There is something magical about writers and their pets. Barbara grew up in a home full of animals. There was the usual assortment of dogs, cats, hamsters, goldfish and birds. As well, however, because her mother was a biology teacher, there were often more exotic pets: an aligator in the bathtub, a box turtle under the living room sofa, mice and white rats in cages all over the place, and a wounded pigeon living under the basement stairs.
Throughout her adult life, Barbara and her family had cats, usually two or three, and later dogs as well. At the present time she shares the house - and the sofas - with a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, a gorgeous, goofy boy named Kenzie. Sadly,the bouncy, exuberant girl named Eva, on whom Amanda's dog Kaylee is based, has died, gone but never forgotten. Eva snuggles with Kenzie in the second photo.