Yes, Virginia. There is a Porn Dog

I asked my dear friend Jordan to share the story of what prompted her to create Karl, her dog character in Mercer’s War Series, and how she discovered such an unusual working dog. If you read the series, you’ll fall in love with this dog.

Jordan Dane's Dog Sancho

“Sancho”

Jordan Dane's Dog Taco

“Taco”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I write my daily quota on my next work-in-progress, I have two puppy faces staring at me. It’s forever pee-o’clock and the squirrels in my backyard need chasing. Every day is “bring your dog to work day” for me. It was bound to happen that I would add a four-legged beastie in my latest series – Mercer’s War. Introduced in Mr. January, I have my brooding hero Mercer Broderick with his loyal companion and partner, a working service dog with a special skill. Before I explain his skill, I must introduce him properly—with his name.

A talented friend, Elle James (New York Times & USA Today bestselling author), explained how she had arrived at the well thought out name for her canine service dog, Six, a name with a purpose that reflected on the hero. Her hero had lost partners before and didn’t want to get too attached, so he named his latest charge after a number, number six of his assigned working dogs. After she explained the genius significance of the name, she asked me what my dog would be called and I didn’t hesitate.

I said, “Karl.”

 

Nothing clever, nothing symbolic, just good old Karl. Yep, my black and tan Tibetan Mastiff has a people name. It suits him. When you look at a Tibetan Mastiff, it’s like you can see a wise old man inside staring back at you.

This breed of dog is HUGE and can weigh up to two hundred pounds. Karl is described as a lumbering bear. Tibetan Mastiffs are considered a primitive breed with instinctive behaviors and great survival impulses. Because of its dense coat, this breed does not carry the big dog smell and they shed in one big dump of hair, rather than year round.

This flock guardian breed is a nocturnal watch dog, staying vigilant at night. Highly intelligent, they can be strong-willed and stubborn to a fault. It would take the right man to harness this dog’s loyalty and faithful guardian instincts.

I wanted a unique dog for my special hero, Mercer Broderick—a big dog for a large, masculine man. Karl also had to have his own personality, traits I would build on through the series. I didn’t want him to become two-dimensional, or only a foil to the plot. He had to be a scene stealer in a subtle way—and have a skill that would make him memorable and integral to the plot.

In creating Mercer’s world of vigilante justice that crossed all jurisdictional and international boundaries, I had to devise a Porn Dogwell-funded team to help Mercer accomplish a lofty goal, backed by a faceless group of benefactors who support his unorthodox methods, but fighting a faceless foe online posed a problem that I wanted a solution for.

While I researched working service dogs, I found an interesting story that I didn’t expect to discover. Ever hear of “porn dogs?” Once I uncovered what a porn dog does, I had to make it work for Mercer and his team. All the pieces fell into place when I learned about how a real porn dog put the Subway guy in jail on child pornography charges – Jared Fogle.

Porn dogs are blood hounds for a digital age. They can sniff out anything digital, even something as small as cell phone SIM cards, which is what brought Fogle down. Law enforcement had missed where Fogle hid his kiddy porn until a black Labrador named Bear exposed Fogle by finding evidence too small for police to locate.

Here’s the story LINK I found that inspired me to create “Porn Dog” Karl.

Because Karl and his unique skill of sniffing out anything computerized, it gave the Tibetan Mastiff a super power that Mercer could use. The dark web of the Internet has become a hunting ground for criminals to stalk innocent victims or hide their activities and communications, but Karl breaks through the digital secrecy and gives Mercer and his team a fighting chance to wield justice in an unexpected way—with an opportunity for humor.

Here is an excerpt with Karl in action:

Porn Dog "Karl"Excerpt: Mr. January

Mercer’s team had assembled in the War Room, a below ground bunker and command center, located in the bowels of his home and accessible only by an elevator with an optical scanner. Keiko sat next to Stetson at a large conference table. Maddix McLeish, his high-tech security expert—the guy who had taken the stolen van off his hands—sat beside Ciara Flowers, his logistics and weapons expert and women’s fashion diva.

Karl had come with Ciara and arrived late to the party. He hopped onto a swivel chair next to his master, his reserved spot.

