Paws on the Page

Stella
Susanna here, writing more slowly this morning because of the dog on my lap.

Stella is a recent addition to our family, filling the hole in my writing room left by the passing of Samson five years ago, and after being with us only a couple of months she’s already fallen in with our routine and made herself at home.
 
Which got me thinking that, in all the books I’ve written, there are pets. My characters are always sharing scenes with cats or favourite horses or a bird, and more often than not you’ll find a dog that features somewhere in the story.


To be honest, it’s not something I set out to do when I sit down to start a novel. Pets just wander in and, like the poodle on my lap here, make themselves at home.

Count Giacomo Rota with his dog by Gaspare LandiThey can do many useful things within a plot. Something as simple as a dog losing his ball beneath a chair can be the catalyst that starts an unexpected chain of happenings. A horse, by needing to be fed and groomed, can draw two characters into the stables for a private talk.
 
But most of all, I find, a pet reveals a person’s character.
 
When I write from the heroine’s viewpoint the reader can’t access the thoughts of the hero, but just as in real life the way that a man interacts with an animal tells us a lot.

For example, in my book A Desperate Fortune, the heroine is carrying her little spaniel, Frisque, all through the dangers of her travels in the company of strangers, with a bodyguard—a man named Hugh MacPherson—who talks little, never smiles, and while defending them has proven himself to be an efficient, unemotional assassin.

Yet…

A Woman With a King Charles Spaniel  German School  18th century“In this wild and rugged place the Scotsman’s stamina and strength were things to marvel at. He’d passed one portmanteau to Thomson, who could barely manage that together with his deal-box, but MacPherson kept the larger of the portmanteaus slung over his own shoulder so it rested on his back beside the long case of his gun. The heavy basket-hilted sword was at his side again, the ordinary sword hung at his other hip, his evil-looking dirk sheathed in its place along with heaven only knew how many other blades. A walking, breathing armoury—and yet he moved in silence with a steady gait as though he carried nothing…

As he’d fastened the straps of the portmanteau, he had glanced once more at Mary, who had just set Frisque on the ground for a moment to stretch out her arms. The dog wasn’t a great weight to carry, but holding her arms bent so long left them aching and numb.

MacPherson had watched her. And then he’d advised, ‘Let it walk.’

‘He’s a “him”, not an “it”,’ she had said, ‘and he’s too old to walk so far.’

Frisque had already curled into a tight round of fur on the hard ground, his eyes drooping shut. For a moment MacPherson looked down at him, then bending forward he scooped the dog up with one hand and, before Mary could even offer a protest, he’d put the tiny spaniel in the large and deep hip pocket of his horseman’s coat. Frisque had all but disappeared, only his muzzle and eyes and ears showing, and after a brief scrabble round with his paws to align himself upright, the little dog had seemed delighted.

And after MacPherson had slung the re-packed portmanteau on his back as before with the gun case and set out again, Mary could not deny it had made walking easier, not having Frisque in her arms.”

Duke of Buccleuch with his dog by Gainsborough 1770An assassin he may be, but with that one action he showed me the softer side under his shell.

When I look at old portraits of men with their dogs, I love noting the difference between those who are standing aloof with their hunting hounds posed at their knees, and those who are clearly attached to their pets.

Those portraits show me more about those men than I’d have learned if they’d been posing on their own, just as a pet within a story shows me more about my characters.

Stella2Do you have any favourite moments in a romance novel between pets and characters? A favourite pet in fiction (or real life)?

Stella and I would really love to hear about them!

145 thoughts on “Paws on the Page”

  1. I love Barbara Metzger. I read them more for the humor than even the romance. I “get” her sense of humor. I think almost all of her books have animals in them. Most often dogs, but she doesn’t limit herself to them. The opening paragraph of one of her short stories begins: They were as poor as church mice – No, they were church mice.
    One of my all time favorites by Ms. Metzger is A LOYAL COMPANION. The story is about a young woman who has been allowed to be a free spirit, running wild in the country but is suddenly packed off the her grandmother to have a Season and acquire a husband. The only bright spot for her is that she is allowed to take her dog Fitz. Much of the narration is done by Fitz and it is laugh out loud funny.

    Reply
  2. I love Barbara Metzger. I read them more for the humor than even the romance. I “get” her sense of humor. I think almost all of her books have animals in them. Most often dogs, but she doesn’t limit herself to them. The opening paragraph of one of her short stories begins: They were as poor as church mice – No, they were church mice.
    One of my all time favorites by Ms. Metzger is A LOYAL COMPANION. The story is about a young woman who has been allowed to be a free spirit, running wild in the country but is suddenly packed off the her grandmother to have a Season and acquire a husband. The only bright spot for her is that she is allowed to take her dog Fitz. Much of the narration is done by Fitz and it is laugh out loud funny.

