My dog’s name is not Peanut. His name is Kenai (pronounced Keen-Eye). But my neighbor thinks his name is Peanut. I don’t know why, unless somehow those two words sound the same when I’m yelling them out the backdoor of my house because my stubborn boy is more interested in said neighbor’s dog through the fence than coming in the house. Whatever the reason, I’ve corrected my neighbor on the name discrepancy more than once, but he still refers to my dog as Peanut. And I’m so anti-confrontation, that I’m considering changing his name. After twelve years. I don’t think he’ll mind. Doesn’t he look like a Peanut?
Like any other author, pieces of my life find their way into my books. But curiously, as my wife points out, I’ve never included a dog in any of my books. Which, I will admit, is a bit strange since we’re both dog people. So much so, that when we first got together, we ended up with five dogs. Now five dogs is a lot. I don’t recommend being out-numbered by your pets. I had Peanut and a cocker spaniel named Woodstock, who has since passed away. He was a wealth of stories on his own. That dog would eat anything. More than once, I had to make emergency calls to my vet, the emergency clinic, even poison control.
My wife had a Chihuahua and a shepherd mix, who have both passed as well. Her other dog, Leroy, is the son of the shepherd mix. Both were acquired when she, a stray, decided that underneath the shed was a good place to start her new family. Leroy has recently undergone a name change as well. I now call him Bunny Breath. You have to know this dog. He’s the most skittish…he actually smells everything for a full minute before eating it, even dog treats. It’s as if he’s afraid we’re trying to sneak something by him that looks like a treat, but somehow isn’t.
So, why, you ask, is he called Bunny Breath? Okay, I imagine you’ve already guessed. Recently, a mama bunny decided to make her nest in our backyard while we were having a fence rebuilt and the dogs weren’t currently using that part of the yard. Pity we no longer have a shed for her to have gone under instead. Then the fence went up and the dogs were once again given free reign. My wife was out cutting the grass, and looked over to see Leroy—er, Bunny Breath—with something in his mouth. She yelled at him and he dropped a poor baby bunny and it scampered away. We searched the yard and found a nest and three scattered babies hiding in the grass. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of him with it in his mouth, and my wife wasn’t too keen on my idea to scoop up a baby and re-enact it with him. Just kidding, I wouldn’t do that. But here’s a picture of the nest with the bunnies safely returned. We cordoned off the area until the babies left the nest for good.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Bunny Breath isn’t a monster. He’s actually a sweet, gentle boy who was probably more traumatized by the whole thing than the poor (wet) little bunny we rescued him from. See for yourself, does this dog look like he could hurt a bunny?
Someday I’ll write a character who is as entertained, loved, and charmed by her dog(s) as we are by ours. And maybe one of her dogs has a penchant for pulling the stuffing out of dog beds. Or one of them insists on getting in between her and her romantic interest if they so much as share an embrace. Maybe there will even be a bunny cameo. And when you read that book, no matter what that dog’s name is, I hope you think about Peanut and Bunny Breath.
Until that day, you can pick up my latest release, Capturing Forever. There aren’t any dogs in it. But there are plenty of other pieces of my life hidden away in those pages.
Check it out and read an excerpt, at https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/capturing-forever-by-erin-dutton-1803-b