Kathy Manos Penn is a corporate retiree—or escapee—who taught English before embarking on her 32-year corporate career. There, it seemed she was always the go-to person for writing speeches, presentations, blogs, you name it, no matter her actual job. Says Kathy, “Finally, in my last ten years, I landed in a job with the word ‘communications’ in the title.”
On a whim, she submitted an article to a local paper and wound up with a side job as a columnist. And then . . . her dog started writing.
This week, Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch shares the story of how he came to be a dog author, with just a little bit of help from his mum.
|Craigslist PostFlat-coated retriever needs a new home NOW. Home in foreclosure. Must go today or go to ANIMAL SHELTER tomorrow–Saturday.|
And so begins my story. I was the two-year-old dog in dire straits. What were the chances someone would see a Friday afternoon post and respond in time to save me from a trip to the shelter the next morning? Even if some caring person responded, would they want me once they discovered I was an 80-lb two-year-old black dog?
Eighty pounds? Strike one. Black? Strike two. It’s common knowledge we black dogs are the ones who get left behind at the shelter because so many folks are scared of black dogs, especially big, black dogs. Only two years old? Strike three for those who envision chewed shoes and furniture and rambunctious behavior.
By now, everyone knows that I’m not a flat-coated retriever and that I went to a good home, not a shelter. Lucky for me, my mum was checking Craigslist nonstop in search of a companion pup for Tinker, who really was a flat-coated retriever mix. Me? I look a bit like one with my wavy black fur, but I’m a Royal Pooch—a celebrity Royal Pooch.
I didn’t set out to become a celebrity, but that’s what happened. My mum surprised my dad one Christmas by giving me a DNA test. Though my shiny, fluffy fur is black, my DNA results revealed that one of my great-grandfathers was a Great Pyrenees—a descendant of the majestic white dogs who were once the Royal Dogs of France. I was sure our family and friends would be thrilled to learn I had royal blood and would want to hear all about my royal life, so I asked Mum to help me share the news in a book
Puddin’, my feline sister, likes to say she helped me tell my story because she offered encouragement as Mum and I worked. If you consider reclining on the desk or curling up in the file drawer as encouragement, you may agree with the little thing.
Still,‘twas I, the Royal Pooch, who did the lion’s . . . I mean dog’s . . . share of the work. Day after day, I could be found lying beneath Mum’s desk dictating my tale, and what a tale it was.
I thought my story was enchanting with a saved in the nick of time beginning and a happy ending.
Dogis rescued by loving family
- Dog discovers he’s descended from royalty
- Dog writes book
- Dog resumes quiet life with Mum, Dad, and the cat.
But it turns out there’s more, much more. My story didn’t end with me returning to my previously quiet life as I thought it would.
That’s the first draft of the opening for my next book. What do you think?
Mum and I have a grand time doing book signings and meeting all kinds of folks, who admire my royal purple robe and love giving me belly rubs. We discovered that dog lovers of all ages enjoy my sense of humor, so adults read my book and middle schoolers read my book and plenty of people laugh at my antics.
I find it odd that my book is considered to be fiction. I mean, it’s all absolutely true. Really! Every bit of it happened to moi. Mum says most adults have a hard time believingthat I, a dog, wrote a book! She tried to explain that for grownups to think of my book as nonfiction, they must have a “willing suspension of disbelief,” whatever that means. I think that may be something she heard ages ago when she was in school.
Nonetheless, I didwrite a book, and I’m almost finished with my second one. I’m such a generous and gracious guy that I’m allowing the cat, Princess Puddin’, to have her own chapter this time. She’s a beauty of a calico cat and quite intelligent. She told me in no uncertain terms, “If you think you can call yourself Lord Banjo just because some silly French King back in the day declared Great Pyrenees to be Royal, then you can call me Princess! So there.”
I think she has diva tendencies, but I love her in spite of her tiny tantrums. Until our next book comes out—see, I even said our book—you may want to visit Mum’s blog https://theinkpenn.blogspot.com/to read stories from the Princess and the Pooch. Yes, Mum writes blogs about books and things, but we all know that it’s we four-legged writers who are the most interesting.
These days, both Lord Banjo and the Princess write columns for a local paper, and their mum graciously posts them on her blog at https://theinkpenn.blogspot.com/. You can sign up to receive their posts via email, and you can contact the whole family at firstname.lastname@example.org. They love to hear from readers. Click here http://mybook.to/ViewbookonAmazonto find Book one, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch,” on Amazon