Canis magicus: A Middle Grade Novel
When Hayley finds herself on the steps of a church that gives direction from the “other side,” she figures she’s got nothing to lose. After being pulled from her home and puppy to her stepfather's booney town in the Berkshire Hills, life for quiet, little-animal-loving Hayley is---well, a pile of dog doo.
A medium tells her that her late great-grandmother is guiding her, the chapter is closed on her old life, and she’ll have other dogs. She starts a campaign to do more than baby talk the ones at the local shelter. After a new pup attracts a strange, burr-covered wild dog to her yard, she finds out he's a coywolf who's traveled far, escaping poisons and traps---and now he’s in danger of being shot using the predator calls and blinding lights of her classmate’s hunting family.
Will Hayley find a way to speak up and convince a town to save an outcast canine? She’ll need her stepfather’s political connections and at age 12, will have to speak to a panel of adults in suits. Meanwhile, the coywolf is only safe when he’s in her yard. She’ll need the shelter of both dogs---and all the help from her great-grandmother she can get---to survive life in a cold new town.
Canis magicus is inspired by the high-speed, tongue-dangled adventures of my childhood dog and her boyfriend, a burr-covered Brittany Spaniel mix. It illustrates the comfort and purpose animals bring to children experiencing loss, and confronts the injustice of predator killing under a theme of faith in knowing someone’s watching over you.