I am writing Bound by Honor, the second in the Clan Donald Saga, many scenes for which are set in Dunseverick and Dunluce Castles in Ireland. Aine O’Cahan, the heroine has a wolfhound. At the time of my story, Ulster was controlled by the Anglo-Irish many of whom were aligned with the Irish chiefs, like The O’Neill, King of Tirowen (a larger area then than modern day Tyrone).
Finn, a wonderful companion for the often lonely Aine, was named by her Finnbhear, Lord of the Fairies. He is very like the dogs described in the Icelandic sagas, such as that of Burnt Njal in which Olaf, son of an Irish princess, offers his friend Gunnar a hound from Ireland:
“… it is part of his nature that he has man’s wit, and he will bay at every man whom he knows to be thy foe, but never at thy friends. He can see, too, in any man’s face whether he means thee well or ill, and he will lay down his life to be true to thee.”
Finn was a gift from Aine’s father, Cumee O’Cahan, who was Chief of the Name of O’Cahan, Lord of Ciannacht, and senior subking to the King of Tirowen, a friend of Richard de Burgh, the “Red Earl” of Ulster.
While Aine is very fond of the seabirds who nest on the cliffs near Dunseverick Castle, Finn is indifferent to them. Since Finn is always by Aine’s side, he keeps me company, too, as I live and breathe along with her in medieval Ireland!