Monday, October 27, 2008

Gone To the Dogs

Pam Hillman here.

I called a fellow Seeker a dog this past week. I’m not proud of it, but it did generate a fresh idea for a blog, so all’s well that ends well, right? And I’m sure she’s forgiven me. We’ll see. If she doesn’t growl at me too much this week, I’m safe.

In my defense, I meant it as a compliment.


Anyway, the comment, and later several other remarks about our pets in general, got me to thinking about my writing and my relationships in the writing world.

Weird, but true.

If I were a dog, what kind of dog would I be? I mean Snoopy is an unpublished author, right? But nobody knows for sure what kind of dog Snoopy is. He’s sort of a mixed breed, isn’t he? So, I can’t really claim to be like Snoopy, can I? So, what am I?

Uh…I think I’m a mixed breed too.

I’m tenacious. I don’t easily give up. There are very few ventures in my life that I’ve washed my hands of before I’ve finished. So, maybe I’ve got a bit of pit bull in me. But I’m also kinda shy around strangers. It takes me a while to get to know someone. But I’ll do pretty much anything if someone praises my work and offers me treats (a contest win or a contract). lol

I asked fellow Seekers this question and received some fun answers. Julie Lessman said, “I'd be a golden retriever and pit bull mix -- I'm friendly and nice and maybe even a little bit simple until somebody gets in my face, and then let's just say I hope they've had their shots! And it's the same with my writing ... I like the bright-eyed, tail-wagging affection and emotion of romance with a little teeth in it and maybe even an occasional bite.”

Knowing Julie, I thought her observation was pretty accurate. I can see her as a friendly retriever, but also as a pit bull when riled. The funny thing is that when Julie took the dogster quiz after she pegged herself, the quiz identified her as a Chihuahua. At first glance, I thought, no way! Julie is not a Chihuahua! But then, she does have the high energy and is easily excited like the breed, so maybe the quiz wasn’t so far off after all.

Glynna Sirpliss responded, “I'm probably a terrier. Faithful and tenacious. Hanging on to my writing dream despite all the adversities life has slam-dunked me with.”

Great observation, Glynna. From what I’ve heard, terrier’s are tenacious. So, sink your teeth into that dream and don’t let go. You’ll wrestle it into submission someday!

“I would be a Labrador retriever/blood hound cross,” Mary Connealy responded. “I have about that same temperament as the dog on the Beverly Hillbillies. Remember him? They lifted his skin up but his body would just stay immobile? And the golden retriever? Desperate for approval and when people kick me (metaphorically) I tend to roll over on my back and whine instead of biting them in the ankle.”

Laughing out loud, Mary. Oh, I must be part Labrador retriever too. As a matter of fact, I wanted a picture of my chocolate Lab and myself to post today, but if I touch Ruby, she drops and rolls. She’s a sweetie, but getting pictures is like pulling teeth with her. Oh, guess what the dogster quiz labeled Mary? A Labrador retriever!

I’m a Golden retriever…or “the charmer” on Dogster. Yeah, that fits. I’m a hound on SixWise’s “If you were a dog, what kind would you be?” site. Well, that works too, I suppose. I am kinda lazy and laid back like that Beverly Hillbillies hound, Mary!

I loved Myra Johnson’s answer. This comes from a true animal lover who knows her breeds! Myra said, “I would be a greyhound. They are introverted, calm and quiet, polite and considerate of others, but also fearful and timid around strangers, and sensitive to stress and change. They need peace and harmony. A greyhound is an independent thinker and somewhat manipulative. This all pretty much describes me, in general and as a writer.”

Myra told me that she shares a home with a yellow Lab mix (probably the other half is something bloodhound-ish) and a border collie mix. Before that, Myra had a greyhound that she loved, saying she was probably the best dog they ever had. (But don’t tell the Lab. It’ll be our little secret.)

Lots more Seekers sat up and begged to be quoted in this blog, but there was only room for a few Best of Show. But never fear! The Comment section is open and waiting to find out just what kind of dog you are. So, let’s start talking.

What kind of dog are you? Do you aggressively pounce on your editor? Do you growl when your critique partners rip your ms. to shreds? Or do you roll over and play dead when someone hurts your feelings? Do you bounce into the fray, or hover around the edges?

Once you’ve answered the questions in your own words, feel free to visit dogster quiz or SixWise “If you were a dog…” and answer the questions to see how close you are in your own assessment of your doggie personality. You’ll need to enter an email address for both of these quizzes. Just letting you know ahead of time if you’d rather not leave an address.

