As with all our books, there is at least one canine (or occasionally feline) character that gives aid, whether physical or emotional, to the hero or heroine.
The Highlander's Crusader Bride opens in the Holy Land, some years after the 3rd crusade. Our heroine, Arbela MacLean, daughter of a Scot and an Armenian princess, was born in the desert, and it was only fitting to find dogs from this region.
For Arbela’s dogs, we chose the Aidi breed, also known as the Atlas Mountain Dog, which is an average-size, moderately coated dog, with its origins in Morocco. It is known as a livestock protector and also has good scenting capabilities, and you'll find both qualities in our dogs, Toros and Garen. It's thick coat shields against the sun as well as the cold--which makes it extremely adaptable to Scotland's weather--and gives the dog protection when engaged in fights with predators.
The Aidi comes in many colors, from a vast range of shades from fawn to red and brown (which this author terms sable) to black. Many have white markings.
Toros and Garen, the Aidis in our book, are very protective of their family, and are useful when rumor of a wolf among the sheep reaches the laird's ears. But, Toros' attachment to 5-year-old Bram, the laird's son, is so true of their temperament, while Garen uses her skills to protect all who threaten her family.
photos from National Purebred Dog Day.