Susan Grant Guest Blog: To Name a Dog . . .

new-releasePets in Space is a brand new science fiction romance anthology in which I and eight other authors have stories about – pets in space!

We authors are trading blog posts.

Today Susan Grant tells us about a remarkable real-life dog and the naming of the dog in her Pets in Space story Stray

 


I adore dogs and cats, and I feature them in many of my books. Both rescue pets and show pets have brought joy to my life. So it was a thrill when Erin, one of my readers, wrote to tell me that she planned to name a newborn Collie puppy “Banzai” after the heroine in my action romance The Legend of Banzai Maguire. She loved the story, but more than that, there was something that really struck her about the book and the whole 2176 series.

It turns out Erin’s dad was a Marine Corps “Gunny” (the highest non-commissioned officer rank). She was always so proud of him and also her brother, who was a captain in the Air Force (like I was). Erin wanted to join the military herself, but life intervened. But the great thing about books as we all know is that they let you live vicariously through the characters. While reading the 2176 series, she was flying right along with Captain Bree “Banzai” Maguire in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

Back in 2007, Erin and her husband showed Vita, Banzai’s mother, at Westminster (think: the Olympics of dog shows in the USA). At the time, Erin’s favorite book was The Legend of Banzai

It was love at first sight.
It was love at first sight.

Maguire. She planned to breed Vita and told me that she hoped to have a good female in that litter to name after Banzai. Well, not only did Erin get a good puppy, she got a great one.

From the beginning Banzai was special. She started winning right away, like a great athlete who is undefeated. I always looked forward to the updates Erin emailed me. It was amazing that after only a couple of years Banzai was the #1 female Smooth Collie in the country, living up to the female hero after which she was named. “WHAT A THRILL ride she has been!” Erin says. And for me, too (!!!), as the author who penned the story that inspired Erin to name this incredible dog after a character in my book.

Banzai at the Westminster Dog Show
Top Dog!

Erin says, “I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of her. There will NEVER be another like her.” No, there won’t be. BIS/BISS Gold Grand Champion Tir Na N’ Og The Legend Of Banzai Maguire, aka “Banzai” is one of a kind, just like her namesake, Bree “Banzai” Maguire.

Have any of you ever named pets after characters in books? I love the idea. Naming your pets is definitely an art. It has to be just the right one. Often it’s not easy. We named our two-year old Border Collie “Skye” only after trying out Harriet, Jamie, and Casey. We worried she thought her name was “No”. Skye was a very naughty puppy, haha. But that is another story for another time…

Here’s an excerpt (in the dog’s point of view!) of that naming process from Stray, when the hero, Lt. Lukas Frank, comes up with a great name:

“There’ll be no getting rid of him now, Sir. You’re gonna have to name him. How about Kabob? We can call him Bobby.”

“Kabob? What the f—?” The Tall One sounded unhappy.

He cowered all over again, tucking his tail.

“Because the Baréshtis like to eat street dogs—”

“That’ll be all, Staff Sergeant.” The Tall One turned back to study him. “A backfire sent you running—straight to me. I could call you Backfire…” Then he shook his head. “Nope. Doesn’t fit. It was more like a double bang. A bang, bang.” A hand ruffled his fur. “That’s it. Bang-Bang. A good name. Come on, boy. You’ve just been recruited to be an Interplanetary Marine. Bezos Station could use a few good dogs.” The Tall One hoisted Bang-Bang high off the ground into his arms. “But first, dinner and a bath. Definitely a bath.”

Drawing of Bang-Bang from the story Stray
Bang-Bang drawn by Nyssa Juneau

Thank you for having me on your blog! I always enjoy chatting about pets and books, so to be able to do both? A win/win.


Jumbo jet pilot Susan Grant is a NY Times bestselling and RITA Award-Winning author of science fiction, time travel, and paranormal romance featuring strong women and honorable men.  Visit her Website to find out more about Susan and her books.

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