Dana Mentink

When You Fall in Love With A Fictional Dog

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” – Woodrow Wilson

I have the firm opinion that a good dog is worth its weight in gold. Do you agree? And a good, old, dog, is priceless. On that note, allow me to introduce you to Noodles. He’s the senior citizen star in my newest mystery series. Noodles is a flunk out from the service dog program so he has an arsenal of hidden skills, which his owner Trinidad Jones is beginning to discover after she adopts him from a shelter where he’s been discarded in favor of a younger model. Noodles will bring you a jar of pickles from the fridge, whether or not you asked for it. He will also produce a pencil with great aplomb, since he has been covertly stealing and stockpiling them to be ready for just such a moment. Have you had a dog in your life with some unusual quirks?

We have. Here at Mentink Manor, we fostered the great Buster, an enormous black lab who would only pee on grass. No matter how long he had to hold it, he would never pee on any kind of cement, gravel, leaves, sand, nothing but grass. And then there was my beloved Nala, a german shepherd mix who was the most gentle dog in the world, but she freaked out when my girls would put on dress up clothes. And don’t even get me started on Nala and fireworks! Dogs are even better for their quirks, aren’t they?

Back to Noodles. He expects to be brought along for any and all adventures. After all, he is family, is he not? Adopted into the clan? This I can relate to as well. Junie the Wonder Dog, our rescue who is ten pounds of trouble in a fur coat, has enjoyed our round the clock companionship during the pandemic. We even bought her a booster seat for the car, so she can see out the window when we take drives. (Short terrier/doxie legs do not work well for visibility.) We’ve done such a great job training her on the booster seat, she now expects to accompany us everywhere! Methinks we have created a little fuzzy monster.

In the course of the series, Noodles develops a relationship with a character who suffers from self harming behaviors at times. Have you ever seen a dog intervene in such a moment? It’s truly an incredible thing to behold. So what if Noodles is old, and nosey, and unable to resist singing along when a concert is in the offing? That just means he’s every bit as wonderful and unique as all the dogs I’ve ever known and loved.