This is Zoe. She is a four year old mix who loves to hike, run, camp, and get petted by humans.
She also likes to pick exactly when I’m sitting down to write as her epic playtime. And she can’t have epic playtime without me.
This is a dog who is so dependent on humans to play that she has learned multiple commands for finding a toy to play with in the first place. It’s a little sad, but she’s adorable so it doesn’t matter.
Zoe, like many dogs (and many more cats) is also a cuddler. She wants to be close, snuggly, and doesn’t understand how laptops work–specifically that drooling on them doesn’t actually write the book any faster.
While Zoe is my number one distraction, she’s also my number one writing buddy.
She consoles me when I write something that makes me cry (or read something that makes me cry), she pulls me away from my more frustrated moments, and she reminds me to take time to appreciate the little things. Part of my writing routine is taking her out for a run or a walk in the morning and I cannot tell you how much of a difference this really makes.
Getting outside, moving around, and seeing the happiness in my dog’s face are three major factors in getting my day started right. And when my day starts well, that day’s writing session goes well.
I have worked out so many plot holes and character quirks by talking to my dog. Zoe sits there and listens with all the adoring attention of…well, of a dog. Sure, she can’t talk back and offer her own ideas, but she’s happier than anyone else I work with when I praise her.
She’s much better about the belly rubs, too.
My writing experience is inevitably shaped by having a dog and I’m sure it will change as she grows older or we add another canine to our little family. For now, I find meaning and use in having a dog as a writing buddy and I recommend finding a four-legged friend to anyone who ever needs to be reminded to take time for the little things in life.