Can’t wait to see what kind of dogs hang out here in Seekerville!


  1. Oh Pamster, This is sooooo funny. I didn't see the request for the quiz, but I'd guess I was a Labrador Retriever too. Only because we've always had some sort of Lab mix in our family and they've rubbed off on me. smile. But I'll take the quiz to find out.

    Thanks for bringing some fun and a laugh into the mix. Now for a treat -- would we be wanting doggy biscuits. Naaaah.

    How about some yummy cranberry scones and pumpkin spiced coffee? Just the smells will whet your appetite and then we'll be drooling like a real pup.

  2. GRIN. Pammy, this is such a FUN post today -- the purrrrfect (a little cat tweak there) start to a great week!

    I'm not especially fond of being referred to as a "dog," as it's a little too close to my teenage years for comfort (no, I didn't bay at the moon, but enough guys sure acted like I did!!), but the quiz was sooo fun to take. Of course, I have always hated chihuahuas (my type, according to the doggie quiz) because they are such yappers, which I am definitely not (no comment, Ruthy, please). But oh well, it's way better than being a sharpei with ALL that loose skin screaming to the other dogs just how many dog years you are. :)


  3. Yum! Sandra, those scones sound wonderful. Bring 'em on!

    I think a Lab fits you perfectly.

  4. Julie, rolling on floor laughing. A Chihuahau? That is too funny!

    And a Sharpei? I wonder what kind of personality a Sharpei author has? Okay, going out on a limb here.

    A Sharpei author is a male author who's been in the business for fifty-gazillion years. He's steadily plodding along.

    He's a good writer, but not flashy nor NYT bestseller, but he does bring in enough Kibbles-N-Bits to keep the pups fed twice a day.

    And he's cuddly.

  5. This is hilarious!! You guys are such a fun group!!


  6. We've had two dogs in our lives.

    A border collie and an Australian Shepherd.

    The border collie is supposed to be the smartest dog alive. To me the dog was a twit. He had this frantic UTTER focus on me when I'd walk out and he'd never quit moving and whining running back and forth but always with his eyes on me as if BEGGING me to find sheep for him to herd.
    He used to herd my children, who were really little back then. They really hated that dog.
    He started eating the neighbor's chickens and didn't last long.

    The Australian shepherd was better, calmer. He was supposed to be a top notch cattle dog but we never trained him properly but my husband put up with him and the cattle because Dingo would at least come back when Ivan called him. The border collie? Forget about it. He'd go crazy, plunge into the cow herd barking and scatter them in all directions.

    I think maybe my husband likes me just like he liked the shepherd. I'm a mostly untrained but I do obey simple commands.

    Oh, and Julie...yikes...I just realized that, when I look in the mirror in the morning lately, I'm looking at a Sharpei

  7. Mary, we had Border Collie's when I was a kid. They weren't well trained, but they would swim out into the pond to get the dairy cows at milking time, so they were worth their weight in free milk!

    The first one was named Dixie because that was the mascot (a cow) at the co. where we sold our milk.

    Our Dixie was a pure-bred Border Collie. She was a good dog, but a little finicky as far as plunging into the pond after the cows.

    Now, her babies were mixed breed Border Collie's and what-evers.

    Her baby Buster was the best "pond-getter" we ever had. He loved to get a free ski ride on some cow's tail.

    Hmmm, writing related. Uh, I've seen a few authors who think networking is all about free rides. Usually, this tends to back-fire as in poor Buster getting kicked upside the head a few times. But it still didn't stop him from the thrill of the chase!

    However, I don't imagine those Holsteins had memories as long as industry professionals...and even if they did, they sure didn't have the clout editors and agents have. Ahem.

    Mary, the Sharpei.

    Hmmm, if some of us give each other funny looks at the next conference, we'll know why! lol

  8. Turns out...I'm a Bulldog???

    The Comedian

    You may look like the troublemaker of the pack, but it turns out your tough guy mug is worse than its bite. You're really a softie, loyal to your friends and family and A-OK with meeting new pooches, but you prefer to do so with a high-five instead of a paw-shake. Proud of your great sense of humor, you've got a whole litter of jokes you draw from to keep the mood playful and the positive energy alive. A perfect afternoon for you involves a leisurely stroll with a pal, followed by a little downtime in an easy chair with a frosty can of brew and a remote control within easy fetching distance. You shed accusations of being lazy, knowing perfectly well that you're kenneling the energy you might need for... well... something.

    FAMOUS BULLDOGS: Ellen DeGeneres, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Black, George W. Bush

    LIKELY PROFESSIONS: Comedian, Firefighter, Racecar Driver, Bartender

    Who knew?

