When I was growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, we had a pair of golden retrievers named Beethoven and Maestro. My mother, a pianist with the Memphis Symphony, had named the dogs, possibly as a joke on my father, who pretended they were gifts to her; in reality, of course, they were his future hunting partners. Beethoven came first, a "Christmas present" my father bought out of the local paper for $50. He didn't come with any champion bloodlines, but he was the very definition of a "good dog"--smart, charismatic, and always ready to hunt. Maestro came a few years later, when we bred Beethoven with a dimwitted golden named Amber down the street. That's when things got interesting.