Having only recently converted from dog-agnostic to passionate dog-lover (when Tilly came tumbling into our lives in 2009), I know that the latter state can be a bit perplexing to non-dog-owning friends. In a writer's life, where time is precious, sacred, and always in too-short supply, why on earth (I imagine them wondering) would one willingly take on the care of such a time-consuming, attention-demanding creature?
There are many possible answers to that question (as every dog-lover knows), but for me, this quote from Marjorie Garber captures the essence of sharing ones home with a furry companion of the canine persuasion:
"The dogs in our lives, the dogs we come to love and who (we fervently believe) love us in return, offer more than fidelity, consolation, and companionship. They offer comedy, irony, wit, and a wealth of anecdotes, the 'shaggy dog stories' and 'stupid pet tricks' that are commonplace pleasures of life. They offer, if we are wise enough or simple enough to take it, a model for what it means to give your heart with little thought of return. Both powerfully imaginary and comfortingly real, dogs act as mirrors for our own beliefs about what would constitute a truly humane society. Perhaps it is not too late for them to teach us some new tricks."
Speaking of "the writer's life," I recommend "25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing," an excellent list of New Year's resolutions, by Chuck Wendig at Terribleminds. I particularly like item 25, which reminds me of Sheryl Sandberg's provocative question: What would you do if you weren't afraid? (discussed in a previous post).
And there's a short but terrific interview with Jane Yolen on the Horn Book site.