    Very Fun Quiz. :)

    Guess if the writing thing doesn't work out, I'll try NASCAR. :)

  9. Pam, You're right. I am a Labrador Retreiver.

    Sorry about the post. I hit the wrong button and it posted. It was supposed to go to the button that said when to post. Sigh. This poor Lab does well retrieving frisbees, but can't work a computer.

  10. Ahem!

    Just so everyone knows the FACTS, Pammers, I'm NOT a Rottweiler, although I've been designated as such by a certain Seeker this past week.

    I only sound like a Rottie...


    And Snoopy's a beagle, Pam.


    Everyone knows that. I can even sing the entire Snoopy and The Red Baron Christmas song. Who can't???

    Well I train and breed Golden Retrievers and Golden Doodles because I love curly, red dogs, but I think I've got a dose of that Rottweiler when necessary, so how about a good natured mutt that protects her own?

    And, um, Julie...

    Not for nothin', Cupcake, but I'd throw in a teensy bit of Bichon or Shih Tzu or Pomerainian into you. A touch high maintenance, if you know what I mean.

    With the Golden and the pit bull (American Staffordshire Terrier, really, right? Something like that...).

    Pam, too fun. Now go back and check your Snoopy facts. After all the Snoopy-dancing we've done for people, too.

    Oy vey.


    Sandra, I'm kind of glad you bumped her because you KNOW I love Snickerdoodles.

    Oh, Mylanta, they're wonderful and this coffee????

    To die for.

    Thank you, thank you. Pammers forgot the food.

  11. I'm a Chihuahua?!

    No way. My first thought was like Julie's. I'm a golden retriever. I'd leave out the pit bull part. Not necessary. Retrievers have very nice bicuspids.

  12. Tony Hillerman died.

    He wrote all those great Navahoe mystery books like Skinwalker. If you've never read them you should.


  13. Also I have a migraine, which I am prone to. It's not too bad.

    Just feel sorry for myself.

    I may be a mope-y Bassett Hound.

  14. Chuckling over the post and then read Mary's note about Tony Hillerman. He was a great writer. We lived in the middle of the Mojave Desert for two years so his stories surrounded me throughout that time. In honor of him, I'll be a coyote. They used to wander the desert around our house. We'd see them everything.

    Sly, cunning, that's me. Really, the coyotes in our neighborhood were scavengers that preyed on small pets. Not very heroic!

    Thanks for a fun post, Pam!
    God bless, Tony!

  15. What fun, Pam! We've gone to the dogs [sorry] : )

    The members of my family tend to choose dogs REAL SIMILAR to their personalities, but it takes me, the honest matriarch to point it out.

    My husband only has Chesapeake Bay Retreivers -- smart, loyal, lovable.

    Daughter has a Corgi -- knothead, stubborn, mouthy and cantankerous.

    Son has a Coonhound -- goofy, lazy, chowhound.

    Me? I think I'm our family Chow-bil - That's Heinz 57 but primarily Chow and Gerbil. Overweight, protective, loves-who-holds-the-kibble, a loaf, and I love my back scratched : )

    A Chow-bil will flump down in front of any unsuspecting editor and lay at their feet until prompted to move on to another publishing house. A Chow-bil is eager to please and will re-write until the computer keys are worn out. Chow-bils love people and accept any invitation to come out and play.

    Now I'll mozy on over to the quizzes and probably find out I'm a Chihuahua, too. Or worse, an entire litter of Sharpeis. Yikes!

    Great topic, Pam. What a hoot!

  16. Ruthy, Sandra did offer scones early on, but I think we woofed 'em up before you got here.

    But just in case you're still hungry, have some of this pumpkin spice roll with cream cheese filling.


    Patricia, you're a Chihauhau too? Who'da thunk it? Go over there and sit by Julie.

    Any poodles yet?

  17. The Quiz says I'm a Labrador. A Lab! Have you ever met a Lab with ADD???

    First time for everything, I guess. . .

  18. How sad about Tony Hillerman. He was a wonderful writer. I had not heard that today, Mary. Thanks for letting us know.

    Now, Audra, that's what I'm talking about. Throw a few treats my way and I'm your devoted puppy-writer forever...well, at least until someone with steak (medium-rare, please) comes along. lol

    And don't forget to come back and tell us what kind of dog...uh...writer you really are!

  19. Oops, Audra beat me to the punch. So, what's the deal with Labs? Are they just more geared toward penmanship than other breeds?

    With the exception of our two Chihuahuas, we're mostly Labs.

