from the other hunting hunters is that we can't, hounds are unruly.

You can't train 'em. The people don't train 'em. And they're, they're just wild. They're just run across the countryside. And this past weekend we were hog hunting in Louisiana, and this is a top hound. And he actually swam a river, a swollen river following a hog. And he was on the opposite bank from us.

And this river at the time was like 150 yards wide, from just the rain they've had in South Louisiana. [00:19:00] And I've got video of Mike Coley recalling that hound and that hound stop him, what he was doing, getting in the river and swim him back to us. So that's part of what drew me to you is, you're not a hardcore hounds man, coon hunter type thing, but.

You're out there doing things with this hound that are beyond the boundaries that we as Hounds men set up for ourselves a lot of times, you, there's so much more we could be doing and you've got such a special story. And that's why I w you know, wanted to have you come on and talk about that.

So let's dive into, some of the, she's accomplished so much. How old is Dixie? Dixie just turned seven in December. Okay. That makes me sad, man. Every year, another year passes by and I just feel like we still haven't done enough, and once we get through my whole story and you learn what we have done, you're like, man, this, you've done more than, she's done.

More than most grown men have will do in their entire lives [00:20:00] and been more places. But I still feel if I'm not doing something with her on the weekend, I'm wasting time, yeah. Yeah. Laura was on doing something. . Yeah. So let's just, let's talk about Dixie's career, what she's accomplished. Just hit the highlights of, and I know there's tons of stories behind each one, but we've got a limited amount of time we could do Yeah.

A whole eight hour podcast on just Dixie's career. Like I said, she turned seven in December, so that means it it once hunting season rolled around, of course, the following year she'd been ready. She was, what, 11 months, 10 months, something like that. Almost a year old for that first hunting season.

So I didn't really wanna track a whole life. Then I wanted to track my deer and my buddies deer. So I put the ward out like anybody does when you're training a young pup, Hey, if you shoot a deer, let me know. Even if it's a good shot, I wanna bring Dix out and put her on the track. . So that's what we started doing.

But back up to to about September, she, I took her to get her it was over that summer of 2016. Yeah. So I guess it [00:21:00] would've been after we did the deer tracking stuff. So as far as her therapy dog work goes, my neighbors were volunteers for Indy Honor flight and Indy Honor, flight flies, world War ii, Korean and Vietnam veterans to DC and back in the same day.

. It's pretty much a national organization. It's just, when you get further west in the country, it turns into about a three day event where ours is the same day we go to DC and back in the same day. We like, if you get Dixie ready, we like you're, I know. We knew that they want, they knew that they want that.

I wanted her to be a therapy dog. . So when she gets ready bring her to honor flight to our welcome home and maybe she could be the therapy dog for honor flight. I took her to that first honor fly and I had trained her to pray next to people. So when we got there with the veterans, she could pray next to 'em.

We could take a photo off with them, and then I would salute her and she'll bark out. Thank you veterans, because I didn't want her not to bark. Cuz everybody wants to hear a hound. See Hound, they want to hear it bark. Okay. So I wanted to incorporate as part of what we're doing where she could bark on command.

So that's what we do. I have her pray [00:22:00] next to a veteran. I say, Dixie, pray, take the picture. I say, amen. Then I salute her and say, thank you, veteran. She barks it out. So that started in, that first year that I had her when she turned one and I thought she was ready for her therapy dog work. And it just exploded after that.

, all these veterans were asking us, Hey, can you bring her to this? Can you bring her to that? And we would just, we'd go anywhere we could and do whatever we could for everybody. And we're, we're starting to words getting out about who she is from that. And then they realize she also tracks deer.

So now all these veterans that hunt , I know a dog that attracts deer. Yeah, let's go ride. And that kind of was her celebrity status. Going to therapy, dog outlet has helped me. Branch out in the tracking world too, because everybody knows who she is and they know that we track deer, right?

So we'll call us and if we can't get to it, I'm a member of United Blood Trackers. That's how I cut my teeth, is I learned a lot through those guys. I got a couple of mentors there. A lot of your listeners probably know Al Sherman. He's got a [00:23:00] Cat hula. He's from Southern Indiana. He's one of the best trackers in the country as far as fighting wound again.

And then you got Ron slr from Illinois. He raises bloodhounds to the two guys I have in my back pocket that I can, throw questions at and issues at. And yeah, especially Al's retired and he'll go, he'll drive wherever, all over the state just to track deer all over the country pretty much.

So if I couldn't get to the track, I would call Al, cuz usually I'm so busy with her on the weekends. It really, it real the more popular she got, it was harder for me to even hunt, let alone go out and track for somebody else. But we still managed the average, for first two years, we probably did 15 to 20 tracks those first couple seasons.

And then in 2020 2019, we got asked to audition for that Amazon Prime TV series called The Pack. Called the Pack. And they they were, they went through a thousand dogs for that and they narrowed it down to 24 and we didn't really know what was going on. I just seen an e I just seen [00:24:00] a post on social media for one of our local news stations.

Said, Hey, if you got a cool dog that likes it, likes to do adventure and you wanna try out for a TV show for a major TV network, send us an email. So I emailed a lady and said, Hey, I got a pretty cool dog. Go check out her social media. And that was another thing that people thought I was crazy for. I started Dixie's Facebook page and they're like, why do you wanna start her Facebook page for your dog?

I said it's gonna help with the tracking stuff and it's gonna give me a place to show pictures from her therapy dog stuff. , so I just told the lady, I have a, Hey, I have a cool dog. Go check out her social media. She, so you, you approached the pack and you put in a resume application type thing?

Kinda, yeah. Yeah. I just told her, I said, Hey, I've got a pretty cool dog. Go check out her social media. That lady emailed me back. She was a what do you call it? A publisher? Yeah. From Hollywood. . And I emailed him. So I got a pretty cool dog. Go check out her social media. She emailed me right back.

She goes, can I call you like right now, ? She was like going crazy. She's I can't believe you have a [00:25:00] hound dog. And you're, you're doing all this cool stuff with veterans and she does all this cool scent work, track and deer and all that. And they like that. It's Hollywood. They like somebody.

I was, yeah. At the time I didn't really realize it, but they wanted me, I was gonna be the hillbilly of the show, the country guy with the country dog and all that they flew us out there, they flew me out there twice before they even met Dixie in person.

The first time I flew out there, I met with all the execs from Amazon, cuz that's, they're the ones putting the money in it. So I just went through and do it. I did what I'm doing with you. I just told 'em my story, I was nothing to make up. I've got a story. I told it to 'em, the house fire, fall another the tree stand, all that.

Yeah. Told them all that and they just, they fell in love with the story. And then they're already in love with Dixie, just by seeing her on social media. And then we finally got, I finally got to take her out there and that was Dixie's first time to fly. And this would've been in December of 2019.

So they fly me and Dixie out there and everything's top secret. We get to the hotel [00:26:00] room, they're on little microphones with other security people. Hey Brian and Dixie's here. And they sneak us up to our hotel room cause we, they don't wanna see any other dogs. Yeah. What this was gonna be, and I didn't know at the time, it was a two week doggy bootcamp, which is gonna be the final audition.

And there was 24 of us there with our dogs, and they're only gonna keep 12 of us. So we went through this whole process of doing scent work zip lining together, repelling all buildings together con kayaking and swimming and all this crazy just off the wall stuff. But one of the most important things that we were doing was, you're filming a TV show, your dog can't be afraid of other people or a cameraman or other dogs.

