Achoo Curlypaws was a scent hound of the Provost's Guard of Corus at the Jane Street kennel. She was one of the best hounds of the Guard at that time, but was treated badly by her handler after Phelan Rapp had to let her go. In 247 HE, Rebakah Cooper became her handler and Achoo accompanied her to Port Caynn, where the hound successfully tracked down Pearl Skinner, a coin counterfeiter and leader of the Rogue of Port Caynn. Three years later, Achoo helped in the rescue of the kidnapped and enslaved young prince, Gareth of Conté.
Achoo was born around 245 HE. Her first handler was Phelan Rapp. He also trained her and taught her the necessary commands. For this Phelan used his own, somewhat mangled dialect of Kyprish. Thus there is no risk that Achoo would hear any of her commands from passersby. The hound was happy with Phelan, who even allowed her to sleep in his rooms instead of the kennels.
Abuse and rescue
After Phelan left the Provost's Guard in early May of 246 HE, Achoo was passed on to different handlers and not all of them treated her well. They had no patience with Achoo and all of them insisted on Achoo being kenneled along with the other hounds. She had at least one litter of puppies, perhaps even two, but one of her later handlers decided he didn't want her to have more puppies and had etched the sign of the closed womb in her collar.
In September of 247 HE, Ercole Hempstead was Achoo's handler. By then she was skinny and frightened. Pounce and Beka witnessed Hempstead mistreating Achoo one morning. After some initial hesitation on Beka's side--Ercole was a senior guardsman--Pounce convinced her to step in. Hempstead, who didn't have any more patience with Beka than he had with Achoo, dumped Achoo on Beka. Koramin Ingensra treated Achoo's injuries while Pounce reassured her that she would fare better with Beka. Ahuda gave her approval to Beka being Achoo's new handler the next day. Beka was the dog's first female handler.
Achoo was a mongrel of medium height with tight-curled amber coloured fur - although it is nearer to white when long. She had brown eyesand was described as button-eyed. Her normal weight was about thirty pounds. However, Beka estimated that Achoo weighed no more than twenty pounds when she took over as Achoo's handler. At that time her fur was also matted and Achoo half starved. She had welts all over her body and her ribs showed. When Beka got Achoo from Hempstead Achoo also had fleas and ticks. After some time with Beka, Achoo regained her normal weight- although she still had scars remaining from her past mistreatement.
Achoo's breed is never specifically mentioned, however, she may be modelled after a Wheaton Terrier, English Cocker Spaniel or an Otterhound.
Personaltiy and traits
Achoo tends to be quite silly when there is no work to be done and likes to sniff at things. However, she is one of the best scent-hounds. She got her name from her habit of sneezing once she got the scent. When the scent is particularly strong she sneezes more than once, up to three times. Her good training is not only shown in her work but also in her other behavior. Thus she knows she musn't do her business indoors and even goes to the next gutter to do it, instead of just using the courtyard. She doesn't listen to anyone but only to her handler. Even when others know the proper commands Achoo won't do as they say and she is confused when other people than her current handler use her commands. Since scent-hound needed to run long distances Achoo, too, liked running and had no problems in keeping up with galopping horses.
Before she met Pounce in the end of April of 246 HE she ran from five cats because one had clawed at her nose. She doesn't mind Pounce though and when Beka becomes Achoo's new handler in 247 HE Pounce soothes her. Achoo also hates mules .
When Beka took over as Achoo's handler the hound was afraid of her own leash (because it was used to hurt her by another handler) normally an important tool in her work.
Achoo shows devotion to her scent hound work by whining when Beka, for what ever reason, is unable to continue the job or cannot allow Achoo to continue. For example when tide waters are too high, or Beka is tired and can't keep up.
Achoo made a short appearance in Terrier, when she helped find the murderer of Esseny the Lily on April 15, 246 HE. The hound appears a second time in this novel when Phelan brings her along on one of their breakfast meetings. She plays a much greater part in Bloodhound, when Beka became her handler and Achoo helped her bring down Pearl Skinner.
Tamora Pierces new addition to the series, Mastiff, is the most important in Achoo's work as a provost scent hound. Achoo has been given the job of finding an important noble child who has gone missing.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Bloodhound, September 14, 247 (p. 186)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Bloodhound, September 9, 247 II (p. 81)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 14, 247 (p. 167)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 39)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 9, 247 II (p. 85)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Terrier, April 25, 246 (p. 336)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 40)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 41)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 53)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 19, 247 II (p. 419)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 9, 247 II (p. 83)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 55)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 9, 247 II (p. 80)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 24, 247 I (p. 453)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 20, 247 (p. 442)