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Dawn of the Dogmen

by Frank Holes Jr.




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Click here for the website of the first Dogman novel:
Year of the Dogman
Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen by Frank Holes Jr. 
Tentative Release Date: July 4, 2009
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Michigan's Dogman:  
Myth or reality?


With a master’s in educational leadership from Central Michigan University, and an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Michigan State University, Frank Holes, Jr. teaches literature, writing, and mythology at the middle school level and was recently named a regional Teacher of the Year. He lives in Northern Michigan with his wife Michele, son James, and daughter Sarah.  


From the back cover of Nagual: Dawn Of The Dogmen:

"Somewhere in the north woods darkness, a four legged creature suddenly stood upright..."

Michigan ’s legendary Dogman returns in Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen by Frank Holes, Jr.  The third book in the series is a masterful blend of fantasy and folklore, delving into the pre-dawn history of the mysterious creature and then rushing forward to the present day. 

A wild dream whisks away a 1700s French fur-trader (who originally released the supernatural beast) back to the time when the glaciers covered the Great Lakes region.  This dream relives the fierce and furious battle for supremacy and the fate of the human race, as the ancient Nagual, the demonic skin-walkers, alongside other fantastically monstrous beasts, threaten to destroy the native civilizations.

The action then picks up in 1977, ten years before The Haunting of Sigma and thirty years before the events in Year of the Dogman.  A pair of star-crossed young lovers finds their budding relationship horribly interrupted as the Dogman rampages across the fields and forests, the farms and camps of Grand Traverse and Benzie Counties in northern Michigan .  The beast, part man and part canine, is hunting for the remnants of its stolen, ancient treasure that will give it immortality and unlimited power.  Dreadful encounters with the local populace highlight this haunting prequel to the first two Dogman novels, and author Frank Holes, Jr. delivers yet another thrilling, suspenseful ride into the world of cryptozoology by establishing the terrifying, historical context for this local legend.




Copyright 2009, Frank Holes, Jr.

All Rights Reserved


POSTED JUNE 17, 2009:

From Book 2, Chapter 6:

For a few seconds, there was no noise in the north woods to answer him, save the mosquitoes that had begun buzzing around his hairy ears.  And then, an answer did come, though it wasn’t from his wife.  A deep, throaty growl, lasting a good 10 seconds, echoed through the woods around him.  It seemed to come from everywhere and from nowhere at all. 

Gerald sobered immediately.  He suddenly found himself standing upright and looking off down the road.  The moon, though not quite clearing the treetops, still cast enough light down so the old timer could distinguish the road from the forest beyond.  His eyes darted in all directions, his head swiveling in nervous jerks back and forth. 

The growl rolled past him a second time, and this time Gerald sensed that it came from down the road.  As he looked back that way, he glimpsed at a pair of little yellow lights off in the distance.  They were very bright, almost like little golden globes suspended in midair.  But his breathing stopped when he saw them blink, twice.  They weren’t lights—they were eyes! 

He didn’t think, he only reacted.  Summoning every ounce of strength left in his intoxicated body, Gerald bolted down the road, looking like a newborn fawn who was still learning to use its legs.  

He’d forgotten to zip his pants, and within a few seconds he ran right out of his unlaced boots, tripping only a little.  But he hardly noticed, even as his socks flapped on the dirt road.  He was only thinking he had to keep moving, keep running, as far from that sound as he could get. 

There was no one here to help him, no one to rescue him way out here in the woods. 


From Book 2, Chapter 4:

However, their moment of merriment was lost as another loud cry echoed through the swampy wilderness.  But unlike the loon’s call, this new sound was deep and sinister, an awful shriek that seemed to carry on for an eternity.  In reality, it only lasted about 10 seconds but neither brother noticed. 

It was as if time had stopped along with all other noises around them.  There was no chirping or squawking from the birds, no peeping or croaking from the frogs.  Even the very light breeze stopped.  Not a leaf or branch moved.  The few wispy clouds made a painting high above, like stretched cotton candy on a baby-blue tablecloth.  The sun continued to beat down, oppressing the land with its heat.  Everything in nature had paused, waiting in anticipation, hiding itself from this new and awful menace that had invaded it.  Seemingly, the world had inhaled deeply and was holding its breath, waiting for what was coming next.

