absolute awesomeness addiction Adversity An Uncommon Whore angels animal rescue animal welfare Anne Kane anxiety aquamarine author corner bad angels bad weather Barbara Elsborg BDSM bdsm romance belinda mcbride BelindaPalooza Belindapendence Belle Starr beverages bisexual bisexual romance Black Planet Blacque/Bleu blog hop Broken Cancer CAPA changeling press characters cherise sinclair China chronic pain Coming Out contests cooking courage craft creativity culinary competion custom art cyber punk Dark Haven deadlines Deeply blog demons depression dog shows dogs Doms of Dark Haven Dos Lunas Dragon's Blood drawings druids election embarrassment EPIC Winner erotic romance erotica expressive writing faith family fantasy fear femme domme fiction Film fire firefighters France free reads full moon futuristic genre hopping ghosts goldenwolfen grand prize greco-roman culture halloween happiness haunted mansions head/desk health heroines hide my head in shame Hong Kong human trafficking Iditarod Inspirational jessica freely Jessica Freely jianne carlo Kate Roman KC Burn Lance Mackey las vegas Last Call Europe lena austin lex valentine LGBT lifestyle linda suzane Lisabet Sarai little Dragon Little Dragon Little Foxes loose Id lost pets love scenes lucky in red lynn lorenz m/m m/m romance Madly martial arts martini mary winter meditation menage romance menege mental illness My Birthday mythology NaNoWriMo New Concepts Publishing new release New Year's Giveaway News nutrition overcoming pack politics paranormal paranormal romance Paris Passion in Print passionate plume pearls personal pet peeves PETA PL Nunn positivity procrastination Rainbow book awards real life release dates Review Risk romance save the quiet kitty science fiction Sele selena illyria shape shifters Sheri Lewis Wohl shunga siberian husky sidhe sierra cartwright slavery smoke snow snowfire: chrysalis space opera speculative fiction St John and St Thomas stupid mistakes succubus survival Suzanne Rock Tara Lain terrorism The Next Big Thing The Romance Reviews Tiger Eyes time off TMI Tony Leung travel Truckee Wolves Truly urban fantasy valentine's day vampires vampiropolis weight weight loss well being werewolves When I Fall wicca wildlife witches wolves World building world events writer's block writer's health writers block writing writing habits yacht
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We've had a shift in our dog yard this month.
For those who don't know, I breed Siberian Huskies, which are considered a primitive breed. By that, we mean that physically, the Siberian hasn't evolved far from it's early wild dog origins. The Siberian is similar in appearance and behavior to their wild cousins, the wolves. No, they are not wolves, there are some distinct differences. For example, a wolf would never, ever pull a dogsled. They are xenophobic, meaning they are afraid of that which is strange or different. But the Siberian Husky's social behavior is so similar to wolf packs, that I do use them as reference when I write shifter books. Belle Starr, Toxic, and LCE: Siberian Husky were all based on the behaviors and personalities of my dogs. (Someday I'll post photos of the dogs and run a contest on what dog influenced what character!)
On December 22, my 4 girls slipped out of the yard when a visiting handyman left the gate open. When Siberians get loose, their number 1 priority is to run fast, run hard, and wreak as much havoc as possible along the way. Thankfully, Missy and Pai Mei were located the next morning. They are retired show dogs and unafraid of friendly humans. The problem was with River and Poppy.
River and Poppy are from imported bloodlines. Their father is a well-known lead dog, he's run the Iditarod several times. Unlike my show dogs, these two are very shy and fearful of strangers, plus they can run like the wind. After 6 days, River found her way home. Now we're on day 11 with no sign of Poppy. Given the efforts we've made, it doesn't look good for her.
Like a wolf pack, our dogs have a clear social structure. Levi is my male alpha, and Missy is the female alpha. I have only two boys, so there isn't a lot of conflict there, but among the 4 girls, they square off all the time. Missy and her daughter Pai Mei stand against River and her sister Poppy. And it must be noted that Poppy was our omega girl, the very bottom dog.
You wouldn't think that the loss of an omega would impact things greatly, but since Poppy's been gone, River has gracefully submitted to Missy, and there is peace among the three girls. There is no more pre-dawn barking and the spontaneous group howling has stopped. Meal time is almost easy now. Levi is continually anxious, wandering around searching for the lost girl, and River is extremely needy. She wants to be in the house all the time. There have been other changes, some good and some bad. So far, a new omega hasn't emerged, but I imagine it will be River.
I suppose that the lesson I've taken from this is that the most insignificant-seeming member of society has a role to play. Poppy was the clown, the pleaser, and oddly enough, the instigator. I don't think she meant to keep things stirred up, but that's what she did. And while I appreciate the relative peace that's come with her absence, I do miss her. She is a bright little girl who has a heart of gold.
My love in writing is strong heroines, and in her way, Poppy is a strong personality. This gives me a new way of looking at my characters. Since I'm doing a lot of shape-shifter stories, I'll be looking closer at the lesser members of the pack, rather than just the alpha and betas. And in some way, River and Poppy will put their imprint on the characters...even if they do it by stepping on the keyboard when I'm writing...