Furbaby Friday with Kristy McCaffrey

I’m happy to have Kristy McCaffrey here to share a very touching dog story, and her new adventure romance, Deep Blue.

Marley The Rescue

By Kristy McCaffrey

(Kristy and her dog Lily)

I’ve always been a dog person. My heart is forged with memories of my canine companions throughout my life: Rommell, Raquel, Buckwheat, Chaco, Shiva, Sparky. Gone but never forgotten. One thing I had never done, however, was rescue a dog in jeopardy. I’d thought about it, of course. I’m an empathic person, which is probably why I like to write stories, but it was that very trait that always filled me with anxiety just thinking about visiting the pound or a rescue shelter. The suffering of so many is a crushing reality that is difficult to bear some days.


Last October, my family and I lost our beloved chocolate Labrador, Ranger. Although he’d had health issues for a number of years, his loss was still sudden and devastating. One week after his 13th birthday, we were forced to put him down from a broken leg due to bone cancer. I wasn’t prepared for the grief that hit me. I had lost dogs before; I knew how it went. But Ranger had been different. I had promised him I would take care of him. In the end, though, I couldn’t. Something happens in your soul when you must break a promise—a terrible schism of guilt.

My husband and I had long talked of rescuing older dogs, knowing how difficult it was for these animals to find a loving home, but it’s a bittersweet goal—just when you bond with them you’re likely to lose them. But if I’ve learned anything while raising four children, it’s this: you must do what is best for them, not what’s best for you. I knew this was also true when it came to helping a dog in need.

At the beginning of January, my husband traveled to Finland to help our oldest daughter move to Helsinki for a semester abroad. While I was home on my own, I watched the news one evening, and a very brief story about several dogs needing a home caught my eye. The owner was about to be evicted and the animals would be sent to the pound. The prospects for an older male Labrador mutt weren’t good. The next morning, I called the man trying to help re-home the dogs. He ran a local animal rescue in the Phoenix area, but this wasn’t a normal rescue situation. If I could come immediately to pick up the dog, he would give him to me. I jumped into the car and went, feeling trepidation at driving alone into an unknown neighborhood in downtown Phoenix, but something compelled me.

When I met Marley, I knew he had a strong will to live. The woman who had previously owned him had died ten months prior, and it was her daughter who was desperately trying to find a home for him. Her mother had had such a soft spot for animals that she’d regularly picked up strays off the streets. Marley had been such a stray, born somewhere on the streets of Phoenix, so his age was unknown (the estimate was between 9-12 years old). The daughter had had 24 canines to find homes for, and Marley was one of the last. She’d been doing the best she could to care for him, but Marley was undernourished with overgrown toenails and hadn’t been to the veterinarian in years. I put him in my car and drove him home.

That first week was tough. Marley was sweet and quite affectionate, but it was a new home with a new routine and I had to work diligently with him. I got him to the vet immediately and we addressed the most pressing issues (the toenails, bloodwork, vaccinations, etc.). But he was too weak for a tooth cleaning. He also wasn’t neutered, although at his advanced age I wasn’t certain I would proceed with it anyway. I also sobbed frequently because bringing Marley home had triggered a new wave of despair over losing Ranger. It took me a bit to work through that. I also sent my husband—still in Finland—a long and heartfelt email explaining what I’d done and begging him not to be upset with me. His response was so supportive that I wept over that, too. I married the right guy.

It’s been almost three months now that we’ve had Marley. He’s gained weight and has embraced a life of freedom (he’d been crated for much of last year, and possibly longer). We have a dog door, so he can go into the backyard whenever he wants. He has arthritis, but he’s gained stamina with frequent short walks. He enjoys treats and toys, although he doesn’t have much interest in playing with our other dog, Lily. Still, my husband works with him and tries to get the two of them interacting. Speaking of my husband, Marley has become quite attached to him.

I don’t know how much time we’ll have with Marley, but I’m content knowing that we’re giving him a peaceful and secure life in his twilight years, filled with fresh air, sunshine, plenty of food, snuggles and kisses.


Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances brimming with grit and emotion, and in 2018 she will branch out into contemporary adventure stories packed with smoldering romance and spine-tingling suspense. Her work is filled with compelling heroes, determined heroines, and her trademark mysticism. Life is a wondrous endeavor, and she strives to bring that sense of awe and joy into the tales she weaves, along with in-depth research into settings and time periods. Kristy holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering, but writing has been her passion since she was very young. Her four children are nearly grown and gone, so she and her husband frequently pursue their love of travel to the far corners of the world. Kristy believes life should be lived with curiosity, compassion, and gratitude, and one should never be far from the enthusiasm of a dog. She also likes sleeping-in, eating Mexican food, and doing yoga at home in her pajamas. An Arizona native, she resides in the desert north of Phoenix. Sign up for Kristy’s newsletter to receive her latest book news as well as subscriber-only content.

Connect with Kristy
Website: http://www.kristymccaffrey.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/didEqv
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristyMcCaffrey
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/McCaffreyKristy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristymccaffrey/

Kristy’s New Release
In the deep blue ocean lives an ancient predator…

When a photo of Dr. Grace Mann freediving with a great white shark goes viral, the institute where she works seeks to capitalize on her new-found fame by producing a documentary about her work. Underwater filmmaker Alec Galloway admires Dr. Mann and jumps at the opportunity to create a film showcasing the pretty biologist. But can he keep her safe when her passionate focus on the sharks repeatedly leads her into danger?

“…a compelling dance between two very likeable characters…” ~ Midwest Book Review

Excerpt from Deep Blue

“We’ve got three sharks in the water,” Tony yelled from above Grace.

Sweet. She did an imaginary fist-pump in her head, and then indulged in a little side-step shuffle, lifting her arms up and giving a boogie-shake of her hips.

“She dances,” Alec said from behind her.

Startled, she gasped and spun around. Alec’s wetsuit molded his body and showed every sleek, muscular contour.

“Just burning off some nerves.” The words tumbled out in a breathless rush.

“It’s good to know you have nerves.”

“I never claimed to be superwoman.”

He grinned. “That’s a relief.”

Copyright © 2018 K. McCaffrey LLC

Learn more and read Chapter One at http://kmccaffrey.com/deep-blue/

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Kristy a comment.

20 responses to “Furbaby Friday with Kristy McCaffrey

  1. Your novel sounds intriguing. I loved the characters’ dialogue. Very real. I could relate to your post on your animals.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So sorry for your loss of Ranger! Maybe in some cosmic way it was Ranger who made you aware of Marleys situation, knowing you would love and care for him like you did Ranger. He knew you had all the love needed , because he experienced it first hand. But what do I know. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wonder this too. Getting Marley really pushed me out of my comfort zone. We had just lost Ranger so we were very in tune with older dogs. Working with Marley’s ailments was very easy for us. And I think Ranger has been with us during all of it. Thank you, Lee Ann!


  3. My heart goes out to you, Kristy. It’s hard on us, even though we know we did the right thing for our beloved pets. And what a wonderful thing you did, taking in Marley! All things happen for a reason. Thanks for sharing your story about your pets with us. . . and I have to add, you definitely caught me with your “hook” for your new story! I love animals of all kinds (and fascinated with sea creatures), so now I want to read your book!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Patty,
      It kills me that we love them so much and then it’s us who has to make the terrible decision at the end. Marley seems pretty happy with us. He’s quite a loyal guy considering what he’s been through in his life. He also LOVES mealtime and gets as excited as a puppy whenever I feed him. It makes me so happy to see him so happy. I do love all animals and was really moved by all the research I did about sharks for DEEP BLUE. They’re more amazing than we realize.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You, your family and Marley are lucky to have found one another. Thanks for sharing. Best of luck with your new release. It sounds great.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kristy, bless you for your compassion in adopting Marley. We have always had rescued animals. Best wishes for your new sub-genre shift.
    Beth, thanks again for sharing your love of animals with others.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sandy Soldner Sorola

    I still get a little teary eyed when I read about Marley. I am a cat person, but your dog stories make me smile. Congrats on your new book.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a sweet story Kristy. There is a special place in heaven for people who give older dogs a safe, comfortable and loving home in their later days. You and your husband will be there!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. LOVE Marley. Everyone should have a Marley at least once in their lives. Senior dogs have so much to offer when they become our companions on this walk. Bless you for giving that Marley a dignified, loving, and respectful last few years (however many you may be granted with him).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lynda,
      I believe you’re right about helping a senior dog. I fear my heart will be broken when we must say goodbye one day, but that’s a small price to pay for giving him some love and kindness at the end of his life.


  9. pennyburwellewingauthor

    What a wonderful story. Marley is a beauty. I love the cover of Deep Blue. Sounds like a great read.

    Liked by 2 people

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