When Ulrica Hume was faced with promoting her new novel, An Uncertain Age, everyone told her that she needed to blog. Uncomfortable with the idea of writing about herself, she turned to the next best thing: the dogs of San Francisco.

The result is “a dog a day”, an offbeat photo journal featuring rescue dogs, greyhounds, pit bulls, elderly dogs, and dogs with attitude.

“It all began with Chas, the dog in my novel,” Hume explains in the blog’s introduction. “He’s a Tervueren, a breed that herded sheep in medieval times. Chas’s character was inspired by two dogs in north London: the late Merlin of Primrose Hill and Mocha of Highgate. Each of these dogs, real and fictional, has a unique personality, as all dogs do. They’re like people with fur, only lacking the sarcasm and more easily pleased.

“Fast forward to San Francisco. I was on a walk in Noe Valley, and happened to notice a nice black dog waiting outside a gym for his owner who was running on one of those treadmills inside. I wondered why the owner just didn’t take his dog on a walk, which would have ‘killed two birds with one stone’, so to speak. Or maybe the dog was too old for that. But it made me wonder about all the other city dogs. Who are they? What are their circumstances? I decided to find out…”

“Never work with animals or children,” said the late W.C. Fields. Hume tends to agree. “I’m happy focusing on the dogs, but I would also like to get the word out about my novel.” An Uncertain Age, part spiritual mystery, part love story, tells the story of a woman who has lost everything–man, job, etc.–and seeks to reinvent herself.

Hume’s next stop: Maddie’s Pet Adoption Center at the San Francisco SPCA.

Meanwhile, “a dog a day” has reached thousands since its launch in late August, with clicks from dog lovers around the world. You can see it for yourself at www.ulricahume.com/blog