Braque français

Come in to my world...

Tug of War...

The Hunting Dogs | of Elm Brook Farm

If you’ve spent time here on the farm you’ll notice hunting dogs somewhere nearby. Why is it that dogs are so integrated into life here on the farm? Well there are the obvious reasons as when they are protecting family and home or pointing out a stealthy grouse nervously hiding – still and close by. Their true value however goes beyond the practical – quite simply; they’re needed to make our family complete. No other set of beings intrinsically craves each other more than a human and a dog. Dogs don't care what kind of job you have, the kind of house you live in or what kind of clothes you wear; to them you’re just worthwhile. We put up with chewed up shoes and messes they occasionally make in order to feel their warmth and affection. As we grow older, we keep track of time by the dogs that have come and gone from our life.

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
But when we are certain of sorrow in store
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
– Rudyard Kipling

About Braques

The type of dog we chose to make a home with us are the Braque Français. They’re an old breed from the south of France that we experienced while living there. They were bred for their ability to point game birds. They’re a lesser-known hunting dog, which is surprising since they are one of the gentlest breed of pointer – intelligent and sensitive. In addition to being good bird dogs, they can flush and track large game. They are swift and sure-footed. They make great companions, but need plenty of exercise!

Harper & Irving

Harper & Irving | sun dogs

Harper and Irving were born June 18, 1998 in Esnes, France. Brother and sister from the Gascogne type of the breed. They are the two first Braque Français imported into the United States. They could run up to 25 mph and worked as a team to track and flush prey. Harper (top) was the only female in their litter and we think she got more than her share of intelligence. Irving was amazingly loyal. Sadly Irving Sr. passed away suddenly on October 29, 2007, but Harper lived over 15 years, and passed peacefully on a sunny day, August 27, 2013.

Harper was named after Harper Lee. If you were to read just on book in your life make it: To Kill a Mockingbird (1960). Irving was named after John Irving. Mr. Irving is one of Vermont’s better-known authors. Though we find nearly all of his writing worth reading, we’d recommend Cider House Rules (1985) and A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989). These two novels are a great introduction to his work. His writing as much as any thing else moved us to settle down on a farm in Vermont.

King & Rowling

King & Rowling | proud parents

Our daughter, Lauren, asked when she was two years old if she could have her own two dogs. Harper and Irving were "dad's dogs" after all, and just three months younger than her. For eight years she continued to ask so when Lauren turned ten, she got her wish. King (right) was born in July 14, 2006, and Rowling was born in Ciotat, France, on October 6, 2007. Together they had 21 puppies.

King has taken his name from Maine’s Stephen King. If you’ve no experience with Mr. King try the short read Blockade Billy (2010). Rowling, takes her name from Harry Potter’s (2001) J.K. Rowling. Our daughters Claire and Lauren thought J.K. needed a dog named after her.

What follows here are King and Rowling’s two litters.

Meet the Puppies


  • Henry

    Henry

    We named Henry after the Secretary of State Henry Kissenger. He is a German-born American writer, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. In 1973, Kissinger, while serving as the United States Secretary of State, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for the Paris Peace Accords of 1973. We recommend his book Diplomacy (1994).

    Our Henry now lives near Washington DC and competes in gun dog competitions in the Eastern United States. As we get more news of Henry’s competitive exploits from time to time we will up date his efforts.


    Lawrence

    Lawrence

    We named our Lawrence after Thomas Edward Lawrence known professionally as T. E. Lawrence. He was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. We enjoy "Lawrence of Arabia’s" published letters.

    Our Lawrence now lives on New Jersey.



    Cleary

    Cleary

    Beverly Cleary is one of America's most successful living authors. She wrote some of the best known children's stories including Henry Huggins (1950) and Beezus and Ramona (1955).

    Our Cleary has a strong hunting instinct and makes her home in here in Vermont.



    Russo

    Russo

    Richard Russo is an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and teacher. Two of our favorite books by Russo are Empire Falls (2001) and Bridge of Sighs (2007).

    Our Russo makes his home in North Carolina with his brother, Mel.




    Melville

    Melville

    Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby Dick (1851). We enjoy Moby Dick and dog-friendly Nantucket where the Essex hales.

