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Living With Hunting Dogs

Linda Harkey
Linda Harkey Author Interview

Hickory Doc’s Tales is a collection of humorous stories following the adventures and misadventures at The Lazy Dog Hacienda kennels. What was the inspiration for the setup to your stories?

The memories of over thirty years of living with hunting dogs. My stories come from our relationships with them in the field and at home along with my teaching experiences both in schools and as a docent at several museums. As a docent, I helped develop curricula for children’s programs and gave many presentations to children both at the museums and local schools.

Zeke was my favorite character in the story. Do you have a favorite character in the book?

All of them. Doc for his wisdom and leadership. Zeke (Doc’s brother) for his orneriness, determination, selfishness and humility at times. Patch (Doc’s daughter) for her inclusion of other animals, inquisitive nature, and her hunting skills. Rush (Doc’s Son) for his adventurous nature. Newt (family Lab) for his loyalty and kindness.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

Ideas that were important for me to share in Hickory Doc’s Tales for elementary children readers and adults are:

Presenting teachable tales to elementary children on the lives of hunting dogs, other animals in nature, habitat, and life lessons involving—family, bravery, diversity, loyalty, adventure, solving problems, acceptance of others, patience, and not blaming others for your mistakes.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Chatty the Hen Pheasant (Travels With The Pack) Archway Publishing is printing it now. It will be out in December, 2021.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

His official name is Chicorees Hickory Doc, and he can trace his family tree back to a sapling in Germany. The oldest and wisest of five, he lives at The Lazy Dog Hacienda kennels on Shorthair Boulevard in Oklahoma. Folks just call him Doc.
In Hickory Docs Tales, Doc shares a host of humorous stories from his important role as a hunting dog, and he narrates what life is like at the kennel. He tells tales about his adventures and mishaps with porcupines and cactus and of relationships with humans, other animals, and his tight-knit family of dogs.
Geared toward elementary school readers, Hickory Docs Tales s helps youth transition to chapter books, and it encourages a host of creative writing opportunities and exercises.

Hickory Doc’S Tales

Hickory Doc’S Tales: The Pack: First Generation by [Linda Harkey]

This bucolic children’s book contains a collection of humorous stories following the adventures and misadventures at The Lazy Dog Hacienda kennels in Oklahoma.

Hickory Doc’s Tales is a cute story about a family of hunting dogs. Zeke is easily my favorite character because he is the misunderstood uncle and sort of the black sheep of the family. Zeke considers himself better than his brother and family. Eventually he becomes humble and children will learn a good lesson along the way as well. Newt is my second favorite character because he is loyal and even though he is a different breed of dog, they still consider him family, this sends a wonderful message of diversity and inclusion to young readers. He is a little insecure, but quickly realizes his differences are positive and helpful. It’s cute to see how close this family of dogs are, the lengths they go through for one another and the adventures they share. There is also a delightful variety of colorful side characters that appear throughout the book.

Now, even though the characters were lovely I wasn’t fond of the author’s writing style. I felt like that held back the story a bit. It was well edited, but some of the wording felt almost robotic.

This is a book for young readers that are transitioning to chapter books. The book was well edited, but I wanted there to be more of a flow to the language so that the writing matched the easy flow of life in the book.

I loved the illustrations! They were very well done and added life and dimension to the story. The illustrations were placed perfectly throughout the book giving you a better feel for what happened in that chapter. The chapters are very short. The book itself is perfect for an elementary student from grades four to six. I found it interesting that the author is a hunting dog owner and wondered about all the sources of inspiration she must have had!

Hickory Doc’S Tales is such a cute story that young readers will absolutely adore.

Pages: 116 | ASIN: B0796623SZ

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