My inspiration for Garfunkel ~ by Kristine Raymond

I've always loved dogs.  It made no difference if it was a pooch on T.V., a stray on the street, a neighbor's companion, or the faithful friends in my own backyard.  Size, color, breed, temperament - none of that mattered.  If it had four legs, a lolling tongue, and a sweeping tail (or stump), I was in love. 

Copyright © Kristine Raymond

My family owned several dogs over the course of my childhood.  'My' dog was a collie named Brandy.  Growing up during the heyday of a certain Hollywood canine, he was my 'Lassie'.  

**Interesting note - the dogs who portrayed Lassie on TV and in the movies were, indeed, male.



Brandy was absolutely devoted to me as I was to him.  Anything I'd ask of that dog, he'd do.  When I was six, I fell off of our jungle gym and broke my arm.  My dad was in the garage using a table saw and couldn't hear my cries for help.  Brandy, my ever-loyal BFF, ran to him and led my dad back to me.  My own, personal hero!  (Actually, my dad was my hero, too.  I was a lucky girl!)  Brandy lived to the age of thirteen - a great life for a great dog.

Fast forward a few decades.

Not only have I always loved dogs, I've always owned them.  Or do they own me? 🤔  Anyway, it's no exaggeration that I've opened my home to dozens of canine furbabies over the years.  Pure-breds, mixed-breeds, what some would call designer dogs - all who needed a safe place to live, a warm bed, plentiful food to eat and clean water to drink, and more love and affection than they'd ever known prior to ending up on my doorstep were welcome.  And, I've adored each and every one of them.  No lie.  However...

Copyright © Kristine Raymond
Every once in a while, if the Universe smiles upon you, a special soul enters your life and imprints itself on your heart.  This soul could be in human form, canine, feline, equine, or any of the other 'ines' out there, reptilian, amphibian...you get my point.  Most of us have been lucky enough to know that 'one'.  When I was a kid, it was Brandy.  As an adult, it's Bruno.

Bruno is a Basset Hound and a unique one, at that.  He was born with Color Mutant Alopecia a.k.a Color Dilution Alopecia or CDA, a condition most commonly seen in dogs with a 'blue' or 'fawn' coat.  Most often affecting Doberman Pinchers, CDA is possible in any dog that carries the recessive gene - case in point, my fur-less furbaby.  

Bruno's fur beginning to thin. 
Copyright © Kristine Raymond

Interestingly enough, Bruno hasn't always been bald.  As a youngster, he had fur over his entire body, but with each passing year, the darker fur on his back lightened and thinned - resembling peach fuzz - until, finally, it disappeared altogether.  Now, in his senior years, random patches of thick, snowy-white fur dot his sleek black skin.  He resembles a seal - one with a long nose and floppy ears.  On the plus side - well, for me, anyway - his lack of insulation necessitates his wearing of t-shirts and sweaters in the colder months.  Yes; I am that mom. 😁

Copyright © Kristine Raymond
Copyright © Kristine Raymond














I bet you're wondering what this has to do with the title of my post.  Over the course of my writing career, I've incorporated many real-life people into my stories.  Not the people themselves, but certain quirks or personality traits, family names, even physical descriptions, so it was past time that I developed a character based on the love of my life.  

(No; not my husband.  Don't worry - he's aware that he's second on my list 😉)  

It was time for the spotlight to shine on Bruno.  

If you've read my cozy mystery, Finn-agled, then you already know that the main character, Finn, owns a Basset Hound named Garfunkel who suffers from Color Mutant Alopecia.  In fact, it's a conversation starter between Finn and her longtime crush, Spencer, the first time they see each other after fifteen years.  Where other characters are amalgams of people I've known, Garfunkel is Bruno.  100%.

He sleeps all of the time.  And when he's not sleeping, he's eating.  And when his food bowl is empty, he snuffles around like a hog sniffing out truffles, searching for scraps that he might have missed, his ears acting like Velcro pads for every speck of dirt, debris, and I-don't-want-to-know-what particle he drags them through. 

Yup!  That's my boy!  

Garfunkel does manage to pull off a rather heroic act in the story, something Bruno's never done, but I won't give it away.  You'll have to read the book to find out how he saves the day - or night, as the case may be.

Copyright © Kristine Raymond
Copyright © Kristine Raymond


Copyright © Kristine Raymond
Copyright © Kristine Raymond









Copyright © Kristine Raymond
Copyright © Kristine Raymond











As much as I hate to think about it, my time left with Bruno is growing short.  He'll turn thirteen in April, the same age as when my collie, Brandy, gained his angel wings.  He's developed back issues and is blind in one eye, but his goofy personality is as apparent as ever.  It makes me happy to know he'll live on not only in my heart and memories but immortalized in my books, as well.

Copyright © Kristine Raymond


2 comments:

  1. What lovely memories of both Brandy and Bruno. I believe our fur babies choose us as their forever moms. Bruno is adorable! Thank you for sharing him with us.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. When I was a kid, I always said when I grew up I'd own twenty dogs. I've surpassed that a time or two 😉

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