The summer of ’09 will live in infamy as the summer where lives were held on a razor’s edge. Jobs were lost, savings and lives were altered. Then hopes and dreams began to rise from the ashes and in the midst of it all, I sold my first book KNIGHT DREAMS to Samhain Publishing. I had a deadline to meet. I vowed no one would keep me from my appointed mission.
Then our daughter and her fiancé came home from college and brought two dogs to add to our already thriving four-dog-pack. Okay, I’ll back up here. Yes, we have four permanent dogs that reside in our home. All but one is a rescue. Our daughter has taken up the charge with fervor and both of her companions are rescue dogs. Of course, she had to bring them with her.
As I struggled to fit editing into an already teeming schedule, I came to enjoy the many different characteristics portrayed in each dog. I began to study them as I would characters in a medieval story.
Mercedes, the matriarch and once beautiful queen, still tries to rule over her inner circle, if not her world. Though nearly blind and deaf, she sits and dreams of the power she once held in her paws and wonders where it went.
Ben, the jester, grows old and feeble. His antics, once funny, no longer works for one so toothless. Yet, his sweet demeanor cannot be ignored. He balances on arthritic hind legs. His chocolate eyes reveal secrets, tales untold.
Harley, the knight, is strong, powerful and has a heart of gold. Though nearly beaten by the dragon-beast cancer, he rises from the battle, a zenith in each day, soaring higher than the day before. He stands down for no one but his master king.
Pepper, the impish princess, flits, bounces, swoops and pounces. Adoration enfolds her character. She, who turns not from confrontation, stands her ground until called down. Then she sleeps, her power exhausted.
Life was peaceful in their little castle. It was a canine Camelot. Then the dogs from another land arrived, challenging their gate. Woof! Outsiders threaten to overthrow the castle hierarchy. All stood guard as one by one the strangers came. Peace would reign or blood would be spent.
Roscoe, the medieval sheriff of the land, brought sanity in his lengthy body and short stride. Never deterred by his long ears and drooping eyes, he kept close watch on his young charge. Then he ate and slept, belly content.
Dexter, the young squire, filled with passion, energy and fire, trotted out. This land was his! He brought battles over balls and grass. Certain each shoe and bit of leather his, he soon discovered he was wrong and earned his place as dog in training within the castle walls.
Then peace did reign that long hot summer, The Pack of Six, for evermore.