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!