For many years, I avoided dogs at all costs. I didn’t like to go over to people’s houses if I knew they allowed their pooches free rein of their homes. It made me uneasy and uncomfortable. To be honest, I was afraid of dogs. All of my experiences with them had been negative, and who needs more negativity in their lives?
But then I noticed that my son was picking up my attitude about dogs, and I didn’t like it. Let’s face it — a dislike for dogs isn’t exactly a charming quality. So finally, after years of begging from my husband and daughter, I agreed we could get a puppy. We settled on a Rottweiler and named him Benton.
That was more than two years ago. It didn’t take long for me to get comfortable with young Benton, and since he grew quickly, I was soon comfortable with dogs weighing up to 85 pounds. Fast-forward a few more months, and I was suddenly ready, willing, and able to edit my first dog-themed series.
Adventures at Hound Hotel, by Shelley Swanson Sateren, tells the story of twins Alfie and Alfrieda, who help their mom run a boarding kennel. The books are filled with humor, heart, and, of course, dogs!
Each pooch that comes to Hound Hotel is in need of a little special attention. Fearless Freddie is a beagle who isn’t so fearless when it comes to thunderstorms. Growling Gracie is a golden retriever who isn’t welcoming anyone new into her pack. Homesick Herbie needs extra tender care to feel at home. And Mudball Molly is one dirty pooch with a terrible fear of grooming.
I can’t help but wonder what Alfie and Alfrieda would think of Benton if he had his own adventure at Hound Hotel. Maybe he would be known as Bellyache Benton, since he seems to eat at record speed and has a special affection for socks. But to us, he’ll always be Best Boy Benton, and that’s exactly how it should be.
— Julie Gassman, Senior Editor