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Furry Muses

Sometimes, I don't know what I'd do without the furry muses I've had in my life. Over the years, they've kept me company, offered me diversions, and assured me that a wagging tale and a sloppy kiss are excellent antidotes for the poisonous bite of a rejection or a rough review.

The dogs I've adopted (nearly all from rescue groups) have taught me that steadfastness, in the long run, trumps the highwire excitement some people seem to crave. They've taught me that consistency and understanding can salvage a project others have discarded and turn it into something treasured. They've taught me the world is a subjective place, and that viewed through the lenses of love, the ugly can grow beautiful and the useless indispensible.

Is it any wonder that writers, who face so much rejection daily, have such soft hearts for animals? And especially for the underdogs, who symbolize our own struggles against heartrending odds.

I'm posting a photo of Zippy, a Humane Society "bounce-back" who had already been through at least two homes when we adopted her. She's turned out to be a terrific little mutt, a high-energy cuddler who makes us laugh every day.

I welcome you to share stories and pictures of your hairy muses in the comments section. I'd love to hear about them!


Jessica Trapp said…
What a fun blog topic!

My furry muse lets me know when I've been sitting too long and it's time for a nice long walk.

I couldn't figure out how to add a photo (???) but I have some on my site.

:) jes
Alyssa Day said…
My two pug babies are the best!! nothing is better for creativity than rubbing a warm puppy belly.
Anonymous said…
My furry muse is nearly 18 years old and she can usually be found curled up on my desk right next to my keyboard if I'm at the computer -- otherwise she's on my lap, purring away. :) There's another one in training for her position, but the current muse won't let him anywhere near me while she's on duty!

Christie Craig said…

He's beautiful.

I'm a pet lover as well. Four cats and one dog. No, I never planned on having four cats. Most of them just showed up and when no one would take them off our hands, they sort of just became a part of the Craig clan.

And yes, they are my muses. One especially inspires me. I remember when I first saw this 12-week-old kitten at the shelter. A beautiful green-eyed tan tabby with a melon-colored nose. I reached in to tickle him and he rose up on his legs, hissed like a big cat and showed me his claws.

They told me he was born to a feral (wild) cat and they didn't know if he was going to ever socialize. A lover of the underdog, a believer that love can save all, we brought the kitten home. I still have scars to remember that car ride.

He lived the first three months in the closet. I had almost given up when one night I woke up to feel him snuggle up close to me. When I went to pet him he leap off the bed and went back to the closet. He continuted to sneak into my bed, and eventually even let me pet him.

Eight years later, he sleeps on my pillow every night and wakes me up to give his nightly dose of affection. He occasionally graces my son and husband with his presence and has several times gifted them with the ability to touch him. He's not a socilite, but love did save him.

Now in my novels, I write a lot of feral characters. Men and women who want to love, but are afraid and don't learn to trust until the meet the right person.

Yep, my pets inspire me. Thanks for the reminder. I think I'll go find Skitter and let him know I love him.

Anonymous said…
I couldn't write without a dog in the room--and I'd add a cat, if my Rhodesian Ridgeback muse would allow it.

My guy is named Roan and he's the handsomest critter in the world. I, too, couldn't figure out how to get a picture up, but like Jessica, I have a picture of him on my site.

Roan, being a writer's dog, knows every sound associated with the writing day. I'm one of those writers who prints out the day's work when she's done--and when that printer starts humming, Roan is off the couch and sitting in front of me. I can see him thinking, "Thank God, the woman is done! Because it's time to move."

Animals . . . love 'em to bits.
Thanks for posting, everyone. Sorry, but I thought it was simple to put a photo with your comments. I checked your sites, Jess & EC, and your dogs are adorable!

Thanks for sharing your furry tales/tails!

And by the way, EC, I'm totally jealous of the view out of your office (also posted as your sight). Gorgeous!
Jen said…
I love dogs, cats and all animals, but currently have no "furry muses." :( We live in an apartment that doesn't allow dogs (I think discrimination against dogs should be illegal!!!), and you're allowed one cat, but you have to plunk down $500 in case they do any damage! However, we're going to choose a house soon and then we can do whatever we want!!! We won't be getting a dog right away...want to get everything sorted first...but it's a definite plan in the future!

I know it's a little off-topic, but I have a "feathered muse." My boyfriend's Senegal parrot, Loki, is my bratty muse. Like the Norse god, he's charming and sweet, yet he likes to play games. He solicits head scratches, only to turn quickly and grab your finger with his beak! He's my baby!
Jolie Mathis said…
Yes! I have two cats and a dog, but only one is my furry muse, and that's Oscar the Cat. He's a big orange Maine Coon cat. I don't know, it something about that constant purr that gets my brain working ...
Mary Winter said…
I have feathered and furry muses. My horse is a great distractor when I'm in edit or deadline hell. I go out, brush her, pet her, treat her like the 1000-lb Barbie she is, and then I come back all renewed. My cats and parrots provide laughter, love and inspiration.
Jolie Mathis said…
I've got Oscar the Furry Muse on my blog -- if you scroll down you'll see him.
Feathery muses definitely count, too. :) I have a tank of finny ones as well, tho' they mostly act as swimming Valium. Watching them for a while is very calming, though I have to say they've never given me a bright idea.

Thanks for sharing, everyone.
Jen said…
Jolie, I just want to bury my face and hands in Oscar's fur! What a beautiful animal he is!

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