Sunday, May 6, 2012

Authors and Their Pets day 1 with Dani Harper and her pets

Please welcome Dani Harper and her pets

“Life with author Dani Harper “
         an Exclusive by Fiona the Pug
My name is Fiona the Pug and I’m the executive secretary for author Dani Harper. I’ve held this position for four years now, ever since Dani traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to adopt me from the kind people at Polar Pug Rescue. Until then, I’d spent most of my life in a cage having puppies. (I’ve been afraid of cages ever since!)
When I came home with Dani, my whole life changed. Hers did too – she just didn’t realize it yet. Writers require special care you see, and I’m a very good caretaker. I showed her my skills right away by taking care of her very old pug, Scooby. He’d been her Official Muse for years and years, but he couldn’t hear or see much anymore. I helped him by leading him around and helping him to not get lost. I told him when the family came home so he could be excited too. And I sat by his bowl and made sure he ate because he kept forgetting. It helped Dani a lot because she didn’t have to worry so much about her old friend.

When Scooby passed away, we were all very sad. I made sure I sat next to Dani when she wrote, so she would always have a warm furry armrest, just like Scooby had done for her. And it was definitely time to get her moving more! Like I said, writers need a lot of care. So I worked at getting her away from her laptop regularly. I would suddenly “have” to go outside, and then I would “have” to come in. We went walking along the hiking trails every day, and my very favorite place is the beach (I’d never seen one before in my whole life. I just can’t resist running and running when my feet touch sand!)

Guarding the writer is part of my job as executive secretary. Writers have to be protected from interruptions such as the Evil Paperboy on weeknights, and the Invasion of the Garbage Snatchers on Friday mornings. I have to keep my eye on the TV as well. There are all kinds of creatures on it. I bark at them all, but especially at horses and camels. You just can’t trust camels!

White noise is very important. It helps writers concentrate by blocking out outside noises, but it has to be constant, rhythmic and steady in order to work. As a pug, I’m naturally equipped to create useful white noise, although it’s usually mistaken for snoring and wheezing.

My most important job as an executive secretary is to listen to Dani’s ideas. A writer needs a sounding board to see how a story should develop. I lean my head to one side to show that I’m paying close attention. And sometimes when the story isn’t going well, I lick Dani’s elbow while she’s typing or rest my chin on the keyboard. Just to encourage her.

It’s a lot of work looking after a writer. I was so glad when Dani went back to Polar Pug Rescue and adopted an assistant for me. I don’t think she understood quite what I was looking for, however. Toby doesn’t take dictation at all, and he makes terrible coffee. He had a pretty rough life though – he’d been hit by a car and had a broken leg when he got rescued. He’s all better now, but he’s still very young and inexperienced – a big puppy really. In fact, I’ve ended up being his mom. I don’t really mind too much, though. He has other talents. Writers need lots of love and he is definitely a “weapon of mass affection”. Also, writers need to laugh regularly so they don’t take their work too seriously. Toby and I play tag around the living room and steal toys from each other to entertain our writer and keep her mentally healthy. We also make sure to scatter toys from one end of the house to the other – it’s good exercise for Dani to pick them all up every day. Writers have to stay flexible.

Now as Dani’s right hand pug, I know all her secrets. Of course I’m not going to reveal – cheese? Is that cheese in your hand? Really? Well, maybe I could let you in on a few little things. Nothing important, mind you but – omigosh, I loooove cheese. *whispers* Okay, here’s the dirt – Dani is a pillow monster. I mean it, she has FOUR on her side of the bed, and she’s negotiating for five. She says that they’re for sitting up and reading, but I have it on good authority that she makes a nest out of them at night. I mean, that’s what any self-respecting pug would do with them, right? 

Ahem, I have to go now. I see Dani is opening up her laptop in the kitchen. Toby! We’re on duty now – check the living room window and see if the garbage truck is coming…

PS – PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS. If you would like to check out Polar Pug Rescue in Anchorage, Alaska, go to  They accept PayPal donations if you want to help with the medical expenses that so many of their foster dogs have. If you can’t donate, please consider going to this animal rescue site and VOTING for Polar Pug Rescue!  It may help them to get a grant. Thanks!  (The only info you have to type in is “Polar Pug” and then select the state of Alaska. It’ll bring up a voting button for Polar Pug Rescue of Alaska!)
* * * * * *
GIVEAWAY – Dani is offering a signed copy of her latest PNR release, Changeling Dawn, plus a tote bag to put it in! Just leave a comment that has something to do with pets (Fiona says she would prefer something about pugs, but we’ll open this up to ANY pets – not everyone is lucky enough to be a pug!)  Draw closes at midnight EST on May 13th and a winner will be chosen at random on May 14th.