And. therapy dog work and being with honor flight with all the media attention it gets, she's used to all that, right? Yeah. She's used to cameras being on and thousands of people being around there, and a ton of kids trying to pet her. So they put us in this room. And the people, the production company was the same production company [00:27:00] that does the Amazing Race.

Naked and Afraid. And most of the cameramen came from Survivor too. It was actually, so you had to take, you had to take your clothes off and stand there naked with this. Yeah, that's what I was, that's the first thing. I'm naked and I'm afraid close the concept of the show. I'm like, I'm little crazy, but I hope naked and afraid with your dog,

Nothing, nothing like that. They put us in this room. It was Renegade Productions as the production company. So they put us in this room and all these camera guys just come piling in and like, all right, have your dog pose and do different stuff. So I said, all right, Dixie, pray. . So did she dropped down in a prayer and they're walking around cameras.

They got cameras in and out of her face. They got boom mics over all the stuff. And she doesn't move until I tell her to, until I release her. Yeah. So yeah, she's good with that. She's good with the cameras and you just keep going through those process. And every other day another dog would, you'd come back into the, they'd split us in two different groups.

12 and 12. The first five, the first 10 minutes I was in a room, [00:28:00] the girl next to me freaked out and just couldn't take the pressure and gra grabbed her dog and left and never came back. No kidding. Yeah. I mean that quick people were leaving because when they split you up you would have to do stuff.

So they were sending us training stuff at home before that, like a month before that. And every Sunday we'd have a Zoom meet. We'd have a Zoom call with the two dog trainers they hired. One was Nick Vinegar from the United Kingdom, and the other one was Nicole Ella. She's a real famous Hollywood dog trainer.

So they were teaching us to do this stuff. that we were gonna do, we didn't know we were gonna have to do that, but they would send us stuff in the mail. Like those big tubes the dogs have to run through and Yeah. And stuff. And Dixie already knew how to fetch and they had to wear the Rex specs, goggles and vest and the booties.

We already did all that stuff. That wasn't an issue, yeah. And the only thing that I thought we would have trouble with was, we're hound guys. We're, our dogs are trained to track an animal. Dixie send to track. They were gonna use bir oil for the [00:29:00] challenges that we were gonna do.

So we had, I had to totally teach Dixie a new smell to, to find, and that was birch oil. So they slammed this little metal box that had holes in it, and it slid open like a little pill box and A jar with Q-tips that had the virtual oil in it. . And you would take one of those Q-tips, put in that box, put it in her food bowl and put the food on top of it for two weeks.

Yeah. Just give, smelling that. Yeah. That then eventually start hiding it in the house. and it's just a, it's, this is Hollywood's way of training scent work. It's also solid sent work training. We've done podcasts with people like Ariel P pals and Heath h runs a show every week that, and we've had some of the top cent work guys in the world on that podcast, on the journey.

And yeah, it's sin Association. You put the scent there, they get a good reward out of it and boom, you move it, you put it under the bowl, you put it buried in the feed, you do all that stuff. And they get that subliminal message that this smell is good and it builds that desire to find it.

Hey, if you checked out our [00:30:00] website, hounds man xp.com, we've got a lot of cool stuff over there. There's links over to our Patreon. All of our bonus material is there on Patreon. You get a link right to. You can also check out all of our awesome sponsors there. And a lot of those links have built-in discount codes.

So when you click on that link, it takes you to the website of our sponsor and it's got a built-in discount code. You can find companies like Cajun Lights, dogs Are Tree. You can even go there and support Freedom Hunters. All right, from our website, we're also getting ready to launch our online store.

We're gonna change that up a little bit and we're gonna have some cool stuff in there. We're gonna have belt knife, sheaths, custom made. We're gonna have some cool Tumblrs there. Our hats t-shirt designs. All that's gonna be on our online store@houndsmanxp.com. Check it out. [00:31:00] We were in these big hotel ballrooms, split up in two groups, and this is your first time you get to see the other dogs.

This one dude walked in, he's a he's a good friend of mine. Now, at the time, I'm thinking, I'm coming there with the attitude like this is, I'm going on Survivor. I don't wanna be friends with these people. I don't want nothing to do with him. I wanna show 'em what I can do with my dog.

I wanna get in their head. You were competitive about it. I'm competitive. I want intimidating. A lot of these dogs wouldn't wear the goggles. They wouldn't wear vest. They wouldn't wear the booties. First day I walk in, Dixie's got her goggles on, her vest on and her booties on, and I come praying, they're in there and my camo vest with my sleeves cut off

The sleeves cut off. Looks like Larry, the cable guy's not gonna see these other people coming in. Gay black dog groomer from Hollywood. His name is Josh. Josh White, one of the best dog groomers in the world. He does all the movie stars dogs. At the time we didn't know any of this. We couldn't talk to anybody.

I had to wear a name tag with Dixie's name on it. So every had to call me Dixie. I would call Dixie for two weeks, , because [00:32:00] what it was, they don't want any of us talking and getting to know each other off camera. until they got it narrowed down to who was gonna make it. So he come walk in, he's got a standard poodle that is rainbow colors.

I'm like, what in the world is going on here? What this is, there's no way in heck this kid's making it. No way. Yeah. So he comes, then a mom comes in a stay-at-home mom, and she's got a Labrador. Then another girl comes in with a golden retriever and it's jumping all over the place, not listening.

And a guy comes in with a husky and you know how Huskies are? Yeah. They're hard to deal with a lot. And him was bouncing all over the walls. Then this other guy comes in, he's got a blue mohawk and he is got a golden doodle or a Labradoodle, whatever one, one of those doodles.

Yeah. He's got a blue mohawk and this is wearing little bitty sunglasses. I'm like, man, me and Dixie's got this wrapped up. Yeah. This no-brainer. We're gonna, we're definitely gonna make this show for sure. So I just came in all cocky like that, thinking all that, and then as it went, . I've seen these people and I've seen their dogs [00:33:00] and it was cool as a dog lover to see all these dogs that's never done the scent work and that type of stuff.

These dogs just figure it out. And as the week, as the two weeks, you get, keep getting close to 10, the two weeks. I'm like, man, these dogs are doing everything that we can do. Yeah, we're a little better at the scent work because as you guys know it's more, it's just as much the handle.

It is the dog more so it's on me because I gotta learn to read her. And that's what a lot of those folks didn't figure out in that two weeks. Their dog was starting to figure out the scent work, but they couldn't figure out how to read their dog. I figured that out. But just to see those folks and their dogs of all different types of dogs, big dogs, little dogs figure stuff out and then you're like, oh man, this.

This isn't gonna be a walk in a park like we thought it was. This when I was a canine handler, the hardest part for me, and it really helped me in the long run with Hounds too, with my hunting, is to admit that I was the weak link in the team. And the do we're asking those dogs to do a job that we [00:34:00] can't do, and then putting your trust in that dog and just taking that big dose of humility that a big bite of that humble pie and saying, I'm the dumbest one here.

This dog's gotta, this dog's got it figured out. That's the hardest thing for I, I believe the hardest thing for a dog handler that's using it for scent work to learn is to trust your dog. Yeah. Always trust your dog. Once you figure that out, you're gonna be a lot better off. Yeah. And that's the kind of the process that they put us through or put those other folks through that had never done scent work in their lives.

