The Flying Squad is composed of Tipper’s long time friend, Jonathon and his girl friend Susie, two huge pelicans, P.J. and Joey, a cormorant named Charlene and her brother Charlie. Charlene is jealous of Tipper, a dog who can fly, and causes her trouble throughout the trip.
Tipper goes on exciting and dangerous adventures all over the Baja California peninsula. The Flying Squad encounters feral cats, marauding boaters, and a Mexican police cutter. Tipper gets buried alive in order to avoid the police. Tipper meets a grey whale named Winnie and her son Wally. She rides Sam, the whale shark, with her good doggie friend Sadie, swims with dolphins, saves baby turtles, and gets caught in a hurricane.
This is the second book in the Tipper series. The first book, “Tipper The Happiest Dog” described how she found her happy home. This second book finds her on more Tipper adventures.
Targeted Age Group:: 8 to 13 years
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I am an artist and an author of children’s books about dogs. I have a little rescue dog named Tipper who just makes everyone she meets fall in love with her. I just felt that Tipper needed to be shared with the world. particularly dog lovers. This book is the second in my Tipper series.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I met some of them living in Mexico. For instance “Jonathon” the seagull is an actual gull that would peck at my patio slider and beg to be fed. I was able to feed him directly out of my hand after some patient coaching and trying different kinds of food. He likes hamburger.
The other characters were imaginations out of experiences I have had. One was a trip to Scammons Lagoon where my husband, Tom, and I petted whales. And some I researched and read about e.g. the hatching of baby turtles in Southern Baja.
CHAPTER EIGHT – DANGER
They had been at rest on the beach only a few minutes, and the birds were still making a racket, cawing and flapping around and all talking at once. Tipper took off her flying gear and trotted off to find a private place to go potty. Susie and Arthur had gone in search of some water for her. She had gone behind a large sand dune and just squatted down when she looked up the hill behind the beach and spotted some strange movements on the hill side.
A dozen sets of pointed ears seemed to be moving down the hill through the scrub. One set peaked briefly above the sand dune and Tipper saw the face of a mean looking cat. He was licking his jaws and peering at that whole Squad of fat, delicious-looking birds resting on the beach.
Tipper immediately grew alarmed. She hurried over to Jonathon, who was listening to and instructing Charlene. “Jonathon, there are some cats sneaking up on us!” said Tipper in her most urgent voice.
“Tipper, we’re busy here.” announced Charlene. “Just go lie down and rest while I am in conference with Jonathon, okay?”
Tipper tried to get Jonathon’s attention again when she saw the cats creeping nearer still. It looked like a large pack of them slinking through the bushes closer and closer to the sand where the birds were resting.
Jonathon and Charlene still appeared to be in deep conversation, paying no attention to what was happening. Actually Charlene had moved around so that she was blocking Jonathon’s view of the hillside.
Tipper was getting uncomfortable, she was not afraid of most cats, but then she left most of them alone. She knew that they had very sharp claws and big teeth and these looked like big cats, best to be avoided where possible. And a big bunch of them was very scary.
“P. J.!” she called. The two big pelicans were resting near her preening their immense wings. They too were not paying attention to the group of slinking cats that were stalking the birds.
“Hey you guys!” Tipper yelled at them. “Do you see all those cats over there sneaking up on the flock?” Both birds immediately whirled around and looked in the direction Tipper was indicating.
The rest of the flock was all self-involved and carrying on like this was the best party ever. They were all on the other side of the large dune that was shielding Tipper, the pelicans, Jonathon and Charlene from view of the cats. Some of them were busy explaining to other new comers about the Squad and about the historic significance of the first flying dog. No one even noticed the crouching, creeping cats, silently sneaking up on them.
Tipper had to do something quick.
Finally, she barked her loudest and shouted, “JONATHON! WE ARE BEING ATTACKED!” Then she ran out from behind the sand dunes racing toward the flock of birds being attacked by the cats, barking and snarling as fiercely as she knew how.
Jonathon flipped around, “What? What are you screaming about?” Then he saw the feral cats now making a dash across the beach straight into the crowd of helpless birds.
Jonathon immediately took off and squawked in a commanding voice that could be heard by everyone for hundreds of yards, “EMERGENCY! CODE RED, CODE RED, CODE RED!”
Suddenly, Tipper was knocked over in the sand as she ran, and was covered by huge pelican wings, “Stay still Tipper,” Shouted P.J. “You’ll be safe with us now.” cried Joey. The two big birds spread their wings and surrounded Tipper to protect her from some of the cats who were as big as she was. If one came near the birds would hiss with their open beaks and stick out a foot, flexing long razor sharp claws discouraging any closer contact.
