Some time back, one of our local doctors came to a signing and brought her Great Dane. I didn't know she was coming, but she had emailed me in the past about Spot, the dog in my books, and I came to understand that the character of Spot was an influence in her decision to buy a Harlequin Great Dane.
This is something that I've worried about in the past. What if people are influenced by the fictional dog Spot, buy a real dog as a result, and are disappointed? I hope that I make Spot real enough that readers understand that, while Danes are great dogs, they're not perfect.
I went out to the doctor's car to meet the dog. Before I even got close, I could tell two things. One, he was a Harlequin, just like Spot in my books. He had a beautiful smattering of black spots over his white coat. The other thing I could tell from a distance was that he was the happiest and sweetest of dogs. He wagged his tail so hard that his entire body shook.
As I approached the car, his head was out the window, panting, smiling, so excited to meet a stranger.
|Photo from GreatDane.ru|
“Wow,” I said to the doctor as I rubbed the dog's head. “He is so friendly, so enthusiastic! He must be a perfect joy to have in your home.”
“He's a great joy,” she said. “My husband and I really love him, but I wouldn't say he's perfect.”
“Really,” I said. “Misbehaves now and then like any other dog, does he?”
“Yeah,” she said. And then, with a grin and a twinkling eye, she added, “and when he screws up, my husband says, 'It's that writer's fault!'”