Maddie the Coonhound Traveled the U.S., Wants To Do It Again With Friends Like You

Carmen’s Team Pick:

When Theron Humphrey set out on a cross-country adventure in search of the portrait of America, he did what anyone would do: he brought his dog.


Humphrey photographed someone different every single day for a year as part of his photo-documentary project, This Wild Idea. As cool as that is, I’m a lot more intrigued by what was going on with Maddie, his coonhound. Thank Goddess, then, for his tumblr devoted only to the pictures he took of his pooch while he was traversing the nation. It’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her own interstate adventure. And it’s so fucking cute.


In fact, Maddie is so adorable that America unanimously decided to take her home. As a huge favor to us all, Humphrey went ahead and created a coffee table book about her adventures that you can pre-order today on Amazon. (There’s also a poster and an iPhone app you can get your hands on for non-stop Maddie moments.) And if you want the experience in real life, you can catch her on tour – she’ll be hitting all 50 states on a book tour that will fuel Humphrey’s next project, Why We Rescue, which collects animal rescue stories from across the United States.

There’s nothing not to love about a human who loves their pet. And there’s nothing not to love about an adorable dog willing to sit still long enough to be photographed. (Ahem, Eli.) So come on out and see Maddie in action! After all, you might get a sticker.


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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I wish my dog wasn’t terrified of cameras. SO much cuteness being denied to the internet world. Glad Maddie is stepping in to do her part.

  2. coon is a racial slur.

    coon hunting is not a thing i want to see slapped up on the internet

    seriously change it

    • Would it be better to call it a Raccoonhound?
      ‘Cause seriously, that’s what those dogs were bred to do and still do. Yes, there was that horrible, horrible period of time when they were sometimes used for that due to their scent hound instinct, but yea, they’re still used for hunting raccoons. Coons. And the breed is called a coonhound.

      • I don’t know if you thought that they got their name BECAUSE of that particular usage of them? Because that’s not the case. They had it wayyyy before that, when, again, they were used for hunting raccoons.
        And for the record, I’m a WOC and super sensitive about political correctness. I just don’t think this is a case where there’s an alternative, or even should be an alternative, unless you change the name of raccoons.

  3. Oh no. I didn’t realize it was possible that one’s dog worship could result in a coffee table book. GAME CHANGER.

  4. at first i’m like NO I DON’T CARE ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE’S DOG BEING PHOTOGENIC. DON’T CARE. and then i watched the video and thought about my rescued puppies and almost cried? and they’re coming to my favorite bookstore in phoenix! I’M GOING TO MEET MADDIE AND GET A STICKER.

    • yes!!!!! i am going to go in DC it’s at such a cool location! i think it’s because theron is so ~hip~

  5. i’m not really a dog person but maddie makes me kind of want a dog? i don’t know what to do with this information but my girlfriend will be pleased and i think what it all means is that maddie is very very very cute.

    also let it be known that when i first typed this comment i accidentally wrote “i’m not really a god person.” ahem.

    • also i love all of your dogs even though i’m not inherently a dog person, no one be mad at me please, carmen i love eli, gabrielle i love kimberly, etc etc etc forever and ever amen.

  6. Much like the Foxhound, Otterhound, Elkhound and Wolfhound, the Coonhound was named for what it was primarily bred to hunt: raccoons. The dog breed (of which there are six individual breeds) is in no way a reference to the racial slur. These dogs are descendants of breeds that date as far back as the 11th century. It’s a tough, courageous breed, not a political statement.

    • digger
      I once had 4 irish wolfhounds visit our deerhound and newf/lab mix and border collie when I lived up north and it was the best playdate ever.

  7. carmen
    i don’t know how i missed this post how did that happen? I have it bookmarked now.

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