Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Follow Dog

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

The Follow Dog (Post 88)
The Follow Dog (1991) is much later than Her Kingdom for a Pony (1977 Post 2) but it shares the same illustrator and cover artist who also illustrated one of my very earliest published stories. Noela Young draws some of the most natural-looking animals I've ever seen.
The story of The Follow Dog is based on something that really happened. Way back in the 1980s, we had a cocker spaniel named Ace. He was a dear dog, devoted to our family. He obviously thought of my husband as Lord and Master, where I was The B*tch and our children were The Pups. Therefore, Faithful Dog, as he designated himself, obeyed Lord and Master and guarded and cared for The B*tch and The Pups. He was, as I said, a dear dog, and he didn't push his status, but he certainly didn't obey me. In fact, my experience with him has taught me a lot about how dogs think and how they interact in their hierarchy. Whenever I went for a walk, he'd inevitably follow. I could have tied him up but he looked so hangdog I usually got my husband to tell him to Stay. We used to call him "the follow dog". He lived to be seventeen, and he was devoted to the end.

The Follow Dog is the story of what might have happened if a dog like our Ace was transplanted to the city. In the book, a farming family, affected by the drought, leaves for a new life in the city, and take their dog with them. His farm life allowed for following, but the city life makes it dangerous. The family tries confining him, but the follow dog howls. In the end a solution has to be found and, believe it or not, all ends happily.

The Follow Dog came out in an English edition as well, and copies of each edition pop up second hand from time to time.  

About the Blog 
Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, post a comment and I'll get back to you.

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