Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jeri Smith-Ready and Heroes With a Bite

Hello again! Since last year I devoted Part Two of my guest-blogging adventure to Shane McAllister, the hero of my WVMP Radio series (Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone), this year I’ve decided, like yesterday, to do something a little different.

Introducing Dexter. He’s a dog. But not just any kind of dog. Sure, he lacks the pedigree of those fancy pooches at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and he lacks the cuteness of Marley, and he lacks the brains of Lassie, and he lacks---

OK, I’ll stop, before he gets a complex.

Dexter is special because he’s a vampire. No, really.

Basic stats:

  • Age: Unknown and irrelevant, because like all vampires, he’s immortal
  • Hair: black, short, patchy in some spots
  • Eyes: brown, except when they glow red
  • Height: 30” at the haunches (big dude)
  • Weight: 220 pounds (did I mention he was big?)
  • Hometown: Unknown, but if the town had tracks, he’s from the wrong side of them
  • Distinguishing Marks: a network of badass facial scars
  • Education: None. He would flunk any obedience class by eating the other dogs.
  • Astrological Sign: Taurus maybe? (he’s stubborn but sweet, slow to anger, but once you get him really mad, look out!)
  • Likes: getting hour-long belly rubs, sniffing fire hydrants, drinking a bowlful of dog blood (it’s okay—they have blood banks for dogs, too!)
  • Dislikes: anyone who messes with the woman he loves (our heroine, Ciara Griffin). Oh, and landlords.
So how in the world does a dog become a vampire? Good question! And the obvious answer (he gets bitten by a human vampire and then drinks the human’s blood) is way incorrect. In fact…ew.

In my universe, vampirism is species-specific. The human vampires can only sustain themselves on human blood (so no point in going to the local butcher for a meal), and canine vampires can only live on dog blood (and as I mentioned above, there are blood banks for dogs, so he doesn’t need to tap the neighbor’s poodle).

Near as Ciara can figure, Dexter was born a regular dog, had a hard-knock life (hence the scars) and was later turned into a vampire in the laboratories of the Control, the paranormal paramilitary organization that oversees vampire/human relations in the WVMP world. (“The Control” is short for the International Agency for the Control and Management of Undead Corporeal Entities, so as to distinguish it from the agency of the same name in GET SMART.)

Then, according to the Control’s database, Dexter was a washout as a vampire dog, due to “low aggression levels.” He was scheduled to be euthanized when…he disappeared.

Here’s how Ciara found him, an indeterminate time later (from Bad to the Bone Chapter Three):

We stumble through a thick copse of trees—or more precisely, David and I stumble. Shane and Jim have the coordination and night vision of natural predators—not that their blood donors ever provide much of a chase.

We come to a small clearing at the base of the cross, about fifteen feet in diameter. It’s almost completely dark, since the patriotic spotlight sits on the ground on the other side of the trees.

I sweep the flashlight beam across the clearing. “So where would a translator—”

Two glowing red eyes stare out of the darkness.

“What the—”

In front of me, Jim halts and holds out an arm. “Whoa.”

A hunched black shape slouches in front of the white structure. The clank of a chain rises over the sound of the wind in the trees. A low growl stops my breath.

Suddenly the creature roars and leaps forward. I jump back, squealing like a little girl. The chain rattles, then jerks tight.

Shane grabs my arm. “It’s just a dog.”

Can’t be. The noise it makes sounds like a cross between a rabid cougar and a locomotive.

“I’ve never seen a dog like that.” David looks just as scared as I am.

“Don’t worry.” Shane moves a little closer, stepping sideways. “It’s tied up.”

I gesture for David to stay back, then follow Shane. The barking grows louder but higher-pitched. Finally the flashlight fully illuminates the dog, and I let myself relax.

It probably weighs twice as much as I do, and my head might fit inside its mouth, but its tail is wagging, and it’s play-bowing and clawing the ground at the end of the chain.

