Why I love dogs


When I was just three years old, I climbed out of a ground-floor bedroom window at my grandmother’s house in the seaside town of West Kirby.
At the time, my mother and grandmother thought I was taking my regular afternoon nap. The window had been left open because it was an unusually warm and airless summer’s day.

family dogThe family dog, a fawn and white coloured Boxer named Raf, followed me out of the window and never left my side as I went off to explore the big wide world.
While I can clearly remember Raf leaping out of the window immediately after me and then running along beside me, the other details of our escapade that day have faded from my memory and I have to rely on what I was told about the incident many years later.

Raf, who gave birth to 13 puppies in a single litter, was a typically intelligent and protective Boxer. As I roamed the streets, she kept positioning herself between me and any dangers, such as traffic.

The dog and I found our way to the local railway station, over a mile from my grandmother’s house.
Somehow, I managed to end up down beside the tracks, several of which were electrified and would have given me a lethal shock if I had touched one of them.

Amazingly, Raf sensed the danger from the “live” rails and kept pushing me away each time I went near one of them.

Raf’s protective instincts wouldn’t allow her to permit any of the railway staff, who eventually spotted us, to come near me either and she growled and barked threateningly whenever anyone tried to approach me or her.

There was a tremendous commotion down at the railway station that afternoon. Permission was sought to turn off the electric current and to stop trains entering the station. There was talk of shooting the dog, so that I could be “rescued”.

The day was saved when Mr Cross, who worked for a local taxi firm and often dropped off and collected passengers at the station, arrived on the scene.

My grandmother was one of Mr Cross’s regular customers and he knew me and the dog well. Raf let him pick me up and carry me to safety before taking us both home in his taxi.

This true story is one of the reasons why I was inspired to write The Flyball 5

There’s a strong possibility something terrible would have happened to me that day if Raf had not been with me.

The incident on its own is not why I love dogs. However, it does help explain why Boxers will always be very special to me and why, when I decided to write THE FLYBALL 5,  I named one of the 5 abandoned puppies in the book, Raf.

Visit Flyball5.com to read the first 2 chapters of the book for free.