They put them through the same thing. Hey, You guys need to trust your dog and figure out how to read 'em. And that's what those trainers were taught. But it was a whole different training process from what I'm used to. I'm used to using, when she was a puppy, I was using the pence collars and the choke chains and the e collars and all that.

There wasn't gonna be none of that here. There was none of that allowed. It was all positive retreats. When I heard it was positive training retreats, I'm like, my heart sunk. I'm like, man, we don't work with treats. Yeah, she's [00:35:00] so food motivated. She loses her mind on treats. So that was an, that was my biggest issue with this whole process was all these folks running around, dropping treats on the floor everywhere.

And I'm trying to get my dog to perform treats in a minute. Like when we're out in the grass and these parks practices and stuff, she's finding all these treats everywhere and it's, holding us up because she wants to e That was our biggest issue. Plus ie. Caller, trained her and I still use an e collar on her through this day for different situations.

And it wasn't none of that allowed. Cause we're gonna go into Europe. E collars are, they're not allowed. Not even allowed. Yeah. Even garment, like the tracking equipment use we use on Hound are developed and marketed completely different in Europe than they are in the United States. There's no e collar, there's no, it, you can't use any of it.

Yeah. And it was just that whole process. I had to flip how I was training her. Yeah. And our biggest problem was tugging. And there's gonna be a lot of tugging in this competition where they had to open doors and stuff like that. And Dixie [00:36:00] wasn't a tugger. So I had the flashback to what I learned from, I learned a lot from Jeremy Moore, the owner of Dog Bone, on how to do the antler, retrievals and the whole, and their mouth and all that.

So I had to flash back. They wouldn't let us have our phones or anything. They confiscated our phones from day. No kidding. Access to internet or anything. So I'm trying to flashback to remember what I learned from Jeremy. And I also had John JohE, he's book with me. That everybody calls the Bible of blood tracking.

So luckily I had that with me. I could go back and read that. But also the big thing was remembering what Jeremy had taught me about hold, when she's holding the antlers in her mouth. And that helped me, go through the tugging process and teach her to hold stuff in her mouth. And the tug, I had two weeks to do that.

We might not make the show right by the end of weeks. I remembering what I, learned from Jeremy. I had her holding and tugging and everything we needed to do to make the show. And we came home right before Christmas and then the Monday after Christmas, I got a phone call from the cashing agency and said, , we'd love to have you and Dixie on the [00:37:00] show if you want to go.

I'm like, absolutely. What do I was actually in my semi, I'd pull over, I about had a heart attack. I'm like, are you kidding, ? Because like I said, I came in all cocky thinking, there's no way. And then by the time I left, I was totally unsure because all these other dogs were doing just as good as she was.

You know what I mean? Yeah. So when he said that, I pulled over, I'm like yeah, what, when we leaving? What we gotta do? And he is we're not sure yet. Typical Hollywood stuff. We're not sure yet. We'll we'll call you in a couple weeks and let you know. The first week of January I got a call and says, Hey can you be ready to go in two?

We in two days. I'm like, two days. They're like, yeah. I'm like, no kidding. He goes you need to tell your boss you, you need to be gone for three to four months. You need to commit to us for four months. I'm like, so basically I'm gonna have to quit my job. And they're like that's between you and your boss if you want to go.

That's a stipulation. . So I went talk to my boss and he was like, look man, that's a once in a lifetime opportunity. $500,000 was the first price. opportunity to travel the world with my dog. Yeah. So he, let's talk about that a little bit. [00:38:00] Let's do it. And he let me do it. He let me come back and we went and did our thing.

Yeah. Let's talk about that TV show and being on the set and how much exposure you brought to, a hound breed, which I think's awesome, but let's spend a few minutes talking about that regiment. Two days notice, boom. And then where your runoff to at that point, Brian they they flew us to Los Angeles, picked me up at the airport, took me to Universal Studios, Hollywood, where the theme park is and where they film a bunch of movies at.

Put us in a hotel. I'm up in the hotel room for a minute. I just set my suitcases down. There was a knock on the door and this is when it got real. I opened the door and there was a great big giant polish guy that shaved head and fatigues. and a military guy, yeah, I need to see your stuff. I'm like, my stuff.

He's I need to see your stuff. And he barged his way in the door, my suitcase and I had a suitcase for Dixie's. I had all her gear in there. Yeah. So he all my suitcases. Then he asked to see my phone. So I [00:39:00] showed him my phone. He took it, put it in a bag. You wrote my name on it. Left. I didn't see my phone for another three days.

No kidding. Did they dump your phone? Yeah. With all these shows like that, especially a competition reality show like this, they don't want you to have access to your phone. And in most cases they take the ho, they take the TV outta your room also. But for us, they didn't take our TV from us cause they knew we'd be in there a lot.

At least they let us have our tv, like some of these other shows, they take the TV outta hotel rooms, wherever you go. So took my phone and it was gone and the next day we had a had a meeting with the security detail. and what they were going to, what they expected from us and what we could and couldn't do.

And we really couldn't do anything if we weren't filming. You're locked in your room. That was it. Don't talk to nobody. And going back to her being a therapy dog, your Universal studios, there's hundreds of kids around. I get on an elevator to go to one of the filming things and all these kids pile in and they all want a pet.

Dixie, she's got her [00:40:00] goggles on, she's got her boots on. Go. And these kids want a petter. And this guy literally put his hands out and pushed these kids away and said, no pets. And they were, the parents were trying to take pictures of 'em. They said, no pictures. And that broke my heart. I'm like, man, this is what we do.

Yeah. But that's how it was gonna be. These guys meant business. Their job was to protect our dogs, mainly our dogs. Not even us, more so than dogs. . Nobody was allowed to touch 'em. Nobody was allowed to take pictures of 'em. And it's funny, those guys, they're all ex-military. One was from Poland, one was from New Zealand.

one was from, I believe, Argentina. And the guy that started was a retired colonel from America. It was his company. And alls I do is security for Hollywood movies and TV series like that's gonna travel out of the country. Yeah, that's what they do. And after about two weeks, these guys got so soft and attached to the dogs, they loosen up, they're hugging on the dogs.

And the Polish guy was like, Hey, I just wanna tell you, Dixie's my favorite out of all you guys . He was, [00:41:00] being a military guys, they appreciated Sure. How we were, I'm not military, but everything we do is for veterans. That's Dixie's job is to take care of veterans. So every, I made it a thing before I left, I was gonna wear the same camo vest and I was gonna wear an American flag patch on my vest, and she was gonna have one on her vest in every country we went to.

Yeah. No questions asked. They told me, they advised me against it, shown the American flag in different places, but I'm like, I don't care. That's my tribute. Outta Secur. I get what they're saying out security purposes, but I don't care. That's who we are. We're Americans, we're here, we're gonna represent veterans.

I'm gonna wear a flag in every country we go to. And we did. Man. That's awesome. That's awesome. That, that's that's true blue. You won't find a more patriotic group of people than Hounds men, and I've seen it time and time again. And to hear you say that is pretty cool. So tell us what the, tell us what the, give us an overview of the show, just what you guys were trying to accomplish and what that looked like.