“Glad you got the memo, Karl,” Mercer said. “Nice of you to join us.”

The dog lowered his head and licked his junk.

“Now he’s just showing off,” Stetson muttered under his breath.

Porn Dog "Karl"In a subplot of book 2, Out for Blood, Mercer helps a traumatized sexual abuse survivor find a perfect four-legged therapy dog as a companion.

In book 3, Vigilante Justice, Karl takes on another four-legged partner, Six (from Elle James’s Brotherhood Protectors series), and together  they go wild and wooly when they confront a wolf pack to save the lives of two teens stranded in the wilderness.

 

If you’re a writer creating a world for your heroes to operate, don’t forget man’s best friend. They are God’s angels walking the earth and have amazing traits we can all learn from. Even if your hero or heroine is a loner or villain or anti-hero, give them a furry friend and watch what happens. You will be surprised how much they become a mirror into your hero/heroine’s heart. I wish I was the kind of person my dogs’ think I am.

For Discussion:

Tell us about animals you’ve written about in your stories or memorable books you’ve read that included four-legged friends. What touched you most about those stories?

Mercer’s War Series http://jordandane.com/books/mercers-war/

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. Dane is multi-published in crime fiction thrillers, has books in over seven countries, and has written young-adult novels for Harlequin Teen. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs. www.JordanDane.com

Thriller/Crime Fiction Blog: The Kill Zone https://killzoneblog.com/

 

About Sue Coletta

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is the bestselling, award-winning author of psychological thrillers and mysteries. Sue’s short stories and flash fiction have appeared in OOTG Flash Fiction Offensive magazine and numerous anthologies, and her forensic articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly.

In 2017, Feedspot awarded her Murder Blog as one of the Top 50 Crime Blogs on the net. Sue’s the communications manager for Forensic Science and the Serial Killer Project, and co-hosts the radio show “Partners in Crime” on Writestream Radio Network. As a way to help fellow crime writers, Sue created a team of crime experts (detectives, coroners, police captains, etc.) and founded #ACrimeChat on Twitter. She’s also a proud member of the Kill Zone (see details in full bio — menu bar).

32 Comments

  1. Wow, I never realized there were dogs that sniffed out porn. It’s amazing what animals can do. I’m writing a dog into my current series (a Siberian Husky) and have been learning all about them in the process (including the massive shedding “blowouts” they have!). A friend of mine has two mastiffs–Huey (after the helicopter) and Molly Brown (after “the Unsinkable”). They are amazing dogs!

    • Me neither, Mae. Nor did I realize Jared from Subway got busted by a porn dog. Incredible!

      Growing up, our backyard bordered a neighbor’s yard. They had a Siberian Husky, whom I adored. Even though our house was filled with animals (dogs, cats, birds; Mom even pet-sat an opossum for a year), I always made sure to play with the Husky too. I felt bad. In my child-like perception his parents left him all alone (they were working). Hence why I can’t wait to read about the Husky in your story.

      Huey and Molly Brown sound awesome! From writing Ruger (MARRED, CLEAVED, and now, Book 3) I’ve grown so attached to the breed. Ruger is English Mastiff.

  2. Sue,
    I read “A Dog’s Purpose and also saw the movie. The dog was reincarnated in three different breeds living different lives only to reincarnate back to the original doggie. For me, it was a great read and story. A few years ago, I wrote and had published a short story in an anthology named, “Puppy Love,” about a Husky named, Kasha. The story mirrored the history of a family Husky that always got into “doggie troubles.
    I also enjoy your blog. Frances

    • Hi Frances,

      I pass the film adaptation of A Dog’s Purpose all the time, but I’ve been leery to watch it. Same with the book. If it has an ending like Old Yeller I’d fall apart. Read/watch people die — no problem. The dog — I can’t bear it!

      Your Puppy Love story sounds darling. Love the title, too. Thank you! I’m thrilled you enjoy the blog. Wishing you a happy holiday!

  3. It’s incredible what dogs are capable of. There are termite dogs, cancer detection dogs, all kinds of things. I write a lot of animals into my stories, so I appreciate others who do too. Those T-Mastiffs are expensive purebreds, but so interesting.

