Part of this post was inspired by the fact that just last week, my family got a new puppy. Just seven week old Boxer, full of life, named Brutus.
And it reminded me how undercredited the animal companions of fiction often are. My stories contain their own, after all.
Mairwen with her mare of black and brown, who is smarter than one would suspect for a horse. (Is it magic or is it nature that Mairwen and her kind can tap into? Or perhaps the mare is special?) The mare whose name is currently Kobolt, but that is subject to change as much as Mairwen’s name did.
Adrienne with her plethora of serpents. All with separate personalities, some magical, some mundane, but all of them unique. Shiroi, the python who acts more like an adviser than a pet. Benevueto, whose lazy disposition makes it far less of a threat than it looks, and Giada, the cobra quick to sense deception. Not to mention the other creatures she keeps. Not all of them as malicious appearing as her snakes.
The animal companions in my stories, and in many other stories, are sometimes just as much of a character in their own right as their masters. They have their own back stories, their own personalities, and their own limitations.
It is often when you see these sort of animal characters, however, that you can tell the writer is an animal lover.