‘Desert dogs’ inspire children’s book

Wilderness to Water, Poppy's Story is published by Authorhouse.
Wilderness to Water, Poppy's Story is published by Authorhouse.

A Girvan author has just finished a children’s book inspired by the plight of ‘desert dogs’ in Saudi Arabia.

Michele McCrindle’s Wilderness to Water, Poppy’s Story is published by Authorhouse (www.authorhouse.co.uk) and the idea came from video diaries and photos that Michele’s husband, Callum, sent her from his work camp in Saudi Arabia.

Michele said: “It started off when orphaned Poppy turned up at the work camp and Callum felt the need to look after her by giving her food and water.

“Every day he sent me updates on her progress and I would share the videos on Facebook. Friends were soon fascinated by the video stories of Poppy and other wild desert dogs that Callum was caring for. I joined “desert dog“ groups on Facebook and again people were intrigued by the video diaries.

“I learnt so much about the desert dogs plight from people in the Middle East that I decided to help educate children about a subject I once knew nothing about by writing our experience of adopting Poppy and getting her from Saudi Arabia to the hills of Scotland.

The 50 year-old mother of four grown up children said: “At school I always enjoyed poetry but never thought of writing a children’s book until now. We presently have four dogs that we enjoy taking to the local beach and surrounding countryside.

“I work as a registered Childminder and love my job. I have always been interested in animal welfare and my ideal future would be to own some land and have rescue animals to care for.”

Here’s a little sneak preview of the book: “Before long, there was a sudden uproar outside the entrance of their den. Mum, stood up alarmed, ran straight outside of the den barking, then snarling and finally after a few minutes, whimpering.

“She knew then that they were all in serious danger. Not just mum, but her brother and sister and herself. Outside the safety of the den, it was pitch black and she struggled to see ahead of her. As she ran up a huge sand dune, she eventually managed to see some twinkling lights in the far distance.

“The dry sand was blowing hard against her face and in her little eyes.

“She squinted her eyes and with the use of her unusually wide feet, perfectly formed to carry her over the sinking sand, she just ran and ran as fast as she could, down the other side of the sand dune towards the twinkling lights.

“She didn’t look back once, just headed straight for the lights. She ran from the terrifying barking, snarling dogs that smelt of blood and anger.”

“She eventually reached the bright lights. That had been her one and only goal. Somehow, she knew she would now be safe from the danger she had just fled from. It was almost silent around her now, except for the desert wind blowing the sand over the concrete of the petrol station, in little individual meandering patterns. She just lay breathless and exhausted under the bright lights. Hours later, when she awoke, she had a little stretch and noticed that somebody had put a bowl of water next to her tiny sleeping body.

“She lapped at the water in the bowl with the tip of her tongue and lay back down in the sand. Checking around her for danger. She decided that the petrol station was where she was now going to live. She dares not return to the den she had shared with her mum and siblings. Well, she thought that was where she was going to stay, until one day a man with a truck picked her up and put her in the cab of his truck. She was curious, yet petrified. She had never been touched by a human before. She had never seen one before she came to be living at the petrol station. She had no idea what was about to happen to her, whether she would ever see her brother and sister again, or the petrol station, that had become her sanctuary and place of safety.”