Friday, February 26, 2010

Dogs, horses and a bird or two

Mostly in my stories I've focused on bonds people have between more typical pets like dogs. I have some unpublished tales with cats, but I'm saving Fetch and Fetish for a rainy day. Why dogs? It isn't because I'm a dog person, I love cats, my brother was allergic to cats. No matter how much I adored cats, every time I dragged one home it disappeared to a neighboring farm faster than a fart in a wind storm. A part of me sort of got more than a bit angry, but recognized that no matter how much I wanted a cat, dogs were all I was going to get.

And no matter the wishing, from the time my little heart could form the desire and my little lips could phrase the words, "I want a horse" I didn't get one until my husband dragged home a Belgian for me a handful of years ago. That one we nicknamed T-Rex. You can find various shapes of him in the trio of drafts in Forget Me Knot.

Due to my deep love for critters I've given them a special place in my stories, most notably in the Dog Wild series. Sadly, the series stalled because of the loss of a large part of the inspiration for the doggie mayhem - Mars. The character Mars was none other than my own long-haired Chihuahua terror, Maximus. After he passed away it left a huge hole in my heart, even his compatriot in crime, the Basset, Boo (yes, he's very much like the slobbering beast from the self-same series) lost his rampaging luster and took to sulking despite being given a new playmate, an utterly brainless Beagle.

Watching pets, I've often wondered at our need for bonds with animals. Is it a need man has to form a sort of herd, or it is more basic than that? Is it a need to watch over something akin to food, like predator and prey? Or less violent and more nurturing like the bond between mother and child, a need to give and share affection, a need to feel and share a bond of caring. The last is very one-sided when it comes to cats, unless we own up to wanting a masochistic bond. Do these bonds make us better, weaken the animals, or both? Or neither... One way to find out is to keep writing and exploring the different interactions.

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