Both men stopped their motion and absolutely froze in their canoe.  Neither spoke, neither could breathe.  A few drops of water fell, plopping their way slowly into the dead still marsh below.  The canoe stopped its forward motion and came to a rest amid another clumping of swamp grass. 

The only sound to invade the silence was the light buzzing of a few deer flies and a small cloud of mosquitoes that made its way to the canoe in search of lunch.  Ed slowly waved his hand past his right ear and long sideburns, absently brushing aside one of the bloodsuckers. 

The words that escaped Fred’s throat were raspy and barely audible.  “Heh, heh, loon… right?” he sputtered, half hopeful yet wholly uneasy. 

The noise came again, this time a deeper, darker, far more awful growl.  Both men turned their heads simultaneously to the left, peering at the copse of trees and thickly overgrown underbrush barely visible over the tops of the tall swamp grass.  The forest and the swampy river appeared to meet at what seemed to be about 50 yards away.  The menacing, guttural growl was definitely coming from that direction.  A half-dozen black birds, crows probably, burst out of the tree tops and flew off in all directions. 

Fred’s knuckles were white, his fingers holding a death grip on the paddle’s shaft.  “Man, whatever that was, it wasn’t no loon,” he whispered, just barely heard by his brother.

Both brothers sat silently, not moving, not making a sound. 

Ed only nodded his head.  “I think maybe we ought to start paddlin’ again.  Slowly, quietly.”


POSTED MAY 29, 2009

From Book 2, Chapters 3 & 4:

Someone’s vandalized my church, he thought.  Who would do such a thing?  A flush of anger darkened his spirit.  But this was only for a moment.  The priest set his bag down and moved to the first of three steps that led up to the doors.  As his heart began racing, Father Tony’s left hand rose of its own accord and covered his mouth. 

Something had created a long series of marks all along the doors, the door jambs, and the wooden siding on the front of the church. 

There was a pattern to the marks; they ran in streaks of four, basically equidistant from each other.  Some were straight and others curved in what would otherwise be graceful arcs.

Crossing himself, Father Tony forced himself to walk up the three steps and reach out to the doors.  The wind had died down, and there was virtually no noise to be heard except for his own harsh breathing.  Despite the heat already building this early morning, the father shivered from shoulders to legs. 

Spreading his slightly shaking fingers, the priest traced the curving path of the scratches on one wooden entry door. Each cut was as wide as his fingernail.  And these scratches weren’t just superficial; they dug almost a half inch deep into the wood siding. 

This wasn’t an act of vandalism.  These are claw marks, he thought incredulously.  Something has clawed up my church. 

This was followed closely by, what could have created claw marks like these?



“There were, of course, a large number of encounters in which the Omeena people heard awful howls and screeches in the night, just like those we’ve been hearing lately.  And there were a few stories, just a few mind you, of actual sightings.  These were all from a distance away, and they were all very similar.  The creature didn’t notice those who’d seen it because they were hunkered down behind rocks or logs or behind large trees or something.  Those who claimed to have seen Ogopogo were so scared they couldn’t move.”

Both boys were excited now.  “Tell him what it looks like, Natalie,” Brett said anxiously. 

Natalie smiled, knowing her tale was completely drawing them in.  “Those who saw Ogopogo, and as I mentioned earlier, they only saw a little bit, they always describe it as walking upright like a man.  But that was where the similarities ended. 

“Ogopogo was difficult to see clearly, probably because its skin was furry or hairy, and it almost completely blended in with its surroundings.  It generally was seen hunched over, many times drinking from a stream or pond.  But even standing, its long arms could almost touch the ground.  The face and head seemed like some sort of familiar animal, like a wolf or a bear, you know, something the native people would have seen in our area.

“But probably the creepiest thing that all of the stories have in common is about its eyes.  Its eyes glowed a demonic gold, each a burning sun in the depths of its black face, even in the daylight hours.” 

Chris was enraptured.  Even Brett, who’d heard this tale several times, couldn’t help but be drawn in by it again. 


“Wow,” Chris whispered.  “And do you think that it’s Ogopogo that’s been howling around here lately, Aunt Natalie?”

“It’s just a myth, though,” Brett said quietly. “Isn’t it?  I mean, that’s just the kind of tale we’d tell the flatlanders.”

