When I decided to start writing books, I chose to put a special dog into the center of the story. He isn't background, he isn't a secondary character. He is a main character. Of course, he can't actually talk, but that doesn't stop him from having a perspective or from occasionally giving his opinion. I hope you will vote for Johann for TOP DOG by commenting on my blog! Two commenters will win e-book or paperback copies of A Little Hair of the Dog and Reigning Cats and Dogs. My charity is The Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love . They are a Great Dane rescue out of North Carolina and have rescued many, many Great Danes. As I said, My book series features a Great Dane named Henry. First is A Little Hair of the Dog and second, Reigning Cats and Dogs. I am working on book three and book four, which will end the series.
I wrote a story about a young single woman who finds herself alone after the death of her father. She decides to move back to the small town of her childhood. She unexpectedly finds herself adopting a dog. And not just any dog-a Great Dane. A 180 pound two year old Great Dane named Henry. She has never had a dog.
The origins of my Great Dane character are easy to trace. When I was a kid, we adopted a Great Dane from a rescue and my sister Jody named him Johann. He was about two when we got him, and he was a big one. He was 6'2" on his hind legs. He was a merle, grey with black spots. He was sweet, he was protective, he was introspective and if you weren't in the family, he could be down right scary. I don't remember a time when he ever scared me, not once. But some of my brother's friends may tell you a different story. He was an easy choice for my canine main character.
The beautiful Abraham and me, 1996. He isn't a character in my books, but Henry is in possession of Abraham's heart and soul. A couple of his stories have made it into my books, with Henry in the starring role.
One of my favorite Johann stories is one that I didn't get to witness, but I have heard it from my Mom so many times that I feel like I was there. It's a real gem, and there is NO WAY I wouldn't include it in a Henry book. I found a great spot for it in book three. I come from a small town, and back in the seventies, the gas man and the electric meter man were familiar faces. If they came to read the meter, it didn't matter if no one was home and it didn't matter if the meter was in your basement, as ours was. They would come in, read your meter and leave. The gas man came, entered the house unmolested (no one ever locked their doors) and went down cellar. This was a real dirt cellar, with one hanging light bulb and a lot of dark corners. He read the meter and went back up the steps. He opened the cellar door to find, to his dismay, an extremely large dog waiting for him on the other side. A dog who was not going to let him out. That was Johann. He must have been in the bathroom reading the paper when the meter man came in, and realizing he had fallen down on his job as head of security, decided to keep the man right where he was until Mom got home. And so he did.
When she finally came home from work, she noticed the gas meter truck-running-in the driveway, and in the house, was surprised to see the dog waiting for her by the basement door. The greatest surprise yet was in store, to hear the plaintive human cry from the cellar. "Hello?" She locked the dog up and let the man out. He had been in our spooky dirt cellar for several hours. He had made a few attempts to get past the dog, but decided his life was valuable and stayed where he was. Johann had no intention at all of letting this intruder get away. The moral of the story is, if you go to a house and see a large Beware of Dog sign, it's probably there for a reason. Also, Lock your doors!
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