by Susan Grant
I had a blast writing about Trysh, Rornn, Puppy, and the crew of Bezos Station, a city in space above the planet of Barésh. Puppy is a canine type of animal called a “yipwag” in the local dialect. Since Barésh is a poor colony where families barely have enough food to feed their families, few can afford pets. In my travels around the world, I’ve seen people share even the most meager amounts of food with pets. In most places, dogs aren’t fed prepared pet food. In Bangkok, for instance, I watched dogs happily gobble up plates of rice, vegetable scraps, and fish. When I traveled with my family to Polynesia, we met some “beach dogs” that survived on fish they caught or got washed up—and probably scraps from tourists (like my kids).
But they’re the luckier ones. On the planet of Barésh and many poor Earth villages, dogs live in the streets and starve because there’s not enough to share. It’s made me realize how easy it is to take having pets for granted. Since the plight of street dogs breaks my heart, I wanted to write stories where the street dogs have a happy ending. In The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy (Star Puppy) and its companion story Star Hero, I promise you that the street dogs have a happy ending.
Please enjoy this excerpt where Rornn, the alien prince, holds Puppy for the first time:
Rornn never held a puppy in his life. As he reached for the barking little creature, he glimpsed tiny, needlelike teeth, a small pink tongue. The peculiar and foul odor of the Barésh Colony wafted from its patchy coat as he cupped his hands around its body. There was no soft, rounded belly like those of the Earth puppies he had glimpsed in Texas. Sharp bones poked out from under loose skin. He could feel every internal organ. This tiny, impossibly fragile thing was near starvation. At first, his motivation had been to impress Trysh, to compete with Jack for her affections, but all that drained away upon feeling the yipwag’s terror. Gently, he held her little body against his chest, sensing she would want to feel the beating of another living thing’s heart. He knew he would.
“You are safe with me. I will not let anything happen to you. You are home.” He knew not where that last sentiment came from, but, somehow, he felt it in his soul. The puppy trembled so hard he felt the vibrations go up his arms. Then, after a few seconds, the trembles eased.
Then there was silence.
The Marine stared. “Did it die?”
“That or my eardrums are permanently damaged,” growled the MP.
For a terrifying instant Rornn thought he had killed it. But the puppy made a few soft grunting sounds as she rooted around with her nose. Something inside him melted as she placed one impossibly small paw over his heart. Rornn grinned at the surprised people around him, skipping over Jack to wink at Trysh, who watched him with the kind of gaze he had waited to see since the day he first met her. His grin grew even wider. “They don’t call me Charming for nothing.”
Bestselling, award-winning author Susan Grant is a USAF veteran who loves writing romantic, action-packed stories featuring gutsy woman and honorable men. http://susangrant.com
Find out what happens next in Embrace the Romance, Pets in Space 2! http://www.petsinspaceantho.com/pets-space-2-embrace-romance-2/