Friday, January 31, 2014

I need some help

If you all remember I had spoken about how Gary’s dog Penny inspired me by planting a story idea in my mind. I have started working on that story and have written several chapters. I have managed to nail down the pampered cat’s voice (hopefully, I have got it right). The cat’s parts were not too difficult to write. I have named the cat Brunella.

Now I need to start working on the chapters which feature the dogs. This is where the difficult part starts. I am petrified of dogs. If I see a dog, even a tiny pup, I start running like an Olympic medallist. To counter my lack of knowledge about dogs, I am studying dogs from the safety of my car. As my book is about street dogs, every time I see the street dogs my nose is pressed to the car window. I am studying their body language, how they interact with each other, how they bark etc.

I had planned the book title as ‘It’s a dog’s life.’ Then I thought of ‘Doggy Days’. Which do you all think is better? Or perhaps you have a better title in mind.

Now, I need a favour from you all. Do you all have any tips for me regarding a dog’s behaviour, mannerisms, etc? Any books I can use as reference? Any dog names that you can suggest? Remember, these are all street dogs. So they will be rough and tough, both in looks and behaviour. Any help is welcome.

Pictures Courtesy- Birgitte Necessary. Both the pictures are of her pets.

P.S. I didn't want to put any street dog's picture and scare you all.


  1. Madam,
    I would suggest you to read a novel by a Bhutanese author, Kunzang Choden- Dawa, The story of a stray dog in Bhutan. It is a novel included in class nine curriculum of our country.It's one interesting book.

    I hope this book may come of some help to you.

  2. Thanks Sonam, for suggesting the book about a stray dog by the Bhutanese writer. I will check it out. It sounds like something that will help me a lot in my reference. But, if its prescribed for school, will it be available online for me to buy it?

  3. Rachna, I have one of the friendliest stray dogs in neighborhood who wait for anyone in our family to greet them, escort them till gate,and snipe at strangers:)Linking an old post...

  4. You might want to read Parched by Melanie Crowder. That's a recent MG story told in part from the dog's POV. Sorry you are afraid of dogs but great that you can observe them from your car.

  5. Good for you Rachna in overcoming your fears to write about dogs. I don't know any books that would help you off of the top of my head, but wild dogs are very much pack animals and exhibit dominate and follower behaviors like wolves. I am sure there are lots of references available in the search engines that would be useful.

  6. Think of dogs as simplistic, big, loveable oafs.
    Can't think of any books. Maybe watch the old Benji movies? He started as a street dog.
    Sam is always a good name for a dog.

  7. My experience with dogs has been positive and I carry an affection towards them. Even street dogs. I've been acquainted with one dog, early on in my life, that was common to our apartments. It was extremely clever and could easily distinguish between inmates, visitors and sales persons! It would never bark unnecessarily and would always acknowledge the orders of its owners. It was very mature and brave; I hear it was brought from the jungle, by one of our neighbors. Everyone loved this dog, as far as I know. I hope this provides some character sketch :)

    Destination Infinity

  8. I don't have a dog myself but have friends who do. Their characters are so individual. But a street dog needs to have a tougher image what about a name like, Scratch or Duster or something bold like Wolf.

  9. I second Alex's suggestion about Benji. I loved those movies as a kid and I'm a big dog lover.
    I think it's so awesome that Penny inspired you to write this story! She really is a superstar. Good luck with it! I love the name Brunella for a kitty.

  10. Rachna, I went online to Amazon and looked at some titles. This one looks good, and you can get it on Kindle.

    Speaking as a dog lover, dogs are wonderful pets. But I can understand your wariness of street dogs; they haven't had the loving care that brings out their best traits, and I've seen them on visits, mangy and a little wild-looking. I don't know what your dog character will be like in your book, but the book above should give you some understanding of how life looks from a dog's point of vew.

    Good luck with your book. It sounds interesting.

  11. I'm more of a cat person, but there are a lot of clips of dogs on youtube doing funny things, maybe that could offer some inspiration?

