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What Have Your Pets Taught You?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yuma and Lucky

I'm one of those readers who does not like it one little bit when authors kill off animals in their stories. Life is tough enough without reading about the death of critters. Just the way I am.

In February, Jordan Dane over at the Kill Zone wrote a post I fell in love with titled, What My Cat Has Taught Me About Writing. Just love it! So today I want to brainstorm thoughts with you about what your furry friends have taught you.

Yuma and Lucky are two of the four cats living at our house. Yep, four! All were rescued. Makes it hard on the one little dog we have. But all the animals that have walked, scampered, galloped, hopped, ran, scurried, and flew into my life have left their special little instructions for living in my heart and mind. Here are a few of the many things that critters (living and dead) have taught me.

  1. Life is short so you better climb trees for the best view you can get and run wild in the field kicking up your heels just for the fun of it.
  2. It's good to have friends, so play nice, share your food, go for a walk, and if cranky take a nap.
  3. Entertainment can be cheap. Chase a ball or a pink mouse.
  4. Therapy is free! Lay on the couch and tell me all about your day.
  5. Before crawling out of bed stretch, yawn, blink, sniff the air for food, and if you don't smell anything cooking go back to sleep.
  6. Greet family with exuberance when they come home.
  7. Never hold a grudge.
  8. If you run fast enough, jump high enough, or just wait to pounce, you'll probably catch that thing your chasing.
  9. Trust your instincts.
  10. You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.

 Okay. Your turn! I know there must be a lot of cat and dog lovers out there and probably multiple other critters in your lives. I never get tired of animal stories. So how many animals live with you? What have your animal friends taught you?


  1. I currently have an 8-month old toy poodle puppy. She is teaching me patience and unconditional love...and the solution to tears--puppy kisses! Hide-and-seek is fun but she always has a tiny paw or little black nose sticking out from under the chair to make finding her easier. In other words don't take life so seriously you miss playing your favorite game! Why would anyone write/read a book where little animals are hurt...not necessary in my opinion!

  2. I love the puppy kisses, Linda. What a great mental picture of love. Nothing like a puppy to teach us patience. My sweet old Bichon mix died a couple years ago and his half brother who looks like a Shih Tzu and not a Bichon (go figure) is our only dog at the moment. Three of our cats are bigger and heavier than he is. The pecking order is interesting. With all the violence in the world today I love getting lost in the joy of our critters.

  3. After owning, breeding, training, exhibiting and just plain loving Shelties for 35 years, we currently have one Labrador Retriever. At first it was strange living with just one dog, but at 90 lbs. he's as big (and sometimes as active) as four Shelties! He's taught me the sheer joy of unbridled enthusiasm for life. When we ask if he wants to go for a walk he reacts like a gazelle on springs!

    I agree with you and Linda about not liking to read about dogs getting hurt, but I still wrote a novel where the opening scene had the protagonist finding three of his four dogs dead. It was the catalyst for the rest of the story but I don't think agents can get past that opening. It was a story I was driven to write, inspired by a true situation in the professional dog show world, but I'm resigned to it never being published. :)

  4. I love the visual of your Lab Retriever like a gazelle on springs. That's enthusiasm. Yep, I can see where it would be hard to get past the opening of four dead dogs. You can always publish it yourself, Carol, but it may be difficult sell. Do you think you could change it to the dogs are rescued and mention the ones who died but not show it? Just a thought. I'd love to have a big dog down the road, but not ready for that at this point. Thanks for sharing your story, Carol.