Little Ann Living Up to Her Name

a quiet morning before the action started

When I bought my springer spaniel she came from registered parents Steptoe's Dante and Ms. Pauleen of Bishop Hollow. I had never had a registered dog so I decided this puppy needed a famous or dignified name to match her parents. I brainstormed place names, girl names, dogs I remembered from books, and went to baby names online. At that same time JEJ was reading Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. The dogs in that book are hounds, but I remembered how Little Ann was a strong female dog character in that book. Even though my puppy was a spaniel the name had been decided. Her registered name became Little Ann of Bloomfield Farm. We just call her Annie.
This week-end Where the Red Fern Grows came up again. My niece Z2 was visiting and had the novel in a lit book to read over the week-end. It led to conversations about the power of that book with children, when we first had it read aloud to us, or when we sat down and read it to outselves. Mom inquired if students of mine still read it. Raymond Pert had never read it again after fifth grade and wondered if it would be as emotional now. " It was for me," I explained to him, remembering sitting down one afternoon to read that classic one more time and not being able to put it down. I also had kleenex ready as I cried through the end of the book.

(If you are not familiar with this classic children's book, the boy and the hounds romp the Ozarks hunting for raccoon. He enters a hunting contest with his dogs also.)

I was awakened this morning with JEJ coming in to get a flashlight. " There is an animal under the deck," he muttered as he headed for the back of the house. By the time I got out of bed and shook the cobwebs from my brain the animal had headed up a tree.
look closely to see the raccoon

Annie lived up to her name. Little Ann of Bloomfield Farm treed a raccoon. It was a young raccoon that could climb very well. Annie just sat under the tree obsessed with the raccoon. Once we got the dogs contained, the raccoon found safety.

How often do events occur like this? From naming your dog, to Where the Red Fern Grows, to Little Ann living up to her name. I love it when these connections just happen in the course of week-end. By the way, if you haven't read this book, add it to your list of must-reads. It is a classic favorite!
Shelby, our Australian Cattle Dog helped with herding the raccoon from under the deck, but then watched her sister Annie in puzzlement from a chair. She was thinking," Is this what herding is in England...just standing under a tree? In Australia we herd our animals around the corral!"


  1. Please excuse the off-topic comment,'ve been tagged!

  2. Annie is so cute. I love the pics with her looking at flowers etc. She looks determined to keep that racoon up the tree until you came to see her catch! What a great set of connections to affirm that the name was the perfect name for her.

    I didn't remember reading "Where the Red Fern Grows" in school, but I read it a couple of years ago, while I was teaching 5th grade at the Calvary Chapel Christian School. I was looking for literature for the kids to read, and since most of them had already read it, we chose another book for class. It was, a great read, and definitely a "tear jerker."

  3. Our family dog while I was growing up was a Springer Spaniel, Brandy.
    She was such a wonderful dog.
    They are such loving and entertaining and mischevious characters.

  4. PIMD: I don't think I read it in school either... but read it later.
    Tori: I bet Brandy was a cutey. I can't imagine a springer that you wouldn't fall in love with!


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