As I promised you in my last newsletter, today you will meet one of my Dalmatians. I have chosen to tell you an anecdote about Mac, our youngest, as he is the “cover dog” for Bespotted. You can watch Mac as he grows up in the photos below this blog.

Mac was born into a litter of four boys, a quartet, which we nicknamed after the Fab Four–the Beatles. His litter name was originally “Paul” but I changed it to Mac, still for Paul McCartney, who also had a Dal, named Lucky; Mac’s show name is Literati’s Paperback Writer–after McCartney’s famous song–totally fitting for a dog I would take into the ring.

A year and a half old.
A favorite place from which to oversee all activity–atop the back of the sofa.

When the jacket cover for Bespotted originally came to me from my publisher, it had the same beautiful design it does today, but the dog on the front was truly homely. It didn’t even look like a Dalmatian! I said to my editor that I loved the design but that I would be the laughingstock of the Dal world if my book had that dog on its jacket. “Furthermore,” I told him, “I want one of my dogs on the cover of my book!”

He protested. How would I get the dog to gaze upward, presumably at his master, with such adoration? How would I replicate the worn red collar? I answered that I had an identical collar in my “dog drawer” and promised that I could easily get the same soulful expression on my Dal’s face.

My husband and I set up all three of the dogs, in the red collar, in front of a blank beige wall in the bedroom, he with the camera, and me with a chunk of hot dog in my hand just out of the frame of the photo. In no time at all, we had great shots of Breeze, Cody and Mac with the exact same tilt to their heads. I sent the pics to my editor the following day and said he could choose which would be “the cover dog.” Mac was “the one,” but is the only Literati Dalmatian now living with us who doesn’t appear in Bespotted, as he was born after the manuscript was completed.

Four weeks old. Head shot of the “cover dog.”
Two months old. A tunnel is a good place to curl up.
Three months old. First time sailing

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