I was in the children’s book section of Barnes & Noble the other day looking for some examples of Boy and his Dog stories where the two of them have conversations with each other like I’ve been writing in the Negotiations with Cookies series. I was looking for actual dialogue between human and dog and not just stories told from the perspective of the dog.
Even with the help of the person running the kid’s book section, who was well informed on past and current fiction offerings, I came up empty handed.
So I ask, do you know of any good examples of stories with dialogue between a human and their dog? Or any animal really.
The other day I noticed an odd effect from writing the Negotiating with Cookies series about Fleegle and his antics. When I read nonfiction books or follow the news, I often see it influencing my storylines a few weeks later, like in The Dog Buddha and Odoriferous Parfait, but I’ve never been aware of what I’ve written having an influence on how I see the world, only the opposite.
In my work as a trainer and walker, I talk a lot to the dogs I’m with. This has led me to talk to myself quite a bit, often in the imagined voices of Fleegle or Sadie, my two dogs. They’re typical of their retriever breeds, Labrador and Golden, happy, upbeat, eager for the next adventure. I aspire to be this way too, but it doesn’t come naturally.
The other day I was contemplating some activity or other and just as my usual thinking began to poo-poo the idea of doing it, I heard Fleegle’s voice, the one I hear when writing his stories, say, “Oh, that’s a good idea. Let’s do it.” It totally caught me by surprise, and even more so when my critical mind agreed that he was right.
Sometimes when I sit down to write, it’s like a door opens to my imagination and in walks Fleegle, chatting away about the things he chats about, and during the time that I’m writing, I’m convinced the words I’m hearing in my head and putting down on paper are what Fleegle would say if he actually did speak. It’s almost like automatic writing, channeling Fleegle’s higher source, and if Fleegle heard me say that he’d be searching the sky for a winged dog that looked like him.
Then when I’m done writing, it’s as if Fleegle has finished what he has to say for the session, shuts up and leaves, and I sit there sensing a mental emptiness similar to loneliness. I wonder where the imagination comes from. In a dream, just because we wake up doesn’t mean the characters in our dream don’t continue on, waiting for our return, ready to catch us up once we get back.