Happy National Puppy Day! Yep, it’s a thing. How fitting that I’m blogging today, because I definitely have a thing for puppies. Apparently I’m not alone in my
obsession affection for these furry friends, either. According to this article in Forbes, the ASPCA estimates 44% of American households own a dog. The American Pet Products Association says American households spent 63 billion on their animals in 2016 (a substantial increase from 21 billion in 1996).
When we were newlyweds, my husband and I adopted an 8 week old black lab/sharpei puppy from the Humane Society in Portland, Oregon. Jake was a part of our family for 13 years, and we were heartbroken when he passed away in 2015. For a short time, we convinced ourselves we didn’t need a dog. Too much work, too expensive, too high-maintenance. However, our house and family without a dog just wasn’t the same. So I changed my mind, as we women are sometimes known to do. My husband took some convincing, but at last Finn became ours in September of 2016. He’s a Goldendoodle (golden retriever and standard poodle) and a delightful addition to our family. By the way, he and my husband are crazy about each other, so I think we made an excellent choice. Is he adorable or what?
Not only am I a dog owner in real life, I also try to weave a fictional dog into the stories I write whenever possible. I was thrilled when I heard a senior editor at Harlequin Love Inspired mention at a conference last year that puppies/dogs are consistently popular with readers. Well. Have I got a manuscript (or three) for you, ma’am.
In the world of inspirational romance, I enjoy crafting the relationship between the characters and their pets. Readers (and heroines) have been known to fall in love with a hero just by the way he interacts with an animal. The photo included at the top of the post reminds me so much of Hershey, a rescue dog I spontaneously added to one of my manuscripts. The hero seemed like a guy who needed to adopt a puppy in a moment of weakness. This four-legged cutie pie also gives the hero and heroine a secondary reason to interact more often. Puppies are great like that. It’s not quite time to pitch this story idea to my editor yet, but when I do, I hope she’s as crazy about Hershey the make-believe pup as I am.
While this is a wonderful day to talk about puppies, today is also my last blog post with Inspy Romance. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, dear readers, and I appreciate your voracious reading habits and loyal following. It’s very rewarding to interact with you here, as well as elsewhere on social media. My first novel with Harlequin Love Inspired, The Farmer’s Daughter, will release in 2018, and I can’t wait for you to meet Natalie, Shay, and his adorable toddler twins, Aiden and Liam.
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Thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to share my work and snippets of my real life with you. It’s been a pleasure.
Your turn: what’s your favorite novel featuring an animal?
photo credit: Jairo Alzate via Unsplash