Pet Spotlight: Donna Andrews

photoWell, I don’t own any pets, but I am a pet aunt.

Name: Ginger (nicknames Gingie and The Ginge)

Breed: Shih tzu

Age: about two and a half

How she became part of my life? My brother’s family gave in to the nephews’ begging for a dog, and my sister-in-law’s research showed that Shih tzus tended to have the right kind of temperament to be good family dogs, and were less apt to cause allergy problems. And of course when the family travels anywhere that they can’t take a dog, I’m the most logical dogsitter.

How has she changed my life? She has readjusted my attitude about small dogs. Spike, AKA the Small Evil One, the dog in my series, pretty much sums up my previous experience with small, yappy dogs. Ginger, while definitely small and sometimes yappy, is way too nice to serve as a model for Spike’s continuing adventures. She does consider herself the queen of the family, but she is a benevolent despot, and very patient with her subjects’ failings.

Bad habits? She’s only MOSTLY housebroken. She barks copiously, in a sharp, peremptory, staccato fashion, whenever she sees passersby, birds and animals, or interesting things on TV. Or whenever she needs anything, like to be let out for the fourteenth time this hour, or let in again after five minutes. She cannot be trusted around tissues and paper towels. But you have to love a dog that greets you every time she sees you as if you were the one person in the world she has been waiting for all her life. Even if you know she would react the same way to a perfect stranger: she is one of the most trusting and affectionate dogs I’ve ever seen, and always eager to greet visitors. In fact, we worry sometimes, because she has been known to spot the mailman at the end of the block and bolt off in his direction. She’s a bit of a Velcro dog–she’s staying with my this weekend, spending most of the weekend sitting on the foot of my recliner while I read or in a chair next to mine when I’m working at my desk. I would write more, but I hear her scratching at the sliding glass door–if I run to open it quickly, I can avoid The Bark.

Donna Andrews

Donna Andrews was born in Yorktown, Virginia, the setting of Murder with Peacocks and Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos, and now lives and works in Reston, Virginia. When not writing fiction, Andrews is a self-confessed nerd, rarely found away from her computer, unless she’s messing in the garden. Her latest is The Good, The Bad and The Emus,