12 December, 2012 / General

Why Every Writer Should Own a Dog… (or perhaps a goldfish)

meet-jack1-224x300It took a ton of nagging before I agreed to get a canine companion – but after Jack moved in, I realised I’d been mad not to do it years before. I’m not making light of the huge commitment involved. But if you can offer company, walks, affection and all the things that keep dogs – and humans – perky and happy, then, in my experience it’s a wonderful thing. Here’s why…
– Someone to talk to… who doesn’t talk back. Writing can be a lonely business. I love having Jack plonked at my feet, or nudging my hand off the mouse when walk time is upon us.
Fresh air, exercise and all that health-giving stuff… Writers tend to spend ridiculous amounts of time holed up in gloomy little rooms, hunched over keyboards, often surviving on coffee and random bits grabbed from the fridge. Before I had a dog, ‘taking a break’ meant fiddling about on Facebook and Twitter. But a dog has to go out, which requires the shifting of the butt. Then you remember that the outside world still exists.
A dog helps to write your book… Yes, really. Often, after a brisk forty-minute walk with Jack, an annoying plot problem will have miraculously untangled itself.
All the stroking and cuddling that goes on… What is it about stroking an animal that lifts your mood instantly? I have no idea – but it does. Sometimes I write on my laptop stretched out on the sofa with Jack curled up at my feet as a sort of living, breathing foot-warmer. He’s good like that.



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