This wiener dog doesn’t figure in a kids book about which mutt to pet or how to boost your self-esteem. No, Rosie is far too serious and literary for that — instead, she’s appears in Dreamers of the Day, a fully adult book, which the Columbus Dispatch describes as “an intriguing new historical novel by Mary Doria Russell.”
The plot revolves around “Agnes, a schoolteacher who has inherited a little money after losing most of her family during the influenza epidemic of 1918, (and) visits Egypt accompanied by her dachshund, Rosie. She meets not only T.E. Lawrence but also Winston Churchill and Lady Gertrude Bell at a conference that will split the Middle East into the shape it takes today.”
The newspaper asked Russell how a Dachshund got involved and she answered:
They always tell you, “Write what you know.” In the midst of writing A Thread of Grace, I decided that what I really wanted was my very own dog.
My son and my husband have this gigantic golden retriever, Leo. I gave Leo every opportunity to snuggle up with me, and he didn’t do it. I really wanted a dog who would be my friend, and it would be helpful if it didn’t weigh 100 pounds.
I got completely seduced by dachshunds, and I started haunting petfinder. com. It was like porn for
me: I would go and sneak a look, and my husband would come in, and I’d go, “I’m not looking at dachshunds!”
So I ended up getting a dachshund, whose name is Annie.
I will admit that Annie is the model upon which Rosie is based.
And I feel that I can say without fear of contradiction that Dreamers of the Day contains the finest portrait of a 15-pound black-and-tan long-haired dachshund in modern American literature.