How Og the dog came to be


Do you see the handsome fellow in the picture? It’s my dog Ove. He is a nine-month-old German Shorthaired Pointer. We got him earlier this year and as always when you get a new pet the biggest problem is what to name the little creature. In our case, it was fairly easy. In Swedish ‘vovve’ is ‘dog’, or rather ‘vovve’ is ‘doggie’ and my two-year-old said “ove”—she still does whenever she sees a dog. Ove is a male name in Sweden, though not a very common one, but it seemed fitting for the dog. So Ove it was and Ove this is.

When I was emailing with my friend, Jonathan Penn, he asked what the dog was called. I told him what I wrote above. So it would be as if I named a dog Og, he asked. And it would.

When I came to write Once in a Snowstorm I figured our lonely lumberjack needed a dog to keep him company in his secluded cabin, and remembering what Jonathan had written back in the summer I named him Og. In the first draft, I did say that Og was a German Shorthaired Pointer, but I think that paragraph got deleted sometime during the process because when I went back to check now I couldn’t find it. In my head, Og still is a German Shorthaired Pointer, but I guess you can make him whatever breed you see fit.

Og’s first appearance in Once in a Snowstorm:


Soft approaching footfalls interrupted his slumber, or were they footfalls, or…? They were closing in rapidly, and they didn’t sound…human. Aiden didn’t have the energy to open his eyes and look. It was probably all in his imagination anyway.

But he couldn’t ignore when something wet and cold touched his face.

Aiden grunted and turned away, squinting in exhaustion at his would-be attacker. Through the blur of icy lashes, he saw a brown face and honey-coloured eyes watching him with interest. The light-brown snout came towards him again, but Aiden managed to put up an arm before the wet whiskers made contact with his skin. What is a dog doing in the middle of the forest?

The bark startled him.

“Og! Get back here!” That’s a human voice. Aiden tried to speak, but not a sound passed his lips. The last of his energy seeped out in the snow. He reached up and grabbed a hold of the dog’s collar, not wanting it to leave him. Then he closed his eyes.

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