Calvin: A very good day to you on this #MadogMonday (you'll see why I call it that shortly). My name is C.K. White Label, but everybody calls me Calvin. I’m a companion to a writer, C.R. Bailey, who’s so obsessed with me that she made me a hero in her book. Not a talking one. I am not a publicity hound. I’ve only consented to speak here so that if you ever read the book, you’ll know that everything she says about me is true.
The facts, then. I am an ordinary farm dog with an ordinary suburban life. No flock, no herd. Only people to protect. An important job. But not too demanding for a dog with talent.
Calvin: I should explain the other dog. She’s always trying to get a word in. My human was worried that I might not be getting enough exercise while she was writing. Clearly projecting her fears onto me, she decided I needed a companion. She invited a rescue woman to bring me a pet. I agreed to the adoption, if only because my heart went out to this puppy mill mama. She needed spaying more than she needed another litter. She looks almost like me, but she’s only half my size. I call her: Mini-Me.
Calvin: Go find something to chew on, Mini. NOT another book.
That little— She’ll eat anything. I’m much more discerning. I have an extraordinary ability to locate snacks. Such as discarded chicken bones. My human included one of those roadside finds in her book. She calls it an inciting incident.
Mini: Right! Right!
Calvin: We go out for walks almost every day. All the people we meet want to pet me. Everybody says I’m beautiful.
People who drive by while we’re walking yell out their windows. The unimaginative scream, “Hey, Lassie!” Once a teenager yelled, “I love your dog!” Most people speak the truth. With awe in their voices, they say, “That’s the most beautiful dog I’ve ever seen. Can I pet him?” The admiration, the meet-and-greets—they’re in the book, too.
But once in a while, we come across people who are not quite right.
Calvin: Mini-Me and I don’t agree on this point. An emotional roller coaster, that Mini. She ought to wear a sign that says, “You must be at least four and a half feet tall to pet this dog.”
Me, I love kids. Unless they’re riding freakin’ skateboards. Seriously, though, some people set me off from three or four feet away. It’s something my human doesn’t sense—an aura of danger. I will not let them get close to us. Sometimes my human gets embarrassed, because a good person and a bad person might be together, and I’ll only let the good one pet me. She knows my instincts are on target, though, because in her book, I’m the only one who recognizes the bad guy from the very beginning.
I guess you’d say I’m an inspiration. I do what I can. And Mini—
Calvin: In my human’s book, my name is Madog, the same as the Welsh prince rumored to have explored the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi Valley three hundred years before Columbus. Madog and his girl, a misunderstood twelve-year-old, uncover a labor trafficking ring the adults on the island are too busy to notice.
C.R. Bailey focuses her writing on stories for tween readers. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, her career has included newspaper reporting and public relations writing. She lives on a Gulf Coast barrier island with her husband, two dogs, and one cat. You can find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crb.writer/timeline
Calvin and Mini are bit supporters of the Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic and Amazon Smile. They are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card purchased through Amazon Smile to benefit the Spay/Neuter Clinic. Leave a comment below for a chance to win.