The Story Behind the Story

Today we are continuing the fun with a conversation with Lea Kirk.  Lea is going to share with us the story behind the story of her pet. To find out more about Lea, please be sure to visit her website

The Story behind the Story

I am the dog, the guardian of this place, and I survey my domain as I lay here in my yard, warming myself in a spot of sunshine. I really love the cold-damp season the best because it rains, and rain is glorious. It makes puddles, and those are my favorite things. Although, it hasn’t rained for almost a week and now all the puddles are gone. Most disappointing. Now I have to figure out what to do for the rest of the day.

I’ve been asked if there is a story behind the story of Ranger, my Pets in Space pet. Yes! There absolutely is.

When I first wrote about Ranger, the dog from SPACE RANGER, I had only a vague idea what she was like, other than she was a roly-poly puppy. I also knew she would grow up to be a big dog, about sixty to sixty-five pounds or so.  As my story unfolded, I got to know her better. She had short red fur, floppy ears, and she loved to run, which meant her legs would be long and gangly through her doggie teenage months.

She would also be very protective of her people and her territory. Her people had saved her life and given her a home, and her first loyalty was to them. She loved to be with them as much as possible, but she also spent time patrolling her territory. No matter how far afield she went, she’d always find her way home.

It was at this point that I realized there was something hauntingly familiar about this pet. After researching dog breeds with red fur and deciding Ranger was a Rhodesian Ridgeback, it hit me. She had become an unintentional tribute to my one-time writing companion and best dog ever, Indy. Indy was only part Ridgeback, but she was all spunk—much like my fictional dog, Ranger.

I chose a dog as my pet because I know dogs. With the exception of a few brief years here and there, there has always been at least one dog bringing joy to my life. I’ve had a Samoyed, a Cocker-Lab mix, two Dalmatians, a yellow Labrador, a crazy Beagle, a Plott hound mix…and just recently, after a four-year hiatus, we adopted our first Doberman Pinscher. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d have a dog of that breed! But, he’s a sweetheart. A total marshmallow and we love him.

Incidentally, it took us a week to figure out his name. It was my husband who proposed it, and it seems to be sticking.

His name is Ranger. He may not look like the Ranger from my story, but he sure does seem to carry her spirit.



Read more about Ranger in Lea’s story, Space Ranger. 

The gift of a puppy connects two lost souls that find they need each other to thrive.


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Lea Kirk
Lea Kirk

Thank you for having me as a guest, Susan!

Pauline Baird Jones
Pauline Baird Jones

That’s really sweet, Lea! Thanks so much for sharing your fun, expanded story in Pets in Space!

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