My mom wanted me to thank my childhood dog Sammy, a dog that has survived coon dog paralysis and whose tail never stops wagging, in my acknowledgments.
Annie wanted me to thank Oreo, the cat who own me, hogs my chair, and sprawls out across my notes.
I thanked neither.
After reading an article titled “With Thanks to My Cat” in London’s Guardian, I’m glad I chose to reserve my thanks for two-legged creatures. I found the article while Googling for tips on writing acknowledgments. The article features many of the clichés included in acknowledgements in quotes, including “my cat,” “incomparable editor,” “ceaseless attention,” “tireless encouragement,” etc.
I tried to avoid many of them, but at least one “without whom this book would not have been possible” snuck through. Darn gratitude, anyhow.
The article briefly addresses dedications with this frightening mix up:
The publisher of one of CP Snow’s novels scribbled on the proofs when sending them back to the printer the rather exotic name (let us call her Samantha) of the printer who was to deal with them. And she, being absent on holiday, could not prevent “For Samantha” appearing on the dedication page – to the alarm of Snow’s wife, Pamela Hansford Johnson.
If this happened to my book, and it ended up being dedicated to Samantha, Sheila, Tyra, Oprah, or whomever, I’d be in it deep. Annie would beat me. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.