A Beauty and A Bloodhound
September 23, 2014
Last week I got to witness the relationship between a woman and her dog that was so unique and special, it set an example for how I hope one day myself and Jack proceed.
Meryl Klemow and her seven year old Bloodhound Soyars ( Soyars Heather Klemow ) harness a friendship so great, forget diamonds, a dog can just as easily be a “girls best friend”.
What caught my attention about these two in particular was Soyars breed and massive size. The gentle giant in the baggy suite, and the blonde haired beauty made the perfect pair. They showcased that even young petite women can live a wonderful life with large dogs twice their size- while to some it looks strange. Growing up it seemed like large dogs, especially large male dogs were best kept as “Man’s Best Friend”. People are not used to seeing the dynamic the other way around. So when I met Meryl and saw how far gone her and Soyers were from the stereotypical mold, it made me excited to embrace my large dog, and that of others in the community parented by women. Meryl and Soyars to me are the original “Beauty and the Beast”.
Klemow, a San Diego native currently runs the PR and Marketing for San Diego’s world renowned live music venue the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. When she’s not schmoozing it up with San Diego’s greatest and up and coming music artist, she’s smooching on all 106 pounds of purebred Bloodhound, baby Soyars. A Bloodhound enthusiast, one of Klemow’s favorite online site’s is the I Love Bloodhounds Facebook Page, of which Soyars has become a familiar face on.
Up until I met Soyars I didn’t know much about Bloodhounds. What I did know was they had a great reputation of being intelligent hunting dogs as much as they were gentle giants. But when in the presence of Meryl and Soyars it was obvious Bloodhounds, or at least this one particular, were capable of so much more. One thing I noticed was even if it looked like Soyars was dozing off taking a nap or in his own world, he always had one eye on Meryl. Like he was protecting her, but it a very subtle way that would’t scare or intimidate people. I also noticed how much Soyars loved the way Meryl looked at him. Just one look, made him feel so special, even it it was from afar, he would still light up. Sit in a room with the two of them, and it’s instantly clear how infectious their love truly is…
After that I really became interested with the gentle giant in the baggy suit. So it was only necessary I asked Meryl if she would share thoughts on being a dog owner to a large dog like Soyars and what parents can expect if they are interested in adopting a Bloodhound for themselves. Here is what she had to say:
“Anyone can love a dog. It takes a special person to love a hound. They are messy, independent yet very needy. They shed a lot, can be so loyal it can transfer to on the border of being aggressive with strangers… they eat A LOT, so they require a lot of exercise” … Going on to say ” Luckily my boyfriend is GREAT with Soyars, and he has adapted to our little pack quite nicely. It takes a good man to be calm in moments of finding drool (the dogs of course) on the ceiling, our new TV, somehow IN the microwave. Drool has flung off Soyars and on to my forehead too many times to count.” – Meryl Klemow
I sat down with Klemow and learned about her unique experience raising Soyars. Being a single mom to a large dog myself, it’s not everyday I run into women who can relate to me when it comes to this particular lifestyle. These dogs may not be human children, but even pet parents have their troubles too. And when it’s with a large dog who demands so much more attention than that of it’s smaller canine counterparts, it’s nice to know their are people like Meryl and her dog Soyers who can pave they way for ” Beauties and their Beasts”.
To learn more about Meryl and Soyers, here are some questions Meryl took the time to answer for us about Soyars while sharing the rewarding and indescribable joy it is being his Mommy.
Q: Meryl, how old is Soyars and where did you get him?
A: Soyars Heather Klemow is 7 years old, and he comes from Alabama! I got him when he was 9 weeks old. The rest of the pups in the liter were calm, well behaved pups that would just lay nicely on a porch, and then there was one – the class clown! Week 7 into his life I he climbed into a bull pen and started running around the bull! The breeder told me – I have about 5 porch dogs – very well behaved – and one class clown of the bunch. I said – I’ll take him! I like my hounds like my people – entertaining, devilish and not afraid to get into a little trouble now and then.
I had to pick him up at the commuter terminal next to all these lobster crates! Once I got him – I was absolutely stunned at how gorgeous and beautiful he was – probably like the way normal women feel about human babies – haha. I drove with him from the airport to Seaport village, and we caught our first sunset together. It sounds like a Disney movie, but that very first night I held his paw and told him I would never let go! A strange story – while at Seaport village I called over to some random people and said, “you guys have to see what I have in my car”, because I knew people would appreciate this sweet long eared and big pawed tiny baby”. A nice couple came over, and said hi and met him — years later we ran into them on the Del Mar beach and they recognized Soyars and myself!
Q: He’s very large! He looks like a mastiff/ basset/ hound.. What kind of dog is he exactly?
A: He is a true pure bred bloodhound! He is 106 lbs, and has a beautiful tan / reddish coat. If only I could get my hair that color! Hounds are known for gorgeous, soul eyes, and he knows how to work them to get basically anything!
Q: Describe his disposition? He seems incredibly affectionate..
