Since animals have broken loose on the Writers in Residence blog, I thought I would post a part of a newsletter I wrote to introduce the real life pets behind the characters in my novels. I give you, Chauncey. Enjoy!
“A solid, ginger mutt glanced up from his position on the couch, but he didn’t move his eighty pounds to greet me. I’d rescued Chauncey from a local shelter three months ago. Rescued animals usually brought baggage with them, but Chauncey had an entire set of luggage.”
Frankie Chandler’s rescued mutt, Chauncy, is the star of her home. He enjoys laying on the furniture, passing wind, and eating. The real-life model for his character is Buster, also known as Buster Brown and Busterlicious.
Buster was rescued from the Castaic Animal Shelter by author Jacqueline Vick, and she was his last shot at a forever home. He’d been adopted and returned twice, which meant three different homes in less than seven months!
His troubled puppyhood, which his current vet believes included abuse, caused him many neuroses, including a fear of loud noises, a fear of riding in the car (sometimes), a fear of walking near the street (which thankfully passed) and an inability to greet other dogs face-to-face (which makes his pet parents want to murder people who let their dogs off leash, free to rush Buster.)
Soon after his arrival at his forever home, Buster entered doggie day care for a few hours each week in order to develop his social skills. He loved playing with every dog, but his favorites were a pair of boxer siblings and a standard poodle named Rocky. He also took an agility class at a local park, but when the trainer parked a jeep nearby in which she had recently transported a mountain lion, he caught a wiff of the scent and that put an end to his classes. His boycott of that particular park is still in force.
He was 55 pounds at 7 months old, and to his family’s surprise, grew to 82 pounds! They also discovered that Buster had colitis. He’s on a diet that consists mainly of homemade dogfood, and he’s doing just fine! His large size doesn’t make him any less active, and he’s suffered a few minor injuries, which have forced him into the cone-of-shame!
Buster is the proud recipient of the Canine Good Citizenship award, and he hopes to train as a therapy dog when he finally calms down. His other talents include barking at cars and sleeping in his appointed chair, but his absolute favorite activity is eating, which caused one trainer to nickname him Bear.
Buster takes his new celebrity status in stride.
9 thoughts on “Pet News by Jacqueline Vick”
At eighty-two pounds you should be able to declare him a dependent on your income tax. But what a great model on which to base Chauncey. Having these guys (and gals) appear in our work makes the work even more real. Great to get to know more about the inimitable Buster.
HA!~I wish I could. His meds and food are costing us a fortune, earning him the moniker “Money Pit”.
I think I’ve mentioned on FaceBook several times before that I love Buster! So I’ll mention again, here. Part of that love is because of the wonderful home he’s found with you, and because I had a beloved Buster also. ((he made it to 15 (one operation included)) So of course when I hear the name Buster, I have to smile. Agree with Gayle, so nice in this series of pet-posts, it’s great to hear more about our behind-the-scenes family members. Hugs to Buster.
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Your piece reminds me of the bumper sticker that reads, Who Rescued Who?
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I had a sibling who was nick-named “Buster.” He hated it. I’m so glad to hear of TWO beloved pets who carry (carried) that name with pride and affection.
I didn’t know your Buster had gone to doggie heaven. I’m sorry to hear it. 😦
There is a special place in heaven for people who rescue abandoned and damaged dogs and cats, because those animals truly do come with a lot of “issues.” My beloved Echo, a German shepherd, was a rescue and probably the most special to me (don’t tell Thunder) because we teamed up to overcome most of her behavioral problems, much as you have done with Buster. And she knew I chose her out of all the other dogs, as I am sure Buster realizes you did too. He is a champion and deserves his celebrity status–and not just ANY dog earns the CGC, so here’s a round of applause for Buster, and you.
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Hugs to Buster and to you! And what a wonderful model for your fictional pup.
My late father-in-law’s nickname in the military was Buster. My dad called him that to differentiate between him and my husband. (There were both Fosters.)