Beginning approximately 12,000 years ago, there are numerous instances of dog fossils buried in close proximity to human graves. In one such grave, in what is now Israel, a puppy is buried cradled in the hands of a young human--a clear sign that humans and dogs had begun to share a special bond.
A Bluetick Coonhound named Smokey is the mascot of the University of Tennessee sports teams. There is an actual Bluetick Coonhound, Smokey X, who leads the Vols on the field for football games. The Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity cares for the hound on the University of Tennessee campus. There is also a costumed mascot.