One of the most enjoyable parts of writing a novel is the freedom to create characters along with their friends and sidekicks. Giving a character a pet who is also a friend and confidant allows a writer to share pleasant moments and emotions from her own life with her readers.
My characters don’t always have a pet (or companion animal, as some folks like to say), because sometimes the character’s lifestyle doesn’t allow them the privilege. But when they do, my pet of choice is usually a dog, mainly because I share my home and life with an aging Sheltie.
As in life, fictional dogs and cats are always loyal friends. They don’t criticize or argue. They listed to a character’s problems and musings and provide a perfect sounding board.
When a character has a loving pet, we know that person may have flaws, but deep down, they’re someone caring and worthy of our empathy. Animals are great judges of character, and we trust their judgment.
Every pet lover understands what I mean when I say that the pets in stories we read touch our hearts, just like the animals who brighten our lives.
Today, I’m writing about a wonderful dog who, in his own way, is the hero of my story. Which means that today I’m not working. I’m honoring a true friend and having fun.