Today’s post is about me taking a little time, not much mind you, to go back to where my writing started; middle grade fiction.
Almost a decade ago I started writing a series of mid-grade books titled Sheriff Teddy. I wrote five of the little buggers and I enjoyed doing each one. As time went by my writing evolved into horror. While I love horror, I also love my kids and they love the farmyard adventures of the crime solving canine, Sheriff Teddy. Just as important as their love for Teddy was my wife’s love of that dog.
Teddy was Tabitha’s dog for most of her childhood. For over a decade he loved her and she loved him. I had my differences with the dog, but I was saddened to hear that old age had forced him to be put to sleep. Tabitha was extremely attached to him and all pet owners know the pain of putting a beloved family member to sleep. The animals we bring into our lives aren’t animals. They become a part of us and our families and we love them dearly. They are never simply “just animals”.
Teddy and I became acquainted while I was dating Tabitha’s sister. Don’t ask. That’s another story for another time. Be advised that I love telling the following adventure even though it is mildly or maybe even majorly embarrassing.
I first met Teddy when we stopped by to visit the parents. “Let me put Teddy up,” the sister said, opening the front door. I knew of Teddy only by word of mouth and I imagined a small loveable yappy dog. What I encountered was very different.
When Teri opened the door I saw this small horse charging across the living room toward us. There was nothing small about Teddy or his teeth. Be aware that Teddy was an overly large, “loving”, albino German Shepard. The girls say he was a dog, but I beg to differ. I think he was a Shetland pony disguised as a dog.
Well Teddy proceeded to get by Teri, and then circled me before clamping down on my rear end. That’s right, the dog bit me in the ass. Let me tell you, it hurt.
Now wasn’t that funny? Regardless, I liked the dog. Okay, maybe I only tolerated him. I don’t know, but Tab finds that story freaking hilarious. She saw it happen and laughs hysterically whenever she thinks of it. It’s because of fond memories such as these that Teddy became a fictional character of his own series.
Teddy became the basis for the Sheriff Teddy stories for no other reason than he was the chief protector of the Ramsey house. The fictional Teddy lives on a farm in Nebraska and is assisted by Deputy Brownie (one of our real life dogs) and Deputy Puffy (another beloved pet of Tab’s that had moxie and plenty of attitude. Puffy also had a kick ass Elvis lip curl.)
The Sheriff Teddy gang has dealt with everything from egg thieves, sheep rustlers, a dragon and even inept alien invaders from Pluto. It’s these adventures that I feel compelled, both by Tabitha and my conscience, to return to for a while.
I’m going to take a break from my Dog World sequel and writing Werewolves of the Dead to proofread the Sheriff Teddy series.
Don’t fear dear readers. I will return to the undead and lycans very shortly.