The whole concept of the show is like the [00:42:00] amazing race that's been on tv. They've got 30 some seasons now. So you've, what the concept for our show was there's 12 dogs and 12 humans. . So we're at Universal Studios in the first episode. We're in this courtyard, and I'll explain to you where this courtyard is.

Everybody's gonna know this courtyard I'm in, what we're filming at, these helicopters fly over and they drop these dog tug toys. They're in these tubes. So they started all of us in a line, all 12 of us, and they said, when they said, go, we had to run to this courtyard, find one of these tubes, grab one end.

Dogs had to pick up the other, and you had to tug it apart. That's where the tugging come in to be Very important, huh? When you tug it apart, a bunch of confetti flies out of it, and there's a bandana, there's two bandanas in there. Whatever color bandana that is green or blue, they split you in two different packs, hence the name of the show, the pack.

Okay? We didn't know that until that moment what was gonna happen. So once you get that bandana, you gotta run to a location where your other five PAC members are at, [00:43:00] and then from there's a sign and you have to choose from a different, just got two different words on there, what you had to do. and that was gonna decide where you had what your challenge was gonna be next.

So we ended up, before we got to that point, once we got our bandanas, we all had to run to this court, to the back of this courthouse. And I'm sitting there thinking, I'm like, why does this look familiar? But we're in the process of filming this. We run in the back of this building, and it's a fake, it's a fake town, yeah. So we get to the back of this building, they run us up, we get on these vest, and Dixie gets on a vest and we have to put on hard hats. We're gonna zipline outta something. So we're on top of these buildings now. Yeah. And we zipline, it's the freaking clock tower from Back to the Future where they film the movie back to the Future.

Oh, no kidding. That courtyard. And we're in that clock tire. I'm in that clock. And I zipline out of that with Dixie attached to my hip into a military vehicle, which is fitting for us for our pack. So once all of our members, our pack members get there, we take off this big six wheeled cam [00:44:00] vehicle from Universal Studios, and we drive the.

Long Beach, the other pack, they go into a limo. They're going to the Queen Mary, which is one of the most famous cruise ships that's still around in the world to do their challenge. Yeah. But when we get to our challenges at the U s Iowa, and this kind of explained to you how the whole show is gonna work.

We get to the U s Iowa, all six of us and our dogs have to run into the Navy ship, put on Navy outfits, and we're doing a scent challenge. That's what we picked. Because if you flash back to that two weeks that I had that doggy training where I wasn't allowed to talk to anybody. . There was another guy there, had this big handlebar mustache, and he had a blue Lacey.

I'm like, man, that, okay. I said that, that's a tracking dog. I said, we've got a little competition for scent work here. Back in that two weeks training, we weren't allowed to talk to each other. The productions assistants, everybody had a production assistant assigned to 'em that would make sure you didn't talk to anybody.

So when we took, I took Dixie out to. For a bathroom break and he took his dog out at the same time for a bathroom break. Our PA's got sidetracked, so he came over to me and goes, Hey, is [00:45:00] that Dixie? I'm like, how do you know who the, how, who we are? And he's I'm United Blood Trackers. I'm like, are you kidding me?

That is wild. I said, yeah, do not tell. Because if they realize we're both in United blood trackers and some kind of club and we have some kind of relationship, even though we don't personally know each other yet, those done one of us home. So we kept that quiet and I never found out . So here, members of United Blood Trackers were on this amazing show, getting ready to do these crazy things around the world, but he ended up being on my pack.

So that's why we chose Challenge back at the Courtyard where they filmed back to the future. So our scent challenge was on the U S Iowa. We had to put on these Navy outfits and the dogs had to find big puzzle pieces that were hidden throughout this whole ship that had that had that scent on it.

The virtual oil on it. So here we go. We're searching the ship and we find our puzzle pieces pretty quick and we build this puzzle to get our clue to get us out of there to where the Queen Marys docked to where the other team is at. And then from there we have to take a [00:46:00] speedboat across to meet up with them and we're racing 'em to the find the finish line on its little peninsula at that marina and whoever comes in first, they're safe.

They don't have to do an elimination challenge. Whoever comes in last, their pack has to do an elimination challenge the following day. And whoever lose in that elimination challenge on that pack, they go home. And that's the concept of the show. So we lost that challenge. So we had to do the first elimination challenge and we had to find our way from our hotel.

We're sitting in our hotel room with a camera crew in there. E every dog in person had a camera crew assigned to them. So I'm in my hotel room, we had to get dressed and we just have to sit there and you just have to wait. You're waiting for a knock on the door and there's gonna be some kind of a clue and you're gonna figure it out.

Yeah, it on elimination day, like it's panic mode. You don't know what's gonna happen. Especially on the first one, we didn't know what to expect. So we get a knock on a door and you got a story person with you too that kind of helps you walk through and what to interview you and what to say on camera.

And I'm sitting there, he's you need to go answer that [00:47:00] door. I'm like, okay. So I go and open the door, there's a newspaper, then he's pick it up, read it. There's a clue in there. So I picked this newspaper up and I'm going through it. The only thing I see in there was an advertisement for a park called Rosie's Dog Park in long Beach.

And we were, at that time we were in a, in Long Beach cuz that's where the ship was at. So I guess I'm running down the lobby to get on a taxi cab . So I grab Dixie and take off running and I get a taxi cab and I tell the guy, I'm like, take me to Rosie's dog Beach. And you just gotta hope he takes you to the right place.

And I was the third person outta my, the third or fourth person outta my room, outta the sixth. So once we get down there, I've got a the guy driving my cab, he is, he's African and he's talking to me when, we're trying to figure out where to go. And I'm like, so where are you from?

You're not from Kentucky, are you just trying to get a, he's just trying to lighten it up a little bit and be funny. And I go, you're obviously not from Kentucky. That's not a Kentucky accent, and never heard of Indianapolis 500. And he goes, oh yeah. I said, drive [00:48:00] like you're in it and pass that cab.

And he sped up and we passed a couple cabs of the people that was in front of us and we got to the beach where we were supposed to be. And I look around and you start to figure out, you look for camera crews and tents and that kind of stuff. Cause that's how you know you're in the right area. Yeah.

You dropped me off at the wrong spot. I end up having to run and lose some time. I had to run all the way down the beach about a mile and backtrack back to where I needed to be to start the challenge. But once I got going, she kicked in and we had to dig up a box with the key in it. Then we had to do something that got me to the front.

where her hounds aren't supposed to do. And that was sit and stay and place. And then I had, oh, no kidding. I had to run away from her. And then when I got to the next checkpoint, I could turn around and call her to me. Then I had to have her sit again and then run again, and then have her sit and then call her back to me.

I had to do that with her, and she nailed it. We got right to the front, I had to spell out a word after I opened his chest up, [00:49:00] I had to get these light preservers out. I had letters on 'em, and I had to figure out what that word was and then hang 'em up in a certain way. And then run the finish line. Yeah.

And then whoever came in last in my pack was going home. I was first, and I, when I put my letters up, I put 'em in the wrong spot and the other guy caught up with me. And they're like no those are in the wrong spot. So I don't know how anybody else is, but with me, when I'm exerting a lot of energy like that, it's hard to think of my feet that quick.

And that's what you gotta do in this. You're exerting a lot of energy. Yeah. Plus you gotta be quick. On your feet. You gotta be thinking and this and that and the other. So once I finally figured I'd put 'em wrong and I got 'em set right, I went and I was second across the finish line and we made it.

