"Writers are one of the best breeds of humans to get, because writers already have civilized, catlike habits. Most writers don't like being disturbed, either. They have an uncanny, almost feline, focus on their work that's very much like a hunter's patient stalk. They sit still for long periods of time, and have warm, comfortable laps. Quiet, undemanding intimacy is possible with a writer that a cat might not find with the more frantic types of humans."That's all well and good, although if I may say so, the idea of the quiet, introverted, hermit-like writer is maybe just a tad outdated.
Maybe more than just a tad.
But that doesn't explain the plethora of blogs and websites claiming with an air of conclusiveness that writers are cat people, period. And while I'm not here to challenge cats and/or their owners to a Feline-Canine Showdown of Epic Proportions, I think this needs to be said:
Writers are dog people too. Or at least, they should be. And here's why:
- Using myself and the many writers I know as an example, I can say that we are not all moody and withdrawn. However, it is true that writing is a solitary job. The loneliness that comes with being trapped with the characters in one's mind for hours on end can be greatly balanced by the eternally happy disposition of a dog.
- When one does have a small mental breakdown of the "I am a talentless hack" persuasion, nothing is better than a wet, sloppy doggie kiss to make one feel human again.
- On that note, dogs have also been known to inspire highly awkward and well-written first kiss scenes in which one or more of the young lovers has about as much control over their tongue as said dog.
- Dogs can fetch more than frisbees. One can also train them to go get slippers, notebooks, and those ever elusive perfect turns-of-phrases.
- Hour upon hour of staring at a screen is not healthy for one's eyes or sanity. Dogs offer plenty of reminders that it may be time for a break, with a gentle nudge, a whimper, or perhaps a puddle on the floor.
- Dogs need exercise and ensure one spends at least part of the day out in the fresh air with the non-paper people.
- Dogs protect the peace and quiet of one's writing sanctuary by barking frantically at any intruder who dares to interrupt.
- Even after one has wallpapered the entire second floor with rejection letters and set fire to one's manuscript in a neighbor's trash can, a dog will greet one with a wagging tail and, if one is lucky, a leg hump. That, my friends, is unconditional love.