Awww, How Cute: Pictures and Parallels

I’ve been digging through photos of my trips to Norway along with pictures from calendars, coffee table books, and from various websites. Plans are underway to reorganize the pages/tabs for this site somewhat as the release date approaches to include a photos page, but I couldn’t wait to share these.

I’ll always remember the lovable mixed-breed rescue dog I met on my first trip to Ytre Arna. Beauty was her name, and she was the much-loved pet of our hosts. Beauty was also one of the sweetest dogs you could ever meet. Despite those happy memories, Beauty was never on my  mind while writing Odin’s Promise. Instead I was very focused on learning more about Norwegian Elkhounds and their physical and personality traits. When I determined that this would be the best breed to represent Odin’s spirit and energy, I found that the traditional gray-mixed coat  was not the only one in the breed. Black-coated Norwegian elkhounds were nearly endangered by mid-twentieth-century, earning them their own designation: Norwegian Elkhound Black. Once I came across that bit of information I had no doubt about the identity of  my very special fictional Odin.

Beauty and her curled tail, Odin-like markings.

Beauty and her curled tail, Odin-like markings.


It wasn’t until a search through my personal photos that I realized my memories of Beauty as a labrador-mix were incomplete. I had lost site of her very un-lab-ish curled tail.

Compare Beauty in size, ears, and curled tail to a photo from a website featuring  Norwegian elkhounds- black.


I am astounded at how our unconscious minds work. Whether it was intentional or not, Odin bears an uncanny resemblance to the dog I met and adored in Norway. As I described in  this recent post, much about the evolution and timing of ODIN’S PROMISE has surprised me, and now I can add this to the list.

But there’s more.  It may be hard to believe, but I hadn’t come across this particular “Odin-as-a-puppy” image in all my previous searches and research efforts until planning to write this post. Can’t you just picture this sweet pup tucked into Mari’s eight-year-old arms  for the first time on her  birthday? I know I can!

Get ready to A-W-W-W…

puppy- odin markingsI wasn’t exaggerating, was I? You can see why I couldn’t wait to share this image. It’s just one more example of how oddly and unintentionally linked this entirely fictional story is to parallels in real life. According to breed sites, Norwegian elkhound-black has been making a bit of a breed comeback in Norway in recent years. With baby pictures like this, that’s not at all hard to imagine, is it?.

I find it to be true that life does imitate art (just note social media and pop culture), but in this case there’s no way this little sweetie could have read the book!




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