I’ve written both children and animals into each of my stories for a long time now. I love doing that because they add an extra layer of depth and emotion. I can’t remember one that didn’t have some or all in it. Even in the pirate story that is still under my bed, I had a cat in it.
Animals have such amazing love and loyalty for their owners and can form an instant bond. We once had a border collie named Daisy and that dog was willing to die to protect us. I grieved for months when she died of old age. It just broke my heart. She was a sweet, sweet soul. Except when it came to preachers. Every time one came to call on us, she’d try to bite him. But she was fiercely protective.
I’ve given my story animals strange names. In Knight on the Texas Plains, Marley Rose called the yellow retriever Boobie because she couldn’t say doggie. They also had a goat but I can’t remember if it had a name. I’ve slept a while since then. In The Cowboy Who Came Calling, the cats were Mr. George and Miss Minnie. Fraser in the short story The Love Letter who used the hero’s hat as a dog dish. Bandit was in Texas Mail Order Bride. Biscuit was Toby’s dog in Twice a Texas Bride. And that’s a partial list.
Then there were the horses—Preacher, Soldier, Ceasar, Rebel, Smokey, Blue Boy and Lady Pearl to name a few. I tend to favor Appaloosas and buckskins but there have a few roans. And I recall a blood bay in the short story, Texas Tempest (Give Me a Cowboy anthology.)
In Book #3 of my Men of Legend series that I’m writing the horse is a solid black gelding by the name of Major John and he loves to drink beer. I have a sneaky feeling he’s going to make a lot of trouble for Luke. He’s an outlaw just like his owner.
I know there will be lots more animals before I’m done. Maybe I’ll put a donkey or a sheep in one and spice it up.
If you’ve read my stories, do you have a favorite animal?