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Our Furry Friends in Novels


Anyone who knows me knows I love adore obsess over my cats, Buddy and Princess. They are our four-legged fuzzy kids. Hubby and I love spoiling them rotten. They are never allowed into outer space (aka outside) unless they are safely within a shuttle craft (aka cat carrier). The biggest decision they have to make each day is whether or not to nap in a patch of sunshine, on the couch all snuggled in a blanket, or under the comforter in their own little kitty cave.

Ahhhhhhhhh! This is the life 😀

When it came time to write my books, it was kind of a no brainer for me to have some sort of lovable pet or other animal companion added in. I didn’t use cats or dogs; instead, I had one of my characters develop a close friendship with a horse and another with a figment of my imagination.

I’ve always loved horses. There’s something so primal about the relationship between man and horse that transcends time. They are intelligent, have their own personalities, and are athletic and gorgeous. When writing the Portals of Destiny series, I decided that someone on planet Earth needed to have a close relationship with a horse such that the two almost seemed to be one, able to escape dangerous situations, read each other’s minds. And it will break the man’s heart when he has to leave her behind…

On Astra, I had Kaelin Barlow befriend an adorable creature called an urgit she calls Moira. The urgit is pink and black and so dang cute you just want to eat her up. She, too, will have to face the agony of having to leave her beloved friend behind.

One of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter books was Hedwig 🙂 I  have a soft spot for animals. Although I’m not sure I’d be quite as bad as Hagrid and befriend a giant spider. Another memorable creature that stole my heart was Gratch from the Sword of Truth novels. One of the few times that I actually cried while reading a book. Gratch wasn’t the cute cuddly type of pet/friend you’d expect a hero to be attached to. Gratch is a large hairy beast with wings and normally eats people. Not usually a good combo for a man and his pet 😉 But as is often the case, the fiercest predators can become the most loyal allies.

What are some of your favorite animals/pets/etc you’ve read about in a book? I’d love to hear from you!

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12 Comments on “Our Furry Friends in Novels”

  1. A.M. Donovan October 22, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    the last unicorn, and when the unicorn Luna died in one of Mercedes Lackey’s 500 kingdom novles, I cried (again).

  2. cpbialois October 22, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    The one that always stuck with me was Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. I saw the Disney movie before reading the book and loved them both. The funny or weird thing is, I never cried at the end when Old Yeller was shot until I had Casey from for six years until he died in 2010. He was so much like the dog in both the book and movie I felt blessed to have him for the short time I did.

    • shayfabbro October 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      Aww! I have yet to have pet put down 😦 Buddy and Princess are 13 and 12 so that time is approaching. I am going to be a mess

      • cpbialois October 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

        When Casey and Byby died in consecutive months in 2010 it nearly destroyed me. They were my babies. Casey (our dog) never left my side and Byby loved to sleep on the pillow snuggled against my forehead and purr me to sleep. When our remained animals die we’re going to get fish. No emotional attachments, but the wife has noted she sees me softening towards my decree. lol

    • hmcmullin October 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      I read “Old Yeller” when it first came out as a story (it was serialized in either the Saturday Evening Post or Collier’s) and then saw the movie – once. To this day it’s the one movie I refuse to watch again.

      • cpbialois October 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

        Since Casey died I’m the same way. Until him, I must’ve watched it a million times. We bought Marley and Me but it’s still in the original plastic. Neither of us want to open it.

  3. hmcmullin October 22, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Oh, don’t get me started! I have always loved the animals in Sheila Burnford’s “Incredible Journey,” especially the bull terrier (we’ve had two) and the bull terrrier in her autobiographical collection “The Fields of Noon.” Andre Norton’s animal/human pairings in some of her scifi and “Pip” in Alan Dean Foster’s scifi. I even like the Garden Gnomes in Harry Potter, but I don’t know if those count as animal or human.

    • shayfabbro October 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      I liked the gnomes too!!!!! And weren’t they sort of pets to the Lovegoods? 😀

      • hmcmullin October 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

        Weasleys, I thought?? They lived in the garden, but got in the house occasionally, if I remember correctly, and were kind of snarky creatures. They only appeared briefly in one movie, though.

        • shayfabbro October 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

          I think you’re right. I was thinking the Lovegoods kept them for some reason or another. Sounds like something they would do 😀

  4. Inion N. Mathair October 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Mathair likes Hedwig, Harry Potter’s loveable owl, while I’m partial to the demon cat from Stephen King’s Pet Cemetary.

    • shayfabbro October 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      Church!!!! 😀 Winston Churchhill to be exact 😀 And of course there’s Cujo as well…

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