    Reply
  3. I love Barbara Metzger. I read them more for the humor than even the romance. I “get” her sense of humor. I think almost all of her books have animals in them. Most often dogs, but she doesn’t limit herself to them. The opening paragraph of one of her short stories begins: They were as poor as church mice – No, they were church mice.
    One of my all time favorites by Ms. Metzger is A LOYAL COMPANION. The story is about a young woman who has been allowed to be a free spirit, running wild in the country but is suddenly packed off the her grandmother to have a Season and acquire a husband. The only bright spot for her is that she is allowed to take her dog Fitz. Much of the narration is done by Fitz and it is laugh out loud funny.

    Reply
  4. I love Barbara Metzger. I read them more for the humor than even the romance. I “get” her sense of humor. I think almost all of her books have animals in them. Most often dogs, but she doesn’t limit herself to them. The opening paragraph of one of her short stories begins: They were as poor as church mice – No, they were church mice.
    One of my all time favorites by Ms. Metzger is A LOYAL COMPANION. The story is about a young woman who has been allowed to be a free spirit, running wild in the country but is suddenly packed off the her grandmother to have a Season and acquire a husband. The only bright spot for her is that she is allowed to take her dog Fitz. Much of the narration is done by Fitz and it is laugh out loud funny.

    Reply
  5. I love Barbara Metzger. I read them more for the humor than even the romance. I “get” her sense of humor. I think almost all of her books have animals in them. Most often dogs, but she doesn’t limit herself to them. The opening paragraph of one of her short stories begins: They were as poor as church mice – No, they were church mice.
    One of my all time favorites by Ms. Metzger is A LOYAL COMPANION. The story is about a young woman who has been allowed to be a free spirit, running wild in the country but is suddenly packed off the her grandmother to have a Season and acquire a husband. The only bright spot for her is that she is allowed to take her dog Fitz. Much of the narration is done by Fitz and it is laugh out loud funny.

    Reply
  6. Gus the dog from Dreaming of You by Jill Barnett. Gus hates the hero and every time someone says the heroes name Gus growls, even if Gus is asleep.

    Reply
  7. Gus the dog from Dreaming of You by Jill Barnett. Gus hates the hero and every time someone says the heroes name Gus growls, even if Gus is asleep.

    Reply
  8. Gus the dog from Dreaming of You by Jill Barnett. Gus hates the hero and every time someone says the heroes name Gus growls, even if Gus is asleep.

    Reply
  9. Gus the dog from Dreaming of You by Jill Barnett. Gus hates the hero and every time someone says the heroes name Gus growls, even if Gus is asleep.

    Reply
  10. Gus the dog from Dreaming of You by Jill Barnett. Gus hates the hero and every time someone says the heroes name Gus growls, even if Gus is asleep.

    Reply
  11. LOL about Frisque. Yes, pets indicate character, and they’re fun. Plus, a writer who is an animal lover is apt to automatically add pets because that’s the way the world looks to an animal lover. I’ve had a lot of cats in my books, all of them based on real cats. *G* And the occasional dog or macaw, too!

    Reply
  12. LOL about Frisque. Yes, pets indicate character, and they’re fun. Plus, a writer who is an animal lover is apt to automatically add pets because that’s the way the world looks to an animal lover. I’ve had a lot of cats in my books, all of them based on real cats. *G* And the occasional dog or macaw, too!

    Reply
  13. LOL about Frisque. Yes, pets indicate character, and they’re fun. Plus, a writer who is an animal lover is apt to automatically add pets because that’s the way the world looks to an animal lover. I’ve had a lot of cats in my books, all of them based on real cats. *G* And the occasional dog or macaw, too!

    Reply
  14. LOL about Frisque. Yes, pets indicate character, and they’re fun. Plus, a writer who is an animal lover is apt to automatically add pets because that’s the way the world looks to an animal lover. I’ve had a lot of cats in my books, all of them based on real cats. *G* And the occasional dog or macaw, too!

    Reply
  15. LOL about Frisque. Yes, pets indicate character, and they’re fun. Plus, a writer who is an animal lover is apt to automatically add pets because that’s the way the world looks to an animal lover. I’ve had a lot of cats in my books, all of them based on real cats. *G* And the occasional dog or macaw, too!

    Reply
  16. As a matter of fact, a story I’m working on now has a dog named Stella! Your Stella looks like a real sweetheart.
    It always appeals to me when an animal makes an appearance in a scene. The animal quickly lets me know who I like, and who I don’t care about so much.
    Meanwhile, as I type these words there are two dogs lying around my feet and a cat reclined half on my lap and half on the keyboard. Typing has never been trickier…

    Reply
  17. As a matter of fact, a story I’m working on now has a dog named Stella! Your Stella looks like a real sweetheart.
    It always appeals to me when an animal makes an appearance in a scene. The animal quickly lets me know who I like, and who I don’t care about so much.
    Meanwhile, as I type these words there are two dogs lying around my feet and a cat reclined half on my lap and half on the keyboard. Typing has never been trickier…

    Reply
  18. As a matter of fact, a story I’m working on now has a dog named Stella! Your Stella looks like a real sweetheart.
    It always appeals to me when an animal makes an appearance in a scene. The animal quickly lets me know who I like, and who I don’t care about so much.
    Meanwhile, as I type these words there are two dogs lying around my feet and a cat reclined half on my lap and half on the keyboard. Typing has never been trickier…

    Reply
  19. As a matter of fact, a story I’m working on now has a dog named Stella! Your Stella looks like a real sweetheart.
    It always appeals to me when an animal makes an appearance in a scene. The animal quickly lets me know who I like, and who I don’t care about so much.
    Meanwhile, as I type these words there are two dogs lying around my feet and a cat reclined half on my lap and half on the keyboard. Typing has never been trickier…

    Reply
  20. As a matter of fact, a story I’m working on now has a dog named Stella! Your Stella looks like a real sweetheart.
    It always appeals to me when an animal makes an appearance in a scene. The animal quickly lets me know who I like, and who I don’t care about so much.
    Meanwhile, as I type these words there are two dogs lying around my feet and a cat reclined half on my lap and half on the keyboard. Typing has never been trickier…

    Reply
  21. Mary Jo, yes, many of the pets who wander into my stories do have real-life counterparts 🙂 I also think it would be strange to have a book with no animals in it anywhere, since in my own circle of family and friends there are SO many animals that a novel without them would seem unrealistic.

    Reply
  22. Mary Jo, yes, many of the pets who wander into my stories do have real-life counterparts 🙂 I also think it would be strange to have a book with no animals in it anywhere, since in my own circle of family and friends there are SO many animals that a novel without them would seem unrealistic.

    Reply
  23. Mary Jo, yes, many of the pets who wander into my stories do have real-life counterparts 🙂 I also think it would be strange to have a book with no animals in it anywhere, since in my own circle of family and friends there are SO many animals that a novel without them would seem unrealistic.

    Reply
  24. Mary Jo, yes, many of the pets who wander into my stories do have real-life counterparts 🙂 I also think it would be strange to have a book with no animals in it anywhere, since in my own circle of family and friends there are SO many animals that a novel without them would seem unrealistic.

    Reply
  25. Mary Jo, yes, many of the pets who wander into my stories do have real-life counterparts 🙂 I also think it would be strange to have a book with no animals in it anywhere, since in my own circle of family and friends there are SO many animals that a novel without them would seem unrealistic.

    Reply
  26. This post has opened my eyes. I like dogs (but am allergic to them); I have had two dogs who were well remembered pets. Dogs in a novel can be enjoyed without the allergies! I adore cats and have almost always owned at least one.
    But while I enjoy pets in stories, including the less usual ones, I do not recall any pet that stays in my mind. I am sure that as others respond, I will say, oh—of course! about an animal or so.
    But it appears that no fictional animal has caught my heart.
    EXCEPT, as I was writing this, the hen in the OZ stories. I don’t even remember her name just now, but my husband and I often refer to her. Such an odd pet for me to remember!

    Reply
  27. This post has opened my eyes. I like dogs (but am allergic to them); I have had two dogs who were well remembered pets. Dogs in a novel can be enjoyed without the allergies! I adore cats and have almost always owned at least one.
    But while I enjoy pets in stories, including the less usual ones, I do not recall any pet that stays in my mind. I am sure that as others respond, I will say, oh—of course! about an animal or so.
    But it appears that no fictional animal has caught my heart.
    EXCEPT, as I was writing this, the hen in the OZ stories. I don’t even remember her name just now, but my husband and I often refer to her. Such an odd pet for me to remember!

    Reply
  28. This post has opened my eyes. I like dogs (but am allergic to them); I have had two dogs who were well remembered pets. Dogs in a novel can be enjoyed without the allergies! I adore cats and have almost always owned at least one.
    But while I enjoy pets in stories, including the less usual ones, I do not recall any pet that stays in my mind. I am sure that as others respond, I will say, oh—of course! about an animal or so.
    But it appears that no fictional animal has caught my heart.
    EXCEPT, as I was writing this, the hen in the OZ stories. I don’t even remember her name just now, but my husband and I often refer to her. Such an odd pet for me to remember!