  1. What an adorable post and pics. I think it's fantastic that Dani has gotten both of her pugs from a rescue organization. There are so many animals out there that need good homes. Unfortunately, I'm wildly allergic to both cats and dogs, so I can't have any pets of my own but I love reading about them. Fiona, you sound like you are doing a great job taking care of your human. Keep up the good work and keep her writing. I really liked the first book of the Changeling series although I haven't yet read the others.


  2. Love it, espeacially with Toby being a weapon of mass affection! I've always had rescue pets, my last dog Daine (R.I.P) was from a dogs home and my current dog Jess was abandoned near my Uncle's work yard, he was going to be dropping her off at a dog's home but we got her first!

    suzi1811 (at) fsmail (dot) net

  3. This was the greatest post I have seen!!! Congratulations Dani, Toby and Fiona too.
    I got my pets, 2 beautiful kittens, outside my house, found them hiding under our shed where their Mama had abandoned them after giving birth. I loved them so much!
    To this day when I talk of them I cry. Not that they died in a bad way, no they died of old age with us. I miss them still.

  4. Your pugs are gorgeous! We are the servants of a black and white cat named Aggi. If we are very good and produce organic chicken or turkey on a regular basis she lets us think we are in charge for a while! If the book is available for International readers that would be lovely.

  5. Yes! The giveaway is international! Sorry I forgot to include that info.

  6. Thanks Fiona for the great write-up! I am a board member of Polar Pug Rescue, and I wanted you to know that so many people voted for us that we won the grant here in Alaska!

  7. lol, I am a pillow nester too!! don't enter me in the give away, just wanted to give some love :)

  8. *No need to enter me..I have this book :)

    The pugs are soooo cute!!! I loved this post and the pics too. Both of my dogs are rescues/adoptees. One is 10 and a mixed breed, adopted from a neighbor who would not take care of her. The other is a Peakie (somewhere about 7) who I adopted from a friend who had been given her but did not want her. I think she was used in a puppy mill too. They are both spoiled rotten, and leave their toys scattered through the house and back yard like a couple of toddlers, lol.

  9. That was a great post. My friend has 2 pugs and they are both very affectionate. Her big faun colored pug is just like a big Teddy bear.

  10. This was a delightful post, pugs are so cute. I've been more into kitties than dogs, but at the moment I don't have any pets. I adopted my cats from the shelter I used to volunteer at, but I lost the last two (about 6 months apart) a year ago and have decided to wait a while before I get any more. I will be a pet parent again at some point, definitely will adopt from a shelter, but not yet.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  11. OMG! Toby and Fiona are so sweet! My daughter loves pugs. Thank you for sharing! I have a little mutt. We adopted her nearly 3 years ago and we just love her to pieces. jepebATverizonDOTnet

  12. Thanks for the great comments - I LOVE hearing about everyone's pets! Really glad that you liked Fiona's "exclusive" -- she's already asking me when she can do another one (I think she's come up with more secrets to tell!)

  13. How adorable Toby and Fiona are. Great post. Fiona is a Godsend for you Dani. What would your day be like with out Fiona's assistance. :)
    We don't have any animals but our neighbors across the street have 2 Pugs named Petey and Mags. My daughter loves them to death. They are so lovable twirling on their hind feet when they see her. lol
    Thanks for sharing them with us Dani.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  14. Oh my gosh! They are so rolly polly:) Fiona is a wise pug, and I'm sure she'll train Toby to be the same way. I only have cats, and they like to sit on the arm of my chair and clean themselves, occasionally trying to clean me. Fat Daisy tends to fall off because she's kind of rolly polly too.

  15. What a couple of cuties! We have a neighbor with a pug and that dog is always busy. He's got to check everthing out first! My husband and I are into big dogs. We have 3 Great Danes. Each one was abandoned in one way or another by their previous owner but they are the joys of our lives. My in-laws call them The Granddogs!

  16. Your Toby looks just like my Guinness! He is 4 years old and still acts like a puppy. He eats the kids toys, loves smelly socks, and of course shoes.
    Lmackesy @

  17. I loved this post it sounds like Fiona takes good care of you Ms. Harper and she sounds likes she's a real character, I think pugs are cute and I just couldn't stop laughing at some of the parts of this post.

    We unfortunately live in a reasonably strict "no pets" house right now but before that we lived with of the best pets a family of four could've asked for his name was Inuyasha and we all called him Yashie, he was a pomeranian/daschund mix and he was adorable when we first got him.

    Fiona sounds like she's pretty protective of you and that's how Yashie was with us it seemed like he was especially protective of my mom and me, we all miss him terribly but we hang to the hope that he got a good home after he had us.

    Who knew dangling cheese in front of a pug could wield so much information?.