Part of the Squad Formation Training had been the readying of a Protective Detail. These birds were the biggest and the best fliers among the gulls. Hearing the code, they went on the defensive instantly. Code red was the highest alert level. The Detail broke free of the melee and they were in the air fast. They were trained to dive bomb their enemy pecking and slashing with their claws driving them away from the rest of the flock.
Butch, the leader shouted orders to his detail, “Dive, Dive, Dive!” He began diving at the cats. Soon they force them into retreat and then on the run back to their lairs in the hills above the beach. But sadly the damage had been done.
P.J. and Joey had remained calm throughout the fight. They did not even try to get Tipper off the ground. There was no runway space and she was just too heavy to lift by her strut from a dead standstill, so they had just kept her safe on the ground. But as she peeked out from behind their protective wings and saw the carnage that was taking place, it made her sick. And when she saw several cats attacking Arthur at the same time she struggled to get out and help him.
“No!” screamed Joey, “Stay here where we can protect you!” and he smacked her with his wing so hard it knocked her down and she was helpless to move.
When the fighting finally stopped there was dead silence. Tipper knew it was a tragedy. She peeked out from under Joey’s wing and what she saw made her gasp. There were feathers and cat fur and blood all over the beach where the battle had been fought. Worst of all it looked like there were several dead birds, mostly the smaller, weaker ones. But what really made her swoon was that Arthur was also one of the dead. Some of them had been dragged away by the cats to their lairs. He was one of them who didn’t survive.
Later, Tipper found Susie and gave her a big kiss and told her how sorry she was that she had lost Arthur. Susie cried.
Arthur’s death saved many of the other birds. He had put up a valiant fight and by the time the cats conquered him the Squad had all taken off and the rest of the Protective Detail had routed the remaining cats. They had all gone scurrying back to the brush on the hill for cover. The Detail was now soaring around and taking control of the skies as the bulk of the flock flew south to another beach about a half mile away. There they had gathered and huddled, looking very frightened, sad and disturbed.
When the battle waned and the beach was cleared by the Protective Detail, Jonathon fluttered down to Tipper, P.J. and Joey.
“I’m so sorry, guys. This has always been a safe beach before.” He said. “I just don’t understand it.”
Tipper stood up. Joey and P.J. lowered their wings and shook themselves to dissipate the horror they felt. A feral cat attack was the worst experience any bird could imagine. Their eyes were still bugged out but they had firmly stood their ground to keep Tipper safe.
“Sorry we had to be rough with you, Tipper, but those cats were almost as big and you are and if a couple of them had attacked you they could do some bad damage.” said P.J.
“Yes,” concurred Joey, “we’re just too big for them, especially together and on the defense. That’s why we hid you.”
“Oh! Thank you”, Tipper sobbed, “That was so scary! I never knew cats could be so mean and ugly.”
The flock had been so lucky to lose only a few members. They thanked the Protective Detail for performing way beyond expectations. But that didn’t lessen the terror of the experience for any of them.
“We need to take off and join the rest of the flock on that other beach,” suggested Jonathon.
But Tipper was too filled with tension to take off right away. She had never seen anyone die before and so it was several minutes before she was able to trot to the end of the beach and line up for her run to get airborne. She tried to settle herself and tell herself that this short little flight was nothing. She was only going for a half mile to the next beach. But it seemed like a daunting task nevertheless. Finally, she was able to start her run. P.J. and Joey were right with her as always. The run was exhilarating and the takeoff was easy and smooth. Tipper was surprised that she was getting the knack of it so quickly.
The flight lasted less than two minutes and Tipper touched down lightly to the murmured approval of all the others. Only Charlene remained quiet. Tipper had dropped her feet perfectly and her run out was flawless. No sooner was she down and adjusted than Jonathon growled.
“There will be an extraordinary meeting of the Squad in five minutes. All details and all formations are to be ready to report.”
When they were assembled, he asked, “Butch, how many casualties did we suffer?”
“The flock lost six and the Squad lost only one, Arthur.” reported Butch. That leaves only 14 in the Squad including Charlie, and I don’t know how many in the total flock. It’s big and keeps changing all the time.
“How many injured and need medical attention?”
“Three were pretty torn up and need rest and attention” replied Emma, an energetic seagull, who was the attending nurse. “There’s a bird reserve about five miles from here, I think they can make it that far and get help there.”
“Okay, take them over there and take Butch with you. You can join us when you get back. We will be flying on toward Scammon’s lagoon. Please give all the wounded my condolences. Now go.”
About the Author:
A. Jeanne Emanuel is an attorney, an artist and an author of children’s books about dogs. She has a little rescue dog named Tipper who just makes everyone she meets fall in love with her. Jeanne decided that Tipper needed to be shared with the world. particularly dog lovers. This book is the second in the Tipper series.
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