My dear old friend, Thea, was listening to me talk about Beef Casserole for the Dog’s Soul when she asked me the question that a lot of people have asked. Huh? You’ve written stories to read to a dog? Uh, how d’that happen?
OK, here’s the thing. Some years ago I was hanging out with my first Malamute bud, Boo, when I found myself making up a story I thought he would like to hear that involved a lot of food and the other things he especially loved; playing with other dogs, a big ole dog fight at a feast, him the winner etc etc.
This was a bit of a private joke at first. I was giggling as I was thinking of what sort of things he would like in a story. Entertaining myself really. Then I realised that he was actually taking it all in, clearly not the literary details *lol* but certainly loving me talking to him at great length and being happy.
I did this a few times, making up different stories to tell him, sort of experimenting. All unprintable. One day it occurred to me that maybe other dogs would enjoy – probably already enjoyed – someone telling them a story. So, feeling somewhat silly but driven by a feeling of ‘rightness’ I began to write an actual story for a person, man, woman, child, kennel maid, vet nurse and so on, to read to a dog.
Suddenly, all these dogs would appear in my mind with their own particular names and stories. It was exactly like when I’d written my two novels – the characters stepped forward, introduced themselves and began their own story. So it was with these dogs, like Jed the collie farm dog and Gemma the sad dog – they all exist to me. Yes, I know it might sound odd.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking my stories for dogs up in any kind of literary way! The main point is that the stories are fun, not least by being read aloud to a dog by a person who is seeing things through the eyes of a person imagining through a dog’s eyes, ears and nose, what kind of story a dog would like! Ahem.
No, you are quite right. I did not give this long-winded explanation when Thea asked me!