Sunday, August 31, 2014
Elaine was editing my newest work in progress when she suddenly asked, “Why did you have to name Roger and Suzanne’s son Robert? Now we have to struggle with remembering a murder victim named Roberta Roberts and a boy named Robert Bowman in the same novel. It’s confusing!”
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Like the movie Groundhog Day, each new puppy we keep starts off the cycle of conformation shows and hunt tests once again in our household. At the moment we have four generations of dogs, great grandma Viña, Grandma Jolie, mother Schöne, and son Ries, still a puppy. All three of the older girls are currently at the Senior Hunter level, with Jolie two qualifying rounds (of the required five) away from Master Hunter status and Viña functioning at the Master Hunter level in the field, even though she resists honoring random brace mates in hunt tests. Today’s post will again focus on Ries, who has already completed his Junior Hunter certification (at 7 months of age), and what the earning of the title of Senior Hunter will require.
What are the judges looking for? Senior Hunter competition, like Junior Hunter is still about the dog’s instincts and motivation to hunt. But now we add in the criteria of trainability and having the required skills to hunt with minimal guidance from the handler. At Senior Hunter level the animals need enough training to understand what is expected of them, but finding a bird and pointing it should be instinctual in a well-bred pointing dog. On top of these skills the judges are looking for the fundamental skills of the trained bird dog – steady to wing, and the honor.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Suzanne: We first meet Suzanne and learn her background in “The Empanada Affair” in the “Five Quickies”. I’ve sprinkled bit and pieces expanding on what we know about Suzanne in most of the other novels, so trivia snippets about her life, past and present, are dribbled out through the series. Suzanne appears in all of the stories, albeit just being mentioned in the shorter stories “The Dog With No Name” and “The Haunted Gymnasium”. I’ve thought about letting Suzanne have a book (or novella) all her own without Roger, or with Roger in a less prominent role. Maybe Suzanne will need to step up into the lead role when Roger gets a concussion or a bullet hole to recover from. Opportunity beckons! That may happen eventually, but I know not when.