I love animals in books and even more so as almost secondary characters. I think you can tell a lot about a character by how they regard their pets, how they take care of them, and what lengths they will go through to keep them safe. One of my favorites is Oberon in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series. And yes, Oberon can speak, telepathically to Atticus, but he’s still a dog through and through and so he’s POV is all about honesty and “hey, check out that poodle!”.
I think the whole loving animals thing can be traced back to having had dogs my whole life, and awesome cats as well, but the loving them in books is directly related to my mother. I grew up with her reading to us and when I was old enough to grab books off her shelves myself, it was the works of Albert Payson Terhune, that were there first. She had read them as a child herself and written to the author when she was old enough AND he wrote her back which was a huge deal in the days before Facebook. Because of that, and her constant devotion to his books that she continued to have her students read over the years, I had a special love of collies. But big collies, like the ones that used to roam the hills of Scotland, but because they don’t get that big anymore, when it was time to give Miro and Ian a dog in the marshals series, I decided on a werewolf.
Chickie Baby is a mix. He’s part Caucasian Ovcharka, Husky or Malamute with a little wolf thrown in. Not that Ian or Miro will cop to the “wolf” part as hybrids are dangerous and Chickie is not. But he’s played a big part in the stories as a companion, something Ian could talk about instead of his feelings, he grew Ian and Hartley’s relationship from fear to a new understanding and has been the bridge between the guys when words failed them. He’s also the companion of a little girl. It wouldn’t be the same book(s) without him.Thank you all so much for loving him.