I have never used a real person as a character in my books. My characters take on personalities of their own, and although bits and pieces of people I know may slip through, basically, I make it all up.
Except for Romeo. It gave me great pleasure to write about my old German Shepard. I say my, but like most pets, Romeo was a member of our family. He was our dog. And what a great dog he was. Loving and kind and strangely moody sometimes!
He had a fetish for moving car tires, which I found advantageous because people thought he was an attack dog when they pulled into our isolated farm. But he was just chasing tires. We didn’t believe the lady from the power company when she accused Romeo of giving her flats until he sunk his teeth into the wall of a friend’s tire right in front of us.
Truthfully, other than tires, the only thing I ever saw him attack was bumblebees. Not sure what that was all about!
The thing I found most amazing about him was during a period when I was very ill, he’d stay close to my side while I went for my daily walk in the woods. But as I started to recover, he strayed further and further until he resumed his usual habit of chasing rabbits and treeing porcupines. I never did understand how he knew when I needed him close and when I didn’t.
He died of old age a few months before we sold the farm, and we buried him under the big, old pines trees. His death seemed fitting at the time. The old adage you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is probably true, and he could be stubborn when he chose to be. Leaning to live around traffic and strangers would have been difficult for him. I think he’s where he belongs.
And now, for a few pages, I’ve brought him back to life!
I hope you enjoy When Adam Came to Town and Romeo’s part in the story as much as I enjoyed writing about him.