Monday, 25 July 2011

Dogs, the Forgotten Heroes

Last year I was sitting down at my computer and brain storming ideas for my next book. I was trying to paint a picture of the perfect hero. This made me think, do I actually know any heroes?

 I know some people that have served in the army, but I wanted something I had firsthand experience with. Then it hit me. I know a hero. This was someone that threw themselves into harm’s way when I was only six years old. Her evil opponent was bigger, stronger and nastier. It was a big black muscular dog. It was a dog that had attacked children before.

I was walking home with my dad and my Lakeland terrier, Katie, when this dog charged out of its front door and went for me. People who have dogs know when a dog is posturing or appearing big because it is scared. This dog was out to kill. Its target was a little blonde haired, blue eyed, six year old boy.

All I remember was a blur of motion, a squeal and Katie hanging from this things ear as it tried to shake her off. I also remember the look in her eyes. “I am going to die.” Nevertheless, Katie was my hero. She was frightened, scared and out matched, she could have easily run away, but she fought for me and I believe had she not been there that day something very bad could have happened to me.

This made me think. Who would actually do that? Who would put themselves in danger to protect someone that is important to them?

Katie has sadly passed away after living to the grand age of eighteen years old, but I have a million and one memories of my amazing, brave and faithful dog. There have been so many occasions where she has stood by me when I was growing up and was scared, but then many of my animals have done amazing things too.

It was at this point I decided that I was going to write a story about my old animals, they were heroes to me and the most loyal friends anyone could hope to have. I am lucky to live in a very beautiful part of the New Forest and before writing, The Legend of the Hermit Master, I chatted with the other dog walkers that I usually bump into and spoke to them about their dogs or old animals.

It was funny the amount of crazy and heroic stories I was told. I think anyone with a dog has a story to tell, as each and every dog is unique and has either done something amazingly brave, downright loyal or mind meltingly dumb!

When I use to write, under an old pen name, I would spend hours creating realistic characters that would connect with readers, but I really haven’t had to do that at all this time. This is Katie’s story, but it also Tammy’s story. This book is my dedication to my old dog that was practically joined at my hip for eighteen years, which is a staggering amount of time, and my twenty-one year old cat that sadly passed away earlier this year.  

People say there are no heroes left in this world, but all you have to do is look around and you can see millions of four legged heroes all over the globe. Do you have a favourite memory or story about an old pet? Please feel free to share it below.


  1. Feel free to share your stories and memories of your old pets and their heroic deeds here.

  2. I adopted Cody, my "Big Black Dog" rottweiler mix from a shelter. One day I sprained my knee, which re-tore the ACL from an old injury. I immediately went to the hospital, and when I got home, somehow this sweet dog knew I was in pain. Although he is very hyper and active, he very slowly walked up the stairs at my side. He was the perfect height so I put my hand on his back, and he steadied me as I walked the stairs. This happened a few years ago, though I still have trouble with that knee. Even now, every time I walk the stairs, Cody runs from whatever he is doing to walk next to me to make sure I don't fall. Cody is definitely my guardian angel and my hero!

  3. Simon Smith-Wilson27 July 2011 at 15:30

    Hi Joyce, that is a really lovely story. I really like rootweiler's, my airedales best friends is one, they are so soft and friendly, lol. It is funny how dogs pick up on something like that almost instantly, and it is really amazing that Cody actually changed from hyper and active to calm and caring. lol, the big black dog from my story is an unknown breed. I love dogs, but I was a little boy and all I remember is a big head, lots of teeth, my dad's version is a big black dog, lol.

  4. Just bought your book. Can't wait to read it.

  5. Simon Smith-Wilson28 July 2011 at 03:04

    I really hope you enjoy it, Jean. I know you have a lovely little doggy too. I really do hope dog lovers can connect with the story, as I wanted to have the turner & hootch/lassie type connection with the story. Turner and hootch always makes me sad, lol.

  6. It's very touching to know that dogs are truly loyal till the end. You are one good master and friend to your Katie. I will promote your book on my blog to reach more readers. Here's to your book success. Cheers!

  7. Simon Smith-Wilson30 July 2011 at 04:50

    That is very kind of you, thank you. I always look back on my relationship with Katie and smile because it is very different to all the other dogs I grew up with and have had since she passed. With Katie I think she was more of the owner, lol. I think having her since I was one year old, and the fact that something like this happen very early in my life, she was the one that looked out for me and she never once ran off or did something naughty, lol, well she did for everyone else in my family, but when it came to me she was the most loyal dog I could ever hope to have. A contrast to my airedale, Molly, whose main goal in life is to run about being a monster!

  8. I currently have a beagle name Shiloh. My boyfriend adopted this beautiful rescue from the San Diego SPCA. From the first time we saw Shiloh I was so happy that I'll never be alone. He's been there for me and still is with me. He has saved me, comforted me when I needed someone to listen to me. I watched movies like "Marley and Me" and he had let me cry on his shoulders. He ran to me after I got home from work, woke us up when it's time to wake up. I'm glad he's still with me. Shiloh is turning 5 this year and we will have a big celebration just like a kid turning 1years old.

  9. Hi Kristine, that is really lovely. You can see how much you clearly love, Shiloh, and he must love you back ten fold. It is so nice to have such a great companion. Unlike people, dogs don't want anything from you, but to feel safe, loved and happy. So, to have that relationship is really nice.

    I haven't watched Marley and me, yet. I have been told what happens and I know I would have to walk out the room pretending I have something in my eye!

  10. My late cat Sooty once saved me from what could have been a potential fire in my old flat,i had a rice pudding in a pressure cooker cooking on my cooker but fell asleep on the settee,i woke up with Sooty sitting on my chest miaowing loudly in my face,the rice pudding had boiled dry and my flat was full of smoke,in those days i didnt have a smoke alarm,Sooty really did save me from what could have potentially been a very dangerous situation

  11. Simon Smith-Wilson3 August 2011 at 05:20

    oh my god, that is actually really amazing, as smoke will knock you out completely. Well done, Sooty! That really was a dangerous situation. I hope Sooty got lots of cuddles for saving you, lol.