Shrugging her shoulders, she gave him a look that wasn’t exactly a smile.  “I have no idea what might be making that howling.  I’m not so sure I believe in Ogopogo now, though I did as a little girl.  But these last couple of weeks haven’t seemed quite normal, at least to me.  It feels like an emptiness in the world around us.  I’m sure you boys have noticed it too.  I don’t hear as many birds or frogs or any other sorts of animals any more.”

The boys both nodded.  There was a noticeable lack of animal life.  Chris hadn’t seen any deer tracks or scat around camp.  And the raccoons and opossums that always marauded the trash dumpster were nowhere to be seen. 

Aunt Natalie continued.  “I don’t know what’s going on, but something’s keeping the wildlife away.  I’d be willing to bet it’s connected to whatever is making that God-awful noise.  Whether its Ogopogo or not, that I don’t know.”


POSTED MAY 9, 2009

From Book 2, Chapter 1:

As soon as Bryan reached their camp clearing, he saw the animal.  It appeared to be a wolf, but it was huge!  Granted, he’d never seen a wolf in the wild, but this one dwarfed the wolves he’d seen at the Detroit Zoo as a kid.  Maybe they grow this big in the wild, he thought.  It must have been four feet tall at the shoulder.  God, it’s the size of a bear!

Dan was nowhere to be seen. 

Pushing back his fear, Bryan puffed out his chest and tried to act intimidating.  He’d heard that someplace, that wild animals are more afraid of humans than humans are of them.  If you made a lot of noise, you could scare them away.  Bryan raised his arms up over his head, hands and fingers curved in a threatening posture, and yelled, “Go away!”

But the wolf only looked at him, its yellow eyes glowing in the near darkness.  Though impossible to tell in the twilight, it looked as if there was blood covering the wolf’s muzzle.

Then, to Bryan’s surprise, the wolf stood upright, raised its own front paws to head level, and growled loudly back at him. 

Bryan ’s jaw dropped at the same time his arms fell back to his side.  Not good, he thought.  Not good at all. 

The creature (at this point he was pretty sure it was not a wolf) took a threatening step forward and Bryan knew he was in trouble.  Deep trouble. 

He shot quick glances all around the clearing and saw the one tree that would work.  It was only a couple of strides away, and it might be his only chance.  Bryan judged the lowest branch to be about ten feet up, but if he got a running start…



But Natalie had to wonder if everything was really ok.  She’d thought back to some of the stories that had popped up around Manistee and Bear Lake this spring, and from Wexford County and further south many years ago.  Normally she would have dismissed such stories as fantasy.  The supposed ‘witnesses’ would have been also dismissed as crackpots, probably drunk or under the influence of some drug or other. 

Yet she’d grown up believing in the legends she’d heard from her ‘Nana, even when world history and US history and the study of civilizations drilled the common knowledge of human culture into her head.   And these stories ten and twenty years ago fit far too easily into the world her ‘Nana had described to her.  ‘Nana’s story world was a place of monsters and magic and heroes who stood against evil.  And of course, the people of ‘Nana’s tribe were among the heroes who saved the world. 

The howl in the distance didn’t scare Natalie, but it did worry her.  And she didn’t need more things to worry about at this point in her life. 

And that just couldn’t be.  

For that cry had not been heard in that part of northern Michigan for thousands of years.  The last time it occurred, the great lakes region was blanketed by a hundred feet of glacial ice. 


POSTED MAY 1, 2009

From Book 1, Chapter 1:

The curtain of light snow continued to fall from the gray sky as the dark, shadowy figure plodded its way through the wilderness. 

Seen from a distance through the flurry, it resembled a humanoid only because it was walking on its two hind legs.  And its gait wasn’t exactly smooth – it leapt and lurched almost spastically through the drifts.  Otherwise, one could have mistaken it for a monster or creature out of nightmare, an animal that had somehow found the evolutionary ladder and had fought its way up to a new stage in its development. 

The creature continued its track, navigating through the thin, scrawny saplings, their wispy branches, like arms reaching to the sky in mock prayer, completely bare of leaves.  Every now and then the creature would pass one of the larger trees and stop a few seconds to lean against the smooth bark.  The snow drifts within the forest were more compacted and not as deep, but the going was slow and difficult nonetheless. 

