It is in my opinion that every writer or artist would benefit having a pet of some kind, though a dog would be the best (I’m biased, of course, because I have a dog).
These are the reasons why a dog is the best pet for a writer.
1. Exercise gets the blood pumping, when the blood pumps, the brain gets more oxygen, when the brain gets more oxygen, it is easier to think, when it is easier to think, your imagination explodes in delightful ways.
When you have a dog, you are practically required to exercise because your dog needs to be walked.
2. Dogs are the best secret keepers (unless you’re hiding from someone).
I was told in March to keep my new project to myself and not tell anyone about it because it steals the magic and intrigue out of the idea. Tires it out. But I get so excited I have to tell SOMEONE. So, instead of telling people about it (who, with their best intentions, tell me what I SHOULD do in the story), I tell Belle. Not only does she keep quiet and just listen, there is no risk of her running away with my idea and writing it herself. She doesn’t know how to use a computer (though I have found some odd searches in my Google search history…).
The best time to tell your dog about your book is while you’re eating because then you have her complete, undivided attention and if you move the food up and down, she’ll appear to be nodding, as if in agreement that this is the BEST idea EVER.
I have a feeling had I not been devouring an apple and peanut butter when I told her ALL about my idea she would have konked out. Not because the idea is boring, but because she is a dog “of very little brain” (to put it in the way of our beloved Winnie the Pooh) and cannot fathom alternate realities and in-between worlds and whatnot.
3. Dogs are very intuned to the inner workings of the human condition. They can SMELL chemical changes in our bodies that trigger our state of mind.
When a rejection letter comes in, for example, our dog knows that something has affected our state. They are sympathetic to that kind of thing. Dogs are the best at giving sympathy. They lick away tears or, at least in my case, when I sit on the floor with my head in my hands my dog comes and leans against me, offering moral support and a shoulder to cry on if I need it.
On the flip side, they are also exuberant celebrators. When that letter asking for a partial, full, or a contract comes and you jump up and down, most likely your dog will also jump up and down, or run around like crazy, or grab a toy and shake it vigorously. Or, if your dog is sensitive, she may go hide in the corner, but just know that is her personal way of celebrating with you.
So, those are three reasons why every writer needs a dog. Aside from the health benefits. Petting your dog relieves stress and adds years to your life. You can ponder your next plot point while petting your dog and your dog will thank you for it.
Now, if you don’t already have one, go down to your local animal shelter and adopt one! There are lots of grown doggies who need good homes.
Keep Swimming and Writing,
Claire L. Fishback
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