My pal Bonnie visited me the other day, with the latest member of her family: a schnoodle she calls Abby Rhodes. Bonnie revealed that Abby had spent the first two years of her life as a shelter mutt. You could tell this, just by looking at the cute little thing: thin but not frail, a coat that lacked that best-of-breed sheen, one ear perched higher than the other…
Of yeah, and a nub where she once had a tail.
“It was broken, so the vet felt it should go,” Bonnie sighed.
But there was no regret there, at all. How could there be? Snuggled deep in the crux of Bonnie’s arm was, she felt, the dog she’d was meant to save.
This was validated whenever Abby’s eyes meet Bonnie’s.
The look of love between them is a lightning bolt of joy.
Granted, Abby no longer has a tail to wag, but she can still give the lick of love.
We are told that all dogs go to heaven. That’s got to be true. Why else is “Dog”, God spelled backward?
I was raised around Dobermans. The ones my father bought came from the Mikadobe lineage, which boasts a long line of show dogs.
Our Mikadobes were family pets. Still, with their noble demeanors, Kazan I, II, and III could easily have been contenders. Legend has it that our very first Mikadobe, a female we named Midnight, saved my toddler sister’s life by pulling her out of the street by her diaper.
Unfortunately, my husband is allergic to Dobermans. When we married, we sated our pre-child nurturing instincts by shifting our allegiance to a pound puppy we named Cassie. This lab-dal (a cross between a Labrador and a Dalmatian, something we discovered several years and half a country away, when we were parked at a red light next to a pickup truck holding her male twin) was our spoiled little princess. Feeling guilty for having to leave her for our nine-to-five office gigs, we bought her a companion: a full-bred Airedale we called Tiburon, after one of our favorite little Marin County bayside towns.
Our worries that this older male would rule the roost was put to rest when we saw how easily Cassie banished him, every evening, from our bedroom.
Talk about a bitch.
Thank goodness, she soon came to love him, too.
No doubt Cassie resented the eventual births of our son and our daughter. But she was smart enough to get over it quickly, and to reinvent herself as their guardian, sleeping under their crib. They rewarded her by tossing her any veggies they refused to eat, first rom the trays of their high chairs, then slipping it to her under the table.
Our pets teach us that all God’s creatures have complex personalities; that they love and protect us fiercely, and forgive us easily.
Perhaps too easily, considering our own sins.
I guess that’s why I find it so easy to write a dog into every one of my novels.
You’re introduced to one of my heroines, Donna Stone, in Guns and Roses, the Murder She Writes anthology. Since Donna’s name is an homage to those perfect television housewives of the 1950s, you can only guess the name and breed of the dog that is loved by the family Stone.
In fact, to enter the contest, read this excerpt from The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook for a chance to win the Digital eBook, GUNS AND ROSES – A Murder She Writes Anthology.
To be eligible, answer this question via email to MailFromJosie@gmail.com:
What is the cost of Jack’s shoes?
After reading the excerpt, get a bonus point by commenting here, below, about you and your favorite pet memory….
Now, go love up on a pup,