And then from there we went to, went to Mexico and did stuff like that there. How many different countries you go to? Brian. So we went from America to Mexico to Costa Rica to New York for a lay down. We had, and that's another thing, the logistics of all this. , had to get dewormed three different times for the different countries we were in.

Yeah. Because each one required something different. And [00:50:00] then getting their food and all that's a whole nother aspect. That was one lady's job, was the logistics of all that. And our vets, of course, our vets flew with us and our trainers flew with us. We had two vets and two train flew with us everywhere, but, so we went from Mexico to Costa Rica to New York for a laydown.

Stopped in Ireland to fueled the plane up. We had our own airplane. Let the dogs pee on the air on the tarmac. Got back in the airplane, went to Austria. Switzerland, France, Italy God, I'm forgetting somewhere, but all over the place. You travel around the world with your dog doing challenges just like that.

I was gone about 55, 56 days as far as that part of the trip was concerned. And it was like being in a rock band. Everybody wants to be a rockstar until you actually travel like that. Yeah. I got a lot of respect for that because , and we were staying two to three days in every country and then we'd leave, I couldn't imagine doing that 300 days a year, in a different city every day. I don't know how they do it, but yeah. It was something, man, I gotta see stuff. I never thought in a million [00:51:00] years, I would see, but not only did I get to see it, I gotta do it with my, see it with my dog.

Yeah. Best friend and do all this stuff, and it's a hound, see what we did on that show and what me and Dixie did and what Dixie did. It's her, it's all her. Typically hounds aren't supposed to do the kind of stuff we were doing. And we were doing it, we were flying in airplanes, helicopters, repelling out of building off of buildings and zip lining and whitewater rafting in the jungles in Costa Rica and staying in five star hotels all over the world.

It was just, it's just crazy man. And just, and I have video footage that proof that we did it. You watch on, so just a wild experience. So how did you do in the competition? I think everybody's probably wonder, wondering that, and not to, I, it sounds like people ought to go and watch the show to get full story.

Watch it. It's super cool. I don't wanna a whole lot of way, but we did really good. There's 10 episodes. , we'll be in seven of 'em is all I can tell you. Yeah. And I make everybody be proud of [00:52:00] us. We did. Pretty good. I think that's a, your dog is, and you learn this and this goes true with all of us and everything we do every day.

Especially with filming that TV show. You're only as good as, your dog is only as good as you. , your dog can't run. Your dog can only run as fast as you can run. Cause we had to run a lot. Costa Rica ran seven miles. I lost 12 pounds in the first three episodes. There was that much running and I was the oldest person on the show at the time.

I was 47 when we filmed the show. 48. And everybody else was in their thirties or younger. Yeah. Except for one mom. She would, she had turned 40 while we were filming. . But as far as that goes, I wish I would've watched The Amazing Race before that. I might've went and ran, did some stuff. But one thing that helped me, other than the scent work, of course, was when we had to run a lot, the dogs always had to be on a.

Some of these folks aren't used to running with their dogs on a leash, getting pulled and all that. I took my 25 foot tracking lead with me. I was using that a lot. And these people are looking like, what are you, then they figured it out. Hey, that's like running the, with the dog [00:53:00] off a leash.

Yeah. And we got to like Costa Rica and had to do stuff in the rainforest down there. We had to run up and down all these hills, just like being in Indiana, tracking deer. That's, that's right. Everybody's falling down and rolling down these hills and I'm upright the whole way cause I've done it before.

This is just like tracking a deer for us. , a lot of the stuff that we do here paid off for that show, it helped me. But yeah, they're going up against the border collie and I won't say any more than that. Those are the smartest dogs in the world. And alls I will say is the right dog.

Definitely won the show. Yeah, for sure. Definitely the right breeder dog did because you, those are just the smartest dogs in the world, yeah. You just said more than that. It was my fault how we got eliminated in Switzerland. due to a bad cab ride. It was my fault.

By not double checking, he was going the right way. I was, yeah. If I would've done don't let the, don't let the cat outta the back. I want Yeah. I won't, yeah. I wanna go see it. Just for me. I kinda screwed up in Switzerland, but we'll leave with that. But it's a phenomenal show.

It's very, and one thing that we were worried about was, a lot of these [00:54:00] reality shows, it shows a lot of bickering and fighting, and this doesn't and as dog lovers, everybody's listening, you'll appreciate this. It shows more the bonding aspect of the human and dog relationship. It focuses on that.

Yeah. And then us as people from different walks of life coming together, like that. I go back to the dog groomer with the poodle. He's a gay black dog groomer from California. Yeah. Would our past have crossed and we be hung out any other time like that, if I would've met him.

I'm that type of person. I like everybody. Until you do something to me that I don't like, then that's it. Him are still friends. That's an Indiana thing. . Yeah. I just seen him in November, and he was terrified of me the first couple weeks because you're the hillbilly, he thought here's this racist, hillbilly from Indiana, right?

No way. He's gonna like me. And yeah, I treat him like I did everybody else. And he he actually, I think he crying one day and was like, Hey I wanna apologize to you for, discriminating against you, what everybody does to me. And I did it to you without even knowing you. And he goes, yeah, I learned, we all learned lessons [00:55:00] filming the show, about ourselves and with our dogs.

So it was really pretty cool how it turned out. You said a lot of stuff there that's got a lot of value to it, everything from the bond and man, I should have pumped the brakes on you a little bit there, but there's a saying among Hounds men that a man's ego is a heavy burden for a hound of bear.

And we get. tribalistic in the way we think and the things we do and different stuff like that. But you talked about the human experience and the bond and different things, which I think is a good segue in to the therapy side that you do so much of. And it's a good opportunity for us to shift gears and move into that and talk about, why you do what you do.

But I want to talk, I wanna say something before you, I turn you loose. One of the things that I think is very valuable in this whole thing is the exposure that the hound has gotten through your work. Your ability to [00:56:00] cuz you track deer. Not only you're a hunter in a very liberal place with a dog that's very misunderstood and you're out there representing.

A breed of hounds and a lifestyle that's virtually unknown. And a lot of people are ignorant to it. So that's another reason why I wanted to have you on here. So let's talk about your therapy work and talk about what that actually entails and how you're doing that.

I love your story about the American flag and, but let's dive into that therapy work, cuz I think that is something that is a honorable thing for you to be doing, Brian. Yeah, it's like I said, that's why we started. I wanted help. I wanted an outlet to ha to help veterans and help sick kids out.

There's nothing worse to me than seeing a kid that's sick in a wheelchair or something's wrong with them. I just, it's just not fair. They sh kids shouldn't be like that. I'd rather have that burden on myself than on a kid. So I wanted a way to help them. I'm, I'm not a rich guy. I'm making enough money [00:57:00] to have a house and all this and that, but I don't have a bunch of money to donate.

But I thought, I can get a dog, I can train it to do the stuff to help people. And that was the whole plan from the get-go, whether it be helping a kid, helping a veteran. You donated the most valuable thing, Brian. You can't buy time. Yeah, it's, I sacrifice time is the most, yeah, the time is the most valuable thing that we have.

