Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it? Really? Let’s visit with Deb Gardner Allard and ask her about her constant companion.
QPQ: Introduce us to the pet you’re sharing with us today.
DGA: Meet my rambunctious little friend, Lovey, a miniature poodle. My hubby and I purchased him ten years ago, when he was eight weeks old, from a large adult foster home where the residents bred and cared for nothing but poodles. When we arrived to select him, we watched with candy-faced grins while he and his siblings received bubble baths and grooming under incubator-type warming lamps. At the same time, more than fifteen other poodles of various ages and sizes snuggled on the shoulders and laps of disabled adults who lounged on couches throughout the living room. The residents cuddled and cooed the pups lucky enough to snag prime seats.
QPQ: What a great environment to raise puppies in! Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Lovey’s name?
DGA: Lovey’s name was a no-brainer. He was the most loving furball I’d ever seen. My husband had never been a fan of poodles. He considered them too girly, but Lovey curled up on Brian’s chest that first evening and wouldn’t budge. He melted Brian’s heart. We both wuv our widdle lub dub.
QPQ: Guys can be the biggest push-overs for a puppy, can’t they? How does Lovey help you in your writing?
DGA: Mostly he entertains and pesters me like a three-year-old child hopping back and forth on tiptoes while tugging on a pant leg for attention. He loves to tear the stuffing out of his brand new toys. Then he looks at me with fluff dangling from his lips like, “I didn’t do it!” And of course, whenever he drops his stuffed squirrel into my lap, I’m obligated to play squirrel—a game he devised, where I throw his stuffed squirrel, and he fetches it and places it back in my lap—about a hundred times. But I have to admit, I do chuckle when he watches squirrel TV. He sits in front of our sliding glass doors with his head bobbing back and forth as he follows a bushy-tailed squirrel who taunts him from the deck. But I digress, in answer to your question, I guess the best way he helps me in my writing is by preventing me from getting blood clots from sitting on my rump too long. He jumps up and down or paws at my face when he needs to go potty outside, which is every single time he sees me on a roll, typing with drips of sweat pooling across my brow.
QPQ: I know what you mean about sitting too long, that’s a definite advantage to having a furry friend. Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?
DGA: I wrote our daughter’s pet dachshund into my middle grade novel, Izzy and the Real Truth About Moose Boy. But I had to cut my favorite scene with her in it because—well, you know how it goes—we writers sometimes have to cut our darlings. The scene didn’t move the story forward.
QPQ: Don’t you just hate that? Tell us three things you and Lovey have in common.
DGA: We’re both young at heart and like to play games, we both have a hard time sitting still, and we both pester my dear, sweet hubby.
Thank you for visiting here at the Quid Pro Quills. Where on the web can readers connect with you and your books?
My website, www.debgardnerallard.com.
I have a newly published children’s picture book, Baby Poopsie Loves Ears, a middle grade novel, Izzy and the Real Truth About Moose Boy, and I’m polishing up a young adult novel that is hoping for a publisher.