Plenty of people picked up new hobbies during the coronavirus lockdown. Some tried making bread, while others started sewing or gardening.
Paige Olsen from Milwaukie, Oregon, picked up a ruler and measured her dog’s ears — and now they represent a world record.
Lou is a 3-year-old, black-and-tan female coonhound with ears that Olsen refers to as “extravagantly long.” As a puppy, Lou tripped over them, and Olsen always knew they were especially oversized but didn’t really pursue the matter beyond that.
Long ears are a trademark for the rare breed, and breed standards require they reach “at least to the tip of their nose.” They aren’t just for looks, though: There’s a functionality reason behind the standard.
“Their long ears drag on the ground and stir up scents when they are tracking out in the field,” Olsen explained, according to Guinness World Records. “It makes them great at following long, very old or ‘cold’ tracks that other breeds of dog may not pick up on.
“All black-and-tan coonhounds have beautiful long ears; some are just longer than others.”
Coming in at a symmetrical 13.38 inches each, Lou has secured the coveted title of “longest ears on a dog (living).”
They don’t require much more care than any other dog’s ears, but they do attract strangers who are fascinated with them, and they do still get in her way occasionally.
“I like to call them self-washing,” Olsen told WIS-TV. “They kind of just rinse themselves off in the water bowl. She will suck on her own ears if they get too dirty.”
During the winter, Olsen often outfits Lou with a snood, which is a fabric item made especially for dogs that keeps long ears out of food and water bowls and can act as an ear warmer in the colder months.
Lou is quite the looker and has given Olsen plenty of opportunities to educate people on the breed.
“People always have questions about the breed,” Olsen told Guinness World Records. “Coonhounds are not very common in this region, so I get the opportunity to educate a lot of people on the breed.
“Of course, everyone wants to touch the ears; they’re very easy to fall in love with with just one sighting.”
“Lou might think she’s special – but I think she’s thought that from the beginning,” Olsen said, according to Guinness’ Facebook page.
“I think she’s always known she’s a little bit better than the rest of us.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.