Astro’s answers to my quickie questions:
Ice Tea or Lemonade:
I’m not allowed to drink ice tea or lemonade. I prefer to drink crisp clean water collected from rippling, babbling brooks set in the highest mountains. But tap water’s fine too.
Lake or Ocean:
As a dog I prefer the ocean – it’s a wave thing. I know there are waves on some larger lakes but let’s face it, nothing beats the running in and out, in and out, in and out biting waves! That’s awesome!
Sandals or Flip Flops:
I’m easy when it comes to footwear. I like to chew them all. Some sandals offer a bit more of a challenge – removing the straps and not choking on the buckles but then flip flops are so, so chewy. I can’t decide!
Sit in the Shadow of a Tree or on the porch:
As a very furry hound I prefer to lounge about under the shadow of a tree. This also gives me every opportunity to chase the cat whenever possible.
Ball cap or Floppy hat:
See footwear – I like to chew them all!
Here is the blurb to Astro’s first book (there are 7 altogether):
A secret organisation exists without detection and operates right under our very noses. Its sole purpose is to save dogs from neglect. It is manned by a tunnel digging terrier who carries a diamond encrusted nail file. A large dog for which the complexities of door handles are a complete mystery and who, instead, opens everything with his head. As well as, a commando, khaki wearing Blue heeler who is armed with a hunting bone and a smell grenade. And that’s just to name a few!
In The Great Escape, we meet Astro, possibly one of the most spoilt dogs in the world. He calls on this secret organisation to save him from what he falsely assumes is imprisonment and neglect.
When Commander Rocky, head of The Organisation, finds out that Astro is not telling the truth he decides to teach him a lesson. Rocky takes Astro to the one place all dogs dread, The Check Out!
However, things don’t go to plan and Commander Rocky learns that below the shallow exterior of a grey shaggy dog is a brave, kind hearted hero.
A hero called Astro.
500 word excerpt:
The Great Escape
Commander Rocky and Astro came out of the tunnel into the bright sunlight. Commander Rocky pushed Astro towards the office but Astro didn’t want to go.
“Look,” Astro whispered, “I think there’s been some sort of mistake. I’m a house dog. I live in a warm house with my own bed and food bowl. My owner wipes my feet when they’re wet and takes me for a walk every day. I mean I’m not really cut out for this type of thing.…”
Commander Rocky put his paw over Astro’s mouth, “If you want to return to your precious home, then I’d keep quiet if I were you and do as you’re told.”
Astro was silenced. He was very frightened.
The warden came around the corner with an old brown dog. Commander Rocky and Astro ducked behind a building and waited for them to pass.
“Where’s he taking that old dog?” whispered Astro.
“I’ll show you,” answered Commander Rocky and he trotted in the opposite direction.
He led Astro around the corner of an old building and then slipped in between a cyclone wire gate and a post. Astro followed but he was very scared. It was very dark inside the cell block. This shocking place smelt of strong disinfectant but there was another smell which was even more awful than Alfie: The smell of fear and despair. It took several seconds before their eyes adjusted to the dim light but when it did both dogs gasped at the horror of what lay before them.
“What is this place?” choked Astro.
He stared into long cages where shadows lay on concrete floors. Some trembled and others were as still as stone.
“Are they dead?” asked Astro.
“Not yet,” whispered Commander Rocky. “All the dogs in this building will be gone soon.” He gritted his answer between clenched teeth; he was so angry.
“All good dogs: some old and some young. This is how some humans deal with the problems they have with their dogs. If the dog chews the furniture because he’s bored; if he barks too much because he’s lonely; if he bites because he’s tired or scared or hungry, he can end up in here. It’s not fair and it makes my blood boil.”
Astro walked from cage to cage. He could see small dogs, white dogs, black dogs and a young puppy who was chasing his tail around and around and around but he wasn’t doing it for fun, he just couldn’t stop himself. All the dogs were different but they all had one thing in common. Their eyes were hollow and sad. They didn’t understand why they were in this dreadful place but they knew that their lives were doomed forever.
Astro gulped and nodded. He leaned closer to Commander Rocky and whispered, “But I’ve chewed up the furniture and I was so lonely once I chewed through the plug on the washing machine. I even peed on the rug every night for a week. My owner got angry but she wouldn’t send me here; she wouldn’t.”
Commander Rocky turned and looked at Astro. His eyes widened. He curled his lip.
“No, she wouldn’t Astro and that’s why I brought you here. You are a spoilt dog. Your owner gives you everything and looks after you better than most dogs. Look at these faces, Astro; do you think these dogs would complain if they had an owner like yours?”
Astro’s eyes began to well up with tears. He bit his lip.
Commander Rocky turned his head and wiped his eyes too. He cleared his throat. “Come on,” he ordered, “Let’s go.”
Astro stood still and turned and watched Commander Rocky walking away.
“Wait! We can’t leave them here. It’s not fair!” he cried.
“There’s nothing we can do for them,” Commander Rocky sighed. “The humans are too strong. They will catch us too, Astro, and then we won’t be able to help other dogs. The other Operatives are waiting for us.”
“I’m not going!” yelled Astro and he ran to each of the cages. “Don’t worry; I’ll get you out of here.”
He ran to the next cage, “Leave it to me.”
And the next cage, “I’ll help you.”
The dogs in the cages began to murmur and move forward. Commander Rocky shook his head and barked, “Come on, Astro, there’s nothing we can do!”
Then he heard a terrible bang. Commander Rocky leaned forward in the dim light to see what Astro was doing.
Astro was throwing himself at the cage doors and grabbing them in his paws and shaking them. Commander Rocky went to stop him, but when the first door flew off its hinges he realised that Astro might be on to something. He yelled to the others, “Send in the troops, we’re staging a break out!!”
Smashwords (ebooks): https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/4603
Print books: http://www.astrosadventures.com
Astro is a six year old shaggy dog. He was purchased from a pet store and has been pretty much spoilt rotten ever since. He knows that there are many unfortunate dogs in the world that are not as lucky as he is and so the idea for The Great Escape began. Astro likes to eat, run, carry a towel around the house and bark incessantly at nothing in particular. In short, he is a normal dog.
Susan Day – who does not own Astro but does many of the other dogs in the Astro Adventures series - is passionate about children's literature and wants to inspire children to follow their dreams. She created the Astro’s Adventures series and is currently preparing for publication the seventh book, Neptune’s Trident. Susan shares her home with dogs, in particular, Rocky, Stella, Alfie and Digger, two rescue guinea pigs, two bossy cats and a very patient husband.
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Thanks for sharing,