Each and every one of my pets has had her own distinct personality – it’s part of the appeal of having a pet. They are individuals who have their own personal likes, dislikes, and ways of approaching the world – much like people!
Our last dog, Goombah, may she rest in doggy heaven – except that she was the kind of dog who never rested – was a bit high-strung and high-maintenance. Too smart for her own good and she probably would have been happier living on a farm than suburban San Diego. But she loved us deeply and desperately and we loved her the same way.
Our current dog, Luna, is a polar opposite personality-wise. She is a happy-go-lucky go-with-the-flow girl – especially if the flow involves a lot of naps.
But one thing Goombah and Luna have in common is an interest in garbage-picking. Goombah took this to the extreme (extreme was her basic personality after all) and ended up having “History of dietary indiscretion” noted in her vet chart.
We are older and wiser these days – and don’t have toddlers dropping food – so Luna doesn’t get quite the same chances that Goombah had. And also, Luna is more mellow and less conniving. But she has a really powerful sniffer and likes to partake in good stinky things when she discovers the opportunity.
I do realize I’m rambling here – it’s from a lack of sleep…
Anyway! Yesterday Luna had an unsupervised play time in the alley behind our house – briefly – but perhaps it was long enough to eat something unsavory… because she was up all night riding the hurl-a-whirl.
Thus the lack of sleep. But hubby had it worse.
And soooo, here’s the actual point of this post… I’m realizing that it has been a long long time since I’ve read a good dog story.
I love dog stories – and I think dogs make ideal companions for characters – particularly in middle grade fiction. I need a new one. Any recommendations?
But, really, and here’s the REAL point of this post… this realization mostly comes from recently reading PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow.
TAGGLE = BEST CAT EVER.
Despite my love of dog books, I have not read a lot of cat books – in fact, I don’t know if I’ve read any as an adult. Until this one.
Through some dark magic, Taggle becomes a talking cat. He then serves as Plain Kate’s companion as she travels through a dangerous world - he is so completely and perfectly feline. He allows Kate to pet him as directed. He falls asleep when he’s standing guard. He’s independent. He’s a fierce hunter. He likes things the way he likes them. He is, in other words, a real cat. And exactly who Plain Kate needs on her journey.
(Hey sister, if you’re reading this – go get Plain Kate. ASAP.)
Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade” — a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.
For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.
Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the town that sems set to burn her, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.
Gotta go check on Luna… she’s sleeping of course.
Sarah Wones Tomp
WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK