Once upon a time I told myself I would never write my pets into my books. That lasted, as you can imagine, all of five minutes. When I sat down to write Thorn, I knew Rowan needed an animal companion, and I shamelessly modeled her after my majestic beast of a doggo, Artemis.
I was still in the Caribbean at the time, and my shaggy wolf was sweltering from the heat. Writing her into an endless winter was all I could do. [see photo of hot doggo below] She also looks alarmingly like a wolf.
However, Artemis was not the only dog that made its way into the pages of Thorn. While on the island, we accompanied a friend who was interested in adopting a dog from a litter of German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois puppies up for adoption from the police department. Now, if you are at all familiar with shepherds and Malinois, then you know that we were really going to go look at a litter of furry velociraptors. Under NO circumstances, we assured ourselves, were we going to leave with a puppy.
The person in charge of the litter had assembled all six puppies in the shade of a tree, where they were tussling and sizing up the students fawning over them. The litter was exclusively available to veterinary students (refer to furry velociraptor comment for explanation), and if you’ve ever seen a group of vet students in a field of puppies, you can imagine the scene. You can probably imagine it anyway.
All but one of the puppies found a home that afternoon, save for the runt of the litter.
We couldn’t just leave him there. He was half the size of the others, but spunky, and so while we knew we did not have room in our home for a third dog, (a point our land lady was quick to reiterate) especially a high energy breed like a Malligator, we decided to foster him.
I wish the story had a different ending. I fell in love with the little guy and he stayed with us until he found a permanent home, which sadly was not ours. Being responsible is the worst, I tell you. The WORST. I am surprised to this day how much I miss him.
Rowan’s runt is a tribute to our runt, and to runts everywhere. For though they be but little, they are fierce.