In my author’s latest novel, THE SECRET VIKING (heard of it?),
recently published as an Amazon Kindle ebook (you know that),
one of the principal characters is a suspicious, smartass wheaten terrier named Satchimotomonkeyman.
I like dogs, so I’m glad to tell you a bit about Satch. He certainly surprised me!
Honestly, at first I doubted him.
And then he annoyed me.
Then we became friends.
The witty and self-taught Satch has learned to read and write and type and he also authors a weekly newspaper column called The Dog Log in a local paper. (If you are an avid, or rabid, reader, you may wish to know which local paper. I’m not telling!). He was once asked to anchor a radio news programme with a focus on the arts. Because of Satch’s lack of on-air skills (he does not actually speak), he was forced to decline that prestigious invitation. As for his typing skills, Satch is a touch-typist, but, with paws, he types with pause. So don’t be expecting 120 wpm! If you are the hunt-and-peck, two-fingered typist type, however, he will leave you in the dust.
In the first person (or first dog, as we like to say), the smart, modest and very charming Satch shares with readers of THE SECRET VIKING the tale of how all this reading and writing came about. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say that Satch was bored and figured out how to read, on his own. Smart pup, that one!
Hah! You may wonder: is Satch one of my alter egos?
Of course, as far as fictional characters go (if, indeed, Satch is actually fictional), the “super dog” is not a new concept.
But Satch’s role in THE SECRET VIKING works particularly well because it is based on an actual dog.
Who did all of the above.
While raising four kids as a single parent.
Doing set design for the Canadian Opera Company.
Selling real estate (quite successfully, I might add).
And also finishing up a Master’s degree in animal husbandry.
Of course our author and I realize that the intense study of animal care and feeding is a bit archaic, as career choices go. Even Satch himself worries that such a pursuit may only leave him trapped in the exciting world of barn-sweeping, or, perhaps worse, lead him to esoteric academia. (“Publish or perish.” Been there.)
The wonderful wheaten is currently considering a transfer to veterinary sciences.
*For very fond reading memories: all hail, and sincere thanks to the late, great P.D. Eastman.
(Don’t know him? Bloody hell! Go here, now!)