Do you have animals in your stories?
I do. I can't help it. My real life consists of the comic relief of my pets and their crazy personalities, so why shouldn't my characters have the same? It makes them real and believable and readers relate to pets, I think. I do at least.
This is Ruby, my rat terrier. And this is how she spends much of her time. Her backyard is her kingdom, and she'll just stand there, halfway through the doggie door, surveying it before she commits to her hourly fence check. She can do this for some time. Her backyard...and again I say HER backyard...is important to her. We feed birds and squirrels, and she's learned to tolerate that, but they'd better stay on the feeders. Don't let those little feet hit HER grass.
She used to chase cats out, but now she just does this little rushing "psych" thing that makes them run off, I guess because she's getting old and it's just not worth the pain!
We can even leave the back gate wide open on accident, and she may go sniff at the opening, but never leaves. She knows where her bread is buttered. She's got the life!!
So I have a great dane named Roxy in my first book that was inspired by my best friend's dog that is just hysterical. Roxy is a character in her own right. My second book has a big black Labrador named Bojangles. I'm seeing that I tend to go with the big dogs...maybe because they can be clumsy and goofier. I'm not a cat person, so I don't see myself creating a cat character, but who knows...stranger things have happened.
It won't be a rat or a snake. This much, I can guarantee.
Stephanie has a hamster (ick) named Rex in Janet Evanovich's "Plum" novels. Cannie has a rat terrier ( :) ) named Nifkin in Jennifer Weiner's novel Good in Bed. In "Must Love Dogs"...well, obviously, there are dogs.
So tell me about your critters....real and written....and how do you use them in your writing?