“It’s okay, buddy,” I murmur. “We’re here to help.”

The dog’s bark turns to a whimper as I approach. My light reveals ribs and hip bones showing through patchy black fur. Its head is square, but its legs are long, lending a mismatched, rangy look. Huge eyes reflect the light with a green glow.

When I’m a few feet away, the dog drops to its belly, then rolls over, pawing the air and rubbing its—wait,
his—back on the gravelly dirt.

“Looks friendly enough,” Shane says.

“It could be a trick.” David’s voice gets fainter as he backs up behind me. “It could be luring you in, looking all innocent.”

“Dogs are a lot of things, but they’re not con artists.” I kneel near the dog, still out of range of the chain. He stops groveling and gets to his feet, then shakes off the dust with a horse-like shudder of his hide.
“You’re all right now.” I keep my voice low and even, my gaze on his shoulder instead of his eyes as I extend my hand, palm down and curled, for him to sniff. He licks my fingertips, his tail whipping back and forth like a puppy’s. “What a good boy. You’re someone’s pet, aren’t you?” I examine his huge black face, crisscrossed with faded gray scars. “Or maybe bait for a pit bull trainer. You’re too nice to be a fighter yourself.”

“You know what’s freaky?” Jim says. “He’s not barking at me.”

As if to prove the point, the dog wags his tail at the hippie vampire. Jim laughs and sings the first line to Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog”—off-key, as usual. The pup wags harder.

“Whoever put him here doesn’t deserve him.” I stand and dust the dirt off my knees. “So we should take custody.”

As you can probably tell, I love dogs. I love living with them, talking about them, and writing about them. Here’s a picture of my own cutie pie, Meadow:

She’s not the least bit badass (unless you’re a rabbit).

So to enter this week’s contest for a pair of signed books (Wicked Game and the upcoming Bad to the Bone, and if you already have Wicked Game you can substitute one of my other books):

Tell me about your pets, or about another animal that’s been a hero to you, or that you’ve been a hero to (if, say, you rescued them from a shelter or a bad situation). Feel free to link to a photo of your favorite furry friend.

All the commenters from today and yesterday will go into a drawing tonight at 11:59pm. (You can comment on both posts—in fact, I encourage it!)

I’ll announce the winner of the drawing tomorrow, when I’ll talk a little more about Bad to the Bone, and Shane himself will be available for examination—I mean, questioning.

P.S.: I'll be at a book event most of the day, until about 4 or 5pm Eastern time, but I'll try to answer comments when I get home. See ya!



Unknown said...

My husband and I got Reese from the SPCA. 2 hours after we got her, we found out that she had parvo. We had taken her to Banfield and $1100 later, she was good as new! Oh and I called the SPCA and told them a thing or twelve. They tried to say "you can bring her back and exchange her". She's not a sweater. Needless to say I won't be going there for any more animals. It broke my heart.

Sarai said...

K I'm more of a cat person now. I used to work at a shelter Purfect Pets which takes in cats. My first kitty was found at Walmart with mites so bad in her ears that the vet was sure she would be deaf. She was scared to death of humans and completely underweight for her age (she fit in the palm of my hand and she was 6 months not good)

She can't meow all she can do is chirp (hence her name krickett) due to the lack of nutrients. So when I got her I have worked and worked with her. Now she will sit on my lap if I sit really, really still LOL. She still has her hearing the only thing that she still suffers from is a form of wheezing but we are working on it.

The second kitty I got from there I named after the God of mischief Loki and she fits her name to a tee but she is SUPER loving and adores Krickett they are BFFs.

Kristin said...

I'm going to love reading about Dexter...and the rest of the gang, too!
I got my cat Hobbes when I worked as a Vet Assistant...someone found him on the side of the road and dropped him off...he had apparently been hit by a car. He had nerve damage in his front right leg...if someone would take him home, the vet would remove the leg and save his life...well duh, that was me!!! :) He was about 8 months old at the time and will be 8 years old this summer...and he still has no idea he's only got three legs!!! :)

Amy L. said...

