Sometimes, I don't know what I'd do without the furry muses I've had in my life. Over the years, they've kept me company, offered me diversions, and assured me that a wagging tale and a sloppy kiss are excellent antidotes for the poisonous bite of a rejection or a rough review.
The dogs I've adopted (nearly all from rescue groups) have taught me that steadfastness, in the long run, trumps the highwire excitement some people seem to crave. They've taught me that consistency and understanding can salvage a project others have discarded and turn it into something treasured. They've taught me the world is a subjective place, and that viewed through the lenses of love, the ugly can grow beautiful and the useless indispensible.
Is it any wonder that writers, who face so much rejection daily, have such soft hearts for animals? And especially for the underdogs, who symbolize our own struggles against heartrending odds.
I'm posting a photo of Zippy, a Humane Society "bounce-back" who had already been through at least two homes when we adopted her. She's turned out to be a terrific little mutt, a high-energy cuddler who makes us laugh every day.
I welcome you to share stories and pictures of your hairy muses in the comments section. I'd love to hear about them!