Replacing the human mom in the cartoon with a dragon mom has not been so simple. Since Mom was, essentially, me, I wanted the resulting dragon to be representative of me, even if not a direct caricature. In scoping out all the dragons and dragonlike creatures from cultures all around the world, I tried to find something I liked that was close to my own heritage. I began working toward creatures from Native American folklore, even if I couldn’t find anything specific to my own relations (Cherokee and Choctaw) I felt I was getting close. My friend Melissa pointed me toward the Mishupeshu, also known as the Underwater Panther, one of the most important of several mythological water beings among many indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands and Great Lakes region. Although it is never regarded specifically as a feline it has catlike traits, plus antlers, which were very important for me! (I always mutter that I wish I had antlers when I am in a crowd of annoying people)
The Mishupeshu also has an extremely long, prehensile tail, which I thought would be a really fun and different trait for one of my dragons to have. So, in still working out how Teddy looks, I have made her limbs much more feline, given her the long tail, and she retains her antlers she has had all along. She does not drop the antlers yearly, like a deer, however. It was nice to learn of a another dragonish species that was furry besides just my beloved Peludas, because I also wanted her to have fur. I think I’ve almost got her.