Since we’re entering the “dog days” of summer, I posed the question to our our Romance Writers Weekly authors, “Do you have pets? What type and how many? Do you write pets into your stories? “
Hubs and I both grew up with a dog as a part of the family. Over the years, we’ve adopted both dogs and cats. My husband has always been a lover of Basset Hounds. When we met, he had Beau, a large Hush Puppy with a mind of his own. After we married, a long-haired, gray tabby cat showed up where I worked. Jasper and Beau became buddies. Once we bought a house, we added a chocolate lab who didn’t even know his name. We renamed him Jake after Mollie Ringwald’s heartthrob in Sixteen Candles.
A couple of years later, I came home to find a tiny, yellow tabby wrapped in a blanket. My husband had found him while working at a job site. The kitten had ears as big as Gizmo the sweet gremlin the movie. Gizmo joined the rest of the crew.
The first Halloween after Beau had passed, a friend of ours who worked at our city’s animal control called about a Bassett who’d been surrendered that morning. My husband picked him up that evening as I gave out candy. Jake greeted Clyde and they ran off in the backyard together, besties from day one. The “gangsters” had a great run. When Jake passed buried him in the backyard and Clyde lay on his grave for days.
Down to one dog and two cats we held that number until our animal control called once again. We adopted Luc, a beautiful black flat coated retriever who was the sweetest boy. He became my dog.
After our son, Hunter, was born, we lost Clyde and got a Basset puppy. Sophie was a beautiful girl who grew up with our son and lived a long life. After the cats and Luc and Sophie passed over the rainbow bridge we went without pets for a while.
When Hunter was in his last year of middle school, we adopted Tucker. Hunter immediately bonded with the little, black lab who continued to look like a puppy throughout his life. His coat looked and felt like black velvet. Of all the dogs we’d had, “Boo” as I nicknamed him, stole all of our hearts. Then he splintered them into a million pieces when he died at only five from a tumor around his heart. My first novel was released within a week of his death and all I could do was cry. I’ve never grieved so long over a pet.
My husband pushed for another dog well before Hunter and I were ready. A few months later my sister-in-law posted a picture of a lab mix on Hunter’s Facebook timeline. He didn’t see it but I did.
They told us “Roscoe” was in the shelter for a second time. When they brought him out, he stood with his head nearly to my waist. I bent slightly to give him a pet and he extend his long muzzle and licked my face. I handed the leash to my son, sure that the pony-sized dog would drag me through the walking area. To my surprise, Leo (as we would rename him) meandered happily with his nose to the ground. We were told he is Plott Hound (state dog of NC) and Lab but with his stature, we believe he has Blood Hound in his genes. We’ve had Leo for four years now and pray he has a long life with us. At 103 pounds, he’s our baby!
Thus far, my current work is progress is the only story with a pet as a character. The story is about a former military canine handler who is trying to find his dog when he meets a woman who’s training a puppy for service work. It is a bit challenging trying to incorporate a pet into a story that isn’t solely about them but I’m about two thirds done and hope to finish it this year. Now let’s hear from Jenna Da Sie who’s next on the Romance Writers Weekly hop.