The Dogs Behind Unleashed

Whether you’ve read it yet or not, you probably know that Unleashed features several lovable furry characters. Maybe you wondered if any of them were inspired by real dogs, and yes, some of them were. That’s what this post is all about! :)

If you’ve read any of my recent interviews, you’ve probably heard me talking about the photo that inspired Unleashed. As a volunteer with my local boxer rescue group, I see a lot of emails forwarded from local shelters about dogs needing urgent rescue before they’re euthanized. When I was beginning to plot Unleashed, I got an email about a female boxer named Sadie. This photo was attached:


It really gripped me. Her fear and despair are palpable. I copied this photo into my plotting notes for Unleashed, and the rest of the book kind of fell into place around her. I don’t know if the real Sadie found rescue, but I made sure to take good care of her fictional counterpart. :)

Then there’s Mojo. Remember him? Cara fosters him at the beginning of the book. Mojo was a real foster dog of mine, and he was as relaxed and easygoing in real life as he is in Unleashed. In fact, we only had him a week before he found his forever home.


And the final inspiration for Unleashed, although she doesn’t appear in its pages, is my own rescue boxer, Lacy. Adopting her, loving her, and volunteering for the rescue that saved her, are the true inspiration for Unleashed and the Love to the Rescue series. I love this girl more than words can express!

lacy (2)


  1. I loved Unleashed! I can’t wait for your next book For Keeps! I bought a second book for my best friend who also loves contemporary romance books. Can’t wait to continue to read your stories!

  2. Thanks so much Emily! I’m so glad you liked it – yay! :)

  3. Hi. I wish I had a huge tract of land and the facilities to rescue a bunch of animals, but alas I don’t. Bless you for the work you do with boxer rescue. It’s beyond me how anyone can mistreat an animal because I love my pets so much. I enjoyed “Unleashed” and am looking forward to the follow-up. And I hope you’ll mention Cara and Matt now and then and let us know how they’re doing. Best of luck to you with all your writing projects.

  4. Thanks so much, Annette! I’m so glad you enjoyed Unleashed. Cara and Matt will definitely pop back up in the next two books, no worries! :)

Leave a Reply to Annette Mardis Cancel reply