And none of us get to control how much time we have. We can go out and work hard and make money, and I think a lot of times people they take the easy way out and throw money at a problem instead of investing their time. So I think it's honorable. I thought, I never thought in a million years I would ever miss, deer season.

Especially the rut or just the everything that surrounds opening day, a shotgun season like it does here in. . Even if you're tagged out, you still go out with your buddies or you go, that's right. Or you go hang out at the check-in station and all that. The once Dixie started getting popular, you know that first year or two was okay.

I was trying to fill my way through some stuff. I was tracking deer with her [00:58:00] doing some therapy work. But it really hit me when I was asked by indie honor flight that in 2019, 2018, to volunteer for the Veteran's Day parade. Veteran's Day is November 10th every year. That's, you're talking prime time of the rut.

That first year that they had that that I was asked to participate in, that was opening day of shotgun season and I hadn't killed a buck yet. . So that's when my life changed. Yeah. Cause I realized then, yeah, hunting's important. That's my passion, but it's more important for me. to take this dog and help these veterans out and show them some respect.

So that first year that I ever missed opening day, shotgun season with a buck tack in my pocket, that's when my, that's when my eyes opened and said, Hey, you're here for a reason. This is your purpose. Continued to do it. And that, that started everything right there. Yeah, starting when I got her, but that's when it really hit home the first time I ever miss opening day, shotgun season.

And as hunters, we all know how big of a deal that is. And [00:59:00] for me to give that up, I had people calling me. My buddies are like, I can't believe you're not hunting today. I'm like this is just a little bit more important. I got plenty of time to hunt, even though I'm missing, the big day.

So , that's why I got her, man, goes that tree stand accident. I'm here. Somebody kept me here for a reason. This is my reason. I just, it just took me a while to figure it out. Purpose to be here and it's to use this dog to help people. How is she received by the public when you take her to, I know you do some stuff with Riley Children's Hospital and different things like that.

How's she received by not only the kids, obviously kids gonna love the dogs and things like that but I'm really looking for the impact that you have with the family as a whole. You talk about Riley, the first year that we helped Riley out was about the same time as around 2018.

For that, for the Miracle Ride at that time that, the motorcycles would drive around the city and they drive by Riley Hospital and all these kids come out. The kids that are able to come outta the hospital will come down and [01:00:00] wave at the motorcycle riders. So they come by and then the motorcycle guys get to drive around the motor speedway and they come back to a big party.

I went to the hospital with Dixie and we parked the Jeep and we went up and stood with the kids. I wanted the kids to meet Dixie. I didn't want to. , being involved with the motorcycle ride, per se. I wanted to meet the kids, right? So this boy comes out and they're pulling their kid in a wagon.

This little boy has no hair. He has a an iv and he has a nurse walking with him, and it's the little boy, his mom, his dad, and his sister. So I go up to him, I'm like, Hey, does he like dogs? I'm like, oh, he loves dogs. So I let Dixie go up and do her thing. He's, she's kissing on him and he's petting her, and he's real weak.

So Dixie sits down, we sit by this kid has all, it takes about 45 minutes for all the motorcycles to come by. This little kid had his arm propped up the waving every bike that went by. And so I'm talking to the dad and I'm like, Hey, I don't mean to intrude, but what's going on with your son? He's he is got cancer.

I'm like, what's his prognosis? He's it could be [01:01:00] today. It could be tomorrow. It's coming. It's just, when is it coming? He's gonna die. Yeah, that's what he told me. Man, I hate to hear that. I just, and I told him about Dixie and what we do and he appreciated it. And so fast forward to last year, I'm at the fairgrounds for the Deer and Turkey Expo.

This man and woman comes up to me and sorry. This is the It's all right, ma'am. This shows the real passion of what you're doing. I'm getting a little bit emotional with you here.

The impact we can make as humans on our world is we don't take advantage of it enough. And the reason I wanted to talk to you about this, Brian, was so that people could see why they need to stop at the campgrounds when they're out, honey. To let people look at their dogs and not drive by and wonder why people are out here camping during the middle bear season or bugging them or whatever.

The impact that we can have by [01:02:00] familiarizing people to who we are and what we do, right? We're at the Deer in Turkey Expo last year, and that miracle ride, I'm very good friends with the president Now Dixie and I will lead that ride in our Jeep. We'll have a Riley kid ride with, we'll lead these motorcycles all over the city now.

She's like the Grand Marshall, right? So I go and sit in the booth, I bring Dixie to the booth to help them get people in to raise money at this Deer and Turkey expo. Last year, Uhhuh . Cause me and the woman come up to me and they got a little girl with them, and they're like, you remember us? I'm like, man I meet so many people, you look familiar. We met you at the Miracle Ride. We were the family

man, this is tough, . They said , big rednecks aren't supposed to cry like this. . It's pretty, pretty emotional because that was the family that I had met at that miracle ride. Yeah. Boy was sick and their boy passed away three days after that ride. Yeah. And they [01:03:00] remember Dixie, and they seen that she was gonna be making appearance there, so they wanted to make a point to come and see her because they'd watch her on the TV show and they wanted to come up and just say what it meant for them to meet and their boy to meet her that day.

That guy, things full circle that showed me that, we're doing the right stuff. I, you are doing the right stuff. And again, it's just, it's one of those things you made an impact forever. Those people, when they see a hound, they will think of Dixie and the investments you made in their.

and it changed their perception of what that Breeded dog is for. So when they start seeing, and we do a lot of this kind of stuff, and I'll just tie it in real quick and we'll move on, but when they see people that are mischaracterized, the anti-hunting crowds and things like that, that say, oh, hounds men are, they don't care about their dogs, they don't, you, you made impact.

You're making thousands of [01:04:00] impressions on people that can step up and say, no, that's not what it is. These dogs aren't blood thirsty. They're not just looking for my kids have petted these dogs and built relationships with them. And I think that's such a valuable thing, Brian. And it just shows, and I keep bringing this up a lot, when people ask me about Dix now, I just say she's versatile because we can go and do stuff like that and then we can turn around and go.

Track a deer and she can be a dog. She can play fes. She can yeah, find an, she can find an antler. She can be ferocious on a track where you don't wanna get around her because she's gonna rip a deer apart and then she can go and do stuff like that where she's kissing on some kid or kissing on a veteran.

Or, last week we did two different funerals for veterans where she sat at the casket for the whole showing after people would see her, see the veteran, and they would pet her. And then we lead the casket. It'll lead the Hearst and our Jeep with the police lights on it to the grave site. And then she sits at the grave site with the family.

We do that once a month, almost twice a month sometimes, wow. We did it twice last week. That's just something I didn't [01:05:00] foresee happening. I just wanted to do stuff with veterans and kids. And now it's turned on us, going to funerals and Dixie's presence is asked to be at funerals. I had a funeral home ask me if they could put her on a, as an amenity that people could purchase to have her come and be at anybody's funeral.

And I said, yeah, let's talk about that. So that's just the kind of the impact that she's had. And it just, , it blows people's mind that it's a hound doing this stuff. . Cause you know, it just like you said, a lot of hunters, they hunt their dog and that's it. But then there's the other side of us, we hunt 'em and they're our family too, yeah.

It's a big part of, for me I wouldn't want a dog that wasn't gonna be a part of my family. Yeah. That's how I do it. This is my kid, he goes everywhere with me. We do everything together. When you travel the world like that, we're together hours a day. , for 58 days straight, we were to, we weren't separated.

