My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Marie has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog Danny—Danny the Dog. He always has a bad attitude and usually does not speak highly of me. But please understand that we co-exist as the old Soviet Union and the United States co-existed. We tolerate each other. So without further ado, here’s Danny.
I’m Danny the Dog and my human, Andrew, took me away from my favorite pursuit—chasing cars—to help him out here. For a person that works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about our latest adventure. We’re always having adventures. I like to write about them and what I write is 100% true.
FREEDOM! At long last, I was free for a short while yesterday.
Every morning, I take Andrew for a walk and when we return, he ties my leash to the dock (we live on a boat). There is a bowl of water and the leash is twenty feet long, so I have no problem with that because I like sitting outside in the cool of the morning. To thank me for taking him for his walk, Andrew gives me a hotdog (yummy, yummy, my favorite!). As an extra bonus, I get to bark at Duke and Little Guy, the two dogs who live across the water on the other side of the marina. Can you believe this? Every morning they have the effrontery to come out of their boat and take their humans for a walk. In my marina!
Now on to The Great Escape.
Our routine is this: I’ll sit on the dock until I’m good and ready to go in. Then I’ll give my one-bark command. Andrew will come out and unclip me from the leash. I then proceed to the back of the boat and go down the gangplank. It works for us, but this morning I had another idea. You see, on the way back to the boat, I had detected an enticing scent. It was some sort of human food. But Andrew would not let me get near it. And the day I can’t outsmart Andrew is the day I’ll turn in my membership card to the canine race.
What I did differently this morning was to smile at him when he unclipped me and then I laid down on the dock. I put my chin on my front paws; I looked sooo cute. It gets him every time. It looked like I wasn’t going anywhere, so Andrew told me he’d give me five more minutes and then I had to come inside. His big mistake was in not re-attaching me to the leash. As soon as the hatch closed, I was outta there!
I headed right for the scent I had discovered earlier. What I found was scrumptious. I don’t know what it was, but it was delicious. Then I thought to myself that as long as I was out and about, I might as well do a little exploring. First, I would go and visit my friend Beth. She always has a kind word for me, rubs my head, and best of all, she gives me a goodie. She must not have been on her boat because I did not see her. So next, I trotted a few boats up the dock to call on Lloyd. His treats aren’t as good as Beth’s, but he’s a good guy. He wasn’t home either. This was getting ridiculous! Where is a dog supposed to cadge a free treat? Then it hit me . . . Dave and Peggy’s. They live with Duke and Little Guy, so if I can let those two curs live in my marina, the least their humans could do is feed me. Maybe if I looked real cute and sad, I could con them into giving me something special.
No dice, no one home. Then I heard it, the voice of doom . . . “DANNY! DANNY!” It was Andrew calling me. I don’t know why he does that. I have never—in the entirety of our acquaintance—responded in any way, shape or manner to his calling me.
I saw him before he saw me and I ducked behind a car. I let him pass, still calling my name. Then I headed in the opposite direction. That was my big mistake; I should have stayed hidden. Andrew turned, saw me, and yelled in a very loud voice, “STAY!”
I don’t know what came over me, but for the first time in my life, I obeyed him. It must have been something in his voice. I think he was a little angry with me. I was re-leashed before I knew it.
Well, that’s the story of my career as an escapee. Andrew was a little ticked off, but I still got half a hotdog when we got home. What a sucker he is.
That’s about it for now. If I hurry, I might be able to catch a few cars before dinnertime.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s new book and make the old guy happy.
This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Marie for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.
It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.
By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.
Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”
When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.
On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.
It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.
They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.