In my book, The Sixth Power, Tania rescues a dog named Peter that she comes to love and rely on. It’s no surprise that I put a dog in my story, for dogs have always played a big part in my life.
My first dog was a Chihuahua-Terrier named Trixie. Dad had us kids sit in a circle. Then he set the puppy down in the middle and told us to be very still, so she wouldn’t be scared. After the initial wonderment of owning a dog wore off, my sisters went on to other pursuits, but I kept feeding and caring for Trixie. I taught her tricks, snuck her into my bed every night, and told her all my hopes and dreams. Trixie’s best feature was that she was a great listener. Her worst was that she was absolutely certain that the mail carrier (or post man, as we called him in those days) was the most evil villain that ever walked the earth.
Every afternoon, Trixie waited, perched on the top of the couch by the window. Then would come the moment she looked forward to all day. She’d spot the mail truck coming up the street. Her fur would all stand up, and she’d start snarling. By the time he came up to the door, she’d be almost in a lather, snarling and barking and leaping at the door. If she hadn’t weighed less than ten pounds, I would have feared for the poor man’s life. As it was, he’d nervously edge up to the door, look from left to right, and then hastily shove the mail through the slot. Then he’d be off at a run. We tried to make sure that the door was closed, but one summer day the screen door wasn’t quite latched, and Trixie squeezed through. The postman took one look at the snarling dog, blanched, turned, and ran. He leaped into his truck and slammed the door. With tires squealing, he took off down the street, with Trixie biting the tires and keeping up a loud barking. We ran after her, calling her to come back, but to no avail. When the truck had vanished down the street, Trixie came back, tongue lolling, tail wagging, prancing with pride. “Trixie, you bad dog,” I told her as I ushered her back into the house. But Trixie ignored me. At last she had vanquished her sworn enemy, the evil postman. She was a hero, and all the human protests in the world would never convince her otherwise.