I recently posted an article on how dogs are used to sniff out fear and stress in order to stop panic attacks, P.T.S.D. episodes, or persecuted school kids flipping out.
Aside from being an interesting topic all on it’s own, this is of particular interest to me because I’ve started a new book that uses this topic as a major plot motivator. The book is fiction, but the main character is my dog: Cochise. He’s so thrilled!
Cochise’s character is the service dog for a young man who has returned from war in the Middle East and suffers from P.T.S.D. His disorder is not the focus of the book, just one aspect of his character, but it plays an important part because the close relationship between him and his dog is what the book is all about. His problem splits up his marriage and sets the two of them on the streets as they travel around solving mysteries and helping people. The working title at the moment is The Vagabond’s Dog.
And, not only is Cochise the main character, but but he gets to narrate the story. The main challenge (which may prove insurmountable) is to tell this story through the dog’s eyes and mind without making it sound like he’s a four-legged person. Dogs are different from people in many ways. Those differences have to be protected while telling the tale, yet average readers need to be able to understand the story and why things happen as they do.
The Vagabond’s Dog will explore human nature, dog training, dealing with P.T.S.D., and (hopefully) be entertaining. Don’t look for it any time soon, though: this is a major undertaking. But The Chief says he will help me along as much as he can, after all, he’s a kind of service dog too!