Have you ever had an experience like this? You’re watching a movie, and the family in the movie has a dog named Fido. At the climax of the story, which involves preventing World War 3, the family is holed up in their house with Fido while the genius 10-year-old son transmits the secret code that will disarm the missiles the baddies have aimed at NYC (we’re usually safe up here in Canada, I’ve noticed). A vigilant Fido is at the son’s side. His ears perk up. The baddies have surrounded the house!
They yell, “Come out, or else.” The family stays put. There’s a camera shot of Fido, who’s ready to protect his loved ones. The baddies grow impatient and toss Molotov cocktails into the house. Flames erupt. We see images of a brave mom and dad hugging genius boy as they all wait to succumb to smoke inhalation. We see the fire approaching Fido.
Cut to sirens. The cavalry has arrived! It quickly subdues the baddies. The brave FBI agent who’s been on the case rushes into the burning house, with no regard for his own life. What a hero!
Cut to outside. We see firemen putting out the flames. We see the hero sitting in the back of an ambulance, a cup of coffee in hand. We see Mom, Dad, and genius boy thanking him. The credits roll. What’s wrong with this picture?
If you’re like me, you’re screaming, “What the hell happened to Fido? Did he survive the fire? Is he okay? Who the hell cares that the family survived and there won’t be another world war. What happened to the dog???”
I love animals. They’ve always been a part of my life, and they frequently show up in my fiction. In The Salbine Sisters, we learn that Salbine horses have to be desensitized to the elements (magic), so they won’t bolt when carrying a sister who’s flinging fireballs or shooting lightning bolts from her fingertips. We also meet Lillian’s horse Baxter.
In Threaded Through Time, Pam and Robin’s cat Mitzy takes visitors from 1910 in stride. I dedicated the first book to the cats who’ve enriched my life.
The cell in the Deiform Fellowship series has Puck and Raven, two black Labradors. On top of that, Deiforms can communicate with animals. In The Cult, Jillian calls on Canada geese to help her subdue a gunman.
Then there’s Casey Cook and her black cat Midnight. Cat food figures prominently in The Missing Comatose Woman. In one scene, Casey drags her gran to a cat show.
I can’t imagine life without animals. In The Salbine Sisters, Maddy thinks that she’s always been a bit suspicious of those who don’t like animals. I don’t always agree with my characters, but in this case, I do.