    Reply
  29. This post has opened my eyes. I like dogs (but am allergic to them); I have had two dogs who were well remembered pets. Dogs in a novel can be enjoyed without the allergies! I adore cats and have almost always owned at least one.
    But while I enjoy pets in stories, including the less usual ones, I do not recall any pet that stays in my mind. I am sure that as others respond, I will say, oh—of course! about an animal or so.
    But it appears that no fictional animal has caught my heart.
    EXCEPT, as I was writing this, the hen in the OZ stories. I don’t even remember her name just now, but my husband and I often refer to her. Such an odd pet for me to remember!

    Reply
  30. This post has opened my eyes. I like dogs (but am allergic to them); I have had two dogs who were well remembered pets. Dogs in a novel can be enjoyed without the allergies! I adore cats and have almost always owned at least one.
    But while I enjoy pets in stories, including the less usual ones, I do not recall any pet that stays in my mind. I am sure that as others respond, I will say, oh—of course! about an animal or so.
    But it appears that no fictional animal has caught my heart.
    EXCEPT, as I was writing this, the hen in the OZ stories. I don’t even remember her name just now, but my husband and I often refer to her. Such an odd pet for me to remember!

    Reply
  31. Sue, I share your allergy problem 🙂 I’ve always been allergic to every pet but goldfish, although poodles seem to go easy on me.
    I don’t know the hen’s name, either. Maybe someone else will remind us.

    Reply
  32. Sue, I share your allergy problem 🙂 I’ve always been allergic to every pet but goldfish, although poodles seem to go easy on me.
    I don’t know the hen’s name, either. Maybe someone else will remind us.

    Reply
  33. Sue, I share your allergy problem 🙂 I’ve always been allergic to every pet but goldfish, although poodles seem to go easy on me.
    I don’t know the hen’s name, either. Maybe someone else will remind us.

    Reply
  34. Sue, I share your allergy problem 🙂 I’ve always been allergic to every pet but goldfish, although poodles seem to go easy on me.
    I don’t know the hen’s name, either. Maybe someone else will remind us.

    Reply
  35. Sue, I share your allergy problem 🙂 I’ve always been allergic to every pet but goldfish, although poodles seem to go easy on me.
    I don’t know the hen’s name, either. Maybe someone else will remind us.

    Reply
  36. Susanna, you have no idea what you’ve been missing–but you will! Barbara Metzger is my favorite Regency author ever, and my favorite book of hers, Miss Lockharte’s Letters, starts out (I may be paraphrasing here) “I’m dying and I never even had a dog.” Isn’t that a wonderful opening line? (And be assured, she does get a dog after she doesn’t die after all.)

    Reply
  37. Susanna, you have no idea what you’ve been missing–but you will! Barbara Metzger is my favorite Regency author ever, and my favorite book of hers, Miss Lockharte’s Letters, starts out (I may be paraphrasing here) “I’m dying and I never even had a dog.” Isn’t that a wonderful opening line? (And be assured, she does get a dog after she doesn’t die after all.)

    Reply
  38. Susanna, you have no idea what you’ve been missing–but you will! Barbara Metzger is my favorite Regency author ever, and my favorite book of hers, Miss Lockharte’s Letters, starts out (I may be paraphrasing here) “I’m dying and I never even had a dog.” Isn’t that a wonderful opening line? (And be assured, she does get a dog after she doesn’t die after all.)

    Reply
  39. Susanna, you have no idea what you’ve been missing–but you will! Barbara Metzger is my favorite Regency author ever, and my favorite book of hers, Miss Lockharte’s Letters, starts out (I may be paraphrasing here) “I’m dying and I never even had a dog.” Isn’t that a wonderful opening line? (And be assured, she does get a dog after she doesn’t die after all.)

    Reply
  40. Susanna, you have no idea what you’ve been missing–but you will! Barbara Metzger is my favorite Regency author ever, and my favorite book of hers, Miss Lockharte’s Letters, starts out (I may be paraphrasing here) “I’m dying and I never even had a dog.” Isn’t that a wonderful opening line? (And be assured, she does get a dog after she doesn’t die after all.)

    Reply
  41. I have been a dog lover from way back when my family had multiple doberman rottweilers and scarred many would be boyfriends for life. LOL I can think of several dogs with starring parts in books I’ve enjoyed, but names and titles escape me today. I re-read one of Emilie Lorings a few weeks ago that had a great dane in a New York row house and I always giggle but he had a great part because he never took to the bad guy even when everyone thought he was a good guy. Love the dog in Winter Sea (hmmmm, Angus?) too. We are now childless as our furbabies have gone to Heaven and our hearts have not been able to move on so I ADORE dogs in books. Ferociously (or fur-ociously) allergic to cats so they have always just lived in books, but I don’t read about so many as much as I do dogs. I’m okay with that =D

