Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pets and Their Authors with Lynne Marshall

Please welcome Harlequin author Lynne Marshall, who will tell us about her special dog, Milo!


MILO MAKES ME SMILO by Lynne Marshall

I have a devious side, it turns out.  I knew I had a birthday coming up, and that my husband would ask the inevitable question “Is there anything special I can get you for your birthday?”  After thirty-one years of marriage, a girl figures these things out.  But 2012 would be different.  Instead of giving the usual, “Oh, whatever you want to get me, sweetie,” response, I was prepared.

But there’s a bit more set up first.  In May 2011 we had to put down our second family dog.  It ripped my husband’s heart out.  Again.  Mine too.  He swore – never again.  No more dogs.  It’s too hard.  Too painful.

It had taken two full years before Bill agreed to get another dog after we’d had to put down our first family dog.  I know how wonderful dogs are and how much love they bring into a life.  I simply couldn’t believe we’d never own another dog.

So, when hubby asked the famous question I recited my prepared speech, “I’d like a dog of my choice from
 a rescue society, please.”

He was floored!  I could practically see the battle ensuing in his brain.  After all, he’d opened the door by asking the question!

On the appointed day in November (the 10th in case anyone wants to send me money this year LOL) we went out to brunch with some friends and lo and behold, a few doors down from the restaurant was a Tender Loving Canines shelter.  They are a no-kill puppy store.  They specialized in smaller type dogs (way too many Chihuahuas there! But that’s another story), and I wasn’t sure I wanted a small dog.  We’d always had big dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, 80-100 pounders.  Though I’d decided I wanted a medium sized dog, just not a purse dog.  Not me!

Well, it was my birthday, and my neighbor suggested I just take a peek inside.  Oh, man, it was heart wrenching.  Three dogs to a cage, yipping and barking to the point of not being able to hear myself.  I glanced around ready to make a quick getaway, when I saw one little white dog refusing to participate with his noisy neighbors.  He lay quietly in the front of his three-man cage, peacefully watching the chaos.  I walked up and said “Hello, little fella,” and he sealed the deal.  He put his paw through the cage for a shake.  I looked up and read his brief history—four months old, Terrier Mix, born under a air conditioner in a back yard, two siblings, both had already found homes, at the shelter since he was a few weeks old.  His name was Snoop.

I asked the helper if I could hold Snoop.  My husband had that look in his eyes – you’re really going to do this, aren’t you?  I think he thought I was bluffing about wanting a dog and that he’d call me on it.  I wasn’t.  I wanted my new dog.  And his name was going to be, well something other than Snoop, that was for sure.

I paid the shelter fee right on the spot and we took him home.  It took us a few days to come up with his name, but once I suggested Milo, hubby liked it right off. He’s been the sweetest most loving dog, and he brings both of us such joy.  As much as Bill resisted having a puppy at first, he is now as captivated by Milo’s charms as I am.  Milo will celebrate his first birthday on July 4th.

Sometimes impulsive decisions are a nightmare, but not in this case…because it was the totally right thing to do.

There’s a dog in my current book – The Medic’s Homecoming, Harlequin Special Edition, July 2013.  His name is Bart and he was written in honor of our last Ridgeback. (Because I hadn’t met Milo yet, when I wrote it.)

 Do you enjoy pets in books? 





29 comments:

  1. Hey Lynne - Milo is very cute-o!! :-)

    I dont have a particular preference for books with dog in them or not but I am a Crusie fan so I definitely get them there :-)

    I remember the 2nd single title I wrote, I had no thought or intention of having a dog but by the end of the book there were dogs everywhere :-) and they formed part of the whole "misfit" theme of the book i.e. they were essential :-)

    The must is a funny funny thing!

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  2. muse!!! The muse is a funny thing.....
    doh!

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    1. Loved the story, Amy, and yes, the muse is a funny, furry thing. LOL.

      I used to accuse our Rogan of being my muse. He was so special and I still miss him. Always will.

      Thanks for commenting. :)

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  3. I love pets in books and am writing one now, a big black lab named Ace. I'm so glad you were able to get your Birthday present, Lynne. (And pssst my birthday is November 13th).

    From one scorpio to another...

    Laura Iding

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  4. Laura! I knew we were compatible for some reason, Ms. Scorpio. :)

    Love knowing that Ace will be in your next book.

    Bart is the dog in The Medic's Homecoming, and he is based on our last Rhodesian Ridgie - Rogan.

    Perhaps Milo will pop up in a future book.
    Thanks so much for commenting.

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  5. Awwww...Milo is adorable. We got our Bebe-dog from a shelter too, and I chose her because she was the sweetest, quietest dog there. Beware! Turns out she's a lion-hearted little thing and has no idea that, size-wise, she's an appetizer on the buffet of life. She takes on the Labs, the Rots, and the Dobermans every time we go walking.

    Can't wait to dig into The Medic's Homecoming...and I love it even more now that I know about Bart. ;)

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  6. Hi Sam - I know what you mean bout the tiniest dogs having overblown confidence. However, Milo is totally into being territorial at home, while on our walks, he's mister-looking-over-his-shoulder. Easily freaked out, and quiet. Very (I hope they don't notice me) quiet.
    LOL
    I'm glad Bebe-dog is well adjusted.

