I think I have confirmation that Sam is half hound. I really like hounds, but when I go to the shelter to get a dog, I don't look for a specific breed. I just take whatever needy animal is waiting. I have now had three half hounds; Howie (schnauzer/beagle); Rudy (beagle/collie) and Sam (blue tick hound/border collie). Sophie is a full hound (bassett hound) and Penny was a poodle. (Edna is at least partially a Maine Coon Cat, if not a purebred, but she is labeled a domestic long hair). Howie's mix was definite, as was Rudy's half beagle, Sophie's bassett (at least mostly, if not all) and Penny's poodle. The collie part of Rudy was an educated guess.
Sam's previous owner said he was blue tick and lab. Blue tick is an unusual breed and so not likely to be a fabrication, but the shelter staff and my vet both disagree that he is lab. They say that when a black dog is surrendered to the shelter, the owner usually will say it is part lab because that is a popular, good natured breed. They don't want anyone to think it might be a dobie or rottie (not that him being either breed would have caused me to not adopt him. I love dobermans especially). I think border collies may have a negative reputation as well, in terms of being very active. Or it could be that the owner had no clue which male dog that was hanging around fathered the puppies.
Anyway, I think Sam could be a mix of 15 breeds, and very likely blue tick and border collie, but there is undoubtedly some hound in there. This morning Bob went to run errands, and Sam has been nervously pacing (that's the border collie, I suppose). Right now he is sitting near me, being a "scootch." (That means I have to keep one hand on him while typing with the free hand, or he tries to climb on my lap, paw the keyboard, and hit my hand with his head - not sure which breed that characterizes; I call it "scootch."). But the blue tick is displayed by what he does when he is not sitting here being a scootch: he stops pacing, throws his head back, and howls. What a mournful sound.
We're on three day weekends for the next five weeks...so it's off to Samsonville once I finish watering the garden and plants.