January 28, 2016
Dog Tails Dog of the Month: Ludivine the Marathon Bloodhound
We’re starting a new tradition in the new year – the Dog Tails Dog of the Month! In this feature, we’ll share fun, adventurous, inspiring stories of dogs who have made headlines and captured our hearts.
Our first Dog Tails Dog of the Month is Ludivine, a Bloodhound from Alabama who became a sensation earlier this month when she accidentally joined a half-marathon race in her hometown. How did Ludivine go from a “lazy girl” to a world-famous dog athlete? Read on to find out!
It all began on Saturday, January 16th, when two and half year-old Ludivine, who was roaming around her family’s 40-acre farm in Elkmont, AL, decided to wander off into the start of a nearby charity half marathon. The friendly, curious pup joined the runners along the trail, stopping a few times to track some animals with her legendary bloodhound nose. Even with her detours, Ludivine managed to complete the race in a little over an hour and half, making her the 7th place finisher overall!
Ludivine’s mom April Hamlin assumed her dog was still roaming the property, so she was shocked when her co-worker sent her a photo of Ludivine at the finish line wearing a race medal. “I was just so embarrassed because I thought she had ruined that race for everybody,” Hamlin told AL.com. On the contrary, once Hamlin arrived at the finish line, she discovered that Ludivine was a big hit with the whole crowd. Photos from the event caught the attention of local and national news outlets, and Ludivine’s story went viral.
Here’s Ludivine and her mom being interviewed on Fox News. She looks like she’s ready to run another 13 miles!
Ludivine’s newfound celebrity has also brought a lot of attention to the race, the first annual Elkmont Half Marathon, which was started in order to raise funds for Elkmont’s cross country and track & field teams. “They’re getting a lot of attention,” said Hamlin, who works as a guidance counselor at Elkmont High School. “A lot of people want to run the race next year, and so I’m super happy that her ‘escape’ turned into a good thing for the school.”
In honor of Ludivine’s big splash, race organizers have renamed the event “Elkmont’s Hound Dog Half Marathon.” When asked if Ludivine would participate next year, Hamlin told Fox News, “I think she’s got plans to be more focused next year,” alluding to her dog’s detours to sniff rabbits and mules along the trail.
The team at DogWatch loved hearing about Ludivine’s story, and wanted to help encourage her athletic endeavors. Our local Dealer in the area, Eugene Harwell of DogWatch Hidden Fence of Northern Alabama, happens to live in the Elkmont community. He has offered to waive his hidden fence installation cost for Ludivine in honor of her remarkable run. That way, Ludivine can keep up her running regimen while staying safe on her farm. Hang on to that adventurous and irrepressible spirit, Ludivine, and good luck next year!
Ludivine’s DogWatch Hidden Fence has been installed, and she’s going through her training with DogWatch Dealers Eugene and Jordan Harwell. Welcome to the DogWatch family, Ludivine!
Top photo credit: Elkmont’s Hound Dog Half Facebook page