Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pets Rule!

I’m Linda O. Johnston, and I love animals!

When I was asked to join the Killer Hobbies blog, my first reaction was excitement. It sounded like fun!

My second reaction was... well, do I really belong there? I mean, sure, we all write mysteries that revolve around particular pastimes, but pets aren’t hobbies. They’re family.

My third reaction was to think over the hobbies reflected by my fellow bloggers and their mysteries. Most of those pursuits might be inanimate, but they consume time, energy, and a whole lot of love. Otherwise, why engage in them?

So, yes, I think I belong here.

Hopefully, my adoration of animals is reflected in my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. I’m a lawyer who lives in the Hollywood Hills, and I have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the younger of whom is a tricolor named Lexie. Kendra is a lawyer who lives in the Hollywood Hills, and her tricolor Cavalier is also named Lexie. What a coincidence!

I have to admit I don’t have as much time for leisure activities these days as I used to, since I recently took on a part-time law job. But when I’m home, I love to write and to play with my pups.

So why write about a lawyer who becomes a pet-sitter? Isn’t that a bit far out to be believable?

Well, Kendra doesn’t think so. And, yes, I sometimes write about her as if she were a real person, since she’s a kind of alter ego. She reflects a lot of characteristics I sometimes wish I had, and a lot I’m glad I don’t have. She’s a litigator; I’m a real estate attorney and, although I admire those who go to court, I find that part of the practice of law much too frustrating.

Kendra’s determined to make the best out of bad situations. Plus, she, too, loves animals. All kinds of animals. Those she’s sat so far include many dogs, a few cats, plus ferrets, a Blue and Gold Macaw, a ball python, and a pot-bellied pig. She’ll soon take on an iguana. Her current adventure, published just this month, is MEOW IS FOR MURDER.

Kendra’s Lexie is a whole lot better behaved than mine is. I admit it. When Kendra tells her to stay in the car without barking or, generally, to behave, her Lexie obeys.

Mine gets away with a lot. We actually have two Cavaliers. The older one is Sparquie. Lexie and Sparquie are good friends and conspirators. When one has an accident in the house (which, fortunately, isn’t often), they both act guilty so it’s hard to punish either one.

My older son, Eric, has bought us the Dog Whisperer’s book. I’ve watched the Dog Whisperer on TV, too. Sure, I admire him and how he gets other people’s dogs to mend their ways, stop their bad habits and all. But to do that, he treats the dogs like... dogs!

My husband Fred and I are so-called empty nesters. That means our human kids--our sons Eric and Keith--are adults and live on their own. Fortunately, our fur kids are still around. Fred and I have been together for quite a few years. I’ve had Cavalier King Charles Spaniels longer than I’ve had Fred. He had to accept my first Cavalier, Pandaemonium (Panda for short) before I could fully accept him into my life. Panda and Fred had a lot of friction between them at first. I’ll save all that for another blog!



Deb Baker said...

I love animals! On a sad note, we had to put our 14 year old Border Collie down yesterday. For the last year, I knew every day with him was a gift.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Oh, Deb, I'm so sorry. Even when the end is anticipated, it's hard to let go. Hugs.


caryn st.clair said...

I'm not familiar with your books, but I will look for them thenext time I am in a store. We currently have one boarder collie/something mix, Peabody. He has the coloring of a BC with the body shape of an Austraian Shepard, but silky hair like spaniels, so who knows what he is aside from being a great dog!
Also in residence are two cats, Elsa and Loki.
As our 3 human kids grew up, we had just about every kind of pet imagineable I think, so I'll be interested in the books and your blog.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Your pets sound like fun, Caryn. I like their names. And Peabody sounds particularly special!