Although this is a family story, it is really the story of Joel and his silver setter, Duchess, who became important to the whole family, even if she was gunshy and worthless as a hunter. Ellen, who successfully studies dancing, young Mugsy, a tag-along little brother, a slightly acid Pappa and an understanding mother -- all make an unusually nice family. Duchess isn't a dog in the great tradition, but the author makes something of love and loyalties that are good too. The plot rolls gently along with the mystery of Duchess' past, Ellen's first night in a show, Joel's carving. The author, an adult fiction writer, is familiar to short story readers.