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.