There are so many things I love to do with my dogs, it’s hard to pick, but snuggling definitely tops the list. I have two rescues, Hazel (9) and Nala (3), and their personalities couldn’t be more different. Hazel, the border collie mix, is independent and task-oriented. Nala, who was DNA tested and found to be a mix of pit bull, Basset hound, Rottweiler, and Newfoundland mastiff, is a 55-pound, squat-legged companion dog…and the family snuggler. As soon as one of us sits on the couch, she’s up there with us and as close as can be. She doesn’t understand boundaries…at all! She sleeps on my bed most nights, and once in a while, I will wake up to find she’s using me as a pillow. Experiencing that quiet, unspoken trust makes my morning.
My second favorite activity is the twice-daily walks around the neighborhood or to the park with Nala and Hazel. Sometimes we all three have different motivations—Hazel is on the lookout for squirrels and rabbits, Nala is all about other dogs and people, and I’m always hoping to work in some real cardio. We each make concessions, and I find these walks to be disjointedly peaceful. Any wandering thoughts or worries are interrupted enough to keep me centered at the moment, and for the most part, our walks are twenty or thirty minutes of each morning and evening that I spend being very present—with myself, with the dogs, and in the world.
Tying in the last three places on my list of favorite activities with my dogs are: visits to the dog park, around-the-house roughhousing, and trips to the playground. They’re all three so fun! Now that she’s older, Hazel has lost most of her interest in play. Nala, however, is all about it—with our family, our two cats, and with other dogs. Not a single day goes by that she isn’t up for some roughhousing, and we try to mix it up for her. The most unusual activity is our trips to the local playground. Nala loves going there! She’s very athletic and spry and will climb up (or be lifted) onto the equipment for a chance to slide down the slides. Sometimes she’ll go down the slides tandem with my teenage son, but she also has fun going down on her own. She’s also great on the agility equipment at the dog park. Watching her unencumbered exuberance always makes my day.
When young, widowed mother and animal artist Mia Chambers is hired to create a mural for the High Grove Animal Shelter, the work is a welcome distraction. She doesn't expect to help rescue a stray mama border collie and her pup—both of them deaf—and open her home to them.
Nor does she expect the undivided attention of Ben Thomas, an accomplished architect, introverted genius, and friend of her late husband. His support brings healing to her wounded heart. Before long, Mia wonders if Ben—and these life-changing dogs—might help her find the kind of love and loyalty she never thought would be hers...
Romance Contemporary [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: July 30, 2019, Mass Market Paperback, ISBN: 9781492672845 / ]
Debbie lives in Saint Louis with her family, two phenomenal rescue dogs, and a somewhat tetchy Maine Coon cat who everyone loves anyway. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, and daydreaming, which of course always leads to new story ideas.
Holly, my dog, is a major diva and does things usually when she wants to do them. My favorite thing is when she jumps on the couch and put her paw over my leg and "owns" me! (Anna Budziak 11:32am July 30)
I believe dogs make your life better and you live loner they say. he has us wrapped around his paw and uses too (Jennifer Beck 7:32pm July 30)
Dogs can be such an important part of our lives. We have had about 10 dogs over the last 40 years not counting the litters we fostered for the animal shelter. (I will never take a liter of 9 terriers and their mom again. Longest 6 weeks we ever had. They are the yappiest little things. They did all get adopted out.) We are currently down to just two, both our son's, but they have been with us their entire 10 and 7 years. Both are pit bulls and like all our other dogs, rescues. When we are ready to get our own dog again, it will likely be a lab and or a beagle. They were our favorite dogs and both plus one other made it to 17 years old. In the meantime, we will keep our son's dogs until he is ready to move them to his new house and hope they get along with his new wife's 2 dogs. If not, they are ours a bit longer. I will have to be happy with visiting and volunteering at the animal shelter. "Disabled" dogs present their own special challenges (one of our son's has a broken back) but they can make the extra care so worth it. They just need to find that special person who is waiting out there for them. (Patricia Barraclough 8:50pm July 30)
I love the stories that incorporate dogs and other animals, especially if they end up being part of a healing process for the characters. (Sharlene Wegner 9:27pm July 30)
I love books which include dogs. We have two grand puppies who are fun to be with (Maryann Skaritka 11:44pm July 30)
I loved reading about your Hazel & Nala. (Jana B 1:21am July 31)
I enjoy stories that include dogs. The one I have gives me oodles of love. (Anna Speed 3:54pm July 31)