Last updated on April 21st, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Meet Roy, Olympian Leslie Burr Howard’s third Catahoula Leopard dog.
Roy came to me through the help of Danny and Ron’s Rescue in fall of 2012. They were aware of my love for the Catahoula breed, and they contacted me when the puppy came into their care. Catahoula Leopard dogs are an American breed named after the Catahoula Parish in Louisiana, where they were originally bred for hunting boar. Their typical merled coats of black, brown, red, or yellow, often trimmed with tan or white, served as camouflage in the deep woods.

I first became interested in the breed years ago at the Harrisburg Horse Show, where someone had a litter of puppies for sale. I wasn’t able to resist their cuteness, and one of the puppies, Harriet, became the first of three Catahoula-type dogs that I would own.

The second, now 14 years old, is Lily, who has been traveling with me since we were accidentally paired when she was just a young dog.

Leslie Burr Howard (top) and Taylor Cawley (above) welcome Roy to a new life on the farm.

We found each other outside of the horse show grounds in Wellington, when I spotted her running after a trailer down the main road. I stopped and picked her up to get her out of harm’s way, but after flagging the driver down, I realized he had let her out and taken off intentionally. And so that’s how my partnership with Lily began.

Last fall, Roy joined Burr Associates when he was 6 months old. He has quickly adapted to the farm lifestyle and respects that Lily is “top dog.” He finds plenty to do besides following me around. There are holes to explore, and he LOVES to swim. He is really good around the horses too. Unlike Lily, who is shy and reserves her affection only for me, Roy has a happy, go-with-the-flow demeanor.

He is enjoying his first circuit season in Wellington. He especially loves going for rides on the golf cart to the show, and when my husband, Peter, is down visiting, he takes Roy with him rollerblading. Roy’s favorite thing to do, however, is swimming, and he will actually swim laps with Peter in the pool.

At night, he curls up and sleeps right between us on the bed. Roy is such a pleasure. Thank you, Danny and Ron!

Published Spring 2013

Leslie Burr Howard is a two-time Olympian, having ridden on gold and silver medal-winning show jumping teams in 1984 and 1996. As a junior, she captured the coveted Maclay Finals win in 1972. Leslie’s many other accomplishments include FEI wins and multiple Rider and Horses of the Year Awards. When not on the road at horse shows, Leslie lives with her husband and dogs in Newtown, Conn., and trains at nearby Burr Associates at Red Gate Farm. To learn more about Danny and Ron’s Rescue, see “Danny and Ron’s”.