The relationship between a military working dog and a military dog handler is about as close as a man and a dog can become. You see this loyalty, the devotion, unlike any other and the protectiveness.
I had wanted to be a novelist for so long, but I didn't have a story. That story came from the death of my father, and wrestling with how to help my mother. Writing it allowed me to work through my fears, frustrations and desires. I wanted control over the situation. And I wasn't sure I would have any in real life.
I really strive to bring something new to each book. I don't want to write the same book over and over again.
I began to encounter real-life stories of dogs protecting their wounded or dying or dead handler... or dogs refusing to leave the bodies of the people they were bonded to, sitting in cemeteries for days or sometimes weeks. You find these stories endlessly.