Snowflakes continued to whirl and crisscross in all directions from the light breeze.  The strobe effect from the falling snow gave the world a surreal feel, like being in a dream.  The flakes weren’t exactly huge, but their sheer numbers made visibility difficult.   Somewhere an owl hooted, a lonely call in the otherwise silent northern forest. 

Not simply a trick of the light and the falling snow, the creature’s hazy outline was actually due to its shaggy hair which was only slightly matted down around the edges.  The figure walked hunched over, its head hung low and slightly tucked into its thick chest.  Its arms constantly swung from side to side, keeping its balance as it moved forward. 



Wa-Kama and Red Feather were sitting, crossed-legged, a few feet away.  They were looking at him intently.  Then the old woman spoke in a low, whispering voice. 

Red Feather translated.  “She says it is the O-gano-powah-go you’ve seen.  She can tell because you carry its zemi.” 

Pierre gave her a confused look.

“The zemi around your neck,” the younger woman said, pointing at the claw-shaped jewels that hung on Pierre ’s necklace. 

Immediately, the Frenchman’s right hand rose and covered the necklace.  He could feel its warmth beneath his fingers, as if the clawed jewels were radiating their own heat. 

Pierre stared back into the blackness of both women’s eyes.  Gulping, he quietly asked, “What is the O-gano-powah-go?”  He was pretty sure of her answer before she gave it.

“It is the dog who walks as a man,” said Red Feather without translation from her grandmother.  “It is but one type of Nagual, what you would call a ‘skin-walker’, an ancient demon from the world beyond.”  Her arm rose and made a graceful curve around and about the room and overhead. 



Encircling each warrior’s neck was a thong on which was strung anywhere from three to five or more sharply pointed jewels.  To the Frenchman, these necklaces were far too familiar.  He had one of his own, didn’t he?

It’s called a zemi.  That’s what the old woman called it, a zemi.

But it was the clothing that was the most fearsome aspect of the warriors.  Strapped to the back, shoulders, and chest of each man was the pelt of a great, black wolf.  At the very top, a wolf’s head adorned each warrior’s head like a helmet.  The wolf’s muzzle protruded above and beyond each man’s forehead, the ears pointed back from the great rush of air as they ran.  Between the jaws of the wolf’s head peered a face, entirely painted black.  Only the whites of the eyes provided any sense of humanity. 

This fearsome army, numbering in the thousands, tirelessly raced across the ground, mindless of the various fragments of ice, hard and dark as real stones, which lay scattered over the glacier.  Finally reaching the plain, the front ranks of the warriors completely trampled the mosses and long, thin blades of grass underfoot. 



I hope you have enjoyed this sneak preview of Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen.  Be sure to check back often as we will continue to post snippets from more of the novel.

Look for it this summer in bookstores and online.  You will also find special bundles featuring our novel with Steve Cook’s The Legend: Legacy Edition CD set.  It is the perfect gift for those who enjoy a good, scary campfire story that has just the littlest bit of truth to it. 

You can also find more information, as well as updates on the Dogman legend and novels, on our website.  There are reports of sightings and encounters, as well as a place for the kids to submit their own fictional Dogman stories.  And we offer educational discounts for teachers and schools.  Check us out at:

Latest News: June 17, 2009

Nagual: Dawn Of The Dogmen, has now moved on to final formatting and printing.  The tentative release date remains July 4, 2009.  

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Synopsis of Nagual: Dawn Of The Dogmen:

Michigan ’s legendary Dogman returns in Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen by Frank Holes, Jr.  The third book in the series is a masterful blend of fantasy and folklore, delving into the pre-dawn history of the mysterious creature and then rushing forward to the present day.  The supernatural beast is seen from two fronts.  The first encounter, part of a 1700s French fur-trader’s dream, chronicles the cultural clash between the indigenous, prehistoric civilizations and the Nagual, the half-man, half-canine skin-walkers, a clash where only one side can survive.  We then return to the modern day as the Dogman rampages across the fields and forests, the farms and camps of Grand Traverse and Benzie Counties in northern Michigan .  The supernatural beast is hunting for the remnants of its stolen, ancient treasure that will give it immortality and unlimited power.  Can two young camp counselors put an end to the chaos without losing their lives?



In the seventh year of the '70s decade, the Dogman arrived in Benzie County and Grand Traverse County... and a Legend is born...   

Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen
a novel by
Frank Holes Jr.

Terrorizing the North, July 4, 2009!



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