I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, a town that LOVES their dogs. Fort Collins is also home to many dog rescues and shelters. My husband and I got our furry friend, a two-year old, blue-eyed cat named Purrsia, from one such shelter. We were privileged to have green, yellow and amber-colored eyed cats in our family in the past, so it was time for a blue-eyed one. She was raised in a family of five children and sadly for them, one was allergic to cats and had to give her up. Lucky for us, though! Purrsia was well trained to be gentle with people, and as we discovered when my husband whistled a tune, that she comes when you whistle!
So when it was time to write another Night Before book for my popular kids series, I thought about writing the joys of adopting a pet.
At first I was just going to have the family in The Night Before the New Pet adopt a puppy. Everyone loves puppies! But then I thought of Purrsia, and decided that the family would also adopt a cat.
I’m hoping pet adoption organizations and corporate supporters will embrace my book and give it away to families who are welcoming new pets into their homes. (I’m envisioning children reading my book to their new pet – so cute!) Or friends and parents will give it to “expecting” families.
It is through dogs that I have also discovered a hidden talent for watercolors. After reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I felt compelled to try another form of creativity other than writing. I dug out my old watercolor set from the back of my closet and starting painting dogs! Cartoon dogs, dog portraits, friends’ dogs, dog photos I found on line. Turns out I’m pretty good at it! Besides, it makes me smile.
My goal this year is to keep practicing painting dogs in hopes that one day I will illustrate my own children’s book starring a dog. That way I can become an author-illustrator! What an even more fun career that would be.
Natasha Wing is the bestselling author of The Night Before series with Grosset & Dunlap. She has been writing children’s books for 24 years and has 25 books with more on the way. Next up is The Night Before Class Picture Day, and in 2017 the much anticipated publication of When Jackie Saved Grand Central.