Jul 24, 2011

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Hellhounds: The Pet of Choice

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for canines of any kind, even those of the infernally devilish variety, namely Hellhounds.  In my first book, Syn In The City, one of the protagonist’s cousins has a pair of Hellhounds as pets.  They’re huge, pure black, have glowing red fire in their eyes, and they’re mommy Sonya’s little adorable helly-welly babies.  They love being scratched behind their ears and on their  tummies, hunting for dinner in demon dimensions, and snacking on the occasional armed-home-invader.  Other than sulfur-breath, they are basically like one’s own canine companion.  Hellhounds and other otherworldly dogs crop up in folklore and legend in almost all cultures.  They are often associated with death, such as appearing to someone prior to that person’s death, or guarding the entrances to homes of the dead such as Hades and graveyards.    Most people have heard of Cerberus, the three-headed hellhound who guards the Underworld to prevent those pesky dead people from trying to sneak back over the river Styx.  Northern Europe, Central America, and other areas of the globe feature spirit-dogs in various guises that seem to enjoy scaring the bejebbies out of people.  They’ve been a mainstay of the Fae Wild Hunt as they chase unwary travelers.  Many authors including Sir Author Conan Doyle, J.K. Rowling, and Christopher Moore, to name a few,  have included these playfully scary hounds in their works.  Regardless of their ferocious reputations, I shall always think of them as protectors, guardians, companions, and adorable 300 pound baby-helly-boos.  I had fun writing and playing with them.  They will definitely make encore appearances in Book Two of the Synemancer series.

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