Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What Are Pet Memoirs?

 “They are actually family members, but they just aren’t with us long enough,” said my friend. She continued, “Their life stories are important.”

As a memoir writing instructor, her words were like a direct laser beam piercing my heart. She propelled my awareness that our pet stories deserve recognition and should be preserved, but is “petoir” a genre?

Although they are helpless and dependent upon our loving care, pets offer us even more than we furnish them. When are Fido and Fidette not thrilled to see us, tails wagging in delight? They accept and love us even when we are grouchy or have not yet showered today. The finicky feline brushes against our legs and curls around our ankles to acknowledge her contentment with our presence. They all greet us with open paws, and their hearts’ desire is to be treated well and merely hang out with us.

He is your best friend--your confidant. You can tell him absolutely anything with no fear of betrayal or gossiping with your friends or co-workers behind your back. She silently listens, tilts her head to one side and snuggles in to lick your hand in deep sympathy for your plight or your tears. You reward him, and he reciprocates with his unconditional loyalty and adoration.

I remember the friend who asked me about my current writing projects. When I explained that I was writing a book to help pet owners capture the life stories of their pets, she rather indignantly responded, “My dog doesn’t have a story!” After I asked her only three pertinent questions, she readily admitted that her dog did indeed have a story, and it was a deeply poignant one as well.

So how does one proceed to write the life story of a pet? After all, they are difficult to interview. Follow these helpful hints, and you will jump-start your pet story project.

  • There are many aspects to consider, but there is always a beginning. Whether you were present for his birth, obtained her as a puppy or fell in love with a rescue pet, there is always a first encounter tale.
  • Every pet has a different personality. What are his/her likes or dislikes? What makes him happy? What is her favorite activity?

  • What are her endearing qualities and behavior?
  • What is his ritual for trying to get your attention?

Consider what is or was distinctive about your pet’s life experiences, and capture the stories of special moments shared. Photos are valuable memory sparkers, but do not necessarily express the feelings of bonding between pet and owner, demonstrate their deep entrenchment in the lives of our families or detail the specific journey they have traveled.

The significant questions that aid in formulating a pet story are numerous, but pondering and answering them (or at least those which apply) are beneficial in recalling life with your furry family member and preserving the memories in a priceless document.

What is your pet’s story? Looking for more information on writing pet stories? Write Your Pet's Life Story in 7 Easy Steps! is a beneficial resource for capturing pet tales.

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For the love of memoirs,
Mary Anne Benedetto