Melinda Leigh | Canine Characters
December 3, 2012
My debut novel, SHE CAN
RUN, starred a police dog reject, Henry, who was originally intended to add
a bit of humor to the storyline. But Henry evolved, as characters sometimes do,
into much more than just a dog. He nearly stole the limelight from my hero. My
kids were annoyed that I wrote a fictional dog into my book when we had two
perfectly good dogs in our house. They demanded that I write one of our dogs
into my next book. So, Bandit (photo) received a starring role in SHE CAN TELL (releasing
Bandit is a dog of many breeds we rescued from the local animal
shelter two years ago. There’s a large dog trapped inside his small body, a
Rottweiler crammed into a spaniel’s skeleton. At a mere 18 pounds, he would
fight to the death to defend any member of his family. He might be small in
stature, but his heart and soul are enormous. Bandit is devoted to his family
and hates strangers with equal passion, just ask the USP man or those people who
came to deliver a religious pamphlet last week. He scared the bejeesus out of
them. I had a blast writing him into the story while keeping his quirky
personality true to life.
Now, of course, my kids insist our aging collie, Sunshine, get her due. Her
character will need to be as mellow as she is. While Bandit is on guard duty,
Sunshine’s main functions are shedding, licking company, and sprawling in
awkward places to keep us agile. Her disposition is true to her breed. She has
nothing but wags for everyone and everything she meets, and I’m currently
bringing her to life on the pages of my work-in-process, SHE CAN SCREAM.
If you’re looking to add a canine companion to your household, please visit your
local animal shelter. Adult dogs make great pets. They’re often house trained
and past the high-maintenance puppy stage. Dogs don’t deserve to be discarded
after all they do for us.
Do you like stories with animals? Tell me about an animal that made an
impression in your life.
Melinda Leigh is a
fully recovered banker, wife, mom, lifelong dog lover, and second degree black
belt in kenpo karate. She is the author of SHE CAN RUN, a 2012
Thriller Award nominee and a 2012 top 100 Kindle Bestseller. Her next book, SHE CAN TELL, releases in
December 2012. Find out more about Melinda: website /
facebook / twitter
12 comments posted.
Re: Melinda Leigh | Canine Characters
We had our dog Remus, a Boxer, for 13 years - he definitely became a part of our family - it was a riot to see him become more and more "human" - LOL - I could go on all day describing even SOME of his antics!
(Felicia Ciaudelli 10:21am December 3, 2012)
Felicia, I've heard boxers are great family dogs. Thanks for stopping by today.
(Melinda Leigh 10:27am December 3, 2012)
I brought home a female Maine Coon only a few weeks old, her mother was eating all the females in the litter and I wasn't going to allow that to happen. Her name was Minx, she was so beautiful, loving, had a wild coy personality. I fed her with a little bottle and formula, she slept with me (all nestled up), she was around for my first born (his birthday is today) and she would sleep under his crib and come find me as soon as he woke up. Over the years she got old and I found her gone one morning. So many pictures of her can be found in the baby book, I can tell you I miss her as much today as I did years ago.
(Carla Carlson 2:11pm December 3, 2012)
Carla, that's so sweet. I had an orange tabby that was devoted to my kids when they were babies.
(Melinda Leigh 4:28pm December 3, 2012)
Stories with animals are heart-warming and remind me of the pets of my past. I can remember reading "Lad, A Dog" in elementary school.
(Alyson Widen 6:38pm December 3, 2012)
I loved that story, Alyson! Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard was another of my favorites. I always say you can tell a lot about a man from the way he treats animals.
(Melinda Leigh 7:04pm December 3, 2012)
Every animal I've ever had has made an impact in my life. I've owned both cats and dogs, and although I love dogs, being on a fixed budget right now has priced me out of the market for owning one. My Husband and I just lost our beloved "Bandit" (real name) a little over 2 years ago. She was the love of our life, and did everythiing with us. Ever since we lost our house, we were determined that wherever we ended up, we were not going to lose our dog, too, so we found an apartment where our dog could live out the rest of her days in bliss. She had 300 acres to run. Currently, we were taking care of 2 stray cats who were mother and daughter. Little did we know that they were pregnant at the same time, and the daughter gave birth right at my feet!! We had 8 kittens in our apartment, along with a very understanding landlord. In the end, we decided to keep 2 of them, and the rest went to a place that will give them a good home. The babies are now 7 months old, and we're happy to have life in the apartment again!! We've always loved dogs, but there's a special love you get from a cat, that can't be explained. Your books sound wonderful, and I can't wait to read them!! Have a wonderful Christmas, and a Happy New Year!!
(Peggy Roberson 10:24pm December 3, 2012)
Old Yeller made a very big impression in my life. I cried at the end because I didn't like the ending. I also read James Herriot's books: All Creatures Great and Small.... I still loves his books. I wanted to be a veterinarian after that.
My cats Pookie, Baby, and Monkey made the biggest impression in my life. Pookie taught me to really R&R (relaxation and recreation), Baby gave me unconditional love, and Monkey taught me to listen to music. I still missed them to this day. When I looked back, they really made my sisters and I get along when they were alive.
(Kai Wong 10:58pm December 3, 2012)
Happy Release Day, Melinda. I do enjoy stories with pets. We didn't have any pets growing up and I've only had fish since.
(Jane Cheung 12:18pm December 4, 2012)
Peggy, we have 2 cats and 2 dogs. They all add warmth and love to a house. Good luck to you and your new kitties!
Kai, I LOVED the James Herriot books! The PBS series based on him was also wonderful. I laughed when I read your cat taught you to relax. Cats are exceptionally good at that! Thanks so much for sharing your story today.
Jane, thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the animals in my books.
(Melinda Leigh 8:12am December 4, 2012)
i love books with animals in it especially animals that have saved lives . I have to agree with a comment about Old yeller was a favorite. All my cats I have ever owed have made a major impact on my life .My Cat right now is 7 years old and I don't consider her my pet she is my family/ my baby if it wasn't for her howling every time she can sense my fiance having a seizure I would probably never know he is having one half the time considering my home is go big.
(Danielle McDonald 2:02pm December 4, 2012)
That's amazing, Danielle. I've heard of dogs being trained to alert people to oncoming seizures, but for you untrained cat to do it is incredible. That's one smart feline!
(Melinda Leigh 3:02pm December 4, 2012)
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