    Moody Writing

  12. If you want to scope out some fiction written from a dog's POV, the Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spencer Quinn are really good. Also, One Good Dog by Susan Wilson.

    Good luck!!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  13. Hi Rachna,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar just read your pawsting, sorry, posting to me.

    You will find that most dogs are the most lovable of creatures. All they want to do is please humans. In fact, a dog will demonstrate, unconditional, non-judgemental love. There courage is an inspiration.

    Street dogs are dogs who need homes. They can be most timid. They need a loving home. You might check out, "The Littlest Hobo"

    I can tell you that Penny's interaction is done with a paw that tells me she needs some food or needs to go for a walk. It's all good.

    In so far as your title, I have two titles for Penny's pawblishing, um, publishing. I think your title ideas are perhaps a bit too common a theme. You might try to use a pun. A clue for you might be "bark" and "book".

    Wishing you a pawsitive Sunday, as Penny would say.

    Penny's alleged human,

    Gary :)

  14. I am not a dog person; I don't run from them but certainly don't like the smell of them.

    My only suggestion for the title and/or dog name is to make it something suggestive of your doggy MC. A quirk, or one word summation of the theme.

    For instance: My sister has a big dog named Columbo - he is a failed service dog who always has his nose in everything. He investigates. So if you had a dog named Columbo you could title the book something like Columbo On The Hunt. Or: did you know that Pit Bulls were originally bred as "nanny dogs?" You could name your dog Nana and title the book Nana the Nanny. I've always found naming animals for their characteristics more creative than relying on familiar names.

    Hi Rachna; I hope the book writing is as fun as it sounds.


  15. Rachna, I am so proud of you for "facing your fear" of dogs! There's a movie called All Dogs Go to Heaven--I think it's Disney--haven't seen it, but it looks fun...

    My daughter, Elsa, lives in Tanzania and is always talking about the stray dog population there. One that hangs around the compound is named Henry...
    Have fun and a sense of humor and you will be the pampered cat character!

    Bless you!!!

  16. Rahul, I have also heard that some stray dogs can be friendly. Thanks for the link to your post. I will read it over the week.

    Natalie, Parched by Melanie Crowder sounds perfect. I will order it online. My book too is written from the dog's POV.

    Slamdunk, I agree that wild dogs are pack animals who exhibit behaviour similar to wolves. Its a good point to highlight.

    Alex, thanks for suggesting the name Sam. One of the dogs will get that name. I am definitely going to watch the old Benji movies.

    Rajesh, the street dog you mentioned that could distinguish between inmates, salesmen and visitors has given me an idea for a new scene. Thanks.

    Suzanne, thanks for suggesting the names Scratch and Duster. I am definitely going to use atleast one of the names.

    Julie, I will have to watch Benji as soon as possible

  17. Elizabeth, the book you mentioned sounds good and perfect for reference into a dog's life. I will check it out on Amazon.

    Mooderino, I am sure the dog clips on youtube will not just help me but also inspire many scenes.

    Laura, will order the Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spencer Quinn and One Good Dog by Susan Wilson from Amazon.Looks like both books will help me in my research into a dog's life.

    Gary, thanks for suggesting 'The Littlest Hobo'. I will watch it on you tube. I like the idea of using a pun on the words 'Bark' and 'Book.' Will now think along those lines. And thanks to Penny for the inspiration.

    Donna, I like the idea of using a quirk or one word summation of the theme. And a title suggestive of my doggy MC will be great. Thanks for the advice.

    Cheryl, 'All dogs go to heaven' sounds like a movie I need to watch. Thanks for the suggestion.

  18. I agree with Mooderino about Youtube. It's a wealth of information.

    Wait for the story to unfold some more to pick a title that stands out.

  19. Sounds like it's time for some growing experiences...I'm very much a dog person. Rilke has great poems about dogs, it's funny bcause he gets mad at them for loving him so easily despite his flaws:)

  20. Dogs drool and they bark. You may have guessed from that I'm not a dog person ;)