Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pets Make Great Characters

If my husband's childhood pet were still alive, I am really not certain which of us he'd love more. Fortunately, I am secure in our relationship, and his dog was pretty cool.

For his birthday, I made him this pastel drawing of Brot (pronounced burr - ott).

My Husband's Pet

Apparently this dog would fetch anything, and I mean anything, you threw. From golf balls punted (hit? batted? yeah, so I don't play golf, so sue me) off the front porch to small downed trees that you managed to move two inches. (Brot couldn't do much better, but he'd be damned if he didn't get that tree those two inches back to you.)

Then there is the story of how Brot became the Chosen Puppy. There was a whole litter of puppies. Food was poured, and all the puppies gathered round. But one fat little puppy was not content to crowd around the edges. This baby dog knew how to get things done. He waded through his brothers and sisters and plopped his pudgy little butt down right in the middle of the food bowl.
And my husband's father said, "I want that one!"

This dog had character in spades.

Animal Characters: Laughter or Crying Will Ensue

Some animals have more personality than most of the people you'll talk to today. (This is not meant to be an insult to your cohorts, merely an admiration of the furred people in your life.) That is why pets (or just animals in general) can definitely make great characters.

One of my all-time favorite characters is Mogget from Sabriel. Now, admittedly, Mogget turned out to be a little more than a cat, and he could talk and all, but we are talking All Time Favorites. I'm not even sure who else would make that list at the moment. Mogget was so freaking cool!
Of course, my husband had to go and be difficult and like the Disreputable Dog (of Lirael fame) better.

And just this weekend, I was talking to a friend about how teachers read us Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows in elementary school. Yeah. Everyone pretended not to cry, but we were bawling our eyes out. Probably two of the most heart-breaking books I've ever read (or had read to me).

So when you're plotting and you need a BFF for your character, don't rule out the family pet. Just make certain you give that pet a personality. And, please, if you have any consideration for my tear ducts, do try not to sacrifice the doggy at the end of the tale.

This was another attempt at drawing Brot, but we didn't like it quite as much. It wasn't as Brot-ty:

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