Why None of My Characters Have Pets...

It's been a long week on the pet front in this house. My fourteen year old beagle-German shepherd mix has been sick and I was really worried that it was the beginning of the end. He's ok, by the way. Well, as ok as a furry old man can be when the temperatures dip below freezing. However, I realized on the way back from the vet yesterday that with one exception, none of my characters have pets.

Robyn, in The Star Circle Trilogy, is the only exception to that. In book one The Shattered Prism, she rescues a kotu, a little squirrel-like critter with Fennic fox like ears. She names him Jeric and the little rodent sticks with her like a cocklebur. None of my other characters in all of my other books don't have any pets which I thought was odd because I love my dogs. Alright, one other character in The Star Circle Trilogy gets turned into a cat, but she wasn't anyone's kitty.

I realized it's because honestly to be a main character in a book your life kind of has to stink. You're not a main character because everything's peachy. You're the main character because your life is a mess or the very world is coming to an end or demons are crawling out of the shadows to dog your steps and feast on human souls. So, nope. I don't want a puppy tossed into that mix. I don't ever want to put myself into the position where I have to write that dog's end. I also don't want to off a cat, but since they make me wheeze I'm not quite as attached to them.

I'm generally is bit of a hard case. Sympathy and empathy are not my strong points. I honestly thought my daughter's first sentence was going to be, "suck it up." However, I have one big weak spot. Dogs. If I watch a movie I don't care how many people get taken out by zombies or bite it in the big battle scene. One dog goes down I'm done. I never watched World War Z because I asked my students if the dog makes it and they just exchanged "that" look. So, yeah, for furry kids I'm a big softie.

Therefore, no matter how much I love my dogs, I don't think I'll have too many of them in my books. Unless they belong to a minor character who I know is going to make it to the end. You can bet that if I ever write one of those George RR Martin-esque stories where characters are dropping left and right, you can bet the dog makes it!


  1. Another nice post, Rebecca. I did have to Google "Cocklebur", though. :D I couldn't help but include a miniature dachshund in my first novel. The character is based on our real life long haired diva, Penny. There is a bloodhound accompanying Luke McKay, a character in "Campanelli: Sentinel" that I threw in for decoration, if you will. Feeling nostalgic, the main character of my upcoming story, "Minuteman Merlin" has a Black Lab named Chief. The dog is modeled after my Lab, Koda, who passed away in 2007. It's difficult to leave pets out of the stories.


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