Writing Companions: Dogs

My main dog was a Maltese x Shih Shu called Molly that I had for the majority of my childhood. It also seems that dogs are another popular choice for writers proving once and for all that: a dog is a writers best friend.

Helen Keller

Apart from Helen being the famous for being the first deaf-blind mute that lived a well-adjusted life as a person with a disability, Helen became a dog lover in her later life. It was while on a trip to Japan she admired the loyalty of the Akita, and expressed desire about owning one. Before she left, Helen was gifted one but it unfortunately died a 7.5 months old from distemper. Once Japan heard they arranged for Helen to receive his younger brother of the original pup. Kenzan-Go, or Go-Go as Helen affectionately called her, was a loyal companion and brought her endless joy till the day she died. Helen is credited with introducing the breed to America.

John Stienbeck

Having already achieving fame as a writer and after spending the year of 1959 ill, John became aware that life was short and reconsidered how he wanted to spend his last few years. Choosing to spend seven months on the road, re-acquainting himself with the country ‘in search of America’. On his journey he took his 10 year old standard poodle called Charley. The road trip and writing time resulted in Travels with Charley: In Search of America.

Virginia Woolf

Virginia and Pinka

Virginia had two dogs in her lifetime. Pinka (pictured) who was a Cocker Spaniel – who featured on the cover of her novel Flush, and Hans was notorious for interrupting parties by getting sick and peeing on the rug.

Marice Sendak

All writers have their own favourite writers writers that they look up to and admire. For Marice his biggest influence was said to be Herman Melville. The author loved Melville so much that he named his German Sheppard Herman after him. Marice is said to of said ‘Herman Melville is a god!’

Edith Wharton

Edith before she became a novelist

If there is one dog owner to rule them all then Edith Wharton is that owner. She could sit at her desk where she wrote and looked out over a pet cemetery where she can see her dog (Mimi, pictured) gravestone that reads: Died in January of 1902. Although she still had Mimi’s sister Miza (also pictured) as well as her husbands dog, Jules, to keep her company she brought a white Papillon called Mitou because Edith was convinced that the dog would bark, ‘Me too,’ when the other dogs where fed first. She liked Mitzu so much that she got another one and named her Nicette.

Other dog writer lovers:

  • Kurt Vonnegut
  • Frans Kafka
  • Dorothy Parker
  • Donna Tartt
  • Emily Bronte
  • William Faulkner
  • Charles Dickens
  • George Orwell
  • Beatrix Potter
  • Tennessee Williams

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