When you do something like that all over the world, that's just, it's just a bond that you get. And hunters know about that bond because they spend so much time training their dogs and in the field with their [01:06:00] dogs. Rather, it'd be cracking deer raccoons or bear or bird hunting and all that, the training that you put in.

That's what blows my mind. A lot of these hunting forms, I, I see guys asking for, Hey, does anybody got a dog that's trained for sale? Why would you, I get that if you don't have the time to do it, but man, you're so much better off getting a puppy and training it yourself. That way you can develop that bond.

Not everybody has that skillset though. Not everybody's got the skillset to do that. And I think a lot of times, a lot of these puppies end up in places. Some people would just be better off buying a trained dog if they're not gonna be totally immersed in it and. . Yeah, some people would just be better off buy a trained dog, but I'll getting back's a bonding point.

Even if you're hunting with your dog, you got, we spent so much time with these dogs and Yeah. That's bonding right there too. I'm telling you what man, though you talked about Hounds man and us spent, I'm gonna tell you right now, 58 days straight, I'd be looking for someplace to get away from the dog for a little bit.

And you also gotta remember too we [01:07:00] weren't allowed our cell phones. Yeah. And the foot were away from America. You got the less TV you had. I had to watch the Super Bowl in 2020 from Mexico City, on Spanish tv, which wasn't too bad, , but once you got to like Costa Rica, there was hardly any TV down there.

Once you get, especially like in Switzerland you're on top of a mountain, yeah. . The only thing I had on my TV to watch there, they had a live feed from the top of one of the ski slopes, and they played that polka type of music, which is the Switzerland type of music and the sound of music.

That's all I had to watch though. , I , the, when the, they would come and bring my food to the door what are you watching? What are you listening to? I'm like, the only thing I can on this tv. So yeah you just, and we trained a lot. I was hiding that little pill box with that virtual oil.

I was hiding that sucker in the ceilings, in these hotels, just to make it, and she just figured it out. Yeah. So we were constantly training is what we were doing. Every hotel room we would do scent work in it, and I was hiding stuff all over the place. and I, hiding [01:08:00] I, it got to the point where I was locking her in the bathroom.

So she couldn't see where I was, what I was doing. I'd go in the big part of the hotel room and hide that thing, and then I would bring her out and tell her to find it. And she would find it that quick. That was just, you had to do stuff. I figured if I'm gonna be locking this room and I'm filming a TV shows a competition show, I'm gonna brush up on my skills nonstop unless I'm sleeping right.

And I did the whole time. What did you learn, what did you learn that you didn't know about Dixie in those 58 days? As far as you got a, you didn't have anything else to do, so you're just sitting here working with Dixie and learning stuff about her sending ability. Did you learn anything that was groundbreaking for you during that time?

Yeah, I figured I learned more scent stuff and how to read her better just by being that type. I thought I knew how to read her. Yeah, you learn when you spend that much time with your dog doing that type of stuff, especially locked up in a hotel room, you learned that type of stuff.

I even took, one of those rubber dummy antler with me. Yeah. That [01:09:00] dog bone has, and I called it urban shed hunting. I was hiding the shed around the hotel room and stuff like that. just, it's just the same thing as shed hunting. And now I'll do that at these expos we go to, just to show a little demonstration.

I'll hide an antler in there, down in the aisle somewhere and have her go get it, bring it back just to show people. But she's over there ripping the taxidermy, mounts off the wall and everyone she walks by, she goes up to every one of them, . It's already been found, has already been found, and people get a kick outta them.

So that's great, man. It's that much time with her and it just, I don't know. Like I said, man, this is I've had those other dogs and they were my kids too, but I didn't spend the time with them that I did, that I had with her. So it's just, it just brought us like, oh, I can't even imagine.

My father, daughter. And we argued a lot and back and forth, , I heard that a lot from the other contestants. They'd get a kick out of it. The big thing was, I was, she might be, she would bark a lot. She doesn't [01:10:00] bark, like your typical hand nonstop constantly. Unless cracking a deer because she's fired up.

She knows what we gotta do Now, filming the show she can, it goes to her therapy dog work too. She can sense that I had high anxiety and there was like a competition part of it. So she was fired up, like she was on a deer track. Yeah. So if you watch the show, she's howling the whole time. And what's funny about the show is in Amazon in particular in the production company, they ran with that.

Yeah. They used that as part of the, as part of the show and a part of who she is and. And I've heard from people literally all over the world about how much they loved this hound and her, how, and all that. And they said, when we left the show, got quiet and boring. I heard that from a lot

And even in one episode, she helped one of the contestants find us because she was howling. They had to find the finish line and Dixie was howling. So this guy totally went around his last trick that he had to do and came right to us cuz he heard Dixie and he found the finish line that way because of [01:11:00] her.

But when you watch the show, you're going to, you're gonna know there's a hound there for sure. Yeah. And that's, I've heard from people all over the world. She stole her heart. So yeah that's enough for me. You know what I mean? Brian, let's talk about how, this stuff isn't cheap, it's not free.

You've got a remote controlled jeep that she uses at at different venues when you go do events. , you're doing Hunter Ed appearances and talking about your experience and also talking about Dixie. So you're getting the word out there to other hunters. And I think the biggest perceived threat to hounds men in the hunting community is a deer hunter.

But in Indiana, if you go to hunter ed class, people are there to get their li get their cards so that they can buy a hunting license and they're probably gonna hunt beer. And here you come showing up with Dixie and, changing that perception or at least planting a seed there so that the, so that you can build some bridges there.

But how can people support Dixie, the praying dog, because [01:12:00] I think that's important that we cover that part. I'm in the process of starting a non-for-profit and I'm gonna call that the Prone Dog Foundation. That's a long process. . So if people want, people wanna help us out, I've got Venmo and PayPal and all that, but the best thing to do is just go to her social media sites.

It's Dixie, the praying dog. She has Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and let me tell you, that's a whole nother full-time job. Oh yeah. But it's also, it's good publicity for Hounds. It just shows what they can do. But it go back to something you had said earlier too, about walking this line that I walk with the anti hunters and, the Hollywood people that don't believe in our lifestyle. I walk that fine line. So I try not to show a lot of dead animals on her pages. People know that she tracks the deer. But just to be fair to everybody, I don't show that type of stuff. I don't show dead animals on there, but people know. Now I might put that she tracked the deer if you wanna see a picture, if it's in the comment or something like that.

But that's one of the hardest things for me [01:13:00] to do is walk in this. this fine line where I'm tiptoeing, Hey, there's, anti hunters over here. Hey, here's my hunting crowd over here. And I hear it from both sides. I hear the hunting side of it, Hey, why don't you promote this more this way?

And then I hear it from the others. Hey, I don't wanna see a dead deer here or hear about it, or this and that and the other. I've gotta, I've gotta tread lightly in what I do, and I've gotta remember that this dog is here to put smile on people's faces. I don't care if you agree with my lifestyle of hunting and the outdoors, or you don't.

I want somebody to like this dog and I want her to make you smile. And it's a shame that everybody don't think like that. And we won't me get into politics. I have my beliefs of who I wanna vote for and who I don't. And I don't even show that on there. It's all her social are showing her with the kids, the veterans, and driving a little jeep around and doing all that kind of, all that kind of stuff.

