Writer’s Best Friend

Jessie: Just back to the coast of Maine from a whirlwind trip to NYC

Back in the autumn my family added a puppy to our household. For a lot of families that would not be a novel experience. But for us it was a big change. We had a couple of dogs when I was a teenager and I even brought one along with me when I moved out of my parents’ home. Years later I adopted a very senior dog and our time together was of regrettably short duration. My kids barely remember the toothless little creature.

Since I have an unpleasant dog allergy remaining a canine-free household always seemed wise. Besides, with four kids needing the things children always do I felt like I didn’t have much more to cheerfully give to another dependent creature. But, situations change. The kids got older and more independent. Two have become adults who live on their own. One is a college kid. The youngest will graduate from high school soon. My husband now travels for work incessantly. Suddenly, a dog didn’t seem like quite such a bad idea.

Working from home can be lonely business, especially when the family has mostly flown the nest. Which brings me to Sampson. Since he is a poodle he doesn’t seem to cause an allergy problem even when he spends the day lounging about my office or enjoying some nightly cuddle time snuggled up with me on the sofa.

Besides an unfortunate proclivity towards stealing pens and sticky notes from my desk he has been a lovely addition to my writing life. He listens without interrupting when I tell him about an idea I have for a book. He cocks an expressive eyebrow when I read him a line from my work-in-progress. He insistently reminds me to get outside for some fresh air several times every day. He even inspires some of the behavior exhibited by Crumpet, the terrier in my Beryl and Edwina mysteries.

Last Thursday Sam had his first birthday. I can’t believe that a this time last year we didn’t know each other at all and now he has become this writer’s best friend.

Readers, do you have any pets? Tell me about them! Writers, do you have an animal companion who keeps you company as you work away on your latest masterpiece?

31 Thoughts

  1. What a sweet face. My cats are less attentive to me while I write, though they do play “let’s make it hard to type” when I’m sitting on the couch with my laptop.

  2. And he’s a big help sorting your yarn stash I’m sure. He is wicked cute. Innocent eyes Dianne W

  3. Aww, what a sweetie! Poodles have hair, not fur, and don’t shed, which means they are basically hypo-allergenic. The various poodle combinations are so adorable. If we get another dog (a possibility), it will be a bichon, maybe a bichon-poodle mix.

    But for now I have Koda, my retired racer. And he sure is MY dog. He listens to me above all others, including my moans and whines, without aggravation. He shows interest in all my writing. Yes, he prompts me to get up and play with him during the day. We’ve had him since March and I can’t imagine life without him.

  4. Critters can be so inspiring. And you can read to them! The cat I lost last year at this time, Hutch, was my greatest muse. He insisted on sitting on my desk when I wrote, no matter how long I was at the desk. Now that he is gone, Jenny, another rescue cat, has adopted my office as her own, although she doesn’t pay much attention to the writing., she loves when I read to her.

    Enjoy Sampson! He looks like a wonderful companion.

  5. Sampson looks like a sweetie! Pets are so helpful. I have a 20 old lady kitty named Squeaks who pretends she isn’t listening, but we all know she is aware of everything going on. Next, is the 4 year old orange Tabby named Wittersheim, who thinks he owns the place. He is 20 pounds of solid, agile cat muscle; so he may have a point. Last, but definitely not least, is sweet Bunny the beagle who is allergic to everything, has seizures and is heartworm positive (soon to be treated). I volunteer at the Humane Society and she tugged at my heart last year. I could never be a foster mom. I don’t have a big enough house for all the fosters that would never leave.

  6. We have 5 cats 2 Siamese sisters,a tiger orange,a tuxedo and a Maine coin cat. Also a red standard poodle who is a great big lap dog who loves to play. She keeps my husband moving at 74 and sleeps with him. She is also a food thief very quick and clever. Much fun.

  7. Sampson is adorable! We have Seamus and Fiona, Aussie Doodle siblings, also good for allergy people and first dogs I’ve had who don’t shed! Loving that. When I write, they nap near me. When I write too long, they let me know! In book 4 of the Nora Tierney English series, her young son fell in love with a beagle puppy he named Typo, who graces the cover on The Golden Hour. Dogs give such unconditional love!

    1. Your two sound very cute! My son loves Aussie Doodles! I love the name Typo for a dog! From what Julie said it would work at least as well for a cat that pesters a writer’s keyboard!

  8. Like you, I have allergies, so no pets for me. And considering how erratic my schedule can be, I do enjoy the freedom of not having to worry about one.

  9. Sampson is adorable! Our family history is the opposite of yours. We had dogs while the kids were growing up, a mostly-golden when they were little and a mostly-cocker in middle school and high school. Now that our kids are fully flown and have families of their own, we travel way too much to have a pet. There are days when I miss it, Especially, as you and Sherry say, the multiple-times-a-day reminder to get up and get some fresh air!

    1. I am wondering how it will work out over time with the travel I do to have Sam but so far, we have had people willing, and maybe even eager to dog sit. Maybe you could get a robot vacuum as a dog substitute! Sometimes they get hung up on the fringe of a throw rug and need you to get up and rescue them! Not only do you get out of your chair but you have almost effortlessly clean floors!

  10. I’ve always had/have pets..dogs, cats, birds, bunnies sugar gliders. chickens, lizards, ferrets.. on and on.. and believe it or not, all my pets have all been rescues! Tight now I only have my lucky cat (8yr. old Hemingway cat) My Stella, a BT passed last yr. at 14 1/2 yrs old. They both, Lucky & Stella have always traveled with me

  11. Tyler is my sweet rescue that rescued us after I lost my service dog/partner yorkie Rufus. Tyler is not able to be a service dog, but thanks to all the work Rufus did and the help of my family and Tyler, I really don’t need one these days. Tyler is such a special fellow. Full of idiosyncrasies, a bit of ocd and tons of love. He goes everywhere with us, but stays in the car with me or my mom. I have always had pets. I do not know what I would do without them. And Tyler is just the most precious fellow ever. (Betty Tyler on facebook, Kay in real life, lol)

  12. Hi, I have two short hair, slinky black cat. Kodak and his brother. Barbara

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