Susan Wilson, author of One Good Dog (March 22-April 4)
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life characters, be it man or beast?
I haven't read the book in this topic; just responding to the above question someone pointed out to me. Having read dog stories ever since I can remember, the answer includes those who have never owned dogs but have loved dogs all their lives. It is almost the next best thing to owning a dog (short of meeting and interacting with dogs in real life), a way of reading and learning about different dog breeds or crossbreeds or mongrels, temperaments and ways of interacting with dogs. A way of imagining "what if" scenarios, putting yourself in place of the character as you read even though you know it would never happen to you (if it involved a child owning a dog for example, and you were not allowed to have a dog when a child, which was what happened in my case). When it's a favourite topic of interest you want to read more and more, same as most people who like dogs also enjoy watching movies and TV series with dogs in them, not just one but multiple, even when more are produced and released in the media.
Mind you, reading about dogs is not the same as owning a dog, incorporating a dog into your life.
Reading about dogs appeals to those who own them because, especially when it is of the same breed or breeds they like, they can relate to the same behavioural characteristics displayed in the story, emphasize with the emotional content (particularly when sad), and when a dog is better behaved than theirs, especially when the story involves dog training, perhaps it encourages those who read the book to do obedience, agility, tricks, etc., as well.
I'm not sure I have answered it very well, but that's it in a nutshell.