Oh my goodness, Meadow is beautiful! If we had a house we would totally have a dog or 2. Since we're stuck in an apartment for now, we have 2 fat cats, Marlowe and Cleo. They are littermates and are so close they're like one animal. Usually. Sometimes they fight, but usually they are just all up on each other. It's cute. Marlowe is a black male, and Cleo is a female tortie with extra toes. They are a lot of fun and are real love bugs. If you came over, they would sniff your toes and then proceed to crawl all over you... they don't seem to have any fear of strangers or anything!

(it's amyleaton on LJ, btw)

Anonymous said...

I too only have a cat...Saxon. She is so named because when I received her from the cat rescue society as a kitten, she disappeared in my house for 6 months battling me. The only way she would come out is if I was in bed under covers and she would come and lay on top of me like she had "conquered me".

Today, I cannot sit down without her sitting on me as well but she still has her "fierce" moments especially around strangers.

I would love to receive a book and I really enjoy your blogs.

Regards, Ruth

The Brunette Librarian said...

I have a 3 year old dachshund named Daisy! :) She's a pretty awesome little dog...she wears sweaters when she's cold, plays with cats, and hates the neighbor's dog with a passion. She loves ice cream but wouldn't eat a carrot if her life depended on it. :D

Definetly makes my life better!

Chris said...

I have two black cats, Chaos and Mayhem. I've known Chaos since he was a born. May's a rescue kitty - I've had her since she was about three months old.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

All of our animals our rescue. Jadzea, my little chubby princess, was a feral kitten. The rescue found her injured; her tailbone and tail were broken. I adopted her soon after she healed. She's almost 100% at age 2. She can't lift her tail straight up, but her cuteness makes up for her "disability". Here's a picture of her with my son: http://twitpic.com/4lt3u

frivolousone said...

I didn't rescue my Italian Greyhound, Dobby Bella, but she ended up rescuing me. Let's just say that I don't know where I'd be without her. When I'm home alone she's who I talk to. She love's the hairdryer. She comes running from wherever she is and paws at me until I dry her. She makes me laugh.

DavidH said...

I didn't get our dog from a shelter but we do alot of volunteering for our local shelters.

Our dog Mugato, name from the Star Trek episode 'private little war', is 20lbs of 'ferocious' barking and tail wagging. Totally unafraid.

Mistress said...

Lol what a zexy beast,I'm a sucker for magical and mysterious animal sidekicks.Haven't met a vampire dog yet in UF; looking forward to making dexter's aquintance.

Tracy said...

No animals at my house nowadays but in the past I had a lovely Cocker Spaniel named Beau who barked till he was hoarse and a pot-bellied pig named Hamilton who was like a 2 year old. lol They were great pets even though they didn't get along with each other. Who doesn't love a 75 pound pig jumping on your bed to snuggle with them?

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have two cats, both torties, that were strays. They have such different personalities, but I'm wrapped around their paws.

I'm definitely an animal person, and if my hubby weren't around I would probably have a house full of cats and other rescued animals.

Amy Pittel said...

I love Dexter's story and I can't wait to read more about him in Bad to the Bone!

My story is about Sammy, the sweetest kitty I ever met. When I was a little girl, our next door neighbor found Sammy by the side of the road. He was less than a year old at the time. Our neighbor's son was highly allergic to cats, so they were not able to keep him. My mom had already fallen in love with Sammy, so we took him in. If ever a cat had 9 lives, this was the one. Despite loving his life with our family, he occasionally got the urge to sneak out the front door to munch the grass. One day he disappeared. The next morning he was found, lying by the side of the road, having been hit by a car. The vet was a miracle worker, and despite having a broken leg, a paralyzed tail, and internal injuries, Sammy recovered. He lived to a ripe old age, finally passing away when I was in college. He still sneaks into my dreams, to this day.

donnas said...

