by | Oct 3, 2023 | Karna Small Bodman, The Writer's Life | 10 comments

By Karna Small Bodman
Man and Woman's Best Friend

This week we are celebrating 6th birthday of our loveable Labradoodle, Cammy, who was named for the heroine in my second thriller, Gambit. She, along with her brother, named for the book’s title, have brought so much joy to our family – although we often admit that “they own us” from the standpoint that we manage our schedules around theirs more often than not. Thinking about Cammy’s birthday made me think about the many books out there that focus on dogs and how much they contribute, not only as household companions, but also as service dogs and rescuers.

We all watched the horrendous damage and tragic loss of life in the fires that swept through Maui recently. However, some lives were saved (and bodies recovered) when 20 highly trained “Cadaver” dogs were brought in to work with members of FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams. It takes a year of intense training for these wonderful dogs to discern the difference between humans and animals, and to learn how to search for the missing. They say that dogs also must be born with a particular personality for the job. As one trainer put it, “Dogs that really want to play, that are obsessive about their toy, that are confident and agile, that are not afraid of loud noises or weird surfaces bring a lot to the table. Getting to play with a chew toy is generally the dog’s reward for successfully locating a victim.” 

Cadaver Dogs in Maui

Alex Kava with her dog
Man and Woman's Best Friend

Our own Rogue, Alex Kava, has written a great series of books about a specially trained dog, Grace, in her Fallen Creed Book 7 Ryder Creed K-9 Mystery. This award winning story focuses on Ryder Creed and FBI Agent Maggie O’Dell who are on a search for a missing young woman. Alex’s many books have hit the New York Times Bestseller List, are published in 34 countries and have sold over seven million copies.  I’m sure that living with her “pack of Westies” as she terms her own companions, has inspired her to write these stories.

In a lighter vein, if you have a dog or are thinking about getting one, you might like to check out Amy Newark’s Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Dog – containing 101 heartwarming stories about heroic as well as hilarious pets. I can certainly recognize some of these behaviors including stealing food (from kitchen counter tops) as well as socks left on the floor. And as puppies, they often love to chew on shoes.  This book also has a special emphasis on the joy of adopting dogs from shelters with references to the great work of the American Humane Association.

Training Man and Woman's Best friend

Two children and their dog are at the center of Wrigley at the White House
Man and Woman's Best Friend

Finally, I was inspired to take some time from thriller writing to put together a children’s picture book about a new puppy, Wrigley at The White House. This little dog also gets into a ton of trouble scampering around the famous building while also solving a big problem for his new master. Obviously, experience with our own pups led to writing this one. 

Do you have a dog? Do you recognize any of these behaviors? If not, would you consider adopting one of these wonderful creatures? Also, have you read any books about dogs you’d like to recommend?

We’d love to hear from you. And thanks for visiting us on Rogue Women Writers.

Karna Small Bodman
Man And Woman's Best Friend

Karna Small Bodman is the author of five international thrillers that have hit #1 in Thrillers on Amazon and won several awards, as well as a series of children’s picture books. Her books were inspired by the six years she served in the Reagan White House, first as Deputy Press Secretary, later as Senior Director of the National Security Council where she was the highest-ranking woman on the White House staff. On book tours she has given over 400 speeches and interviews nation-wide.  When not writing or traveling, she is serving on several boards and swimming laps at their homes in Naples, FL, Washington, DC and Rancho Santa Fe, CA. 

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  1. Chris 🌻 Goff

    Happy Birthday, Cammy! There are so many great books that feature dogs—and cats. Animals play such an important role our lives. That said, I’m not sure I buy a “therapy alligator” like the one denied boarding on Jet Blue this week.

    • Rogue Women Writers

      Right, Chris – no way would we need a “Service Alligator” or a “Service Peacock” or “Service Pony” — I did read that some folks tried to bring those aboard an airplane – good grief – Karna

  2. Dick Bodman

    Karna has it just right. Our dogs, Cammy and Gambit do, indeed, own us.

  3. Lisa Black

    You dog people—so instantly recognizable! I’m the lone cat person in an office of dog lovers, but I did love and still miss our Uber-protective Chow.
    I got to witness a cadaver dog in action in a recent case here—very interesting. The dogs were so bouncy and fun that it was hard not to break into the investigation and say ‘can we just play with them for a while?’

    • Rogue Women Writers

      Thanks, Lisa, for taking the time to leave a comment – especially when I thought you were traveling abroad!!!….Karna

  4. Isabella Maldonado

    My dog, Buddy, is my muse. He lays under my desk on a fluffy rug and sends me good vibes for writing. He’s a Bernedoodle–like many people, I’ve learned to love the minimal shedding of a doodle–who is an 85 lb. lap dog!

    As far as books go, I also love Alex’s series.

    • Rogue Women Writers

      And your Bernadoodle is hypo-allergenic and doesn’t shed either – right?….Karna

      • Jenny Milchman

        Aw, happy birthday, and yes, here’s to dogs who are heroes and who are just lovable,!

  5. Alex Kava

    Happy Birthday, Cammy!

    Karna, you mentioned dogs love chewing socks and shoes. I just learned one reason why. We have sebaceous glands on the soles, sides and tops of our feet that secrete fats and cellular debris. That’s a technical way of saying our feet sweat a lot. And our dogs like to have things that smell like us. It’s also why dog handlers will ask for a shoe belonging to a missing person. There’s a load of scent there, and usually people don’t launder their shoes.

    Thanks for the shout-out!

    • Rogue Women Writers

      Your most welcome – your books are terrific!!!….Karna