I have three adult daughters, lovely inside and out, definitely the “apples of my eye.” Not only that, I was born a “sheepdog”. Not the cute, shaggy kind. More like the lower picture. The “sheepdog” metaphor comes from the idea that there are three kinds of people in the world: the wolves, the sheep, and the sheepdogs–protectors of the sheep. These classificationsi tha transcend nationality, race, religion, gender and class. They are about your essential nature. I doubt I would find much disagreement with “the sheep are the most common, the wolves much fewer, and the sheepdogs fewest of all.”
There is at least one business based on that model. Sheepdog Response was founded by Green Beret, Special Forces, Sniper, and former top 5 UFC Middleweight, Tim Kennedy. Tim was also the co-star of Hunting Hitler on the History Channel, and more recently, Hard To Kill, on the Discovery Channel. His website states: “People face threats of violence every day. Most people are unprepared, unequipped, and untrained to respond effectively. This weakness in the flock allows the wolves to attack with great ease and success. The answer is not more laws. The wolves don’t follow them. We must give the good guys the tools they need to effectively respond to violence.”
While I mostly agree with Mr. Kennedy, and recognize that he is marketing his business in that statement, and while I heartily agree that more laws are NOT the answer (it would help if the laws we already have were enforced), there are really no “good guys” (And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. Luke 18:18), but we know what he means–the sheepdogs. What prompted this post was reading the latest novel—All The Devils—in the Livia Lone series by Barry Eisler. Livia is a Seattle police detective, a special victims unit cop, who was abducted from her home in Thailand, along with her younger sister, by a gang that specializes in providing young, nubile “product” from mostly loosely policed, or corrupt, Asian countries. Too real world to contemplate for long, unless you’re a sheepdog. Mr. Eisler’s novels share the theme that powerful government figures are involved in the most unsavory pursuits, especially human sex trafficking. After all, how does such a reprehensible industry prosper? His main characters—Livia Lone, John Rain, Ben Treven and the former marine sniper “Dox”—sometimes appear in the other characters’ series.
The plot of All The Devils is like a horrific escalation of the worst #MeToo stories: A US Congressman and “war hero”, “Boomer” Kane, is worried that his sexual (in his mind) peccadilloes in high school are coming back to haunt his re-election campaign. In actual fact, what to him are peccadilloes were vicious forcible rapes, of the kind that are prosecutable, or would be if his father, “Admiral” Kane, who is now Vice-President, had not used his influence to discredit or intimidate the many women who were violated by his degenerate offspring. To make matters worse, Boomer’s best friend in high school, who followed him into the Army, and then Special Forces, Stephen “Snake” Spencer, was the devil on his shoulders who kept encouraging his perversions. The two were inseparable, both in duty and in perversity. They might not have been brought to “justice”, but for the father of one of the girls who was raped and murdered. B.D. Little was an investigator for Homeland Security, who relentlessly pursued every lead or rumor about what truly happened to his “little girl”. Speaking as a father, a very protective kind, a Bengal sheepdog, I know my daughters are not “little girls” anymore, but I will never forget the feelings of holding those babies, and at an emotional level, they will always be “daddy’s girls”, so let’s forgive Mr. Little his indulgence.
Livia herself was kidnapped, raped and terrorized as a child, her younger sister was murdered in addition, and she made it her life’s mission to protect others from the same fate, though in monumental sheepdog fashion, her other mission was to seek out the violators of her family. Seek, find, then what? The Thai pirates were protected by the Thai police, who were protected by their politicians, who were paid by United States Congressmen, who were protected by the Secret Service, many of whom shared the “spoils” of their efforts. How do the victims get “justice”? In Mr. Eisler’s world, and in my fantasies, justice is usually the following, depending on which character is meting it out: for Livia, it’s usually delivered as a bullet or with a sword; for John Rain, it’s either a sword or a “natural” death (his specialty as an assassin); for “Dox”, first name Carl, last name not used, former marine corps super sniper, it’s almost always a long range .338 Lapua round, the recipient never expecting it nor aware of being hunted. All The Devils is somewhat different from the other novels. The bad guys—Boomer and Snake—are arrested and tried, though Snake is so grievously injured it is unlikely he will ever be able to feed himself, and Boomer is probably blinded for life. Yeah, being civilized is arresting them, but in a father’s fantasies and Barry Eisler’s novels, the evildoers get what is really deserved.