Pets in Books?

Have you ever read a book where a pet is a "character?" (And, no, I'm not referring to wolves, werewolves, or shapeshifters!) I haven't written too many stories that feature pets, but I think they can add to a story or character. In my Harlequin Intrigue, A Doctor-Nurse Encounter, the hero and heroine rescue a cat from a dead woman's apartment and the hero ends up taking the cat home. This was an important moment for the heroine, as she had the doctor pegged as a little too perfect to get cat hair on his $5,000 suits. When the doc takes the cat home, the heroine begins to relax a little more in his presence because she realizes he has a good heart.

I have another story where the hero has an English mastiff (you'll see why later). The dog takes an instant liking to the heroine, which again, reassures the hero since he sees the heroine as a tough chick with a hard edge. Hey, if his dog likes her, she must have some redeeming qualities.

Writers can use animals in stories to bring people together, reveal a character trait, and can definitely be used to add a touch of humor. Animals can also be used as plot devices to move a story forward - I'm thinking about Stacey Joy Netzel's Chasin' Mason here.
Any other books you love that feature pets and animals?

In honor of pets/animals week at Fierce Romance, I'm sharing a picture of our 210 lb. English mastiff, Dexter (his muzzle is gray but he's only six years old - the dog, not my son). He's a big baby - really!


Natasha Moore said...

Dexter is adorable, Carol! So is your son. :)

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

I agree, both are adorable. It's rare these days that I don't use an animal in some way in a book. Like you said, it's a great way to reveal something about a character, too. :) My first book, Welcome To Redemption, had a huge Great Dane because it's easier for me to write about one than to get one.

Terry Spear said...

Great pictures!! How can you afford to feed them??? LOL

Hmm, no shapeshifters or werewolves? Okay, I have a cat in my 6th book coming out. The heroine had been changed, but she has a somehow the cat is going to have to adjust to werewolves in the house. :)

Carol Ericson said...

Thanks, Natasha. Dexter is really good with kids.

Stacey, I know a family who has three Great Danes!

Terry, believe me, it's more expensive to feed the boys than the dog.

Nicole North said...

Cute dog and cute son, Carol!! I love animals and having them in stories is neat! I like your ideas on having them move the story forward or show character growth.

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Carol, I just love animals in books. In Meant To Be, my heroine has a huge tabby named Mr. Louie. In Welcome To Redemption I introduce Bo, Sugar's (Stacey's great dane) brother, who is quite a handful himself. *g*

One of the stories I'm working on (Jack Sutton from Meant To Be) features a humongous English Mastiff named Mudcat. I'm already so in love with that dog. :-)

Man, your son is gorgeous, and the dog is too cute for words!

Chiron said...

Hi there!

I just finished Stacey's story, and the crazy-lactose intolerant-Harley riding dog is such a hoot!

Great photos, Carol! Also, just finished The Stranger and I. What a great read!! You really brought those characters to life. I was so rooting for them. Nail-biting and toe-curling romance thriller. Fabulous!

Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul:

Carol Ericson said...

Thanks, Nicole. I think they're a good device.

Donna, WTR is on my TBR list for summer. Dexter's temperament is as sweet as his face.

Thanks, Chiron. Glad you enjoyed Stranger. Man, they hit the ground running, didn't they?

Sandy said...


There was an author who wrote Intrigues who used a cat named Familiar in her stories, and I loved that cat and her books.

I love Dexter, he's so cuddly looking, and boy is your son going to be chased after. lol

ShawnaMoore said...

Carol, I'm laughing as I type this post. Dexter is so cute and sweet! I'm sure you and your family have many fun moments with him. Give him a big hug and treat from me :) Please keep sharing more pics of him with us from time to time :)

Happy Sunday wishes,