Words by Ashley Guthrie | As Told By Gunner

I’m from south Georgia, but was in Kentucky for a hunt with Trip when the wreck happened.

Trip is my 3-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound who is a Professional Kennel Club Super Stake Champion, last year’s PKC Reserve National Champion and considered a PKC Platinum Champion. His full name is The American Power Trip.

Playing Chicken With a Drunk Driver

I was following this guide in Kentucky on the way to a hunt and we had just crested a hill when a drunk driver crossed directly into my lane. My reaction was to snatch the wheel as far to the right as I could, but it didn’t make much difference because she still crashed right into the driver’s door. Those things happen in an instant. Because my truck has some big tires on it, her smaller vehicle went right up under my carriage.

It pretty much knocked the rear end from under my truck, and we spun down the road a good clip – I would estimate at least 100 yards.  The pictures don’t do it justice. Honestly I’m thankful to be alive.

Trip was riding in a G1™ Large in the back of the truck, and I hadn’t strapped it down this time. At some point during this the crate was launched from the bed, I’m not sure when. After I came to a stop, I looked out and saw the kennel about 40 yards away from where the truck had landed, in a ditch.

Gunner Kennels Saved My Dog

People don’t realize how competitive the coon hunting industry has become – Trip is a championship coon hunting dog, and folks in the industry estimate he’s worth somewhere between $30-40,000.

This is the most successful dog I’ve ever owned, and he had ended up in a ditch over there.

When I got over to the Gunner crate, I saw the door was still closed, which was a good sign. I opened it up and Trip scrambles out. He didn’t seem to have been harmed at all, and today he is completely fine. I half couldn’t believe it.

I purchased the Gunner kennel just two months before this wreck. There isn’t any doubt in my mind that your dog box is what saved Trip.

Once the cops had sorted everything out on the scene, me and Trip went on with the guide to the hunt. We had traveled to Kentucky for this so I didn’t think Trip wanted to miss it either – and even though he didn’t perform like he normally does, he did alright considering.  

I hunt with Trip about five nights a week. I’ve been coon hunting for 15 years, and it’s not just a hobby for me anymore. Trip is the best dog I’ve ever owned, and I’m just grateful that he’s still here with me. Thank you.

Note: the Gunner customer did not have his crate tied down to his vehicle at the time of accident. We recommend securing the Gunner kennel with our crash-tested tie-down straps, 100% of the time.

Read more Gunner Save Stories: “Gunner Saved Diesel’s Life

Learn more about competition coon hunting through Ashley’s Facebook page here.


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