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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  7. I love dogs in books. They're a wonderful way to show the softer side of a tough guy. : ) But seriously, I'm a dog lover. Like Bill, I haven't quite gotten over losing Nikki. Two years next month. But looking at Milo's photos and hearing about him, well, maybe next year! : )

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    1. Hi Robena - I don't think you'll be disappointed when you get another dog. No dog will ever replace Nikki, but there are so many dogs who need homes, and they really do want to love us big folks.

      :)

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  8. I like dogs (or cats) in books. While it's not necessary to have animals in a story, as an animal lover, I enjoy it.

    I also enjoyed the story of Milo and how he became a member of the Marshall household.

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    1. Hi Kathy - I have to admit, I loved the story of Milo. He has added a lot of love to our house, and he's really fun to be around.

      At first, Bill was humiliated walking a little white foo-foo dog, but he got over that macho crap and enjoys it now.

      Dogs in books are fun as long as they aren't written too cutesy - IMHO.

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  9. Lynne, as you know, I love dogs in books (and thank you SO much for introducing me to Kristan Higgins - she's an autobuy for me, now). And I love the story of how you found Milo. Such a cutie - and he's going to have the perfect home xxx

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    1. Hi Kate! I'm so happy my Kristan Higgins recommendation was a hit. I love her books.

      I cannot begin to tell you how much love and joy this little furry package has brought to our home. We've only had him eight months, but he's kind of the roost over her.

      Thanks so much for popping by. I think you're probably the busiest writer I know!

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  10. I love this blog about Milo. And I enjoy reading stories with pets in them because they make the story more real. Kristan Higgins is one of the best at incorporating pets. I loved the dog in ONE OF THE GUYS.

    I can understand hesitating to get another dog. We had the same hesitation after cat Clancy passed away at age 19. It was a very heart wrenching time for me. But the kids in my daughter's theater class brought me out of my self-imposed "never again will I feel this pain" and hooked me up with a feisty little furball born to a feral momma. I had no idea how much we needed her, but we did. Catadora Tonks makes us laugh every day and is turning 2 in August.

    Happy Birthday to you and to your sweet Milo.

    :-)

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    1. Hi Christine - thank you for commenting. I see there are a few Kristan Higgins fans here today. I adore her books. There was a particularly funny dog in Ain't She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - a bassett hound who absolutely hated the heroine. Very fun dog in a book.

      I absolutely love the name Catadora Tonks. OMG. How perfect. And I'm glad you broke down and kept that kitty (those wise young ones of yours) - So you know exactly what I'm talking about.

      We're both better people for our pets, aren't we?

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  11. Yes! I love animals in romances. Especially cats, I have two cats myself and they are such a big part of me. Love to see that in a story aswell, a h/h who is close to their pet.

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    1. Hi Jo!
      I've written a cat in a story, too. I think pets are a great way to show compassion in a hero or heroine. There is nothing sexier than a big guy being tender with a tiny pet or child.

      Thanks so much for reading the blog and commenting.

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  12. Great story, Lynne. And Milo is a doll--love the way he's lying with his legs out back in that one photo. Congratulations on your new boy :-).

    Yes, I adore pets in books! Watching people interact with them says so much about the characters.

    A fellow Scorpio (November 5)--

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  13. Terry! What an honor to have you read the blog. You're one of my favorite SuperROmance authors. :)

    And it's nice to see another Scorpio in the mix.

    I agree that pets in books are great devices to show another side to our alpha males.

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  14. What an awesome story, Lynne! And Milo is such a sweetie. So glad you have another little soul in your life to love!

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    1. Me too, Christine. I just returned from the scene of the crime. TLC shelter held a puppy spa day (for a donation) and how could I resist taking Milo there for a nail clipping and refreshing bath on a day like today. The helpers who remember him all say the same thing - he has such a nice disposition. He really does!

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  15. Love it! Milo is one lucky pup to have found you two.

    I love animals in novels, partially because I believe that you can learn a lot about someone based on how they treat animals. And it's always enjoyable to read about how an animal reacts in a situation; it's often so different from how a human character would react, and it makes for a more dynamic read.

    I had a cat in my first novel who was based on one of my own pets. The big difference was that the character cat, Sneak, was almost completely silent (hardly ever meowed), whereas the real-life Buddy is probably the most talkative cat I've ever had!

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  16. Hi Laura - that's a great point about seeing how different animals react in books compared to humans.

    Isn't it fun writing pets that do exactly what we want them to do in our stories? Such power.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  17. He is so cute. I can see why you love him.

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    1. Hi Deborah Melanie - It is hard not to fall in love with puppies like Milo.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Oh Milo is adorable. I'm glad you gave him a forever home.

    I love animals in books. Dogs, cats, horses and anything else an author can think of.

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    1. Hi Kaelee - I'm glad Milo made the first move! ;)

      Glad to know there's another reader who loves animals in books.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  19. Milo has the most beautiful face. His eyes express so much love. Adorable, Lynne. He's very fortunate to have found you.

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    1. Hi Helen - I agree that Milo has a beautiful face. He has very expressive eyes, too. Sometimes I think he's trying to communicate with me telepathically by squinting and blinking. ha ha

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