Hooray! Thanks to you, our inventive readers, we have a Bino Dock winner and our cute English setter puppy from beirlsetters.com finally has a name. And that name is… But I’m getting ahead of myself.
In a September 1 blog we showed you this adorable puppy and promised a Bino Dock to whomever came up with the name we liked best. And that Bino Dock winner is… to be revealed after a few words from our sponsor.
Just kidding. No sponsor. Except maybe Bino Dock, which generously donated one of their $59.95 MSRP binocular holders for this contest. But we’re not doing a hard sell. We trust our readers to recognize a product that has value to them. Of course, we have to give a major pat on the back to Chad and Deb Beirl for breeding this line of close-working, foot-hunter gun dogs. If this pup turns out to be as good as most other Beirl setters I’ve seen or heard about, our birds had better start hiding.
Before we announce our Bino Dock winner and the Pup’s name, we’d like to thank everyone for their suggestions. Many of you offered the names of your bygone four-legged partners, and we appreciate that honor. Others chose names with personal meaning to them. Alas, that didn’t necessarily resonate with us. Many tried hard to connect to the canine or English part of this equation. Some of you tied-in the job description — hunting birds. We liked that. Most of you, however, keyed on the look of the pup. Can’t blame you for that! At this stage, “cute” seems to be her best attribute. Whining to go out and pee at 3 AM sure isn’t endearing. Neither is cleaning the kennel box if we don’t take her out.
Prominent amid the appearance names were Dot, Dottie, Spot, and Spotter. Jeff Engle, David Johnson, Karen Syron, and Danny Moore were in this group. So was my old deer hunting partner Phyllis Scherich who noted that Spotter was most appropriate for a dog expected to get out and spot birds with its nose. (Fortunately, Phyllis didn’t aim for more anatomical accuracy by suggesting Snotter.) She scored extra points for flattering the owner with the alliterative addition of Spomer’s Bird Spotter. Good entry, Phyllis. But good enough to win? Keep reading…
The most irreverent Spot-like entry oozed from the politically turbulent mind of my friend Larry Chesney who came up with PolkaHuntAss. Sorry, Larry. Our polka dot pup might make an ass of herself as she hunts, but we’re rejecting this title.
Pepper was another obvious reference to this Pup’s coat pattern. Jeremi Syron, Clifton Fleming, and Tom Christiansen proposed it. Betsy likes the name, too. But I’m hoping for something more — such as at least a veiled reference to hunting (other than “would you like a little pepper on that roasted pheasant?”) But Betsy is lobbying hard for Pepper.
Perhaps the classiest name inspired by Pup’s looks came from one of my own daughters, Sarah, who suggested Sterling, as in sterling silver. Note the subtle English connection via “British pounds sterling.” The mix of black ticking on Pup’s white coat should, indeed, give her a silvery look. More importantly, Sterling suggests superlative performance afield. We’re certainly hoping for that. Unfortunately, Sarah, I fear Sterling at this stage of the poopy’s, er, I mean puppy’s, life may be a bit premature. Besides, I don’t want to jinx her with excessively great expectations. (Bit of British literary reference there, what?)
Tony Dolle managed a double English/pelage reference with Tweed. Nice,Tony, nice. Simple. Easy to call in the field… But nice enough for the win? All shall soon be revealed…
Loren Evans came up with a atmospheric moniker that is becoming all too appropriate in the West lately — Smoke. Yes, Pup’s adult coat should look like smoke as she pours effortlessly across the golden grass. Alas, too many unpleasant associations with wildfires and tobacco for us.
Variations of Freckles seemed to be contestants’ favorite. Rodney Fann, Scott Haney, Tom Christiansen, Charles Pickles, and Nicole Atcheson picked it. Tammy Erdmann pushed creativity a bit farther with Spreckles, incorporating a bit of the owner’s name into the mix. Smart lady. Jim Neal stayed on the Freckles track but leaned toward economy with Speck. Gotta admit we like Freckles. It’s perfect for a puppy, perhaps a bit too cute for a full grown hunting dog. But it’s in the running.
Speaking of poopies, I mean puppies, Earl Croushorn captured their essential nature with Fausti. Earl, are you intimating that I may have made a pact with the devil here? A chewing, tearing, digging, whining, barking, take-me-to-the-vet-I-ate-a-poison-houseplant but cute little devil? No, I don’t think we should prognosticate with Fausti. Oh, wait a minute: Might you be referencing those lovely, Italian-made double barrel shotguns? My apologies. This puts your entry squarely into the “gun brand” names category. Here Brandon Pacheco wanted Remi, short for Remington, and Loren Hermanson proposed Ruger. A bit too commercial for my tastes, guys. Besides, I don’t want to paint myself into a corner lest I find Pup and myself hunting with any representative of a competing brand. Can’t you just see me strolling the Montana grasslands with the Marketing Manager of, oh, say Browning, Beretta, or Kimber calling “Fausti! Here Fausti! Good girl. You’re the best, Fausti.”
John Klingenberg wanted Chase, a short, appropriate name for a hard-running dog — but I don’t want to give any racy ideas to what should be a somewhat cautious bird finder, based on Beirlsetters.com genetic traits.
Quiver was a surprise entry from Dawn Hamilton. It suggests what an intense pointing dog does when locked on birds, but Dawn was thinking of the hunter’s quiver and the archers who use it, “poised and pointed at the target” like we hope this Pup will be many, many times. The Pup will definitely be a prominent tool in my quiver of hunting tricks. You’re in the running, Dawn.
Jim Heibel, Dave Gibbs, David Drew and Ann Gage all went with Scout, most appropriate for a dog whose main job is to get out there and find birds. Still, I’m afraid I’ve known too many four-legged Scouts in my time.
Lisa Foster’s idea was most complimentary to Pup, but a bit too sweet and gentle for a field dog. She chose BR Silken Lady. Indeed, both Pup’s ears and coat are soft as silk, but whether she ever begins to act like a lady remains to be seen. The BR, by the way, honored the Mistress and Master, Betsy and Ron. Lisa put a lot of thought into her entry.
We received many, many more of your great ideas but haven’t time to list them all here. Forgive us if your name doesn’t appear, but know we appreciate your contribution.
Now there is naught to do but announce our Bino Dock winner, Evan Symmes, who gave us Covey. Not too delicate or harsh. Not too masculine or feminine. Not too long or pretentious. Short and easy to say. It’s not a name Pup, I mean Covey, can confuse with other commands (Like whoa and no and go.) And it tells Covey what she’s to find for us. Covey’s of upland birds! “Go find a covey, Covey!”
According to the Dictionary, covey is a Middle English term taken from French covee, the feminine past participle of cover which in turn comes from the Latin cubare meaning lie down, which covey birds do to hide. It is also what the original line of English setters were trained to do when they pinned the birds. The hunter (this was before the advent of shotguns) could then throw a net over them, dog and all.
That all sounds just right for an English setter. Evan, your check isn’t in the mail, but your Bino Dock soon will be. Thanks for the great name. And now I must get on with helping Covey train to become a bird hunting champ. I hope I don’t screw up too badly. Don’t be surprised if I blog asking for help.
Ron Spomer writes a column about hunting dogs for American Hunter magazine, a publication of the NRA.