“King of Dogs: Life is the training ground for death” by one of my hunting pack is now on Audible.
…There were more heated voices from the alleys up there, but no eruption yet. After a quiet moment with his ear cocked to the road, Grayson cleared his throat.
“In the frigid north, before the domestication of dogs, men hunted and patrolled their territory in pairs or alone because the limited caloric resources couldn’t support large tribes. Women needed to stay put with the kids. The necessarily small squad size limited men’s travel. They couldn’t haul much. It restricted when and how they could fight. They were pressed deep into tougher land. If you’re the sort who believes in evolution, this would be maybe fourteen thousand years ago.
And then the mystery arrives:
These solo operators of the north all the sudden begin to domesticate wolves. Now they’re going out to face the unknown with a true gang who will kill or die for their master, their alpha. They can haul, they can fight, they’ve got warmth in the blizzard. Dogs are an early warning measure, so security improves. This allows the northerners to survive and eventually thrive. Western man owes his existence to dogs. In my particular worldview it’s neither contradiction nor exaggeration to say that dogs are a direct gift from God. That’s why we don’t kill dogs.”
Munson considered this for a moment. He lit a cigarette. The voices up the road grew pitched…
Our respect for dogs as evolutionary catalyst for individual integrity drew Andrew Edwards and I together some years ago when he was going through a personal crisis. Although not directly related to that crisis, he had been unable to finish a novel that he’d been working on for years. In part, as a way of healing, I encouraged him to complete it. The result is “King of Dogs: Life is the training ground for death”.
It begins with a promise the protagonist, Grayson, makes to a comrade, Jack, dying in a VA hospital. Grayson’s own life is a vacuum of meaning after a personal tragedy. And now his closest friend is dying. But in that death, his friend gives Grayson a final gift. He gives Grayson’s life meaning in the form of “A Righteous Mission”:
During the collapse of the American Empire, take charge of delivering Jack’s unseasoned brother and pregnant sister-in-law, out of harms way in Moab Utah, to safe place.
As any true warrior knows, war is Hell because it deprives future generations of what the hymn refers to when it says “There Is Power In The Blood”. Christ lies dying in the VA hospital. His Blood lives inside Jack’s sister-in-law.
Although tragedy has deprived Grayson of his own son, there is still that Righteous Mission… the unborn child.