This morning's post on girls with dogs in the blog It's About Time ties in nicely with a question I had for myself last night. I have just finished a short story set on a farm about a family who would surely have had a dog. Should I have given them one? I didn't because dogs have such personalities it would have to become a character with a role in the plot. Writers, have you found yourself making similar decisions? Readers, if there is a dog in a story or novel, how much do you expect it to contribute to the action or the emotions? What about a cat?