    Reply
  42. I have been a dog lover from way back when my family had multiple doberman rottweilers and scarred many would be boyfriends for life. LOL I can think of several dogs with starring parts in books I’ve enjoyed, but names and titles escape me today. I re-read one of Emilie Lorings a few weeks ago that had a great dane in a New York row house and I always giggle but he had a great part because he never took to the bad guy even when everyone thought he was a good guy. Love the dog in Winter Sea (hmmmm, Angus?) too. We are now childless as our furbabies have gone to Heaven and our hearts have not been able to move on so I ADORE dogs in books. Ferociously (or fur-ociously) allergic to cats so they have always just lived in books, but I don’t read about so many as much as I do dogs. I’m okay with that =D

    Reply
  43. I have been a dog lover from way back when my family had multiple doberman rottweilers and scarred many would be boyfriends for life. LOL I can think of several dogs with starring parts in books I’ve enjoyed, but names and titles escape me today. I re-read one of Emilie Lorings a few weeks ago that had a great dane in a New York row house and I always giggle but he had a great part because he never took to the bad guy even when everyone thought he was a good guy. Love the dog in Winter Sea (hmmmm, Angus?) too. We are now childless as our furbabies have gone to Heaven and our hearts have not been able to move on so I ADORE dogs in books. Ferociously (or fur-ociously) allergic to cats so they have always just lived in books, but I don’t read about so many as much as I do dogs. I’m okay with that =D

    Reply
  44. I have been a dog lover from way back when my family had multiple doberman rottweilers and scarred many would be boyfriends for life. LOL I can think of several dogs with starring parts in books I’ve enjoyed, but names and titles escape me today. I re-read one of Emilie Lorings a few weeks ago that had a great dane in a New York row house and I always giggle but he had a great part because he never took to the bad guy even when everyone thought he was a good guy. Love the dog in Winter Sea (hmmmm, Angus?) too. We are now childless as our furbabies have gone to Heaven and our hearts have not been able to move on so I ADORE dogs in books. Ferociously (or fur-ociously) allergic to cats so they have always just lived in books, but I don’t read about so many as much as I do dogs. I’m okay with that =D

    Reply
  45. I have been a dog lover from way back when my family had multiple doberman rottweilers and scarred many would be boyfriends for life. LOL I can think of several dogs with starring parts in books I’ve enjoyed, but names and titles escape me today. I re-read one of Emilie Lorings a few weeks ago that had a great dane in a New York row house and I always giggle but he had a great part because he never took to the bad guy even when everyone thought he was a good guy. Love the dog in Winter Sea (hmmmm, Angus?) too. We are now childless as our furbabies have gone to Heaven and our hearts have not been able to move on so I ADORE dogs in books. Ferociously (or fur-ociously) allergic to cats so they have always just lived in books, but I don’t read about so many as much as I do dogs. I’m okay with that =D

    Reply
  46. We have two dogs and a cat. We own the dogs, the cat owns us!!!! She’s ten years old now and a real Queen. It’s like a circus here at times as we have to keep dogs and cat separated.One of our dogs is an Irish Wolfhound and he kills on sight. So it’s like musical chairs here trying to keep them apart. He’s getting old now so we’re hoping he’ll slow down. I like reading about pets in books.

    Reply
  47. We have two dogs and a cat. We own the dogs, the cat owns us!!!! She’s ten years old now and a real Queen. It’s like a circus here at times as we have to keep dogs and cat separated.One of our dogs is an Irish Wolfhound and he kills on sight. So it’s like musical chairs here trying to keep them apart. He’s getting old now so we’re hoping he’ll slow down. I like reading about pets in books.

    Reply
  48. We have two dogs and a cat. We own the dogs, the cat owns us!!!! She’s ten years old now and a real Queen. It’s like a circus here at times as we have to keep dogs and cat separated.One of our dogs is an Irish Wolfhound and he kills on sight. So it’s like musical chairs here trying to keep them apart. He’s getting old now so we’re hoping he’ll slow down. I like reading about pets in books.

    Reply
  49. We have two dogs and a cat. We own the dogs, the cat owns us!!!! She’s ten years old now and a real Queen. It’s like a circus here at times as we have to keep dogs and cat separated.One of our dogs is an Irish Wolfhound and he kills on sight. So it’s like musical chairs here trying to keep them apart. He’s getting old now so we’re hoping he’ll slow down. I like reading about pets in books.

    Reply
  50. We have two dogs and a cat. We own the dogs, the cat owns us!!!! She’s ten years old now and a real Queen. It’s like a circus here at times as we have to keep dogs and cat separated.One of our dogs is an Irish Wolfhound and he kills on sight. So it’s like musical chairs here trying to keep them apart. He’s getting old now so we’re hoping he’ll slow down. I like reading about pets in books.

