Sometimes it’s hard to remember that not everyone has a kinship to dogs. Those of us who do, know the joy they can bring into our lives. I grew up on a farm more than several years ago. Animals of all sizes and personalities surrounded me, and I don’t remember a time when we didn’t have a farm dog. They were never allowed inside our home. Their shelter came from outbuildings, and their food consisted of table scraps and their hunting skills. How different those farm dogs were from the dogs I know today.
I’m at a bittersweet moment when I write about my son’s family dog. Recently, Sadie, their gentle-badass-German Shepard, left this life. So our hearts are tender for a while. She certainly didn’t have to forage for her food, as her last couple of year’s meals were home-cooked, special for her diet. She was welcomed into her family’s temperature-controlled home, where she slept in total comfort at night and during her naps. We all miss this beauty and will not forget Sadie, who diligently kept guard over those she loved.
My daughter’s dog is one and a half years old. He bounces back and forth from his puppy stage to his love of learning. Ollie is an Australian Shepard that “dines” on a diet of frozen meals delivered by men in brown trucks. And, of course, he earns extra treats when he is in training. He loves entertaining our entire family, eagerly showing off his agility talents. And true to his breed that loves to herd, Ollie quickly learned to herd soccer balls into a goal. However, he often forgets he’s not supposed to herd people, and there are times he is as energetic as that Energizer Bunny that doesn’t know when to stop.
MORE CANINE FRIENDS
I’ve never written a novel about dogs. However, I’ve never written a book without including at least one dog somewhere in my stories. Meet my canine characters.
Blaze—the border collie in The Rocking Horse, is friendly, loyal, and therapeutic to more than one person dealing with grief and heartaches.
Toby—the “girl” cocker spaniel puppy in Hush Girl: It’s Only a Dream. She was named after a boy in the pet store. Like our family’s part cocker spaniel I loved in my home, she was adorable and occasionally had accidents before she could get outside to pee.
Corky & Rusty—two crossbreed dogs in Never Waste Tears.
Corky reminded me of some of the farm dogs I used to know. His loyalty to his first family is undeniable, and with Hannah’s kindness and love, he adapts to his new home and survives the rugged prairie.
Rusty was a dog that loved to chase chickens. But, because raising chickens on the prairie meant survival for the settlers, Rusty wasn’t thought kindly of all the time. Yet, he was a lifeline for one woman’s sanity until he tangled with a rabid skunk.
Corky, Yippy, & Puff---in the sequel Never Waste Dreams, three dogs played a vital role in the story.
Corky discovers and befriends an abandoned child in the particular way a dog can help heal a broken spirit.
Yippy & Puff are pups born into a litter too large for one farmer to feed them all. By happenstance, they are rescued from the man’s rifle and taken in by two families, each with a child that needs their love and protection.
These canine friends were as real to me as any of my human characters. They had a significant role in my books. Each one touched my heart with his unique personality and characteristic traits, and I loved including them in my stories.