  4. Denise Hendrickson

    This is so interesting. Thanks so much for sharing ladies.

    • Hey Denise. Good to see you here. Thanks for commenting. Authors research tons, even if it only results in a line or two, because we are a curious lot.

      I hope you have a fun weekend.

      • Denise Hendrickson

        Thank you, you as well. I am always amazed to learn the amount of research some authors put into their work. But that is what makes your stories so great and believable because it is always accurate and current information that puts us (the readers) right into the stories with your characters and something that we can feel or see happening.

        • Plus research is a blast, Denise. It makes me even more curious than I ever was before, very brain expanding. I’ve been to state of the art crime labs, fired weapons at the FBI gun range in Quantico, visited the CIA in DC, and took over 45 hours of a Citizen Police Academy that culminated in a ride along with an on-duty officer. I usually verify info 3 ways, from my initial online starting point, to books, to expert people in the field. Networking with experts is amazing. Have a good Sunday…and stay CURIOUS.

    • I found it fascinating too, Denise. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

      • Denise Hendrickson

        Thank you, you too! I am always fascinated to read about the amount of research you guys do for your books. You really go the extra mile, that is what helps make them so great.

  5. I had DNA testing on both my rescues & learned a great deal about their breed traits. It’s a fun thing to do & once you see their breed mix, you’ll gain insight into their best qualities AND their worst.

  6. Great piece, Jordan. Having owned a few four-leggers and working around the police canines, I never stop being amazed by dogs’ individual personalities and characters. Good stuff to give them roles in stories. I had to smile with the line about Karl lowering his head and licking his junk.

    Hey Sue! Do you know why Karl licks his junk? It’s because he can 🙂

    • Hi Garry. I love when dogs remind us their dogs WHILE accepting the flaws of humans with tolerant grace. My dogs teach me something & make me laugh every day. It’s hilarious to see their individual personalities.

      You’re lucky to work with them.

    • Garry, you are too much. I’m still bustin’ a gut over the cowboy boots story. I will NEVER look at that the same now! Hahahahaha.

  7. That is so interesting about porn dogs! I didn’t even know certain breeds were trained for that! Thanks, both, for sharing. It’s also always interesting to learn how authors get their ideas for characters, including canines.

    • Hi Margot. When I found that story on Jared & the porn dog that brought him down, I had to make it work in my series & it became integral to the world I created. Karl is memorable & readers comment on his role ALOT.

      Bear is a lab but other working dogs are being trained like Bear to seek digital evidence. Dogs are AMAZING creatures.

      Thanks for your comment. Have a good weekend.

    • Right, Margot? I had no idea they existed, either, until I read Mr. January. Which rocks, btw. 😉

  8. Thanks for the feature, Sue. I forgot to send pix of my two fur babies but you should have them soon. Taco & Sancho are my family. Yes, I’m one of THOSE people.

    • I hear that, Jordan. At one time we had 8 Rotties, and our lives revolved around them. Colt & Ruger from CLEAVED are based on the last two (real names: Gideon & Cascius). It’s also why we can’t bear the pain of losing another. Hence why, for the first time in our lives, we’re dogless. But we do have two awesome grand-dogs that we spoil. 😀

      I added Taco and Sancho’s sweet faces to the post.

      • I hear on pain of losing them. My 16 yr old Feliz Navidog was a returned Christmas present to my parents. We got her back & almost named her Boomerang, but she was the best mistake we ever made. I grieved in a fugue for nearly a year & refused to replace her until the hole in my heart found me on a blog post, laying it all out there. I got 80 comments of people comforting me with dog stories. Finally someone said it wasn’t about replacing her, it was about giving a home to a dog who deserved one. That’s how I was graced with Sancho & Taco. No regrets EVER. Hugs, Sue.

        • Feliz Navidog, best name EVER.

          Here’s a bizarre story. This summer, a meat bone appeared in the yard one morning. From where, we had no idea. We left it to see what would happen and sure enough, that bone traveled from one part of the yard to another. The foxes might be playing with it, but we like to think our fur-babies come visit from time to time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

  • Follow me on Amazon (click image of books)

    Books by Sue Coletta