But and people track if they need us, they can call us. . So it's a very fine line for me to walk. Yeah. So people can go to your social media [01:14:00] platforms, Dixie, the praying dog, find everything that they find your contact information, and if they want to donate to help you with your expenses, they can, they just send you a message through Facebook, just message me and we can figure out their best way to do it.

If they wanna do it on Venmo or PayPal or they can, she's got her own checking account at p c, so they can probably even call PNC and do it like that too. I just, it's just Dixie, the praying dog. Like I said, I've had so many people, I didn't get into this to people help me out. I got into people yeah.

And I don't, nobody should take it that way. I what you're doing, what you're doing is above and beyond, just a story you told. I can, I know your heart's in this thing, Brian. , when you're telling the story about the little boy and his family and stuff. So I don't think any shit body should be confused.

This isn't a money grab. It's not one of those nonprofits that, that's just out there to grab your money so you can drive fancy cars and run around. You're out there doing actual good work and that's why you're here. If I thought it was anything else, you [01:15:00] wouldn't be here. Yeah. Yeah. My, the, my big expenses is the upkeep of my Jeep.

They've recently the, there's a jeep builder that wants to rebuild it, so they've had a couple fundraisers that try to do that to help put a new motor in it cuz it's an oh seven and it's getting up there in here. But it's part of what we do. Yeah. It's got Dixie's picture on it. It's a tribute to veterans.

We do a lot of raids, a lot of funeral escorts, and then she's got those mini Jeeps and then our travel expenses and our, yeah. Starting that stuff so that, that adds up. Especially now with not working in eight weeks because of my back. That's a whole nother issue I'm dealing with right now, and I'm trying to, it wasn't for this dog, man.

I'd be a, I'd be a mess right now. Yeah. Yeah. So I've got a lot going on, but I don't tell the general public, but I still show up at our events and do what we're supposed to do and Right. And keep her going the best that I can. So it's hard for me to take stuff from people when I'm not in it for that.

I'm in it to help people. So that's something I've had to learn in the last year, is to let people help you when they wanna help you. So that was just a tough part of it for me. My, [01:16:00] my grandmother used to tell me when somebody's trying to help you just accept it. Cuz if you don't, you're stealing their blessing.

Yeah. So they, every, it's something I gotta work on for sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I'm the same way. It's if you help me, I've, there's times when I feel obligated to, to go and help you back. And sometimes you just need to say thanks and move on. But yeah, Brian, I appreciate it, ma'am, we're going.

I want to, I'd like to come and see what Dixie's all about. And I don't think this is the last time we're gonna hear from you on this podcast, man. I podcast. We could talk so much. I could give you one whole episode about, just the stuff that happened filming the TV series. We didn't even get into the movie she's in, we got back from filming the Amazon show.

She got cash to being a movie called the Mayberry Man. Now they're gonna do a sequel to it. We were in and this goes back to the versatility November 8th, we tracked our last Deer of the year for a friend of mine that's a conservation officer here in Indiana. [01:17:00] Their number two buck. The guy put a thought, he had a good shot on it.

Long story short, we tracked that deer all day. It was liver shot. We jumped at midday, backed out. Came back in at the end of the day with no blood, tracked it to a scrape, it was bleeding in scrapes and Dixie. We were about ready to give up and Dixie didn't want to give up. We went down the one more creek bottom to check it.

She found one more scrape and that buck was dead 10 yards from that last scrape. Wow. That was November 8th. November 11th. I'm walking down Hollywood Boulevard filming a, the sequel in the Mayberry Man movie. Wow. So that just shows you, again, just how versatile these hounds can be if it's just all about what you want 'em to do.

And all that time I spent with Dixie, that's what I learned about her. You get told so much. You can't teach a old dog new tricks. That's total garbage. Yeah. Dogs can learn anything at any time, and that's one of the biggest things that I learned from that show was you can teach dogs to do anything and you can teach people to do anything.

Yeah. You [01:18:00] just, figure out how to do it. That's an interesting message cuz we talk about it a lot. We look at, everyone wants to know. Yeah. I see this question a lot among ho hounds, man. It's what age do you consider a dog to be a finished ho? Meaning, it can track and catch the game, when do you consider that dog to be a finished town?

And my response is when they're dead, yeah. That's when they're a finished town, they can continue to develop different skills and excel and learn new stuff. So let's wrap this thing up. I want, I wanna see the the salute. Oh, you wanna see her pray real quick and yeah. Let's see her pray and then do this elute.

All right. Thanks Dixie. Pray, Dixie, pray. Nope. Dixie, pray. Pray. Look at that. Amen. Say thank you. Say thank you both. Good girl. And that's it. And then, she drives that little jeep around and it just, I dunno, I just think of this different stuff [01:19:00] and I've learned so much from other, watching other dogs and that's another aspect hunters can take, watch videos of other dogs doing stuff and trainers doing stuff and, you and I talked about that.

Yeah. I've taken, I've learned from two or three different trainers that are, highly respectable trainers, Jeremy Moore and John JohE from U B T and Darren Petty and yeah. Any working dogs and all those guys. I took everything I learned from them and turned it into my own thing.

So don't be afraid to go out there and learn from these guys, but still make it your own, that way you're more comfortable with, you have certain words you use. I have certain words that I use. Yep. Just take everything you learn from different people. Don't be afraid to look in different places.

I've learned a lot from the Hollywood people too. and I've learned so much from that hunting guys. So don't be afraid to mix all that stuff up and turn it into your own. Great story, Brian. I really appreciate your time. I appreciate you and with the work you and Dixie are out there doing and how you're representing.

I know some of the backstory on movies that are highly [01:20:00] respected in the hound community, like where the Red Fern grows and things like that. And as Homan, we can't just look at this thing and think she's not doing real homework, she's doing No, when The Red Fern Grows, where The Red Fern Grows in Real Hound work either, but it was an impactful movie.

And you ask Homan what their favorite movie is, and they're gonna say Where The Red Fern Grows almost every time. Yeah. And you and Dixie are giving us a 21st century version of that of making that impact on a broad spectrum worldwide of what's. Able to be done. What our hounds are capable of doing and the impact and the message that they can carry for us.

Good job, ma'am. Yeah, for sure. Any I hope we got more stuff to do. We got another, she's got two movies coming out this summer. Hopefully they come out this summer. One's a horror movie and one's like a Hallmark kind of movie, the horror movie. I had to incorporate some hunting stuff to it too.

She had to go and find a severed arm in the woods. So I had to buy a rubber, a fake rubber [01:21:00] arm and put deer scent on it. And I laid a track, and I set the cameraman up and they was like, how do you know she's gonna run here? I said, she gonna run here. She nailed her take in the first shot.

We had her filming in 30 minutes and they were blown away. And that's Wow. Taking the hunting aspect of things, stuff to Hollywood, and doing it how, like it goes back to how I trained her to do stuff, meshing everybody else's stuff together. I made it into my own. And that's what everybody out there could be doing right now.

Great. All right folks, that's gonna do it. I want to encourage everybody to take, check out Dixie, the praying dog on all the social media platforms and share this podcast, share it with your friends and family members that, that want to hear a great message and a guy that's doing great things with a, with an awesome dog.

So Brian, I appreciate your time and thanks for being on the Homan XP podcast. This is fair chase.[01:22:00]