Girl and Dog Versus the World
By Summer Lane
Interestingly, the most popular character of all of my books and stories has been Bravo, the German Shepherd bomb dog from The Zero Trilogy. His undying love and loyalty to fifteen-year-old Elle Costas is a wonderful example of true friendship. I think everyone loves dogs – or at least, they should! – and Bravo embodies the selfless nature of an animal.
When I was creating the character of Bravo, I knew exactly who he was going to be and what he was going to be like. There was no question. Bravo has been a friend to me just as he has been a friend to Elle.
Many people have commented on the dialogue between hardened Elle and Bravo. Is Elle imagining that the dog is talking? Is the dog actually talking? The answer is that I look into the eyes of dogs and cats all the time, and the more time you spend with them, the more you can read their thoughts – just like people!
The dialogue between girl and dog came about naturally. I wanted to write about the dog as the real presence that he was. I didn’t want the narrative to be childish, because this story is about the raw, gritty battle for day-to-day survival. Bravo’s voice emerged from the story in a truly organic way. His voice is uniquely his own. His bond with Elle is so special. I love that Elle’s best friend and real love is a dog, because what could possibly be more wonderful than that?