    Reply
  51. I’m a bird person, mainly waterfowl, and I don’t see many stories that have birds in them. So I wrote two. One has a goose who’s attached to the heroine and then the hero shows up. That’s one angry goose who takes out his anger on a sensitive portion of the hero’s anatomy. Then there’s the one with the contest between the hero and heroine to inherit the hero’s great-aunt’s estate. The winner will be the one who makes the deceased lady’s pet ducks happy. 🙂

    Reply
  52. I’m a bird person, mainly waterfowl, and I don’t see many stories that have birds in them. So I wrote two. One has a goose who’s attached to the heroine and then the hero shows up. That’s one angry goose who takes out his anger on a sensitive portion of the hero’s anatomy. Then there’s the one with the contest between the hero and heroine to inherit the hero’s great-aunt’s estate. The winner will be the one who makes the deceased lady’s pet ducks happy. 🙂

    Reply
  53. I’m a bird person, mainly waterfowl, and I don’t see many stories that have birds in them. So I wrote two. One has a goose who’s attached to the heroine and then the hero shows up. That’s one angry goose who takes out his anger on a sensitive portion of the hero’s anatomy. Then there’s the one with the contest between the hero and heroine to inherit the hero’s great-aunt’s estate. The winner will be the one who makes the deceased lady’s pet ducks happy. 🙂

    Reply
  54. I’m a bird person, mainly waterfowl, and I don’t see many stories that have birds in them. So I wrote two. One has a goose who’s attached to the heroine and then the hero shows up. That’s one angry goose who takes out his anger on a sensitive portion of the hero’s anatomy. Then there’s the one with the contest between the hero and heroine to inherit the hero’s great-aunt’s estate. The winner will be the one who makes the deceased lady’s pet ducks happy. 🙂

    Reply
  55. I’m a bird person, mainly waterfowl, and I don’t see many stories that have birds in them. So I wrote two. One has a goose who’s attached to the heroine and then the hero shows up. That’s one angry goose who takes out his anger on a sensitive portion of the hero’s anatomy. Then there’s the one with the contest between the hero and heroine to inherit the hero’s great-aunt’s estate. The winner will be the one who makes the deceased lady’s pet ducks happy. 🙂

    Reply
  56. I have lived with pets forever. I cannot imagine life without someone -dogs and cats and birds (including an attack duck )tanks of fish, even a skunk. It seems logical that someone who has always lived with a pet, when they create a world and characters who inhabit that world, of course there would be a pet.
    I have enjoyed too many books with animals to name just one favorite. But, there have been many.

    Reply
  57. I have lived with pets forever. I cannot imagine life without someone -dogs and cats and birds (including an attack duck )tanks of fish, even a skunk. It seems logical that someone who has always lived with a pet, when they create a world and characters who inhabit that world, of course there would be a pet.
    I have enjoyed too many books with animals to name just one favorite. But, there have been many.

    Reply
  58. I have lived with pets forever. I cannot imagine life without someone -dogs and cats and birds (including an attack duck )tanks of fish, even a skunk. It seems logical that someone who has always lived with a pet, when they create a world and characters who inhabit that world, of course there would be a pet.
    I have enjoyed too many books with animals to name just one favorite. But, there have been many.

    Reply
  59. I have lived with pets forever. I cannot imagine life without someone -dogs and cats and birds (including an attack duck )tanks of fish, even a skunk. It seems logical that someone who has always lived with a pet, when they create a world and characters who inhabit that world, of course there would be a pet.
    I have enjoyed too many books with animals to name just one favorite. But, there have been many.

    Reply
  60. I have lived with pets forever. I cannot imagine life without someone -dogs and cats and birds (including an attack duck )tanks of fish, even a skunk. It seems logical that someone who has always lived with a pet, when they create a world and characters who inhabit that world, of course there would be a pet.
    I have enjoyed too many books with animals to name just one favorite. But, there have been many.

    Reply
  61. Even though I am “a horse person” I have always had a fondness for Beast (dog) and Leaf (cat in Patricia Veryan’s “Mistress of Willowvale”. Her books are also excellent in their treatment of horses…

    Reply
  62. Even though I am “a horse person” I have always had a fondness for Beast (dog) and Leaf (cat in Patricia Veryan’s “Mistress of Willowvale”. Her books are also excellent in their treatment of horses…

    Reply
  63. Even though I am “a horse person” I have always had a fondness for Beast (dog) and Leaf (cat in Patricia Veryan’s “Mistress of Willowvale”. Her books are also excellent in their treatment of horses…

    Reply
  64. Even though I am “a horse person” I have always had a fondness for Beast (dog) and Leaf (cat in Patricia Veryan’s “Mistress of Willowvale”. Her books are also excellent in their treatment of horses…

    Reply
  65. Even though I am “a horse person” I have always had a fondness for Beast (dog) and Leaf (cat in Patricia Veryan’s “Mistress of Willowvale”. Her books are also excellent in their treatment of horses…

