How the book was written

Maggie (Margaret O'Brien) is an Irish citizen who came to Canada in the 1970's. She lived in the Battery, St, John's, Newfoundland, where the cats in this story live. Maggie has always said that one day she will have a great bear of a dog and a calico cat.

The Labrador puppy Maggie is based on Maggie's childhood pup, Bucky - an optimistic, curious and unsinkable dog - who lived on her family's farm in Mitchelstown, County Cork and who was constantly into or causing trouble. He frequently ran away from home bouncing back when everyone had calmed down.

Hero is based on a Newfoundland dog, whom Maggie met in Virginia early one hot day. Wearing a purple scarf around his neck, and positioning himself between Maggie and the traffic, the dog walked her along the road in a dignified manner from time to time pulling on her skirt when he felt that she was too close to passing vehicles. The gentle giant escorted her to her gate and disappeared, never to be forgotten.

The picture of Maggie O'Brien was taken in Flatrock at Aqua Kennels.