Creating a new character is a lot like falling in love. It really is. You think about him, or her, all day long. You dream about her at night and just can’t wait to get back to her when you’re away. That’s how I feel about, “N.P.” I can’t reveal her name or her story until my agent and I find a publisher who falls just as hard for her as I have. Then together, we’ll make this puppy real.
My new character was inspired by someone I dearly love, my little Standard Poodle, LaRoo. She and I used to get the kids next door up and off to school in the morning. But unlike the character in my new series, LaRoo is polite, gentle, tolerant and patient. Yawn. Not much to work with there, so LaRoo’s fictional character is as far from pure as the driven snow, as she can possibly be.*
Such a good girl.
Pure as the driven snow? Hmm, not always…
My good friend Vikki is traveling in Central and South America. She’s in Guatemala now, and sent this sweet note and even sweeter pictures.
I might not have helped you sell a book but know that your work is touching lives throughout Mexico and Central America (and some day South America). It really doesn’t matter how many continents your cards travel…. Your love has touched individual lives and hearts and souls and the seed has been planted.
3 perros, 30,000 miles and a 1 ton truck
P.S. In one year so far, Vikki has rescued and re-homed two dogs. She’s traveling with her three big poodles. In a 1 ton truck. By herself. Yes, she is amazing!
Or, how to meet dogs safely! Notice my body position in the first photo as I’m being charged by my friends from Alchmy Poodles. My body is slightly crouched and turned to the side. Before the pack reached me, I picked up that stick so I could toss it away from me for a dog to chase, should it be just too overwhelming a greeting. I could also have held onto the stick and let a dog grab it to connect with me without jumping on me – or grabbing my hand. In the second photo, my left palm is turned forward for a touch. The dog who is turning away is Clooney (and a good friend!). Like many other well trained dogs, Clooney has learned to touch. He will touch my palm, then move away. Clooney lives with Carol and David and two kitties.
Photos by Carol Whitfield
Some days, I could use these playing as background to my life. They just feel really good to watch.
Lake Animal Friend’s Compassion for Critters program.
Thrilled to read this enthusiastic letter from an extraordinary person who does so much for kids, dogs and cats. In answering the question, can I buy books in quantity at wholesale rates? Yes, you can! The minimum order is 16 copies. Email me, and I’ll forward your request to the special sales department at Macmillan. wendy(@)wendywahman(dot)com.
“Hi Wendy! I am so excited to have just discovered your book Don‘t Lick The Dog. I am from a rural, Northern community in British Columbia, Canada. I have spent the last 6 years volunteering in my local and surrounding schools with my rescued dog Dusty. I also have been gathering great humane books and resources for teachers and encouraging others to volunteer in schools to teach the care, compassion, bite safety and responsible pet guardianship. In my own home town (Burns Lake) I have started bringing in great humane books with wonderful messages into each classroom and all libraries. Your book is PERFECT. I loved the humour, the heart, the reality! I just LOVE it so much. THANK YOU!
I wondered if there is a way to get a box of books? I have been watching on Amazon to get as many used copies as possible, to make it more affordable. But I wondered if you had a way to get perhaps 30 or so books at a reduced cost? Sorry to ask this. Your book is worth its weight in gold. Really, there is nothing out there like it! I didn’t know you had A Cat Like That and it would also be so valuable to include in libraries and with other volunteers to go into other communities schools. Would a box of those be available at a reduced cost? 30 or so books?
My husband and I run a small animal society called Lakes Animal Friendship Society. We work with schools to build and paint dog houses for the needy critters, we also host groups of volunteers (Canadian Animal Assistance Team) to do free spay/neuter “blitzes,” we have a *TNR program for feral cats and I spend a lot of time working on the education side of things (was a teacher for 12 years before, so a great way to get my kid “fix” now.). What we also do in the summer is run Lakeside Legacy B&B. We’d love it if you and your family could come and stay, anytime, for free (although not now, it’s nearly -40!) We are actually in Mesa, AZ to escape it at the moment!
Thank you for your time. Excited to see your next book! With your permission, I’d love to feature your books in our little local newsletter we do (we make sure every family in our community gets one, about 1,000 copies). We are trying to do a newsletter a year. I hope to encourage compassion, empower the kids and help educate families on the critters and their needs through this newsletter.*
Lakes Animal Friendship Society
Member of Community Coalition for Animal Welfare
Lakeside Legacy Bed and Breakfast
**To see their excellent newsletter, contact Valerie at Lakes Animal Friendship Society: lakesidelegacy(@)yahoo(dot)ca
LaRoo and I visited my friend’s dad who has Alzheimer’s. Dad happily shared his pistachio ice cream with LaRoo – right off the spoon. Such a good girl, she cozied up to him for a long time, even after the goodies were gone.
Reporter: When did you first discover the poodle in you?
Artist: 1996, one year after the birth of my son, Morgan Wheatberry Modigliani Sanders-Wahman.
R: What does it feel like, morphing into a poodle?
A: People ask me that all the time. It’s not at all painful like it must be for werewolves. All that slobbering and coarse, prickly hair busting through their skin. And dry eye. Bet they get dry eye. No, releasing your inner poodle is a sort of marshmallowy, fluffy feeling that starts behind your ears and envelopes your body like a soft lamb’s jacket. Quite enjoyable. Not that I’d want to poodle-up every day, but it’s got it’s advantages.
R: Such as?
A: I can catch a frisbee in my mouth. I can run and leap like a deer and spin like a dervish. It’s a snap to get whatever I want just by gazing into somebody’s eyes and wagging my tail a little. Oh, and massage on demand. I mean, c’mon, really?
R: What are some of the disadvantages?
A: Gluttonous cravings for liver and fish heads. Blech! They leave a reeking, nasty taste in my mouth when I de-poodle. Rolling in whatever… and smelling butts isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, if you get my drift.
R: Thank you for sharing.
No, my darling, you are always gorgeous to me, lump, bumps, warts and all. I have a real soft spot for the seniors.
Illustration for Veterinarian, Dr. Kevin’s column in this month’s AKC Family Dog magazine:
Sharing with permission from the Animal Farm Foundation.