Saturday, March 02, 2019

Dogs in Books by Susan Sands

I've posted quite a lot about my canine friends, now friend, since I began blogging here at Tote Bag
'n' Blogs. As many of you know, we lost our sweet Boudreaux right after we moved into our new home just before Christmas. 

Our three-year-old Golden-doodle, Watson, has come through his confusion and sadness and surprised us by stepping up his game as single dog in the house. He's become the best dog ever. He's always been a good dog, but his behavior with Boudreaux had concerned us somewhat. We likened him to Eddie Haskell on a good day. If you don't know who that is, you should definitely look him up. 

The personalities in our pups vary so widely, as they do in people, so when authors write dogs as characters in our books, we must remember to create individual characteristics that set them apart from "just any dog." It wouldn't do the dogs we know and love justice to "under" write them as characters in fiction, and they wouldn't be believable.

While writing my recently-completed manuscript, I included a woman's best friend who my main character relied on heavily throughout her journey, both emotional and physical. Daisy Mae is a Beagle with soulful brown eyes and a heart of pure gold. She senses when her mistress needs support and stands by her the entire story.

I'd never written such a significant role for an animal before and found it quite challenging. Remembering to feed the animal, provide exercise, and let her out to potty consistently was exhausting. LOL. Of course, I do these things for my own dog, but remembering to include enough of the care taking in the story without a constant play-by-play that seemed monotonous created a new balancing act. 

This woman needed a dog, so I had to figure out the best way to include Daisy Mae and write her into the story well without detracting from the flow and plot line. 

I would love to hear about your furry friends!! And one day in the near future, I hope you can read about Daisy Mae and her journey with Sadie.

Looking forward toward better weather!!

Susan Sands


dstoutholcomb said...

I don't have pets at the moment--allergies.


Laney4 said...

Husband was allergic for years so we only had stuffed animals.
Then a new nasal spray came along and worked wonders.
Neighbour's parents' dog was dogsat by neighbour, but we would see the dog looking lonely by the window every day.
So we had the dog (a well-trained golden retriever) visit our garage (unbeknownst to my husband), where we had a couch. Dog got up on couch, wandered around, and husband was fine.
The next time, we brought the dog into the house (again unbeknownst to my husband) to wander around the main floor. Husband was fine.
Finally, we had my husband petting the dog in the house. And he was fine.
So we offered to dogsit for the neighbour, as goldens want to be WITH people and not be left alone all day, every day.
We began with THAT dog, then a friend with a golden heard about it and asked us to dogsit for HIM.
Daughter's friend needed a dogsitter, so we helped HER out too (although not a golden, LOL). THIS dog would be let out the door and pee within 5 seconds before either returning to the house or getting in a car. Wickedly awesome, LOL.
Friend's golden died and we got their next golden repeatedly.
Another friend just asked us to watch his brown lab. THAT dog came last Wed and is leaving this morning.
Previous friend's golden arrived last Fri and doesn't leave until Mar 12, so we have TWO dogs here at the moment. Neither barks and they tolerate each other. I don't leave them alone together, as the younger lab continually tries to sniff the much older golden. Ahhhh, youth, LOL.

Susan Sands said...

Bummer, Denise! My husband is allergic to cats and I love them.

Susan Sands said...

Laney, it sounds like you've worked it out and now have a great situation on your hands!!