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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

A Dangerous Time For Dogs: Oi! Hands off my Lhasa Apso!

Dog snatchers of the lockdown went barking up the wrong tree as far as this tale is concerned.

The pandemic lockdown of 2020 was not a good time for dogs or indeed their owners. Many were snatched from their gardens right under their master’s or mistress’s noses, some were retrieved but, sadly, many were sold off by unscrupulous thieves for profit and never came home. So appalled by all of this, Eric Armstrong set about putting together a doggy tale of his own, the result being ‘A Dangerous Time for Dogs’ and subtitled ‘The Long Journey Home’ with enchanting illustrations by Natalie Stead.

The book is aimed primarily at teens and young adults but everyone who enjoys a good canine adventure in the ilk of ‘The Incredible Journey’ or ‘Lassie Come Home’ will instantly warm to this one. Like its two famous predecessors, made into movies of course, Eric’s book does have a happy ending. Of course, this proved untrue for many pet owners in real life as dog snatching rose to worrying heights.

With the increase in dog ownership during lockdown, canine-loving and mature author Eric Armstrong created his book ‘A Dangerous Time for Dogs’- subtitled ‘The Long Journey Home,’ charmingly illustrated by Natalie Stead - after being inspired by the very topical issue of dog thefts in the UK. It's a fictional adventure story, following the escape and subsequent journey of a group of dogs, told from their perspective rather than the human perspective. The cover of the book also features one of the main characters, Poppy the Lhasa, who is a social media influencer dog, details at and

The CrimeStoppers organisation reported dog thefts in the UK increased by almost a fifth during lockdown - with up to seven pets being reported stolen each day in 2020Puppy smuggling and illegal breeding through puppy farming was also on the rise. During the pandemic, demand for puppies had been so high that buyers started to look further afield for puppies and dogs, and sellers became willing to take more of a risk for more profits. At least Eric’s doggy tale has a happy ending and is a must read for all pooch lovers.

Synopsis of ‘A Dangerous Time For Dogs’ by Eric Armstrong:

A charming and topical tale about a number of dogs snatched from their homes and taken to an isolated compound in preparation for their illegal sale.

One of the captive dogs, a young Tibetan Lhasa Apso, tries to organise an escape aided by a very unusual cat and a feral Patterdale terrier. Relentlessly pursued through the countryside by criminals, the dogs have to live by their wits in order to complete the long journey home.

As their enemies close in, a vengeful predator occasionally assists them as he tries to hunt down the dog who betrayed him as a puppy.

One of Natalie Stead’s illustrations from ‘A Dangerous Time for Dogs’ sub-titled ‘The Long Journey Home’ by Eric Armstrong


"Great book for all the family - we really enjoyed it. It’s a really topical thing at the moment with dog thefts at the moment. Would recommend for everyone with dogs." - Paddy111

“What a beautiful book. I ordered this for my daughter and she loves the book so much!” – Danielle Williams

Funny and well written book.” – Val Clark

About the author:

Eric Armstrong is a dog owner who was inspired by a real-life Lhasa Apso dog and Patterdale Terrier. After writing several short stories about dogs and publishing them online, he took the next step by writing a book. With the increase of dog thefts in the UK and after some research into the issue, he wanted to write about that experience but imagining it from the dog's perspective.

‘A Dangerous Time For Dogs’ sub-titled ‘The Long Journey Home’ by Eric Armstrong(ISBN 9781802272123), illustrated by Natalie Stead, is published by Keith Beck. It is available at Amazon in paperback, RRP £7.99, and in Kindle, RRP £3.99. For details see: Amazon

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