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Star dog

09:00 26 March 2016

Rowan Coleman, award-winning author of twelve novels, and her two year old Polish lowland sheepdog Blossom.

Rowan Coleman, award-winning author of twelve novels, and her two year old Polish lowland sheepdog Blossom.

Archant

Crufts was this month, which started us thinking about the close relationship between people and their dogs. Here, Berkhamsted-based best-selling author Rowan Coleman describes her friendship with Blossom, her sheepdog

Life for a novelist can be an isolating experience, but for novelist Rowan Coleman this couldn’t be further from the truth. As well as sharing her hectic home with five children, she has her Polish lowland sheepdog Blossom to provide unconditional love and companionship. Blossom has even helped her to research her latest novel...

Have dogs always been part of your life?

I’ve had dogs in my life since I was about two years old and I can’t imagine being without one. It’s great for children to grow up with a dog and learn about caring and taking care of an animal as well as running around getting muddy!

What made you choose a Polish lowland sheepdog?

When I was growing up we always had Old English sheepdogs, and my husband had a bearded collie. We met a lovely dog in Christchurch in Dorset that looked a bit like both of those breeds, but not quite. Turned out he was a Polish lowland sheepdog and we fell in love with the breed. A couple of years later I heard through a writer friend of a puppy still looking for a home. It seemed like fate.

Where do you like to walk with Blossom?

Last year I took up running as part of the research for my latest novel We Are All Made of Stars and Blossom comes running with me most days. We love to go to Ashridge woods and maybe walk up to the Greyhound in Aldbury for lunch. There are also miles of canal that we like to run along.

What’s the best thing about having a dog?

There are so many great things, but I think over all it’s the companionship; a constant and devoted friendship that goes both ways.

What’s Blossom’s favourite place in the house?

She has a bed that for some reason she likes to drag into the middle of doorways, so that you have to step over her. I think this is to make sure we don’t forget her! But at night she sleeps on the top stair, where she can keep an eye on us all.

Her favourite treat?

A piece of cheese. Blossom would do anything for cheese.

And best trick?

The great thing about having a lot of children and a herding dog is that she is on the look-out for them all the time. If I take them to the park or the common, she is constantly rounding them up and bringing them back. This is invaluable when you have three-year-old twins intent on going in opposite directions!

What’s her oddest habit?

Blossom is very fussy about the water she drinks – she only likes to drink from the water butt in the garden. In the recent cold weather it became frozen solid, so we had to fill bottles of water and stand in the garden in our coats pouring it out for her to drink from!

Rowan Colemans’ latest novel We Are All Made of Stars (Ebury Publishing) is out now.

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