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 http://polarpug.org/ 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!
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/shelterchallenge.faces?siteId=3 (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!)
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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.