May 20th, 2008
Where, oh, where did that little dog come from?

The heroine in Witch Fury (at the moment, anyway) has a little dog. A Pomeranian, in fact. I didn’t set out to make her a pet owner, it was one of those things that just happened while I was writing. I was writing along like this: See? Life wasn’t so bad. She had friends, a job, and, most importantly, she had the love of a good dog. And I went, HUH? Where’d the dog come from?

I thought about it for a while and decided she really kinda DOES need a little dog in her life, so maybe he popped in there for a reason. Writing-wise, however, it’s going to complicate things. Even so, I’m inclined to keep the dog in there, except for one issue.

(But, first!, a tangent…) I hate, hate, hate! it when there are animals in movies or books because then I have to worry about them. I’m a big time animal lover and one of those people who, when watching a film, will say something along the lines of, “But I don’t care what happens to the hero/heroine, what about the dog?!” I Am Legend killed me, people, killed me! I know it’s fiction, I know it’s not for real, doesn’t matter.

So, here’s my question to you: Does it bug you to read stories with animals in them? Why or why not. I would love some opinions on the subject.

6 comments to “Where, oh, where did that little dog come from?”

  1. Hi Anya!
    It doesn’t bother me at all when there are animals/pets in a novel. I actually think its more realistic to have one in a storyline every now and then, because having pets is what people do in real life, right?

  2. I like it when there are pets in the story. I do worry about them. I hate it when the animal gets shot or run over because the villain wants to hurt the hero or heroine. Usually in this situation, the pet doesn’t die. I don’t k now if I can handle it if the pet dies.

  3. Hi Anya,

    I’m the same. It really upsets me when something happens to an animal in a movie or book. So saying, I do think including them can enhance a story and add another element of interest for the reader/movie watcher.

    Just like us, each animal is unique. They each have their own personality, flaws and little quirks, and if woven into the story well, can make that book/movie very memorable – that’s my opinion anyway.

  4. It bothers me more than it should when the pet is simply a shortcut to some character stereotype–when we are told “she was the old spinster, even had the cat” and then the cat and its needs are never again addressed in the book.

    One case where I love the cat is Linda Howard’s Mr Perfect–that cat was a character unto himself, and he was never an afterthought for the heroine.

  5. Christine — Yes, I figure that too.

    Jane — You never have to worry about me killing off an animal in fiction. I can’t see myself ever doing that.

    Lilly — It bothers me when kids are used that way too. If they’re going to be in the story, they should have personality, be “real”. Oh, and act appropriately to their age too. I see a lot of kids in stories that don’t.

    azteclady — Oh, right. Yes, I can see that. I try to break stereotypes when I can. Like, you probably won’t see me make any of my hot tempered heroines a redhead, for example. I’ll deliberately make her a brunette or a blonde.

  6. Does anyone remember the old black and white movie based on the novel “Lonely are the Brave” by Edward Abbey, with the 1962 movie version staring Kirk Douglas? Remember the closing scenes and the horse? If you have seen it or read the novel you will know what I am taling about, and if not I won’t spoil it for you, but those were some of the hardest to watch and most touching minutes I have ever seen on film! I never thought I was sensitive to animals in films or novels until that one!

    In real life, I once had an intimate companion who had a little black dog with a plump little tail end. The dog was adorable and nearly blind, bless her, she would rush into my arms after I spoke and she recognized my voice, we adored each other. I enjoyed the beauty and company of the woman, but I loved the dog. I still miss them both, but mostly the adorable little lady (yes the dog..;-)