Aww, great excerpt. I love animals. I have 2 cats, both were rescued from Animal Control. Sparti was on his last day there when my boyfriend at the time adopted him. And my other current cat was on his last days too because he was sneezing and no one would take him. He ended up having pneumonia all it took was a shot of the medicine and he was fine. He can still be a little skittish, but he is getting sweeter all the time. You can tell that it affect his nose some, sometimes if he is sniffing something real interesting you can hear it and he tries so hard. It took a while for him to start to really purr and want to sit on your lap. But now he fights the other cat for his share of the attention.

Pamk said...

we are down to two pets now a full blood Austalian Shepherd named Rusty and an albino farrot named gizmo.

Jennzah said...

my cat, mneo, became mine the day he was born. it was my first year of college and i was homesick, and a friend mentioned her cat had had kittens and would i like to go to her parents and see them? sure. we had two cats at home and i missed them. so we went and here were all these tiny fluff balls. i couldn't help going to try to snuggle them, and then mneo popped out and they let me hold him. i was in love. they told me that i could have him if i wanted him, and i decided then and there that i wanted him. we went back three weeks later to see them again, and i sat and held him for an hour, not wanting to give him back. when i finally got to pick him up @ seven weeks, it was one of the happiest days of my life. he was so tiny and he came wrapped in a blanket since they'd just given him a bath... aw.

mneo is a hero to me because i suffer from bipolar and have had a very, very hard road. i've had ups and downs, and my downs tend to be very, very bad. Mneo's been with me through ten years of ups and downs, and he's surely saved my life more than once. he lets me squeeze him when i need reassurance, cry on him, and kiss him and hug him whenever i want. he's very tolerant and friendly to everyone. he's saved me from bad relationships (seriously, he jumped on a guys lap and hissed, spat, growled and swiped at him, and i told him he had to leave because the cat didn't like him), and kept me sane. he's my best friend and i wouldn't trade him for the world.

i believe the best animal friends aren't the ones that you pay for, but the ones that come into your life for free. mneo is living proof of that <3

rebyj said...

I love Dexter's story and Meadow is gorgeous.
I have homosexual cats. Their mom's were stray sisters that ended up having a total of 18 kittens within a day of each other on our property. We found homes for as many as possible and took the rest to a no kill shelter. These two we kept, eventually giving the black one to someone else cuz they constantly meowed at each other and humped and humped. I made an LOL catz out of one of their pics. They're on my honey's wheelchair and had it rockin, lil pervs.

See pic at :


Anonymous said...

I love dogs, but I work full-time, and have two kids (young uns), so I do not feel that we would be fair to de puppies at this time. However, I do have a cat. He's Jack. This is short for a variety of Jacks; Jack Daniels, Captain Jack Sparrow, and when he lands on me when I don't suspect it, Jackass. He's a big gray shadowcat. He is a total momma's boy and in fact completely disdains my husband. Unless the husband has food, at which point he begrudgingly acknowledges his existence. He is also sweet to the two children, which is extra impressive since my son Nicholas is autistic, and while he loves Jack right down to the tips of his paws, sometimes has to be reminded to leave the kitty alone and let him eat (or sleep or bathe or run, you get the picture). His rather sissified meow is why my daughter Bethany (age 2) does a decent cat noise. He has nearly killed me several times, since when I start heading toward my bed, he runs ahead of me so that he can get the good spot. In short, Jack? That there is a good cat.

Karen W. said...

I have two kitties, Spot and Bandit. They're the last two of five different rescue kitties, and they're old boys themselves now (almost 15).
They're truly my babies.

LesleyW said...

Hmmm, I just want to say - "Don't worry...it's tied up." Could so easily be famous last words. lol

My dog is a shih tzu cross, little dog, big personality.

Kinochi said...

