One of the starring characters in my debut novel, The Marker is a rescued, overweight, flatulent English bulldog who bears a striking resemblance to Truman Capote. He falls in love with my main female protagonist, Shelley De Luca. He’s almost as obsessed with her as her psychotic ex boyfriend is. But in a good way.
He farts, he drools, he sneezes, and is so ugly that it circles all the way around to cute. But true love knows no boundaries and is not defined by species or beauty.
Animal lovers know there’s nothing like the unconditional love of an animal. It’s so pure and honest, and they have no agenda other than to be the best friend they can to us. It’s heartbreaking when we lose them, or they lose us.
There’s a point in my novel, when Shelley makes a choice to walk away from the man she loves, Gianni and his adorable dog, Truman. But it’s Truman’s lack of complexity and understanding that is almost the more painful parting of the two. Dogs are so in tune with their humans that they’ve been known to detect cancer before any screens or modern methods get close. They can literally smell it. They don’t know the why’s of what humans do, only that it’s done. So when you abandon or leave, an animal you can’t explain to them your reasons, and that makes the parting exponentially more painful for them.
Which brings me to the point of this blog and please allow me to pontificate for a moment.
When we choose an animal to be part of our family, we need to keep in mind, that’s exactly what they are. A member of our family. They are a commitment and the choice should never be made lightly or because a breed is suddenly popular. They deserve to be loved, respected and taken care of just like we would our own children.
Truman is a fictional character, but he represents too many animals that I’ve seen on social media and in real life, who’ve been abused, neglected and abandoned. But the good news is, there are wonderful people who make it their mission to help these animals at a severe emotional cost to themselves. These people, and I know a few personally have my utmost gratitude and respect.
This blog is dedicated to them and to all the animals who still need to be rescued.
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm the mother of two, an animal advocate and a romance addict.