One of my daughters has to give a speech this week on the topic of “something she is passionate about.” She chose dogs, and it got me thinking that I would like to write a blog post in honor of our dog. So, since I had already decided to write today’s blog post about dogs, how’s this for coincidence?
As I opened up WordPress to start writing, my dog got up and sat next to me with one paw on my leg, looking up at me with her huge dark brown eyes. She had just shifted positions- for the previous half hour she had been lying directly behind my desk chair, almost as if she knew I would rather go in search of almost anything to eat instead of being chained to my desk. But she also knew that I wouldn’t move my chair while she lay behind it, thus forcing me to get some work done.
Brilliant, I know.
There are probably thousands- no, millions- of people who feel the same way I do about dogs. That is, that their dog is the best dog in the world. In my case, I know it to be true. Sorry to all you other dog owners, but there can only be one best dog. And her name is Orly.
This is a picture of Orly, albeit a bit blurry. She likes to be near me when I write, and she follows me around like, well, a puppy dog. When I get up, she follows. When I sit down at my desk, she lays down next to me on the floor. When I sit at the kitchen table, she takes up her post there. My husband and I have a long-running debate over which one of us is Orly’s favorite, and I think we all know the answer.
It’s me. He won’t like to read this, but I speak the truth. Besides, the cats like him best, so it’s only fair.
Anyways, thinking so much about dogs this week got me wondering how many stories out there have dogs as characters. There must be too many to count. Some of my favorites are by James Herriot. I can honestly say his stories changed my life. When I was in high school, I read his books and made the decision to go to veterinary school largely on the basis of his writings. I went to college as a major in Animal Science, hell-bent on going to school to be a vet.
Alas, it didn’t work out. I became a lawyer instead. I can practically see you scratching your heads in confusion, but that’s a story for another time. The point is that James Herriot wrote some wonderful stories and if you haven’t read them, I encourage you to check them out.
There’s actually a dog in my second novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor. Her name is Addie, and she’s a stray. Though there’s one character that doesn’t trust her, most of the others grow to love her.
But as much as I adore Addie as well as James Herriot and his furry characters, my all-time favorite animal character has to be the dog in Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Here’s a short synopsis: a dog shows up at the Wilders’ house around the same time as a shifty character who is there to case the joint (my words, not Laura Ingalls Wilder’s). The family feeds the dog out of compassion, wondering where he came from and where he’s headed. The dog stays overnight and as luck would have it, is there to dissuade the shifty guy from robbing the house while the family sleeps. The dog disappears shortly after the incident, just as mysteriously as he showed up.
Isn’t that incredible? The dog appears on the scene to help the family before they even know they need him. Amazing.
As almost anyone with a dog will agree, all dogs are amazing, not just the one in Farmer Boy.
Do you have a favorite dog story from a book you’ve read? I’d love to hear about it!
Until next week,