It's heartwarming to read all the stories of people taking in stray/injured animals. My husband and I picked up our dog, Einstein, from the local animal shelter. She has us trained very well. As soon as her water dish or food dish is empty she picks it up and drops it at our feet. If you don't respond quickly enough she starts barking at you. We have not been as successful training her. Oh well.

Jo said...

Your books just sound so awesome.

When I was younger, my uncle used to keep fish. Lots and lots of fish. When I was around... 6, he bought some goldfish to use as food for his Oscar fish, and said he would keep one for me if I wanted. I did want, and I chose one, and I had a fish - which stayed at his house. I don't actually remember this, I just remember that my uncle had a goldfish in one of his tanks, and I used to say it was mine.
Anyway, the fish never had a name becaus I didn't know if it was a boy or a girl - which was important at the time; I couldn't possibly give it a boy's name if it was a girl, or vice versa. Though my Mum insists I named it Goldie. I think she's lying.
Months, years went by. The goldfish got quite fat, and al was good. Then one day, when I was round my Grandma's, my uncle called my Dad, and he passed the phone over to me. The goldfish had died. I was about 9, and I was absolutely devestated - even though I didn't see my fish all that often, or really look after it at all. It was just.. it was my fish, and it had died. I remember crying my eyes out on the stairs, really sobbing. After a while, my uncle came over with the fish so we could bury it. My Grandma had had a lot of pets over the years, and used part of her garden as a pet cemetary. So instead of just flushing the fish down the toilet like he normally would, my uncle brough the fish over, and we buried it.
It's one of the clearest memories I have, and I just find it odd. I was so upset, but it wasn't really mine.


Anonymous said...

I have two cats Beaker (13) and Skeeter(9) and one Chihuahua names Fraggle(5).
plus one salt water fish at the moment with crab's and snails.

first of all I love all my animals. But our first cat is a rescue. We did not get her from a shelter though but strait from the vet who worked on her. Beaker and all her little brothers and sisters was thrown from a car on the highway.. luckily beaker survived but had to have a few things fixed including her bottom jaw was disconnected. and the first time my husband saw her she jumped off the table and disconnected it again. anyway how we came about owning her was the vet contacted my husband (because he is a big sweetie) and asked if he would want this kitten. and my husband (being a big sweetie) could not get her fast enough even though he was not allowed to have animals and had to hide the kitten from his mom in his room for months. but when his mom did find out she was not mad because beaker is a wonderful cat.

and now he married me and Beaker is usually attached to my hip. lol my husband says she is a traitor. :) but he has Skeeter and Fraggle that follow him around. well Fraggle follows everyone but still....

and I must say your greyhounds is beautiful, if we did not have a Chihuahua we would have a greyhound. but we where told although it possible they would not recommend putting a Chihuahua and a grey hound together :(

and I have read bad to the bone and want to read the first one now..


Digital Diva said...

I rescued a Northern Sled Dog from being put down because of her hip dysplasia - she was beautiful and the best companion - but alas she died from cancer two days before xmas 2007. I was told because of her severe hip problems she wouldn't live past 5 years but she lived to be 11 years old. I now have a Hooded Fancy Rat, who is amazingly intelligent and very affectionate.

Jeri said...

Wow, so many great stories! I'll respond 5 at a time so it's not too enormous, and I'll probably take a break for dinner. :-)

Bridget: Oh, that poor dog. Sometimes the animal rescue organization we volunteer with (Tails of Hope) gets parvo puppies from shelters, but we make sure they're healthy before they go to an adoptive home (they usually stay in foster homes).

Sarai: You're such a hero for taking in Krickett. She's a lucky girl! And it's wonderful that Loki has befriended her. So often cats either dislike each other or just tolerate each other.

Kristin: It's amazing how well dogs and cats do with three legs. They just bop around like nothing's missing. :-)

Amy: That's really nice. I would like one day to have littermates. All of our cats have either fought or just sort of coexisted.

