Saturday, October 8, 2016

More than a Pet: Guest Blog by Alexis Glynn Latner

I'm beyond enthused to be one of nine authors contributing to the Pets in Space anthology, a wonderful collection of novellas and novelettes. After all, pets + space. What could be more fun than that? But along with the fun comes adventure, aliens, intrigue, excitement and compelling romantic mayhem. We're also very proud that part of the proceeds will be donated to who provide trained service dogs and companion animals free of charge for our veterans. For the next several weeks, the Pets in Space authors will be guest blogging to share insights into their stories, pets, experiences and favorite things.

I'm very happy to have fellow Pets in Space author Alexis Glynn Latner here today with a guest blog about the many ways animals enrich our lives.

Some of the creatures we share our lives with are less than pets–the Boston fern, the green anole lizard that lives on the balcony. Some are more than pets. I’m thinking of service and therapy animals.

A good friend of mine suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in consequence of a terrible car wreck. She has a service dog, and the dog marvelously makes her feel safe. This is how PTSD service dogs help veterans – the genesis of the condition is different (a car wreck versus a roadside bomb), yet the remedy is the same.

Rinnie the service dog did not come to my friend from a charitable or medical organization. Rinnie turned up on the doorstep as a 90-pound stray with heartworms. My friend and her husband took Rinnie in out of kindness. It was only later that Rinnie turned out to have the effect of countering PTSD, and to be temperamentally perfectly suited to be a PTSD dog, as proven by specific training and certification and the service vest to match; and to be a wonderful pet when not on duty. Rinnie is a good pet and almost infinitely more.

The classic just-a-pet might be the goldfish, the house cat, the lap dog, or the horse that eats a lot of horse chow and needs currying and shoeing but which, for one reason or another, never gets ridden. But even the tank of cold-blooded goldfish turns out to be soothing to harried human nerves - as well as a source of entertainment for bored house cats. The lapdog is a priceless companion for the lonely.

Lapdogs – rather incredibly when you contemplate a particularly frivolous one - and all other dogs probably started as failed wolves that hung around human camps and the humans realized that the senses of dogs made them exceptionally good allies in a dangerous world. Our domestic felines started out as wild cats hanging around graneries and were tolerated when they kept the rodent population down. Coincidentally useful allies became just pets.

Horses started as a means of transportation, agriculture, and above all war. Today with prevalence of the internal combustion engine, most horses in the West have more to do with recreation and fondness than usefulness. Miniature horses are particularly nice pets – with less upkeep than fullsized horses, they can pull people (like grandparent and grandchild) in carts. Horses still serve us well. Various kinds of hippotherapy are extremely good for people. Children with coordination issues are helped by riding horseback; people with communication issues are helped by interaction with these remarkably sensitive animals.

You don’t have to be physically or psychologically impaired to benefit from service animals. Twice a year during final exams, therapy dogs (and a cat or two) from an organization called Faithful Paws come to the Rice University Library, where I work. Students, staff and faculty alike love it when they do. Something about petting a friendly dog or holding a fluffy cat puts smiles on stressed-out human faces.

We have a lot to thank our pets for.

Thanks so much for hosting me today.


SPIKE - Pets in Space Anthology

By Alexis Glynn Latner
Young Roboticist Ten Jaxdown has to deploy, and possibly sacrifice, the swarm of investigative robots that he has invented and cares about more than anything else in the star system. It may be the only hope for those depending on him and his robots to save them. Yet, even as frantic preparations for the unprecedented deep-space rescue mission are set in motion, it could all be threatened by sabotage.

Pets in Space Anthology
Release Date: October 11 2016
ISBN: 978-1-942583-40-0

Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?

New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!

10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Want to pre-order now? See links under Pets in Space cover on right sidebar  > > >


  1. Pets certainly do have super healing powers. Our cat, Felix, was always waiting for Our Son when he came home from his chemo treatments and would curl up next to him, providing comfort during a tough time.

    So glad you're part of Pets in Space! Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us (and the world)!

  2. I've known a couple of people who had horses as pets -- they never rode them.

  3. I know quite a few people who love having horses just as "pasture ornaments" with no intention to ride them. Horses provide their own brand of "eye therapy" and it can also make for a good home for those horses that can't be ridden due to injury or other factors. (Also works for people who can't ride for the same reasons, but love having horses around.)

  4. Thanks for having me over, Laurie! - Alexis

  5. Thanks for visiting and for a wonderful guest blog, Alexis.


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