Baba & Wana is a book which follows the lives of two African canines as they struggle to survive on the streets of Miami after escaping the poachers that took them from their homes. With the help of a trio of strays lead by the natural Doberman Crockett, the duo eventually learns how to make it in the city.
Ripped them from their homes in the wild, an African Wild Dog pup and a Fennec Fox kit bond to combat the boredom of the journey to the United States. After escaping the poachers, the two young canines must rely on the trio of street strays they befriend to learn to navigate the concrete jungle of Miami, Florida. Their presence draws the heat of the local animal control, which in turn makes them a target of a rival stray pack. How long can they avoid both sides eager to put an end to their freedom?
Baba and Wana are remnants of a “canine pack” Cutler created in 1996 which included one of every breed and species of canine. This was the forerunner of the Jasper Mountain Pack, and when Of Wolves, Dragons & Rings moved to Aufaniae, the excess characters were cut. Some, like the Labradors Colonel, General, and Major, ended up in the story of the Catstones and the Von Rustins. Baba and Wana weren’t so lucky. The duo faded into that special limbo for forgotten characters. At least until she started going over Nara’s original friends. But their place in the story was gone and they needed a new home.
Baba and Wana were named after the father and son in the Wishbone version of The People Could Fly. The names are Swahili for “father” and “son”, though Wana is actually spelled Mwana. Their basic story – how they met and came to America – was loosely based on Country Coyote Goes Hollywood. The rest was inspired by Homeward Bound 2, Fluke, and Look Who’s Talking Now.
The supporting characters for the most part were inspired by characters on Miami Vice and Burn Notice, most obviously Crockett and Tubbs, less so with Remington, Fiona, and Ax. The purpose in casting the breeds in the roles they are in is simply to subvert the cliché of using certain breeds as the villain. Crockett is loosely based on a stray that lived in Big Coppitt Key, FL in 1984.