    Obviously, this deserves some serious contemplation.

    Do you think we could get a government grant for ... oh... 1/2 a billion or so to study the direct relationship between Labrador Retrievers and authors?

  20. You might have something there, Pam. They've handed out grants for much weirder things : )

  21. Hmm, the other quiz, Six Wise, labels me a hound. See? Chow-bil isn't too far off, LOL!

  22. Audra, I did meet a lab with ADD. We rescued him from the pound. He was golden lab/greyhound mix and had the attention span of a flea. So funny. He loved to chase bird shadows--not the birds but their shadows. We took him to dog beach in San Diego and a pelican flew down the beach. Well Beau took off after his shadow and became a speck in the distance. We thought he was on his way to Mexico. I was crying. Then all of a sudden we see him madly approaching. Another pelican came our direction. Hallelujah. But definitely ADD. LOL

    Whoever fixed me up. Bless you.

  23. This labrador retrieve thinks he's a cocker spaniel.

  24. Hey Patricia, glad I'm not the only chihuahua in the group!

    And Ruthy!! High maintenance, moi??? Watch it, girl, you're getting my pit-bull blood all stirred up there.

    And just for the record, I am NOT high maintenance ... I just happen to know what I want in life, that's all. Which, unfortunately, my sweet husband classifies as ... yep, you guessed it ... high maintenance. Okay, call me anything you want, but NOT a bichon, PLEASE!! I am housebroken, after all ...


  25. Phooey, I'm late. Well, I once had to take a personality test with four choices of animal: otter, beaver, lion, and golden retriever, and I tested as a golden retriever. Unfortunately, I want everyone's approval, and I want everyone to be happy. It's a recipe for depression, believe me. LOL!

    But strangely enough, my secondary trait was lion. Not sure how to relate that to writing. My golden retriever tendencies explain why I was addicted to contests. (Not anymore. Past tense, you understand.) And I guess it's the lion in me that keeps me focused and determined to succeed.

  26. Pam, love your fun post!

    I'd be girly dog, the kind that wear bows to keep their hair out of their eyes. The Pebbles of the dog world.

    The test said I'm a Labrador Retriever. Likely profession: teacher. I was.

    I'm allergic to dogs, but as a kid, we had a mutt, Rags, part terrier. A sweet dog who loved to ride in the car with his nose hanging out the crack in the window.


  27. Ah ... a day late and a dime short.

    Oh, well.

    We've had a string of working dogs, some that worked out well adn some that were disasters.

    We had a Border Collie who seemed to read our minds. She was very laissez-faire about semi-important things like getting the cows up, although she did help. But no one dared to mess with the kids with her around. She reminded me of me as in loyal, family-oriented and possibly ADHD ("Get the cows, get teh cows, get the cows ... oh! A butterfly!")

    We are currently in a series of Blue Heelers (Australian cattle dogs.) First one of DH's "charro" hay customers gave us a pup, then after the pup got hit on the road, gave us the mother. The owners were moving back to Texas.

    The pup was in error because she would not come when she was called. DH saw her go out on the road and called her but she wouldn't listen. (I think there is a life lesson there)

    We now have a pretty old dog. She would like to help with the cows, but is a whole lot more comfortable in the heated cab of the truck with Grandpa. Keeps both of them out of trouble!

  28. Funny, funny!

    What kind of dog am I? Clueless...rat terrier I guess...tenacious, loving, protective.

    Great responses too.


  29. Melanie,

    I'm a Beaver/GR on that same test. Between the "keeping everyone happy" Retriever and "perfectionist" Beaver I can be quite a mess sometimes too.

    Laid back I'm not but wanting everyone to "like" me and not "fighting back" if someone "attacks" are definitely me. Add in the gotta do it right and have someone fuss about a little goof I make and ohhh boy does my inner voice go off and make things worse.

    Ok as for the quizzes.

    According to Dogster your poodle came out of hiding in me - intelligence, style and good looks with a taste for the finer things in life. Ok not bad but not 100% on the button either.

    Six Wise claims I'm a hound independent spirit and curious nature. Close but again not 100% accurate in my opinion anyway.

  30. Janet, how sweet. "The Pebbles of dogs." That would be a lovable dog, just like you. Some movie star would fall in love with you and take you home in her Gucci doggie bag!

    Ann, I loved this:

    ("Get the cows, get teh cows, get the cows ... oh! A butterfly!")


    Too funny!

    ForstRose, sounds like we're alot alike. You fit right in around here!

    This was fun! Thanks for all the comments, guys.