    Reply
  66. Stephanie, I can appreciate the Great Dane knowing who the bad guy was. Dogs ALWAYS know these things–even fictional dogs. When I was writing The Shadowy Horses I thought I’d figured out who the bad guy was, but the dog (Kip) insisted on liking him, so I eventually realized I was wrong–he wasn’t the bad guy at all 🙂

    Reply
  67. Stephanie, I can appreciate the Great Dane knowing who the bad guy was. Dogs ALWAYS know these things–even fictional dogs. When I was writing The Shadowy Horses I thought I’d figured out who the bad guy was, but the dog (Kip) insisted on liking him, so I eventually realized I was wrong–he wasn’t the bad guy at all 🙂

    Reply
  68. Stephanie, I can appreciate the Great Dane knowing who the bad guy was. Dogs ALWAYS know these things–even fictional dogs. When I was writing The Shadowy Horses I thought I’d figured out who the bad guy was, but the dog (Kip) insisted on liking him, so I eventually realized I was wrong–he wasn’t the bad guy at all 🙂

    Reply
  69. Stephanie, I can appreciate the Great Dane knowing who the bad guy was. Dogs ALWAYS know these things–even fictional dogs. When I was writing The Shadowy Horses I thought I’d figured out who the bad guy was, but the dog (Kip) insisted on liking him, so I eventually realized I was wrong–he wasn’t the bad guy at all 🙂

    Reply
  70. Stephanie, I can appreciate the Great Dane knowing who the bad guy was. Dogs ALWAYS know these things–even fictional dogs. When I was writing The Shadowy Horses I thought I’d figured out who the bad guy was, but the dog (Kip) insisted on liking him, so I eventually realized I was wrong–he wasn’t the bad guy at all 🙂

    Reply
  71. Teresa, Irish Wolfhounds are so lovely, though. I met my first one when I was a teenager and, since I’m only five feet high, the dog’s head and mine were at the same level 🙂 Such beautiful animals. (Though I can imagine your cat doesn’t share my admiration…)

    Reply
  72. Teresa, Irish Wolfhounds are so lovely, though. I met my first one when I was a teenager and, since I’m only five feet high, the dog’s head and mine were at the same level 🙂 Such beautiful animals. (Though I can imagine your cat doesn’t share my admiration…)

    Reply
  73. Teresa, Irish Wolfhounds are so lovely, though. I met my first one when I was a teenager and, since I’m only five feet high, the dog’s head and mine were at the same level 🙂 Such beautiful animals. (Though I can imagine your cat doesn’t share my admiration…)

    Reply
  74. Teresa, Irish Wolfhounds are so lovely, though. I met my first one when I was a teenager and, since I’m only five feet high, the dog’s head and mine were at the same level 🙂 Such beautiful animals. (Though I can imagine your cat doesn’t share my admiration…)

    Reply
  75. Teresa, Irish Wolfhounds are so lovely, though. I met my first one when I was a teenager and, since I’m only five feet high, the dog’s head and mine were at the same level 🙂 Such beautiful animals. (Though I can imagine your cat doesn’t share my admiration…)

    Reply
  76. Linda, my sister was an expert horsewoman and despite my own allergy to hay I was able to watch her ride and care for her horses for most of her life. A useful thing for a writer, and it helps me feel her with me now, more than ten years after losing her, whenever I put a riding or a stable scene in one of my books.

    Reply
  77. Linda, my sister was an expert horsewoman and despite my own allergy to hay I was able to watch her ride and care for her horses for most of her life. A useful thing for a writer, and it helps me feel her with me now, more than ten years after losing her, whenever I put a riding or a stable scene in one of my books.

    Reply
  78. Linda, my sister was an expert horsewoman and despite my own allergy to hay I was able to watch her ride and care for her horses for most of her life. A useful thing for a writer, and it helps me feel her with me now, more than ten years after losing her, whenever I put a riding or a stable scene in one of my books.

    Reply
  79. Linda, my sister was an expert horsewoman and despite my own allergy to hay I was able to watch her ride and care for her horses for most of her life. A useful thing for a writer, and it helps me feel her with me now, more than ten years after losing her, whenever I put a riding or a stable scene in one of my books.

    Reply
  80. Linda, my sister was an expert horsewoman and despite my own allergy to hay I was able to watch her ride and care for her horses for most of her life. A useful thing for a writer, and it helps me feel her with me now, more than ten years after losing her, whenever I put a riding or a stable scene in one of my books.

    Reply
  81. To begin with Jayne Ann Krentz, I’d actually start with one of her older Silhouette Desire Books, Fabulous Beast. For a more contemporary read, you could try her more recent romantic suspense, River Road, which I found quite riveting.

