Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guest Blogger Juniper Bell - News Flash: Cat Person Learns to Like a Dog

This is a blog I never thought I’d write. Since I ought to be writing about my new release, “Doll,” the fact that I’m talking cats and dogs tells you this is an earth-shattering event.

I, Juniper Bell, lifelong lover of cats, sad owner of the late lamented Otis, scoffer at puppy antics, disliker of dog hair, vower of oath never to follow any animal around with a pooper-scooper … am happily dog-sitting a boisterous beast named Bubba.

Of course, I call him either Bubbalicious or Buddha, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

As a writer, I’ve always connected more to cats, who are independent and sleep most of the time. I like pets I don’t have to pay a lot of attention to. I’m not the only one. According to Barbara Holland, “A catless writer is almost inconceivable.” Robertson Davies says, “Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.”

I know plenty of authors who love dogs and even put them in their books. I admit I usually skip those parts.

So how did Bubba the Dog worm his way into my heart?

He’s wonderfully patient with our five-year-old, who adores him. Bubba lets her rain kisses all over his face. He lets her curl up with him in a tangled heap. He lets her teach him tricks like “shake hands” and “howl along to the harmonica.”

Bubba’s a lover not a fighter. He gets along with all the other dogs. He doesn’t even mind when the local bully-dog tries to hump him. He’s a beta dog all the way. And he has a budding (or perhaps already fruitfully multiplying) relationship with the local hottie. Fiona is top dog for miles around. She’s the product of two lead sled dogs who mated during the Iditarod. She’s never pulled a sled herself, but she’s a lead dog at heart. Even the bully-dog bows down to her. When she’s around, no one messes with Bubba.

I never knew how fascinating dog dynamics could be. I never knew how reassuring it feels to have a dog around. I never knew how fun it is to take a happy, curious pup for a walk in the snowy woods. I don’t even mind the dog hair on my sweaters.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love cats. But I finally see the point of dogs. And incredibly, astonishingly, we’re actually going to try to keep Bubba until his owner has a better living situation for him.

It’s not just a good deed. Yes, I admit – I love the silly Bubba-dog.

Where do you stand on the cat versus dog issue? Do you like reading about them? Or writing about them, if you’re an author?

Thanks to the Nine Naughty Novelists for letting me vent about my big news flash.

Also, I have a book out now from Samhain Publishing, a red-hot contemporary called “Doll.” Here’s the link for more about it.

Juniper Bell lives with her sweetie in a cabin in Alaska with no running water and a spectacular view of glaciers. She wound up in the frozen north after leaving her career as a stressed-out Los Angeles TV writer. Luckily, her love for writing survived the move. She’s been writing erotic romance for three years. “Doll” is her second book. Her first book, “The Extremist,” was published by Liquid Silver Books. Her next release, “Training the Receptionist,” will be released on March 2 by Samhain Publishing. Visit her website at http://JuniperBell.com, her blog at http://AuthorJuniperBell.blogspot.com, friend her on FaceBook or follow her on Twitter.


Meg Benjamin said...

Sounds like a budding character to me! Bubba's adventures could form a great subplot.

Juniper Bell said...

Ooo, great idea, Meg! It's funny, I've never once put a pet in a book, I'm not sure why. Now I'm seriously tempted.

Kelly Jamieson said...

Hi Juniper! I am most definitely a dog person, my puppy is like my third child. I'm so glad you have experienced dawg love! And although I love dogs, I've only ever written one story with a dog in it, I don't know why. I recall a couple of Jennifer Crusie books with excellent dog characters that I loved, I believe one was a dachshund named Steve who wore a raincoat. :-)

Erin Nicholas said...

Welcome Juniper!
I'm a cat person all the way. We tried the dog thing (well, puppy thing) WAY too high maintenance for me! *G* Or I'm just too lazy or something!

PG Forte said...

Wow, Juniper, you sound so much like me! I'm a total cat person, but I just gave my son's puppy back to him yesterday (after two months of puppysitting)so I totally relate.

I think I've just never met an animal I haven't fallen in love with. Chickens, snakes, mice, tarantulas, fish--you name it, I'll wanna try and keep it as a pet. No matter how patently bad an idea it is.

Juniper Bell said...

Kelly, I am definitely in the throes of dawg-love. Of course, right now he's nudging my arm to get me to pet him when I'm trying to write! My cat was much better-behaved. ;)

Erin, I hear you on the puppy thing, training them must be so much work!! Bubba's already mostly trained, thank goodness.

PG, we keep doing this "you're so much like me" thing! ;) Are you sad or relieved to see your son's puppy go? I'm going to miss Bubba when he goes. I don't even want to think about it yet!

Thanks for the warm welcome, all you Naughty Novelists!

LizeeS said...

Hi Juniper,
You know very well that I'm one of those who puts dogs in all her books. I have never had cats, so I'm also that "inconceivable writer." I don't dislike cats, I just have an allergic hubby. But, I have to agree, sometimes it's just a lot of work having an attention-seeking animal around interrupting your writing. Fortunately, if you're a dog person, it only irritates you once in a while :-) Welcome to the hairy, slobbery, world of canines. We'll know you're a full convert when Bubba turns up in a book!
Fun blog!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

I have loved cats for a long time. I don't have any pets right now but have fond memories of writing with a cat on my lap. Maybe if I found the right lap dog I could fall in love with him or her too.

PG Forte said...

Totally miserable. Although I think my husband is relieved...and our daughter's not upset about it either.

We sent him back with two shopping bags full of dog toys. And I called my son three times yesterday just to see how he was settling in. lol--I swear I didn't fuss this much when my son moved out.

Of course, in my defense, the puppy's still a baby, whereas my son was fully grown...I'm sure that makes a difference.

Boone Brux said...

I'm a total dog lover, except for today. My old, and dying, dog Hamish blessed me with a poop party this morning. Just what I wanted to do at 5:00 am. But, most days I love him madly. I think having an animal, especially if you spend your time at home,it like having a security blanket. Sometimes you just need someone to vent to without a bunch of back talk. Bubba sounds wonderful. I'm glad you got to experience him.

Tamera Lynn said...

I like an animal that wants to please me, so I vote for dogs! But I'm also violently allergic to cats, so I admit I've been biased from a young age. Bubba sounds 'licious, Juniper!

Anonymous said...

What a fun blog, I'm happy for you because experiencing the joys of the intensely direct enthusiasm of a dog will be missed when it's gone. I'm dogless for now, but I need a 'dog fix' once in a while-My cats prefer that be done far far away from them. As it turns out I have an orange tabby that seems to turn up in all my books, I didn't plan it that way, I'm a writer--characters appear at will.