Pauline Baird Jones: Houston, I Need a Pet, and Pets in Space

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Pauline Baird Jones:

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I, who have a story in an anthology called Pets in Space, am not currently “owned” by a pet (unless you count our wild bunnies and the deer that pause long enough to leave brown deposits on our lawn while on their way to eat my sister’s flowers.)

We used to be owned by two cats. Felix (named after a hurricane) came to our family via some friends and The Look from Our Son. You know that Look, the one that says, “My life will be over and possibly the world will end if you don’t give me what I want right now.”

Houston Need Pet

I might have still resisted, but the Look packs more than a message about saving the world. It has the power to alter your brain chemistry, so that when your brain starts working again, you are owned by said cat and scooping stinky clumps out of a box (I have a vague memory of the Son swearing he’d scoop forever and ever and I’d never have to do a thing…)

Our second cat was the brother of Felix and you know we had to call him Oscar. I wouldn’t recommend ever doing that again. Because they turned out just like Felix and Oscar of The Odd Couple. Seriously. When Oscar did his business in the box, Felix would go in and clean up after him.

Sadly, Oscar had some birth defects and wasn’t with us long. I thought that having shared ownership of us would make Felix more flexible when Allie came to stay with us for a few years (we were cat sitting for Our Daughter) but, no, they fought like, well, cats.

Felix passed away a few years ago and Allie followed him into the afterlife last year. I have this image in my head of Felix giving her that same look he gave her when she showed up at our house the first time. And I expect they are now chasing each other all over in the afterlife.

Because we are currently in “travel to and fro upon the land” mode, we have not allowed ourselves to be adopted by a pet. (We manage this by not making eye contact with any cat, particularly any cute kittens—who will live longer than I will at this point.)

But, the pet need simmers on. When I see cute pet pics on Facebook, yeah, I feel the tug (can pets guilt you from the afterlife?).

While waiting for someone to invent the virtual pet (all the companionship with none of the scooping), I’m settling for fictional pets.

Though I have to say, during the writing of “The Real Dragon,” Peddrenth the bearded dragon became so real to me that I miss having him hanging around now that the story is finished. (However, I’m not sorry I’m not buying bugs for him…)

Have you ever bonded with a fictional pet? Do you love stories featuring animals?

If you like stories of romance, action, adventure and PETS, I hope you’ll check out Pets in Space. Not only will you get EIGHT original, never-before-published stories, and ONE expanded story, 10% of the first month’s proceeds will be donated to, an organization dedicated to training dogs to help Veterans suffering from PTSD and other battle injuries.

I swallowed to wet my dry throat and asked, “Is he, you know, humanoid?”

“Mazan? Of course.”

What was “of course” about it? This alien had accidentally collected the dragon, not the human.

“Does he look like…I mean, is he purple or something?” I had a feeling if Peddrenth could have rolled his eyes, he would have.

“You…” he stopped, as if reconsidering what he’d meant to say.

“You all look similar to me.” From “The Real Dragon,” Pets in Space

About Pauline Baird Jones
Pauline never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. You can find out more about her books (and get a free story for subscribing to her newsletter) at: http:///

Pauline Baird Jones








Click here for your copy of Pets in Space


  1. Loved the post! I can just see you buying bugs for the dragon LOL.

    1. S.E. Smith says:

      LOL. I’ll take a bakers dozen please…

  2. Aw, I have a feeling a pet is going to find you soon, Pauline. 🙂 Loved the excerpt from The Real Dragon!

    1. S.E. Smith says:

      I agree, Laurie! This is a fabulous story! <3

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