I love dogs.
That’s not a surprise to anyone who knows me. Probably not to anyone who reads my books, either--particularly my mysteries.
Despite loving the topic--and cover--of my latest Pet Rescue Mystery OODLES OF POODLES, I admit that, as much as I adore poodles, I don’t love them as much as I do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
But poodles made an ideal subject for OODLES OF POODLES. They’re smart. They’re popular. And, yes, they’re lovable. Even though my fur-kids are Cavaliers, I do see and socialize quite a few--too many--poodle mixes at the wonderful animal shelter where I volunteer, Pet Orphans of Southern California.
That tells me that a lot of other people love poodles, too--but at least some of them are not responsible enough to have their dogs spayed or neutered before they reproduce, or to make sure, if puppies do appear, that they have great new homes.
There are several varieties of poodles. They come generally in three sizes: standard, miniature and toy. Unlike Cavaliers, who are generally multicolored--except for the ruby, who’s all red--poodles are solid colors: black, white, apricot, grey or brown. You won’t be surprised to learn that those in OODLES OF POODLES are mostly white--just look at the cover!
Poodles have a reputation of being intelligent and highly trainable, and, as far as I can tell, that is true. Another good reason to use them in a story.
OODLES OF POODLES takes place in the film industry, very appropriate for a series centered around a pet shelter located in Los Angeles. It’s sort of a story within a story, since it’s about a movie being filmed about rescued poodles, starring--you’ve got it!--rescued poodles! It therefore helps to have smart dogs who can be trained to do as they must on a film set. And of course they get involved in a mystery, since the director is murdered.
Poodles are generally hypoallergenic--meaning that, because they don’t shed, they’re not as likely to trigger reactions in people who are allergic to dog fur or dander. Their curly coats do require trimming, though. Sometimes they get really ornate haircuts, such as when they’re competing in dog shows. I wonder what the dogs themselves think of that.
Do you know where their name comes from? I looked it up. They were originally German water dogs--and “pudel” is similar to “puddle”! It means “to splash about.”
Deciding which dogs to feature is one of the most enjoyable decisions I have to make while plotting my mysteries. I think this time I made a good choice--not that I haven’t before!
By the way, the American Kennel Club just recently came out with the statistics about which dog breeds are most popular. Poodles remain in the top ten--at number eight.
DO YOU PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO POODLES OR PREFER ANOTHER BREED Tell us or ask Linda a question by commenting below or on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a copy of OODLES OF POODLES! Also, for every comment on this page, a donation will be made to the Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation.
Also, my own poodle, Paladin (he's a standard, parti), has told me that I can't possibly host a poodle blog on my website without including him. So here's a photo. He'd like to second my request for comments so we can help his less fortunate brothers and sisters.
-Chantelle (& Paladin)