Q: Do you often include animals in your stories? What role do they play?
A: It’s funny, although animals (particularly dogs) have always played a huge role in my life, I usually don’t include them in my work. That’s not to say I won’t do so in the future.
Aside from “A Time For Understanding,” I did write (and was fortunate enough to publish) a flash fiction piece – political satire – about a healthcare system that proposed using dogs as doulas to save costs on childbirth for the uninsured. It’s a crazy and bizarre story; the comfort my yellow lab (my real-life Cody) provided me during my two pregnancies – especially when I was on bed rest with my first – was an inspiration. And back in high school, I wrote a short story about how it felt to say goodbye to our 17 year-old poodle. It was riddled with teen angst but the sentiment was certainly there – it was a story I needed to write at the time.
I think animals serve so many different roles for us in life and I am personally convinced that that “one special dog” is the one waiting, tail wagging, to bring us to the other side when we pass on. Maybe I should write more about animals…