I love heroines who are “bad girls”. The outliers, the sassy ones, the rebels and fighters, the ones who carve their own, deep, unique paths. But what about when that bad girl is not a human but a dog? I have a fun story to share with you.
In 2007, I received an email from Erin, one of my readers, who wrote to say she planned to name a newborn Collie puppy “Banzai” after the heroine in my action romance The Legend of Banzai Maguire. This story featuring a funny, strong, confident woman fighter pilot was one of her favorite books. I was so excited to hear this. But, wait, it gets even better…
It seems Banzai was born knowing she had a great name to live up to. She was always a big personality, self-assured—and she didn’t like following the rules!
“Don’t look now but Blondie’s locked on. He’s looking at you, girl. Hard.”
So of course I turned around to peek—and swapped gazes with the Marine. His eyes were a steal-your-breath, butterflies-inducing shade of blue that was ice cold and blazing hot at the same time. Rebellious and wild, and yet mournful, too, like those of a lone wolf. He didn’t glance away, which might have been the mannerly thing to do. Instead, he stood there, looking at me, his eyes totally unguarded, allowing rapid-fire glimpses into his soul the way a dealer shuffles cards, flashing their suits.
Then his dog jerked him forward and practically dragged him across the street with his partner in tow. Blondie stopped right in front of me, standing there as if wondering how he ended up at our table.
The strangest feeling swept through me, of having waited my entire life to meet him. My insides cartwheeled. “Well, hello,” I said to break the silence.
“Good evening, Ma’am.” His eyes were hooded now. He reminded me of a poker player who realized he may have accidentally revealed his cards.
Then his K-9 plopped down in front of me, a furry chin landing in my hands after a few affectionate licks on my wrists. There were no secrets caged in those adoring yellow eyes. “What’s your name, cutie pie?” Its wagging tail generated a breeze.
“That’s Bang-Bang.” Blondie sounded frustrated. “I don’t get it. He’s never done this before.”
“Never?” I asked the dog as I scrubbed its coarse fur with my fingers. “I thought you were a big, bad military police K-9, but you’re not. You’re adorable, and sweet.” Bang-Bang and I bonded a bit before I collected myself enough to zoom in on the small gold metal bars pinned on the Marine’s collar tabs. “And you’re…a lieutenant.” Ugh. Could I have uttered anything more awkward?
Thanks a million for having me at your blog! I love chatting about pets and books.
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