What if dogs were royalty and humans their loyal servants? A humorous look at the challenges of dogs living on the streets and the humans devoted to making their dreams of soft beds and gourmet meals come true.
BLURB: Street Dog Dreams
What if dogs were royalty and humans their loyal servants? Hop aboard our invisible flying machine as Aunt Maddie and Uncle Horace join an international search for a new dogdom. The Royal Canines are recruiting street dogs who want a better life with devoted humans who speak the language of dogs. As foretold in an enchanted tapestry, their dream will turn an abandoned village in Sardinia, Italy, into an automated town where dogs can open their own refrigerators, play in the park all day, and always have a soft bed to sleep on--after they take a shower, of course!
EXCERPT: Street Dog Dreams
While Chiara donned the dog costume and stood on her usual street, Greta’s wealthy dog owner had searchers combing the streets for her beloved canine. Though worried about their canine friends, Horace and Maddie let the searchers do their job while they respected the Canine Queen’s wish to move ahead in finding a place for a new dogdom.
So they journeyed to the advertised one dollar house. Though disappointed in that place, a short distance beyond they found an entire abandoned city. Crayon-colored houses marched shoulder to shoulder up the hillside crowned by a castle-like fortress. Although many of the stone structures were crumbling, a large number were mostly intact and could provide shelter while repairs were underway in the rest of the city.
Maddie marched from house to house, snapping multitudes of photos to send to the Canine Queen. At the same time, Horace tagged along behind, juggling a measuring wheel and his new computer tablet to calculate and record the size of houses, the width of streets, and how large the entire town was.
“Do you think the Royal Canines would like living here?” Maddie asked.
“I can think of many ways to make life easier for our doggie friends.” Horace frowned thoughtfully as he touched the screen of the computer tablet. “They won’t all need the robotic gloves with human-like thumbs if we automate the doors to open, have pedals to operate refrigerator doors, build self-driving vehicles to transport puppies and older dogs–oh my! So many possibilities. I’ll be busy tinkering to help our friends for quite some time.”
“Maybe you can take on an apprentice,” Maddie suggested.
Horace scratched his head, encouraging his spiky white hair to stand up even more. “Maybe I could if the right person–or dog–was interested. Maybe I could.”
“Don’t forget your rolling measure, dear,” Maddie said as Horace began to wander down the narrow cobblestone streets, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Horace kept walking, so Maddie shrugged and tucked the instrument into the wheeled cart that contained several other tools and a picnic lunch.
Maddie easily caught up with Horace and took his arm as they resumed examining the houses.
When they neared the top of the hillside city, Horace paused to take a deep breath. In spite of the joy of being with his beloved wife, Horace missed his basement laboratory at home in their modern day castle. He also wasn’t sure how much of this adventuring his out-of-shape body would tolerate. Maddie seemed tireless and fearless while he...well, he was much more cautious and ready to go home. Well, at least back to his host’s home.
“Have we seen enough for today?” Horace asked.
Maddie looked toward the top of the hill just a short distance away. “Let’s go see what’s behind those rock walls. Maybe it’s a castle like ours.”
“Or just crumbling stones.”
“Come on, where’s your sense of adventure?”
“Down the hill a ways, I think, along with most of the soles of my shoes.”
With a laugh, Maddie said, “You’ve been such a good sport for our first adventure together. A quick look at the castle, then we’ll go back to my cousin’s house.”
Horace took a breath, then marched the rest of the way to the top of the hill with Maddie.
Indeed, the rock walls did seem to be crumbling in many places, with stones scattering down the hillside. However, inside the walls, the structures were more solid.
“This building seems to be in good shape.” Maddie pushed open the door of a two-story stone structure.
“Not as new as our castle back home.” Horace scanned the building.
“And without most of the conveniences you have invented for us, I would imagine.” Maddie smiled before she stepped inside.
“Be careful, my dear. There may be rodents or rotting floors.”
“Oh, my.” Maddie stopped just inside the doorway.
Not expecting her abrupt halt, Horace bumped into her. “Apologies, my dear.”
“Horace, look at this!” Maddie whispered with awe.
She stepped closer and examined a scene of the village spread out below them with stars twinkling above. Several people stood in the narrow streets and dogs peeked around corners of the houses. “It’s a tapestry.”
“Two of these dogs look like Reynaud and the Canine Queen.” Horace squinted, trying to see the detail through glasses that insisted on slipping down his nose. “And I believe those are their puppies playing in the courtyard.”
“A dog in every house.” Maddie’s grip on Horace’s arm conveyed her excitement. “This is the new dogdom.”
“How can you be so sure just from a picture?”
“It’s not just a picture. This is a sign–an omen. The Canine Queen will be so pleased.”
As they hurried out of the stone fortress and back down the hill into the city, a woman watched from inside the stone structure, smiling.