A week or so ago Amy Shojai did a name that dog post. In the comments I gave a shout out to every canine fur baby I’ve had — a veritable pack — from the first, a Toy Poodle my sister conned my father into through to Beastie Girl, a Boxer/Pit Bull.
Beyond the trip down memory lane, listing all those pets made me realize it’s been a rare point in time when I wasn’t sharing my home with a four-legged friend. And that’s an enriching thing. I’m mostly a dog person, some of my best fur babies were strays and pound puppies, but there was a cat or two as well
That, in turn, got me thinking about pets in stories.
I can’t imagine my life without a fur baby, or two, in it. Is it really a stretch for our story people to have pets?
Yet, I’ve only written one story so far with a pet, a tribute to my Blue Heeler mix, Dani (that pretty spotted one). It’s not as easy as one might think. The heroine can’t just run off for the weekend with the hero, I mean, who’s going to watch the fur baby?
It’s much the same situation writers run into by having children in the story. Beyond, babies being born or hinted at (in an epilogue), I’ve only written one story where a child was an active part of the story line. Strangely enough, or not, the same story featuring Dani. And he’s a teen, about to graduate high school.
As a reader, I’ve enjoyed the extra layer of having pets (or children) in a story. I’ve also seen it done poorly. As a writer, I like the idea of adding that layer of reality to a story yet not every story calls for it. I suspect I have a bit to go before I master it. How about you?
- Readers: Do you enjoy reading stories with children and/or pets in them?
- Writers: Have you written a pet or child into a story?
For kicks and giggles and a trip down the rabbit hole…