Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Writer Needs A Dog... - Anne Gracie

Anne McAllister's terrific post yesterday (see below) about the tools of a writers trade missed out on one very important thing -- a dog.

A writer needs a dog. Cats, goldfish, laptops and granddaughters etc. are all very well in their place, but truly, anyone who wants to be a writer needs to get a dog. And not only because they make a glamorous accessory for a romance writer.

For a start dogs make great critique partners. Read it out aloud to them. They'll either wag their tails to show how much they enjoyed it, or they'll fall asleep (needs a bit more action), or they'll start scratching (it's embarrassingly bad.)

And there's more. A dog will guard you while you work.

They start this when very young...

She'll guard your laptop when you're working in bed and go out to make a coffee.

She can watch a cat who might be planning to walk on your computer keys and thus ruin a whole day's work.

A dog will protect you from wild vampire monkeys.

She'll even mind your duck while you're writing -- and you know how important that is.

She'll don a spangled bandana to choose contest winners.

And a dog will look at you in such a way that you simply cannot spent a whole day hunched over a keyboard — you have to take her for lots of walks, and thus you'll keep fit, get lots of fresh air, and meet nice people -- dog people are very cool.

She'll even allow her pictures to be shamelessly used in a blog. ;)

So, do you have a pet? How does it help you in your chosen career?



Avi J said...

Hi Annie

I have 11 dogs. They provide comic relief for me at a given day.

Anne Gracie said...

Hi Avi
Wow! Eleven is a lot! I agree with you, dogs give you a laugh every time.

Those pics haven't gone up in correct order -- there's supposed to be a pic with each line of text...

Oh well, blogger!

Pat Cochran said...

I can see that you are being well
and lovingly guarded! LOL

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Awwwww! Wook at da wittle dawgie!!! Anne, what I'm trying to say is that was a tres cool and muy cute post! I don't have a dog but after this, I WANT ONE! Especially as the vampire monkeys are banging on the door as we speak...

Bronwyn Jameson said...

I have a Jack Russell. He is very good at keeping all manner of visitors at bay but not so good at sitting and protecting. In fact, sitting is not his thing at all. He is very good, however, at exercise and we do need to be dragged away from the keyboard.

Lovely post, Anne.

Anne Gracie said...

Yes, Pat, she'll guard me from cats, vampire monkeys, and other dogs. Murderers with a liver-treat in hand...maybe not.

Anna, I'm shocked you don't have a dog! Shocked! And so, you have a vampire monkey problem... See?

And Bron, the dragging you out for walks is the bestest thing.

BTW, if you want to see how the post was supposed to look, I put it up here:

Helen said...


What a beautiful dog I couldn't be without our 3 dogs sadly we haven't had a cat for a while but the dogs are so beautiful.
One of my dogs was my Mums and when we lost Mum 6 years ago Tootsie came to live with me and took over the house she bosses our other 2 dogs around and reads happily away with me on my lap where ever I am she is and I would be so lost without her.

Have Fun

Dina said...

I rememebr seeing youd dob on Barbara Vey's blog, soooo cute.

I also have a sweet dog, I love her soooo much!

Gina said...

dogs do keep the cats in line, especially in the kitchen when there is fish. (lol)

Anne McAllister said...

Ah, Anne, how nice to see Chloe here. And yes, I totally agree, and I did mention my dogs (they Skype me, remember?). Trouble is, you usually can't take them Across The Pond.

But now that I'm home they are providing lots of moral support. One of them thinks he is a vampire monkey, though.

Michelle Douglas said...

Ooh, Anne, I soooo want a dog.

But I also soooo want to travel... and leaving one's puppy for other's to look after for extended periods of time just seems way too mean.

But I can see it now... one day the wanderlust will ease, and a trip to the local animal shelter will seal my fate.

Fab post!

Annie West said...

Hi Anne,

I have a beagle who sleeps in the velour dog bed beside the computer most of the day (she's 12 and entitled to her rest). She's a very large beagle, almost like a fox hound, with a deep bark who should scare prowlers, but befriends every visitor instead. The company is brilliant when I'm home alone.


Anne Gracie said...

Helen, Tootsie sounds very aptly named. And it's lovely you gave her a home.

Dina, yes, she was on Barbara Vey's blog -- she gets around, my Chloe.

Gina, that picture of Chloe with the cat is one of a series. It starts off with her trying to get the cat to play, then moves on to her barking at the poor cat in frustration, and finally it ends with the puppy simply flopping dow beside the cat and falling asleep. The cat didn't move the entire time, LOL.

Anne Gracie said...

Anne, yes I know you mentioned the dogs Skyped you, and I must admit that Chloe got her "I'll pick the competition winner" from your Gunnar, who probably got it from Kate Walker's cat --but you have to admit the sparkly collar-for-the-occasion is classy.

And yes, air travel is a problem —I'd happily take my dog everywhere if it wasn't for the problem of quarantine.

Michelle, if I have to go away Chloe usually stays with a very handsome big Toby-dog and his wonderful family of humans, or else she stays in a kennels where she apparently has a Very Fine Time judging by the furious wagging and eagerness to get out of the car when I take her there. It took a while to find the right place, but these days I have no qualms about leaving her.

Anne Gracie said...

Annie, I'm shocked to hear you suggest your gorgeous beagle-girl is sleeping! She's supervising!
And yes, dogs are great company. They're also a great excuse for talking aloud to yourself... LOL

Margaret Cloud said...

I like all the photos especially the one with the chicken, cute dog. Please come by sometime.

Maureen said...

We had a dog for many years but now we just have two cats and they definitely like to walk on the keyboard.

PJ said...

Hi Anne! I'm so sorry I missed your blog yesterday. Too many errands and not enough time. :(

Love the photos of your doggie. What a cutie! I have two dogs and I love them to pieces. They never fail to brighten my days...and nights. lol

Anne Gracie said...

Margaret I'd love to visit. That rubber duck is more than two years old and has been shaken and dragged and flung and fetched, and still it's a beloved toy.

Maureen, what is it about cats and keyboards? I hav aa friend who emails and i can always tell when her cat is there because her usually impeccable typing becomes... stange... LOL.

PJ, lovely to see you here. I think dogs are a gift, truly I do. And they also show us the way to live. I've just given Chloe a bone to gnaw on and the rule is "bones outside." But when, in an hour or so, I go to let her in again, I know I'll get a joyous welcome back, as if I've been gone for weeks and she's been stuck in purgatory. She lives each moment in the "now" -- I'm trying to learn to do that.

Terry S said...

I was trying to figure out how I missed your blog then realized it was because you posted on my daughters birthday. Some things do just take priority.

The pictures of Chloe are great. She just keeps getting prettier, doesn't she?

I have three lovely girls myself. Unfortunately, I have few pictures. One of girls recognizes the sound of the camera turning on and gets all excited which gets the other two excited which ruins every cute picture opportunity. It is next to impossible to photograph a moving dog, you know :-) I've even tried going into another room and closing the door before turning the camera on all to no avail. She must have bat ears!!

Michele L. said...

I absolutely love dogs! Avi you have eleven! Holy cow! or I mean, Holy dog! Woowee!

Anyway, my mom has always had a dog. Her newest one is a miniature dachsund. He is all black with little brown eyebrows. So cute and what a personality to match! His name is Mickey.

Your dog Anne is especially cute! What a riot! He guards your laptop? He is definitely a keeper!

Have a great Thanksgiving!