I admit I'm an animal lover. I've had fish, turtles, a hamster, several dogs and a cat. I feel any literary venture benefits from the addition of an animal to the plot. Pets help to bring out aspects of a character's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as adding comedic relief. Readers who own animals enjoy reading books that include their favorite breeds. Fictionalizing a pet's behavior is usually easy for writers. Puppy's romp, cat's stretch, fish dart around in aquariums, and hamsters run on their wheels at night. A little research on certain breeds can add more dimension. For example, German shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, Siamese cats are vocal, and cichlids tend to be territorial in an aquarium.
I try to honor and memorialize my pets by using their names and breeds in my books and novels.
In my nonfiction, self-help book Stop the Craziness: Simple Life Solutions, I included original Pookie Diva Boop cartoons about a sassy cat. I used my black cat, Pookie as the inspiration.
In my first fiction, crime thriller novel, Deadly Compulsion, I wrote in a fictionalized version of a beagle, using my former pet's name. The real Spanky passed on to doggie heaven at age 18. (No, she wasn't such a klutz in real life. Remember, fiction is not reality.)
In my first fiction women's novel, Hot Flash Divas, I wrote in a fictionalized cocker spaniel, and used my former pet's name, Buffy. The real Buffy passed on to doggie heaven at age 14.
In my upcoming fiction, paranormal mystery novel, Mystery Spy Shop, I'm writing a fictionalized version of a tan Chihuahua and using my former pet's name, Prissy.
Look for future appearances of a Boston terrier named, Angel, a brown dachshund named Brandy, and a turtle named Betty Jo.