    Reply
  82. To begin with Jayne Ann Krentz, I’d actually start with one of her older Silhouette Desire Books, Fabulous Beast. For a more contemporary read, you could try her more recent romantic suspense, River Road, which I found quite riveting.

    Reply
  83. To begin with Jayne Ann Krentz, I’d actually start with one of her older Silhouette Desire Books, Fabulous Beast. For a more contemporary read, you could try her more recent romantic suspense, River Road, which I found quite riveting.

    Reply
  84. To begin with Jayne Ann Krentz, I’d actually start with one of her older Silhouette Desire Books, Fabulous Beast. For a more contemporary read, you could try her more recent romantic suspense, River Road, which I found quite riveting.

    Reply
  85. To begin with Jayne Ann Krentz, I’d actually start with one of her older Silhouette Desire Books, Fabulous Beast. For a more contemporary read, you could try her more recent romantic suspense, River Road, which I found quite riveting.

    Reply
  86. Susanna – I love when books or novellas have pets. I love Mary Jo’s various cats. And I adored the dog in Anne Gracie’s The Spring Bride. The initial “dog rescue” scene showed without telling the character of Jane, the heroine, as well as “Mr. Black,” the hero, who helps her, as well as walks the dog back to her home with her blue pelisse ribbon one a leash. And the scene with the meeting the resident cats was fabulous! Grace Burrowes also does very well with animals in her historical romances, particularly horses, and especially in The Duke’s Disaster. One scene always makes me cry. (No, the horse doesn’t die.) And she has another lovely horse connection in Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. I personally am a dog person who has been a cat’s familiar since 2010. I’m learning more about cats every day. I have such a good teacher. And have friends who are willing to share their feline wisdom.

    Reply
  87. Susanna – I love when books or novellas have pets. I love Mary Jo’s various cats. And I adored the dog in Anne Gracie’s The Spring Bride. The initial “dog rescue” scene showed without telling the character of Jane, the heroine, as well as “Mr. Black,” the hero, who helps her, as well as walks the dog back to her home with her blue pelisse ribbon one a leash. And the scene with the meeting the resident cats was fabulous! Grace Burrowes also does very well with animals in her historical romances, particularly horses, and especially in The Duke’s Disaster. One scene always makes me cry. (No, the horse doesn’t die.) And she has another lovely horse connection in Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. I personally am a dog person who has been a cat’s familiar since 2010. I’m learning more about cats every day. I have such a good teacher. And have friends who are willing to share their feline wisdom.

    Reply
  88. Susanna – I love when books or novellas have pets. I love Mary Jo’s various cats. And I adored the dog in Anne Gracie’s The Spring Bride. The initial “dog rescue” scene showed without telling the character of Jane, the heroine, as well as “Mr. Black,” the hero, who helps her, as well as walks the dog back to her home with her blue pelisse ribbon one a leash. And the scene with the meeting the resident cats was fabulous! Grace Burrowes also does very well with animals in her historical romances, particularly horses, and especially in The Duke’s Disaster. One scene always makes me cry. (No, the horse doesn’t die.) And she has another lovely horse connection in Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. I personally am a dog person who has been a cat’s familiar since 2010. I’m learning more about cats every day. I have such a good teacher. And have friends who are willing to share their feline wisdom.

    Reply
  89. Susanna – I love when books or novellas have pets. I love Mary Jo’s various cats. And I adored the dog in Anne Gracie’s The Spring Bride. The initial “dog rescue” scene showed without telling the character of Jane, the heroine, as well as “Mr. Black,” the hero, who helps her, as well as walks the dog back to her home with her blue pelisse ribbon one a leash. And the scene with the meeting the resident cats was fabulous! Grace Burrowes also does very well with animals in her historical romances, particularly horses, and especially in The Duke’s Disaster. One scene always makes me cry. (No, the horse doesn’t die.) And she has another lovely horse connection in Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. I personally am a dog person who has been a cat’s familiar since 2010. I’m learning more about cats every day. I have such a good teacher. And have friends who are willing to share their feline wisdom.

    Reply
  90. Susanna – I love when books or novellas have pets. I love Mary Jo’s various cats. And I adored the dog in Anne Gracie’s The Spring Bride. The initial “dog rescue” scene showed without telling the character of Jane, the heroine, as well as “Mr. Black,” the hero, who helps her, as well as walks the dog back to her home with her blue pelisse ribbon one a leash. And the scene with the meeting the resident cats was fabulous! Grace Burrowes also does very well with animals in her historical romances, particularly horses, and especially in The Duke’s Disaster. One scene always makes me cry. (No, the horse doesn’t die.) And she has another lovely horse connection in Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. I personally am a dog person who has been a cat’s familiar since 2010. I’m learning more about cats every day. I have such a good teacher. And have friends who are willing to share their feline wisdom.

    Reply

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