Roger Howlett, November 12, 2020 (video)


Roger Howlett, November 12, 2020 (video)


Carriage and Harness Museum
Yale University


Video interview with Roger Howlett, 1967 graduate of the Cooperstown Graduate Program. Roger discusses the adventures of his pet fox, Foxy.


William Kleffner


Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York-College at Oneonta




Cooperstown Graduate Association, Cooperstown, NY






Moving Image




Upstate New York
Cooperstown, NY


William Kleffner


Roger Howlett


107 Haggerty Road
Cooperstown, NY


WK=William Kleffner
RH= Roger Howell

Could you tell me the story about Foxy?

Well, I was a graduate student and it had gotten to be spring of 1967, and I was wandering, for some reason, down to the hardware store on Main Street. There was a box that some people were gathered about and so I gathered myself about it also to see what was in the box. As it turned out, it was five kit foxes, baby foxes, that were sitting there on top of a bunch of hardware in a box. Listening to the story, the hardware store owner said that a farmer had killed a vixen and then realized she had a den of kits. Dug up the den, put them in a box, and, naturally, took them to the hardware store. I said, well, what’s going on with these? The hardware store manager said, we’re giving them away, do you want one? And I went, sure, I’ll take one! And thus, began my relationship with a semi-domesticated fox. I think he domesticated me more than I domesticated him, but that was our relationship after he showed me a few fox tricks. At one point, he had, I think, piddled on the floor and remembering dog training, I put his nose in it and gave him a little whack with a newspaper. He looked at me, jumped up on my favorite chair, and peed all over it. I realized, going back and forth a few times with a fox, that we were approaching thermonuclear war. This wasn’t going to work for either of us, so I settled in and he settled in, and he pretty much did what he wanted. As we got closer and closer to the summer, I had purchased my very first airline ticket to Europe and I was gone for two weeks. And my roommate, Dick Slavin, said he would take care of the fox, but he actually had a very interesting way of taking care of the fox. He took the fox over to what was then the Carriage and Harness Museum, where there were lots and lots of dog runs and dog cages. The fox had a spacious cage, and every day got out on a walk on a leash. One day, Dick was leading the fox out on the leash and an elderly lady who he recognized as the elder Mrs. Clark, the widow of Stephen Carlton Clark, said, “young man, is that a fox?” And he said, “yes, ma’am, it is.” And she said, “may I approach it?” So, Mrs. Stephen Carlton Clark and the fox got to know each other. As it got closer and closer to fall, and we were going to various different places for various different jobs, we decided that the fox had to stay in Cooperstown. The trapper, who was associated with The Farmers’ Museum, High Gross, was happy to take the fox. And, as I told you before, he put the fox in an old dog-run that he had that had no dogs in it. There was a house and a chain-link fence enclosing a fair amount of gravel yard. So, the next morning, High opened his front door and looked down, and there was the fox staring up at him. High went and checked and found that the fox had dug out from under the chain link fence. And it took the fox three or four days before High got trained that he was going to dig up wherever he had to so he could sit on the front step for High every morning. So, given that, the fox came and went as he wanted, and was usually on the front door step every morning to greet High. High and the fox, through summer, fall, and so on, gardened together, did chores together, the fox keeping close by him. Then, at a point, somewhere into their relationship, the fox disappeared for a couple of weeks and came back as if nothing had happened. Then did it again for more weeks, finally a month, and then at one point, High said, I think he’s not coming back, I think he met a lady fox. But nevertheless, more than a year later, the fox showed up one day while High was gardening. [The fox] sat at a distance, they kind of said hello to each other. The fox sat a little bit longer, then disappeared. And that was the last anyone, or High at least, had ever seen of Foxy. But Foxy did a full-on return to the wild, and as I said to you, I think he had the advantage over other male foxes in populating Otsego County with his progeny. And that is because he among his fox relatives had a rabies shot.



Bit Rate/Frequency

644.30 kbit/s

Time Summary

Track 1, The Adventures of Foxy - 00:06




William Kleffner , “Roger Howlett, November 12, 2020 (video) ,” CGP Community Stories, accessed November 29, 2021,