    Again awesome post, and I'm looking forward to possibility that you'll let her do another one soon.

    The books sounds intriguing too! Thanks for the chance to win it!

  18. We had a pug called Zowie when I was growing up and she was virtually my fur-sister as I didn't have any other 'human' siblings. They are such funny and personality packed dogs. We still miss her to this day......

  19. I've never had a pug, but they are adorable. We tend to go for big dogs. A lot of people don't take these from shelters.


  20. Cute really, i like how dedicated Fiona was and still is.
    My dog isn't a pug but he could have been a nurse or something because he is so kind and take care of others humans or not. He saved my life but to stay with animals... he loves running near the pigeons ( birds ( not sure of teh translations but in french it's pigeons) to make them fly. Not to hurt them he just loves seeing them fly. Once we were walking and crossed a road, near a house there was one pigeon and my dog instead of jumping fell on the floor crying and making small noises. he didn't want to move and kept looking at me and the bird. I'm too emotional, when i saw the bird with an hole in his wing and flank so bloody i was thinkin g i can't do anything i will just de devasttated. But it's a place where young go and i was afraid they were going to shot in him.So i managed to get my dog home ( nearly had to carry him all the way) and run back quickly with a something to carry the bird without hurting him. I spend at least 2h at the table to take the feathers out of injury to be able to see the real damage and to heal him all that time my dog was sitting next to me the nose nearly on the bird and listening to all i was saying.
    After that i put the bird in a quiet place, when to buy food for him and all. Each day during his convalescence my dog went to see him and as not to scare him he was making a lot of noose with his pawns to which the bird asnwered by a small typical sound.. It took 4 month but we managed to heal him enough to try to see if he could fly with his healed wing and all... you should have seen my dog following all at first in case he fell to catch him. a wonderful assistant and now when we have a barbecue there is special bird that fly low above my dog head before going in a tree near and staying there as long as us.

    thanks you a lot for the giveaway


  21. Those pugs are adorable! I've always loved dogs but admit the pugs breed have been under the radar. But they look so cute here :) Fun post.


  22. Hi Danni ! Your post has moved me into tears . It is very terrible when horrible people and factory forced certain female dogs to do the breeding as a breeding factory . It is the most disgusting thing ever:(. I am glad to see the dogs you rescue were well loved . Loved their pictures abd their story :). True every writer needs a dog as a best friend even me I think I'll need a dog one day:)

  23. How freaking cute!! I loved him talking about Scooby, it was cute and sad and I loved it. lol

  24. Very cute dogs. I don't have any pets, but it'd be nice to have a dog.


  25. Pugs have a steady and consistent temperament, and they were bred 3,000 years ago or so in China for one job: to be a companion. They do it wonderfully. All they want is to be with their human. This isn't a dog to leave alone all day unless you have two, however. They NEED their people! Also definitely a housedog - this is not a dog to tie in the yard (you'd think that would be obvious, but I've seen it). They have a few health concerns because of their squashy faces (heat-sensitive, breathing issues) and they SHED like ten dogs all year round, but other than that, they're great.

  26. I have always LOVED Pugs. They are so cute! My neighbor has a beautiful girl pug and I always threaten to steal her, but she drools a lot over everything. Is that pug thing? I have never had a pug, but I would LOVE to have one. Something about their cute little round smooshed faces, round bodies, and short legs. :D

  27. That surprises me -- drooling is NOT a pug thing. None of my pugs (I've had five) have ever drooled. I would be concerned that the poor little pug has problems with her teeth. Or maybe there's some anomoly in the way her mouth is shaped.

  28. Sorry Im a day late! FANTASTIC entertaining post, Dani! I loved it!

    My Baby Evy is a rescued Brussels Griffon and an absolute life-saver. I lost my family and everything in March 2011, and then had a major fall in May. Months later I was in the worse depressed state possible. A friend convinced me that I needed a pet ---which I refused to agree to ---and she kept pestering me until I gave in and we went searching. Baby Evy is an absolute handful, requires 24/7 attention, and keeps me so busy that I dont have time to be depressed. I havent laughed so much in a long time. She keeps me laughing and gives unconditional love. Like I said: a real life-saver.

    Thanks for sharing yours! Lots of Hugs, Kari Thomas,

  29. Toby and Fiona are so cute. I bet you want to hug them all the time. :)

  30. I've had so many hamsters and fishes in the past! But all of them, well, they all died. I don't really like small animals, but since my mom is scared of the bigger ones, my sisters and I are only permitted to adopt the smaller ones, so my sister used to bring home many hamsters. But I guess my sisters and I lack the commitment to take care of animals.

    But still, I love dogs!! And I think my pets would've fared much better if they were dogs.. ^^" Haha, anyway, thanks for sharing!



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