"This fighter dog summoned incredible
courage to survive the Roman amphitheater
and even more to open wide his heart."

Written by Ruth Ann Hanley


The Story

Many, many years ago, in the first century A.D. the Roman Empire ruled the world and spread peace throughout. The emperor used many methods to keep his people content and to take their minds from their own misery. One was through the use of animals. Or more properly speaking, the misuse.

Besides the man-to-man gladiator bouts, the Romans brought all types of wild animals into the amphitheater for their killing contests. Their victims included, rhinoceros, bulls, boars, lions and bears. And the dogs were set upon them. (Four dogs was a usual number against a bear.) These cruel celebrations lasted many days and often were elaborately staged as hunts with imported plants and trees. Often the contests celebrated a famous person's funeral with the most important ones given a tribute of over one hundred days of killing.

Thus, our canine protagonist was born into one of the cruelest possible situations, that of a fighter dog in the Roman ampitheater. He was prized for his slashing, scaring, feinting and killing: other animals and humans. Two of his litter mates were drowned as puppies. Most of his companion fighter dogs lost their lives and ended up in urns set for disposal after the torches were extinguished at the end of the "celebration." His challenge was simply to stay alive. And whatever cruel ploy and dishonest trick he could take to escape his own blood bath and shift destruction to his companions, he took. The more malicious he was, the more he was prized by the clapping, blood-thirsty crowd.

Until he went too far and turned against his handlers.

Almost miraculously this fighter dog, that the crowd named "Daemon," escaped his upcoming execution and lived unchained in the uttermost parts of the earth. Free to do as he pleased, he met humans who valued honesty and each other and a Jesus man who healed rather than hurt. In this atmosphere he met the challenge of everyman: to continue on his destructive path or to accept the way of peace.