Ruth: That's funny! We always say that our cat Misha thinks to himself "Vici" when he's conquered something (or someone). As in Caesar's "Veni Vidi Vici". ;-p

HockeyVampiress said...

I have already told you about my current animals but I must share the story about Muskrat our first kitten together as a couple. My hubby and I picked this little runt kitten up from a farmers wife who wanted to get rid of some before they ended up as more barn cats. This little kitten was spoiled rotten and she was trained to stay and walk on a leash. She talked to herself everynight as she played fetch with herself up and down the stairs with a wayward scrunchie. She would fetch it too if you flung it across the room. Well hubby was working out of town and she was preggers and I had thought overdue. Well she went into labour and out pops 2 sacks of fluid with nothing in them. We took her to the vet after a while to see what was wrong.... well she needed to have a c section for $$$ or be put down cause there was only 2 babies in there and they had grown too big with only the sacks of fluid to push around. Needless to say I said OK to the C section and I had 2 little babies....while she was under sedation the first nite at home she fell asleep on one of the kittens and smothered it.....we ended up with mother and son but a month after she got hit by a car so I just had my little boy.... named Booger!!!

Sharon said...

I can't wait to read about Dexter - although I have to admit a dog that drinks blood kind of creeps me out...lol!

Our family rescued 2 cats - Mick & Mac. They are litter-mates and you couldn't ask for better, friendlier, more loving pets. Mick barks like a dog and Mac loves to sit on your shoulders like a "cat stole" and will fetch a flexible mini-frisbee!

The StupidDog (yes, it's one word) is owned by my husband & kids and lives in our house, but is NOT my dog!!! She's as sweet as can be, but dumb as a rock!

Deborah Blake said...

I love the way you think out of the box! In fact, I'm guessing you don't even know there's a box. Can't wait to read the next book, dog gone it!

Jeri said...

OK, y'all are seriously making me want to call up our foster coordinator and say, "Send me a kitty!" (We can't foster dogs anymore since Meadow hurt her back last year (too much playing and wrestling), but we want to foster cats at some point.)

Rachie G: Oh, I love dachshunds--they're so scrappy! Your cats are lucky to have a playmate their size. Our dog is not allowed to play with cats, for obvious reasons. ;-)

Chris: I love your story, with pictures and everything! Thanks for the link.

Jennsbookshelf: Jadzea is so pretty--I love calicos. Thanks for sharing your picture.

frivolousone: That's hysterical about the hair dryer! They have such wonderful quirks, don't they?

DavidH: Good for you for volunteering! I wonder what percentage of pets are named after Star Trek characters. One of our cats' middle name was Delenn, after the Minbari lady on Babylon 5 (because she was gray).

Jeri said...

Mistress: I don't know how I came up with the idea for a vampire dog. In the first draft, Dexter was a regular dog sort of "hosting" another character, but when I cut that other character, I had to figure out, OK, what's Dexter's deal? Since I decided to keep the series to just Undead Corporeal Entities, the answer was obvious--vampire!

Tracy: Wow, I have to say I can't imagine a 75-pound pig in bed. That's so cool that Hamilton was a snuggler.

hzilionis: They say some animals are like chips--you can't just have one! In the greyhound world, we call it "chipping" when you add another greyhound to your household. :-)

Amy: Oh my gosh, you must've been so scared! Thank goodness the vet was able to fix Sammy. Too bad we can't teach cats to look both ways before crossing the road. :(

donnas: It's wonderful the way they can continue to warm up to people year after year. Meadow was very reserved when we got her, and now she loves (usually) when we lie down with her on her bed to snuggle.

Jeri said...

