Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Meno-Paws by Guest Blogger Diana Duncan

My daughter had begged for a dog since she was five. It took ten years before I caved.

It was all a romance hero's fault.

A cat devotee, I couldn't understand my mom's adoration of her dogs. Dogs were messy, smelly, and let's not even discuss co-dependency issues. Been there, done that with toddlers - a decade later, still had mystery stains on the furniture. I didn't want the furry equivalent.

Then Officer Liam O'Rourke sauntered into my first 24 hour book with his K-9 partner, Murphy. I've done crazy things for research, (I once had a cop handcuff me in the back of his patrol car), but as I started writing Heat Of The Moment, my September Intimate Moments, little did I know how my life was about to change.

I met a real K-9 officer and his dog, and we began to email. As I read about K-9s, my heart wrenched at their incredible loyalty and selfless sacrifices. I perused hundreds of dog photos.

I called my mom. "Hell has frozen over at our house."

She knew instantly. "You got a puppy!"

Cyrus was to be my daughter's. She promised responsibly for feeding, walking and pottying. You know what's next. She lasted four nights, one more than I expected, before she came crying at 2:00 a.m. "I can't stand another sleepless night!" I snatched the opportunity for a "baby lecture" (she was fifteen...perfect timing).

Then I let little, whimpering Cyrus sleep in my bed. And he climbed into my heart.

I vowed not to get attached. But he had other ideas. He adopted me.

He's so smart, it's scary. He wakes up happy every day. He's always thrilled to see me, even if I've only been "gone" in the bathroom five minutes. He snuggles beside me as I write. When I'm upset, he comforts me.

My world would be a bleaker place without him.

Writing romances brought me a true love story of my own...with a fuzzy bundle of unconditional love.

See my baby's pictures at: http://www.dianaduncan.com/

Are you a pet lover too?

30 comments:

Jennifer Y. said...

Great post!

I am more of a cat person than a dog person. I haven't had a dog since I was really little, but have had cats for years. Not sure if my feelings would change if I got a dog...they probably would. I think I would want a small dog though.

Jen in WA said...

I've had dogs as long as I can remember (no cats, since my mother is allergic). Right now, I've got two big dogs-- a pit-bull mix and a boxer. I'm not sure what I'd do without a dog around the house... it'd be boring, that's for sure!

Estella said...

I must be a pet lover. I have two dogs, a Pekingese nd a Yorkshire Terrier. Also have 8 cats.

catslady said...

Oh I'm a definite animal lover. At the moment I have 5 inside cats and take care of at least 5 ferals. I also have had two dogs. Love them all.

Cryna said...

I am a dog lover, although I do not have one of my own. I have often thought about getting one, but felt it would not be fair if I was not home with them during the day.

Diana I love your Forever In A Day Series with the O'Rourke Brothers. Heat of the Moment arrived at my door on Monday, and I am anxious to read it..........This is a wonderful series.

Diana Duncan said...

Hi Everyone. How's your week going?

Thank you Canadianfriend...I hope you enjoy Heat of The Moment! I've been getting emails from readers who are really liking it.

It's interesting, because it was the book from hell for me to write. The heroine was so emotionally wounded and wasn't talking much at the beginning of the book. I had to drag everything out of her, as did the hero. *grin*

Our two cats allow us to live with them, as well as Cyrus, so we have an equal pet opportunity household. :)

Melissa said...

I, too would love a dog, but I'm gone so much it doesn't seem fair to the dog. I keep telling myself . . . someday.

I really enjoy your writing Diana. Looking forward to reading your new book!

Brandy said...

I am a HUGE pet lover, but we are cat people. We have 3 adult cats (had 4 but one hasgone missing) and started with one kitten which somehow exploded to 3 and then was looking at the shelter for my missing cat and someone brought in a 3 week old kitten. And the shelter as going to put her down because she was so young. So.....I took her. Which makes 4 kittens total. All inside, by the way. Oh, and I feed all the stray cats in our neighborhood. I think I'm nuts!

Diana Duncan said...

Thank you, Melissa!

Aw, Brandy, I would have done the same thing! Poor baby kitty!

One of our cats, Goblin (his picture is at my website, too), was the only survivor in a litter of kittens who all died of feline leukemia. We got him from the animal shelter, where he'd been fostered out until they were sure he didn't have it, too.

He's such a love bug, because he got individual attention from his foster family from the time he was tiny. :)

Veronica said...

I love dogs and cats and there are 2 of each in my home. They are so spoiled it is pitiful. They do crawl right into your soft spots though when you least expect it.

Maureen said...

Like you we had gotten our dog for our children but she became my husband's dog. I would love to have another dog but we aren't home enough and I don't think that would be fair to the dog.

Amy S. said...

I love dogs and cats. We have about 4 cats right now. I don't have a dog right now.

Minna said...

I used to have cats, but unfortunately I don't have any right now, so I have to settle for looking after my brothers dog every once in a while.

Lynette said...

I'm definitely an animal lover. The dogs have taken over my house! We have a lab cross and two border collies, they are mother and son.

