Rainbow Six is a novel by Tom Clancy about a global, top secret counter terrorism unit. And oddly, it had a big influence on the creation of Pooch Patrol.
“Late” is the new “On Time.”
When I was growing up, my family lived across the road from the town library. I loved that place. I had a horrible habit of handing in books weeks and months overdue, but the librarians seemed to always let me off the hook. Kids could get away with murder, if they only said “sorry” in the right way.
Weird thing was, I wasn’t that much of a reader. Finishing a book was more of an accomplishment than a hobby. I think I liked the idea of being able to read about absolutely anything in the whole world that really tickled my goat. It was my Google before I had Google.
The books I still remember from that library, turns out, have very much been themes of my life. I remember the hardcover edition of Roald Dahl’s “BFG”, who’s tattered appearance only made the story even more magical and mysterious. “Matt’s Million”, the story of a child who programmed a virus themed computer game while sick in hospital. “The Idiot’s Guide to Italian”, which I repeatedly rented out while my Italian relatives were in town, which I’d eventually go on to purchase. A basketball training book, that I would read and practice for countless hours during the school holidays in my dream of growing up and becoming a professional basketball player. And the largest novel I ever read as a kid, “Rainbow Six” by Tom Clancy.
It’s funny the things that stay in your memory. I specifically remember sitting on the floor, late one night, in a bean bag inside my parents shop while they were working. I remember reading the first chapter and scene in that sitting, a whole 20 pages. I had never read anything like it. So detailed. So intense. The characters, so highly trained. So professional.
Rainbow Six, the top secret unit, were the elite. The best of the best. They went on missions around the world, killed the bad guys, and walked away without a scratch. Watch any movie of a similar nature, and you’ll recognise the storyline. The action. The take downs. It’s rich in glory.
But it wasn’t until recently, that I got my hands on an abridged audio version of the book, that I discovered what “abridged” in fact means! They take out the parts of the story that the reader probably wouldn’t fancy listening to, to get the meat of the story in a shorter timeframe. We’re busy people. No time to listen to a whole story from start to finish, apparently!
The audio version included all those missions I mentioned, without fail. It was exactly as I remembered them. But turns out this abridged version didn’t include an entire other half of the book that I didn’t realise had such an impact on me until I noticed it was missing!
Where’d you go? (I missed you so).
Ironically I’m not much of a militiary man. And this is probably even more evident as the fact that these “missing parts” I’m talking about are all of the chapters detailing how the team lived and trained together! The preparation and travel legs for their missions. See, thier effectiveness in the field was due to their bond behind the scenes. That’s where the characters truly shined. It’s where they grew to be your friends, where you discovered you actually cared about what appended to them. I loved reading the determination they all shared. The comradery. About everything that happened behind the curtain when the world wasn’t watching.
None of this was in the audiobook. And I sadly missed it. To be honest I was left a bit disappointed. I would have rather listened to just the parts they cut, and leave out the missions entirely!
I am certain, without any doubt, these impressions of how the team operated had an impact on me when I had my first thoughts of Pooch Patrol. Every channel of media we are now consumed by, including traditional and social, love showing all the action. The heroes. The moments when you can take a bow and receive a round of applause. Of course, everyone loves these moments. But what interests me, much more than the events themselves, is what it took to arrive at these moments. The back story that always gets cut out.
Let’s make our own Behind The Scenes reel.
Much like in Rainbow Six, in my own life story I’m so much more interested in the real characters that don’t care for the limelight. Those that would be interested to come together, grow as people, have each other’s back, and through this comradery, become the best we can be individually and collaboratively. In this fast evolving world, technology can help bring these unique and much more interesting characters together. We can live on opposite sides of the world, and get the same benefits by interacting virtually. I discovered I had just enough technical chops to make this happen, by creating a phone app to form the basis of this secret, fitness wolfpack.
Whether you already routinely use the Pooch Patrol app, or are yet to pull the trigger and download it, my excitement is the same. I look forward to patrolling alongside you when you next choose to. I want to be around people just like you, because together, when the world isn’t looking, we can still make monumental progress.
Maybe we won’t fight terrorism, but that’s not what makes the best stories anyways.