A: The more I research bloodhounds (my go to site on Facebook is “I Love Bloodhounds”) the more I find I am not alone with my very interesting boy! Soyars is VERY sweet, loyal, and obedient, but it is 100% on his terms. Hounds definitely have “moods” and every day he wakes up in a different mood. Some days he will be broody and independent – we will drive in the car and he sticks his head out the window if he doesn’t feel like acknowledging me. Some days he will be happy and shiny faced, and follows me around the house like he did when he was a few weeks old. I have gotten used to his moods and am pretty much like an assistant to a Hollywood star around him! I love on him when he wants it, and leave him alone when he is “in a mood!” Things that make him a happy hound include: going on walks with myself and my boyfriend Eric, eating cheese and meatballs, getting groomed, when my friends come to visit, and Bully Sticks!
Q: Bloodhounds are known for holding one of two very high senses unlike any other canine counterpart. A high sense of sound os smell. What would you say is Soyars better strength?
A: definitely strength of smell — I love that saying that they are a nose with a dog attached.
Q: Hound dogs have an extreme high sense of smell. Does Soyars nose get him into trouble? Any good Soyars sniffing stories?
A: We were hiking in Ramona once, and I was loosely holding his leash while we were walking along a trail. We saw a rabbit run past, and he seemed to miss it, but when he got the scent of it, he took off and I literally flew into the air like Mary Poppins- both feet went into the air and I went sailing into a bush. Luckily my friend grabbed the leash so Soyars didn’t get on the loose!
Q: For the most part, Hound dogs are very independent and the many hound dog owners feel comfortable letting their adult hounds roam leash free. Is Soyars a leash free hound too? If so how often does he have to check in with you?
A: Because he is so independent, he has to stay on the leash! Otherwise, I think he would look back at me with that hound face, then run away until he was in La Jolla or Los Angeles! I have tried a few times to let him off leash at dog beach, and he literally SWAM away to the other end of Del Mar – that was a fun night – just me on a beach after sunset, cold and soaking wet trying to catch him while he runs away from me at every direction!
Q:Would you say Soyars was easy to train? Because Bloodhounds tend to be independent of people and I heard they can be difficult to train. Any advice for someone looking adopt a hound dog?
A: If you are looking to get a hound dog – stock up on magic erasers! those are the best products in the WORLD. Be prepared to set aside an hour a day (30 mins here, 30 mins there, or all at once) to take them on a great walk. The same way we like to stalk each other on Facebook, hounds love to go outside and gather their information by smell. .. Hounds are SO loyal and very sensitive. Please do everyone on earth a favor and think hard if you are ready for a commitment. they will be your best friend, but like any relationship – it requires dedication and compromise. if you have no time and don’t want to go on walks – I would suggest volunteering at your local shelter, or maybe seeing if there is an elderly person in your neighborhood that could use help walking their dog. that way you are still helping and getting the canine love, but you aren’t directly responsible.
Q: Soyars is very handsome. Does he like to pose for photographs?
A: Soyars got my gene of wanting attention all the time! He loves posing for photographs, and the more we live together the more I honestly think we are starting to make the same faces. When we go to get water or run errands, he sticks his head out the window and looks at other drivers until they notice him.
Q: Is he a vocal dog? Does he bark, howl?
A: My boyfriend and I set aside a few minutes every night for “Howling Time!” We mimic the sound of police sirens, and Soyars howls along with us. We give him a treat after – and have a great laugh. We loves to be vocal, and I love it too – just as long as the time and place is right!
Q:Where are your favorite places to hangout together and activities to do together?
A: My favorite activity in life, is taking Soyars on a walk. That is when I feel my calmest, when I can think the clearest, and most like myself. We live in a beautiful area of Carlsbad where there is dewy grass for him to sniff, and many scents of other animals for him.
Q: What is Soyars favorite activity?
A: Soyars and I actually have the SAME interests – I like for people to groom me, feed me, take me places, go on walks with me and love me. Soyars also has a best friend named Ollie, who is a 9 year old great dane. They lived together (with me and Ollie’s owner, San Diego singer/songwriter Megan Combs) and altogether it was over 250 lbs of dog in our house! haha
Q: Hound dogs in general are very alerts of their surroundings, high sense of intelligence, unconditionally affectionate, and have wonderful disposition. What makes dogs like Soyars the an ideal pet?
A: He is absolutely the ideal pet for me – when I am having a busy day at work I come home to him making his “snivel face” (where he scrunches up and smiles) and he reminds me that our time together is short, precious, and I honestly feel – a miracle. I am a total animal lover (elephants and manatees are my other go to’s) and he is literally the most beautiful animal I have ever seen. I feel blessed that in my lifetime I have such a strong connection with an animal. If you “own” (one can NEVER really own a hound though) an animal the correct way I think it’s a gift and a very amazing experience!
What a beautiful story about my friend and her dog- I love you, Meryl! I still want to meet Soyars!