Redbones Revisited

Redbone CoonhoundI have been in love with redbone coonhounds ever since I read Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls in eighth grade. It’s probably why I chose a redbone for the protagonist of my short story, “Zane in the City,” even though I own a collie. I wrote the story for a contest hosted by the AKC.

My research on redbones led me to Wayne Campbell’s website, Timber Chopper Redbones. I couldn’t have found a better source of information on my chosen dog than Wayne’s site.

The history of Timber Chopper is fascinating as is the pedigree of their dogs. The dogs themselves are impressive to look at with their gleaming red coats and gentle eyes. Take time to watch the video of Kobie under the Dogs & Pedigrees tabs. Not every ear will appreciate the sound of a hound baying, but take a minute to understand the magnificence and strength behind their voice. I believe a hound’s bay is generated from within the fiber of their being. They live to bark.

One of my favorite tabs on Wayne’s site is the Terminology page. What a bonus find for my research on redbones. I was able to correctly depict my fictional redbone’s actions by incorporating the terms found here.

Wayne provided the most help when writing my story. He patiently answered my e-mailed questions, and we even spoke on the phone once. His praise for my story let me know I had nailed the character and qualities of redbones. His return e-mail said, “Heather, You did good!! So…very true! Thanks.” I still get thrilled when I read his message.

Thank you, Wayne, for helping to make Zane memorable.

Zane in the City

Love Me, Love My Dog

Love Me, Love My Dog

The following short story was written for a contest hosted by the American Kennel Club.  When I wrote it, I had my friend, Diana, in mind.  Diana is a member of the writers’ group I attend at the North Branch of the Stark County District Library.  She is a dog lover and owns an Italian Spinone.  Her beloved Bernese Mountain Dog, Targa, recently passed away.

Targa was an amazing dog who pulled a little cart.  She was the subject of several children’s stories Diana wrote.  Together they attended classes to certify Targa as a therapy dog.  Even though she didn’t pass, Diana’s love for Targa was evident whenever she talked about her.  My goal was to capture that love and channel it into a story about a dog owner and her pet.

I decided upon a hound for my story because of another friend’s fondness for them.  Hounds can be strong-willed beasts who will own you if you don’t lovingly, patiently train them.  Even then, you may find yourself bested from time to time.

You’ll want to make a cup of cocoa for this cold weather story.  Lucky for you, there just happens to be a recipe for cocoa on my blog under Edible Fiction.  It’s the perfect beverage for the tale that follows.  So, grab some cocoa, curl up under your favorite throw, make sure your four-footed friends are gathered around you, sit back, read and relax!

Zane in the City


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