WHY DO I WRITE FROM THE DACHSHUND'S VIEWPOINT?
Oh, I've been asked that question countless times . . . and I always give the same answer, basically something like this:
A particularly endearing trait of dogs is their concern for someone who is sick or upset. If one of the grandchildren is crying, Duke wants to comfort by giving doggie kisses and lying next to the child. After my two knee replacement surgeries a few years ago, Duke stayed right by my side while I recuperated. I appreciate how well he took care of me! I know he would have made me a cup of hot tea if he could have done so, too. I have incorporated that caring attitude into my books, as Shadow (known as Sarge in my books) often relates his feelings about some happening in particular. Below is a brief excerpt from I AM SARGE, where Sarge is concerned about Holly (Mama) because she is not feeling well:
One week later, Mama and I were home alone and Daddy was at church, as usual. It was the middle of the day. Daddy was due home for lunch any minute, and I was watching Mama closely. She doesn’t act right this morning, like she doesn’t feel well. She put her hand on her tummy several times and has been sitting down more than usual. Wonder what’s wrong?
Daddy came home then. To my surprise, I hadn’t heard the car. I guess I was too busy watching Mama. I am worried about my mama. I hope Daddy can do something to make her feel better. “Hi, Holly and Sarge. I don’t have long for lunch today because I have an early afternoon meeting.” He stopped when he saw Mama’s face. “Honey, are you all right? You look pale.”
Mama began crying. “I didn’t feel like preparing lunch today, and I’m so sorry,” she wailed. Normally cheerful, Mama just wasn’t herself. Mama, why didn’t you tell me?
Daddy, normally calm, looked upset and stressed, but just stood there. Mama said, “Philip, millions of women have—had babies, and I can, too. It’s okay—call Mrs. Thomas to come get Sarge, please!”
My other reasons (besides the “gene” thing) for writing from the dog's viewpoint are:
1) I enjoy imagining how day-to-day happenings must appear to the family dog;
2) I can shift reality to share with readers what dogs think about life situations;
3) I have a zany sense of humor (my family can attest to that), and can use such humor when incorporating it into the dog’s viewpoint;
4) I love and appreciate dogs as man's best friend. They show us unconditional love, like God has for us. One of the characters in THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES series, Papa Duke, so aptly states my feelings about dogs:
"A dawg loves you no matter what. You can be ugly, old, even dumb--but a dawg don't care. All he wants is your love and some food now and then. I think dawgs represent the unconditional love God has for us--maybe that's why He created them, to show that to us."
Papa Duke was my late father, who loved dogs tremendously—and they returned the favor. He was always called “Papa” by his grandchildren, and in my books, he lives on, just like he does in our hearts.