    Our Mel lives with his borther, Russo, in North Carolina.



    Hemingway

    Hemingway

    Ernest Miller Hemingway was an classic American author and journalist. We've all read The Old Man and The Sea (1952).

    Our Hemi spends his days with a nice family in North Carolina.




    Cooper

    Cooper

    James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. Cooper's most famous novel The Last of the Mohicans (1826) became one of the most widely read American novels of the 19th century.

    Our Cooper makes his home in Maine.


    Porter

    Porter

    Eleanor Porter was an American novelist who mainly wrote children's literature, adventure stories and romance fiction. Her most famous novel is Pollyanna (1913).

    Our Porter is our daughter Lauren's favorite pup. Lauren would sneak her into her bed early in the morning and Porter made herself right at home. Porter’s personality fits the quote from Pollyanna: "It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn't it?" Porter could sense how you feel before you know it yourself. Porter makes her home here in Vermont.


    Holly

    Holly

    Holly Black née Riggenbach is an American writer and editor, best known for writing the children's fantasy books, The Spiderwick Chronicles (2003).

    Our Holly is a princess at her home in New Jersey.




    Ayn

    Ayn

    Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.

    Our Tiny Aynie is full of personality too. She was the smallest in the litter, but the first to tackle her larger siblings for food, toys and affection. Ayn makes her home in Miami, Florida.


    Irving

    Irving

    Irving Jr., aka Mr. Diddles, was named after Irving Sr. who was not an author but one of the first Braque Français to immigrate to America. Irving Sr. was named after John Irving the author.

    Irving Jr. lives a charmed life with us here on the farm.



  • Annie

    Annie

    Annie Proulx is an often read contemporary writer known particularly for her prize winning short story Brokeback Mountain and novel Shipping News. She lived many years here in Vermont though at present she makes her home in Wyoming.

    Our Annie is an energetic one and fills her days chasing her father, King, and exploring our farm. Her free spirit inspired our Rail Dog name!


    Ellie

    Ellie

    Our daughter Lauren enjoys Eleanor Porter's work so much that she named this puppy from the second litter after her too. She was an American novelist who mainly wrote children's literature, adventure stories and romance fiction. Her most famous novel is Pollyanna (1913).

    Our Ellie makes her home in Northern California where she lives with a professional soccer player and his lovely wife.


    Lucy

    Lucy

    Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables (1908).

    Our Lucy makes her home in North Carolina.



    Daniel

    Daniel

    Daniel Yergin is best known for The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (1991), a number-one bestseller that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and the Eccles Prize for the best book on economics for a general audience. Mr. Yergin followed up The Prize with The Quest. Both are important books on world energy and should be read by anyone wanting to understand the world’s energy reality.

    Our Daniel is also known as Danny-boy and makes his home in New Jersey with a fine family.


    Dickens

    Dickens

    Who doesn't love the works of Charles Dickens. Enough said.

    Our Dickens fits his name as a pup - always full of mischief and mishap. He lives in Tacoma, Washington now.




    Ian

    Ian

    This pup is named for Ian Fleming, the author of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964) and is also the creator of James Bond (1953).

    Our Ian is strong like his father, King, and lives with his sister, Annie, in New Jersey.




    Lewis

    Lewis

    CS Lewis is a poet, novelist and academic. Known for fiction such as the Chronicles of Narnia (1950) and for non-fiction such as Mere Christianity (1952). He was a good friend of J. R. R. Tolkien. Both men served as English faculty at Oxford University.

    Our Lewis makes his home in New York.



    Roald

    Roald

    Roald Dahl was an incredible man and author. Maybe he’s best known for many childrens’ books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and many short stories for adults.

    Our Roald is makes his home in Wisconsin.



    Samual

    Samual

    Like many of the authors here it’s impossible to give Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, justice with just a quick paragraph. He's known for the Great American novel – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). Twains last work – his autobiography – was published 100 years after his death.

    It is fitting that our Samuel makes his home on a small farm in Missouri.



    Tolkien

    Tolkien

    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit (1936) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955).

    Our Tolkien makes his home in Connecticut.