Authors Reveal Their Canine Muses for National Dog Day

in Potpourri by

Ernest Hemingway might have had his cats but here at BookTrib HQ we know the truth–dogs rule. In fact,we have two of them on our staff, acting as furry muses and occasionally distracting us with their cuteness.

Lucy is our watch dog, though she will take time out to nap with books.


The charming Gus is the office confidant.

That made us wonder about the canine friends of famous writers. As it turns out, we’re not alone in enjoying a dog’s company. E.B. White of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little fame had a dachshund named Minnie, who the New York ASPCA mistakenly claimed was unlicensed. Ironically, Minnie was licensed — in Maine. When the association demanded her vital information White took the liberty to respond for her:

“You asked about Minnie’s name, sex, breed, and phone number. She doesn’t answer the phone. She is a dachshund and can’t reach it, but she wouldn’t answer it even if she could, as she has no interest in outside calls.”

You can read the entire delightful correspondence at Letters of Note.

EB White and Minnie

Children’s book illustrator and writer Maurice Sendak raised German shepherds. They occasionally appeared in his illustrations.

Dear Mili by Sendak
Dear Mili by Wilhelm K. Grimm, illustrated by Maurice Sendak


Maurice Sendak & Herman

Kurt Vonnegut’s dog Pumpkin was up for anything.

Kurt Vonnegut and PumpkinKurt Vonnegut - Pumpkin

Dogs at Hogwarts seemed to be under the care of Hagrid, but there seems to have been at least one that kept Hagrid’s creator company.

JK Rowling - Sapphire 2

Neil Gaiman rescued his beloved Cabal (named after King Arthur’s white dog) from a Midwest roadside. He wrote touchingly of “The Power of the Dog” when Cabal passed away in 2013.

I’d never had a dog. I don’t think he’d ever had a person.

Neil Gaiman - Cabal

Stephen King’s current Welsh corgi is named Molly, aka the Thing of Evil (she’s actually distractingly cute), but he’s been hanging with these height-challenged herders for quite some time.

Stephen King - Marlowe

No list of beloved authors and their dogs would be complete without our favorite cookbook author, Alton Brown. We wonder; does he cook for Sparky? Lucky dog!

Alton Brown and Sparky

The Nerd Squad consists of the stalwart agents known only by their secret code names: Tech Nerd, Word Nerd, Her Awesomeness, the Bald Avenger, Sarcasm Slayer, the Fighting Foodie, the Scarlet Pencil and T.I. Benz. Together they patrol the farthest reaches of the galaxy looking for tempting geeky morsels and making the universe safe for Nerdkind. Thumbnail: Justice League #34 by Dale Eaglesham

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