We had a delightful time back in March of this year. Milly the border collie had pups. We didn't know for sure if she was pregnant and my hubby and the kids took her to the vets who confirmed the pregancy, assuring us she had around two weeks to go.

The following morning I got up at around 7 a.m. dismayed that she had messed on my rug. I looked across at the brown leather armchair and shouted upstairs to my hubby, "Milly's messed in the living room, she's even done it on the chair."

I nearly jumped out of my skin. The 'dog mess' was moving!

She'd given birth to four puppies! Not only that, as we were sorting them all out and hurriedly making up a box for them all, she was continuing to give birth. She had six pups in all.

It was a wonderful time watching Milly caring for them and watching the puppies grow and develop with their own personalities.

Unfortunately, one of them died after one week, but the other five were fit and healthy.

We found good homes for four of the pups, but someone let us down for my favourite, Danny. So he's still with us.

This time last year, I would never have envisaged all this happening. I also found out the father is a pedigree sheep dog, so they have come from good stock!

Needless to say, Milly has now had the 'op'.

I'll never forget that wonderful time for all of us.

Glad to hear you now have your own dog, Diana. They really can be a blessing to us. :)

Louisa Edwards said...

Very sweet post. And of course, I like it because it reminds me of my adorable puppy! We got a dog when we got married (to practice on) and he is the best writing companion. Honestly, I don't think I need to have kids now, I love this dog so much. It's probably not natural.

Joyce said...

My mom was terrified of dogs but finally relented and we ended up with a 6 week old german shepherd. Mom fell in love with him. Since he was so small (as a pup) she got use to him and him to her. He grew up to about 90 lbs but mom was never afraid of him.

Meljprincess said...

Hi Diana, I am owned by a male, 14 pound, chocolate point, Siamese. He is the love of my life and I don't know what I'd do without him. He's been with me a long time and I hope he stays with me for many more years. I've lived with cats all my life. They're wonderful!
I love reading and hearing about people who have good relationships with their pets and know what it's like to consider them family.

Lucy Monroe said...

We are definitely pet people, despite both dh and my allergies. Though dogs are absolutely out. Neither of us has found one that doesn't trigger our asthma (my sister has a pure bred poodle, my mom a chihauhau, etc.), but we both love them. The kids have cats, fish, birds and rodents. Yep, pets make life better and more interesting...not to mention more challenging when you like to travel as much as we do!

Hugs to all,
Lucy

P.S. I'll post a blog later catching up, but just want to say you're ALL great!

Ali said...

Hi, Diana :-) Love your story about how Cyrus came into your life :-) I'm more of a cat person myself.

Cherie said...

Great post! My husband and I have not gotten another dog since our last one passed away from cancer. We have a 3 year old boy and another baby due in Ocober so we figure they are enough work without adding a puppy as well. Maybe when the kids are much older.

Cherie Japp

Diana Duncan said...

Louisa, if you are still around...

I have a 21 year old daughter, a 17 year old daughter and have had two foster children, a boy and girl both 17.

And my advice would be: STICK WITH THE DOG!!

They are sooo much easier than kids! They mind better, for sure!

And my dog/cats have never:

Emptied the refigerator of $150 worth of groceries in one weekend.

Gotten *me* called into the principal's office.

Monopolized the phone, TV, stereo or Playstation.

Wrecked the car.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Diana,

I love dogs as well as gets, but I don't have one so far. There is a high chance that I will get an allergy and I couldn't give an animal that I love. But I babysit my neighbors cats.

Diana Duncan said...

Dannyfiredragon: See if you can find a friend or breeder who will let you ply with their poodle or minature poodle to "test" your allergies. (If you're not so allergic you'll get sick, that is!)

Poodles have hair, *not* fur, so SOMETIMES people with allergies can tolerate them well. It depends on if you're allergic to the actual fur or the dander.

Good luck!

Diana Duncan said...

That would be *play*, not ply.

Sheesh.

See what lack of caffeine will do to ya?

Cathie said...

Hi Diana!! I have a cat Misha, that really knows my feelings, like when i'm in pain, she stays right by me and when I'm confined to bedrest she's there sleeping on my feet, like she is now so I can't get up!

Serena said...

Hi Diana,
Fancy meeting you here! Another of my favorite people here on Lucy's blog!

Loved reading about your experience with dogs! Can't wait to read the book!
Hugs from Down Under...

Diana Duncan said...

Hi Cathie, Animals are sensitive like that, aren't they? My K-9 advisor told me that when he's nervous or upset, the tension "travels down the leash" and affects his dog -- so he has to stay calm, no matter what is going on.

Hey, Serena! We do meet in the most fun places. :)

Judy F said...

Oh I love reading stories about pets. I have one cat now Sammy. I used to have two, lost my baby to cancer last summer. Now Dusty was my nurse whenever I was sick of feeling low. Sammy is trying, he loves to take naps with me. My sister has a westie I would love to steal in a minute. She is so happy to see you its a joy...

Dannyfiredragon said...

Diana,

thanks for the advice, but poodles are on of the few dogs that I really don't like. I was bitten by my great aunts poodle several times when I was a little girl.

bamabelle said...

Oh, I love that picture! We have two dogs and a cat, so I love both.