Friday, August 24, 2012

Doggies!

Why am I talking about dogs for a werewolf book? Well, in part because Moon Shadows features a werewolf and a dog trainer. Also, dogs are awesome.

A fair number of dogs have come and go in my life, but there are some who are particularly special.

My first dog was a Shih-Tzu/Maltese cross. He wasn't very trainable. He was demanding, and he liked to start trouble. We lived on a small farm at the time and he thought it was amusing to charge down the driveway at the neighbour's dog, then stop and watch as our other dogs blithely blasted past and did the actual confronting-the-intruder part. But he was also the kind of dog who could sense from across the house when I was upset and would come hang out with me. Anybody who met this dog remembered him for a huge personality in a tiny body. And true to his my-pace personality, when he went, it was taking a nap in a shady spot on a lovely sunny afternoon. We should all get that ending.

My first purebred dog was a whippet. Whippets remain my favourite breed. Their sleek athleticism and extreme napping abilities suit me perfectly. I actually prefer a dog who doesn't need to be at my side constantly, so sighthounds suit me well. My whippet wasn't particularly bright. He would stand on your lap when he wanted something, but as this was his signal for every single thing he wanted, it didn't work particularly well as a communication tool. He loved car rides so much that he'd leap into a stranger's car if the door was open! Once he'd learned the benefits of dog sweaters, he hated to be without one. When his was in the wash, he'd pace in front of the machine until it was done . . .

I don't own a dog myself these days, but I live in a house that has three dogs and two cats. The dogs are a Shepherd/Lab cross, a Basenji/something cross, and a Shih Tzu, so it's a selection of extra-large, medium, and small. The Basenji cross is a very special fellow. He's incredibly willing and trainable, often picking up what you want just from context. He loves people and attention, so he makes friends wherever he goes. And because of the Basenji in the mix, he yodels. Oh, and he's taught the Shih Tzu to howl. There are few things funnier than a howling Shih Tzu!

As I mentioned, I'm a sighthound fan; that's why there's a greyhound in the book. What breeds do you like best?


2 comments:

A. Catherine Noon said...

I would love to have a Bernese Mountain Dog, but our flat isn't big enough at the moment. Once we buy a house, we'll get one. We have a neurotic Doberman/Beagle mix at the moment, and she's adorable.

I love your term "sighthound." I haven't heard that before. There were a couple Greyhounds in our first obedience class with my dog, and they were gorgeous. Two speeds, though: running or mellow. They were really funny.

Julia said...

I'm a Basset hound girl