Owen's Sidekick: SPOT, the Harlequin Great Dane

In the grand tradition of detective novels, the protagonists (the detectives) often have a sidekick. Sherlock Holmes had Dr. Watson, Nero Wolfe had Archie Goodwin, Travis McGee had Meyer, Spenser has Hawk.

Owen McKenna has Spot!

(Unfortunately, Spot will never hold still for a photo. So we've included some pictures of Spot's "cousins" who look like him.)

A Harlequin Great Dane with dozens of polka dots, Spot doesn't have the intellectual power of the more traditional detective sidekicks. In fact, as Owen sometimes thinks, Spot isn't even the smartest dog out there. But he more than makes up for it with his enthusiasm and size.

"Was that the microwave beeping? I like my Danishes nice and warm."





AKC Registered Name:     Spot
Nickname:                       "Your Largeness"
Height:                            34" at the shoulder, 6'4" standing on his hind legs
Weight:                           170 pounds
Eye Color:                       Brown with a few yellow flecks
Hair Color:                       White with a zillion black spots
Favorite Pastime:             Eating
Favorite Food:                  Fillet Mignon with Worcestershire Sauce
Favorite Beer:                   Any Beer
Best Trick:                       He can be ridden like a horse if you weigh 90 pounds or less
Second Best Trick:           He can balance popcorn on his nose and then snatch it out of the air

Like most Great Danes, Spot is gentle and lovable. In fact, he probably wishes he were the size of a toy poodle so he could lie in your lap. Like lots of Danes, Spot also thinks life is a game. He doesn't take life as seriously as some breeds. But despite his playful temperament, Spot is a formidable ally in Owen's pursuit of bad guys. In every novel, Spot plays an important role, whether that entails potato chip frisbee or cornering a psychopath.

An amazing number of notable reviewers have commented on Spot. Barbara Peters of the famous Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Arizona said, "Borg offers a simply terrific dog." John Orr of the San Jose Mercury News said, "Spot is a great dog." John Rowen of Booklist said, "A charming Great Dane who likes microwaved treats.

Above is Pyramid Peak, part of the Crystal Range in Desolation Wilderness. You can see the Crystal Range from much of the southern half of Lake Tahoe by looking to the southwest. It is behind and to the left of Mt. Tallac.  This is Flagpole Peak, a favorite for back-country skiers and borders. Like many back-country rides, this peak has deadly avalanche chutes. At the bottom of the right side of this slope is a large area where dozens of huge trees were snapped off by a monster avalanche. 

Remember: Never go alone, never go when avalanche danger is high, never go without avalanche training, and always carry beacons and shovels and know how to use them. Every year, we lose another person or two who didn't follow these rules and became a statistic.




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