PamK: So do your dog and ferret get along, or do they have to be separated? We had a foster once, a redbone coonhound named Clara. A family applied to adopt her, and when I took her over to meet their family, it turned out they had a ferret. She went nuts barking at it, of course--small, furry, sort of raccoon-looking creature. They also didn't like that she required a couch to sleep on (theirs was leather). ;-) She eventually went to a couple that had a redbone puppy. Theirs became a very noisy house. :-D

Jennzah: Aw, thank you for sharing your story. I think animals can be absolute miracle workers for people with depression or chronic illness. They give comfort, but also a way to be needed and a reason to get up every morning. And go mneo for passing judgment on the bad potential boyfriend!

rebyj: That is a hysterical LOLcat picture. I had a cat who would do that with my socks. He would drag them into another room and have his way with them, and if you happened to walk in, he would immediately walk away and act all casual like nothing had happened.

Crystal: What a lovely ode to Jack! He sounds like quite a character.

Karen W: Ooh, 15's not old, right? My cat just turned 14, and he still thinks he's a kitten. A very fat, lazy kitten. ;-)

Jeri said...

Lesley: Yep, so many little dogs have NO IDEA they're small. :-)

Kinochi: I congratulate you and your husband for passing Einstein's obedience class. ;-)

Jo: Aw, what a lovely story. That was really sweet of your uncle to keep the fish and then even bring it over to bury when it died. You obviously felt some connection to him/her, and it's wonderful that your family honored that.

Cherie: That's a great story about your husband's (and now your) cat. I see no reason why a greyhound and a Chihuahua couldn't live together, as long as the greyhound didn't have a super-high prey drive. Most of them are trainable to live with cats and small dogs. (I wouldn't ever have one with a rabbit, though I've heard it's been done.)

Digital Diva: How wonderful that you rescued that poor dog. So sorry she died right before Christmas--that was right around the time we lost our cat Tiggy, same year. It's extra hard to lose them at the holidays. I've heard rats are excellent pets--it doesn't surprise me that they'd be really smart. :-)

HockeyVampiress: Wow, that's quite a saga of Muskrat. I'm sorry you lost her and the other little kitten. That's pretty cool that she would play fetch with herself on the stairs.

Sharon: Don't worry--he drinks it from a bowl, and only in one scene. Never directly from the "source." ;-) Your cats sound awesome. It's making me, like I said before, kind of hankering to have a second cat again.

Deborah: Box, what box??? You mean that thing all the way over there? It looks crampy. ;-)

I think that's all the comments for now, so I'm going to go try to get some writing done before I zonk out. I'll draw a name later tonight and announce tomorrow.

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your wonderful stories and pictures!

Amy said...

Hi Jeri - my brother's dog, a daschund named Happy (short for Happytail Red Lancer), became mine when he went away to college. I'm nine years younger than my brother, and Happy died when I was away at college myself. He lived a long, happy life.

The next family dog was MacGregor, who my parents adopted from a shelter after Happy died. He had clearly been either punished by being kept in the basement, or we really think he was probably thrown down the basement steps. He lived with us for years before he would go down those stairs, and it was even longer before he'd go down while a human was on the steps, too. MacGregor was a great friend to my Dad when he fell and ended up a nasty infection after surgery on his ankle. After my son was born, several years after that, they were like "a boy and his dog" whenever we visited. Sat next to each other looking out the window with my son's arm draped around the dog. So cute. My son is 26 now, so that was a long time ago.

A few years ago, a group I belong to raised money for three charities in honor of a celebrity's birthday. One of the charities was Island Dog, which rescues abandoned and abused dogs in Puerto Rico. http://www.islanddog.org/ if anyone is interested.

I love dogs, but I'll probably not own another one; I'll be moving to an apartment/condo in the next year or so, and it wouldn't be fair to the dog.

Lori T said...

Hi Jeri~

Your dog is so cute and I loved the excerpt.

I sadly do not have any pets at this time...my husband is allergic to them. My whole life my family has always had cats. I think that there is nothing better than a nice cat to curl up with you on a winter's day while you are reading. I do really miss having cats.

I hope you had a great time at the book event today.

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