Tag Archives: author animal companions

Furbaby Friday with Author K. J. Pierce


I am happy to welcome my good friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, K. J. Pierce. She brings a wonderful blend of wit, wisdom, and a deep love of her animals friends and mentors. And her contemporary romantic comedy, Yours Truly, is hilarious and cleverly written.

(Mr. Dorian Gray)

K. J. Pierce. Growing up in an Army family, you’d think having pets would be a virtual impossibility, given the frequent moves. We averaged a move every two-three years, but aside from a five-year stretch in Germany when I was a pre-teen and teenager, I don’t remember a time when we didn’t have some sort of animal roaming the household (or for the four years we lived in the Louisiana country just outside of Ft. Polk, rabbits and chickens taking up yard space).

I’m a firm believer about many things animal-related, but looking back, I’m amazed at how much they teach us, even when we’re not paying close attention.

My first cat KC (stood for Kitty Cat…I was a brilliant child…Ha!) taught me that if you stay active and keep yourself in shape, you are, at least for a little while, invincible to things that hurt.

Case in point—we lived in the county, and KC was an indoor/outdoor cat. Whenever we’d take him to the vet, they had to try multiple times to administer his shots. KC was so solid from his roaming-tom ways, the needles would bend whenever they got anywhere near his meaty parts.

(KC)

He also taught me to not make assumptions. See, KC was a fluffy, pure white cat with the most brilliant blue eyes. Every single vet we took him to was shocked he wasn’t deaf – apparently pure white cats with blue eyes are 3-5 more times likely to be deaf than a pure white cat with non-blue eyes.

Sadly, the last thing he taught me was that mistaken identity could kill—he abruptly disappeared one day, and my family and I are fairly certain he was taken for a rabbit and shot for someone’s dinner.

Daisy the beagle, with her multiple litters taught me about birth, but it was Laddie, our Border Collie, who taught me the concept of karma.

Laddie liked to lounge by our roadside mailbox, when he wasn’t herding my brother and me. This, unfortunately, led to his being hit by a horse trailer towed behind a car. The drivers lied about where Laddie had been and how he came to be hit. After Laddie succumbed to his injuries a month or so later, the jerks’ house burnt down. I have vague memories of watching the smoke rise in the distance and thinking they got exactly what they deserved.

(Laddie with K J Pierce and her brother)

It was Shamrock the cat who gave me comfort when I needed it, having been uprooted from Frankfurt, Germany to Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a sixteen-year-old. Bam-Bam, Shammie’s second-in-command, taught me how to grieve when she died of chylothorax. H.O. Templeton, the first of my two pet rats, taught me it was okay to freak everyone out. That was the funniest bit of all. 🙂 Rats actually make great pets, though they don’t live very long. And you don’t ever want to startle them when they’re asleep. I have a scar on my thumb knuckle from where he bit me once. That happened the same weekend I found out about the death of a friend, but that’s an entirely different story.

(Bam-Bam left and Shamrock on the right)

Mr. Dorian Gray is my latest cat boss. He looks remarkably like Shamrock, but has a completely different temperament. Where nothing fazed Shams, Dorian Gray is a fraidy cat. He startles when the toaster pops up, slinks under a bed when it thunders, and is a horrible bed hog. He yells at me for even the most minor infraction: if I step out of the house for any length of time (a one minute trip to the mailbox or a 3 hour writing session at a café, it doesn’t matter); if I’m not in bed on time; if I move while he’s lying on my feet; if he has less than a half a bowl of food; if there’s a closed door.

He’s the cat equivalent of an old man—he’ll tattle when someone’s in his yard, and just the other day, he scared the bejeezus out of a termite inspector who had the audacity to interrupt his closet quiet time. Thankfully, he’s more of a hider than an attack cat.

Unless you’re a lizard. Then you’re pretty well screwed.

I’m not a reptile, though Dorie might tell you I have a lizard brain and I’m as jumpy as he is sometimes. Regardless, Dorian Gray keeps me accountable, and no matter how much I goof up, he still loves me. And knowing you’re deserving of unconditional love, no matter what human hang ups we hold on to, is without parallel.

~~~~~

I wanted the heroine in my first novel, Yours Truly, to have an animal who was on her side, no matter what, and that could do things Izzie would never get away with, which is how she ended up with her demanding Maine Coon, Edgar. Edgar has his own agenda, as most cats do, but despite this, he never steers Izzie wrong. Even she admits Edgar has a knack for knowing who’s good people, though her admission isn’t without self-incrimination. As it goes…

“Life was even worse when I realized my castrated, housebound cat was a better judge of character than I was.”

Ahh…love, sweet love.

Excerpt:

No sooner had I saved the draft and logged offline than Ritchie barreled through the front door, slamming it shut. Edgar bolted from his spot next to me where he served as Editor-in-Chief to my lowly Writer, off to parts unknown.

Ritchie, without so much as a “hello,” stalked off to the bedroom. The squeak from his wet shoes took the sting out. Unfortunately, the mild humor only made room for the K.O. Ritchie was a big, old drama queen.

Edgar was an exceptional judge of character, and I should have listened to him. He hated Ritchie. And when I say he hated Ritchie, I mean Edgar’s mission in life revolved around terrorizing him. The first time Ritchie spent time at the house, Edgar cornered him in the bathroom and threatened him for the twenty minutes I was gone on a store run. When Ritchie moved in six months later, he became prey, and Edgar tracked him and drew blood.

The feeling was mutual. If Edgar hated Ritchie, then Ritchie despised Edgar. Their acrimonious relationship launched a never-ending string of complaints I was expected to referee. Edgar left his mark on anything of Ritchie’s—either by way of bodily functions or shredding by claw. Ritchie, in turn, would conveniently forget to feed or give Edgar fresh water.

And so their feud went, back and forth, until I was dizzy.

Edgar eventually feigned boredom and lay low, and the spray bottles of water Ritchie had placed strategically throughout the house gathered dust. Ritchie, assuming Edgar had learned his place, emptied all the bottles and smugly declared himself alpha. Edgar’s retorts showed up in the form of hairballs and intentionally being underfoot. Ritchie swiped kicks, none ever landing thanks to Edgar’s quick escapes. Edgar added back spraying and shredding to his arsenal.

Ritchie was only slightly less passive aggressive.

Blurb:

Izzie Greene never wanted the limelight. As a caterer for Poe, the top-rated U.S. TV show, she had background player down pat. Her main focus was to spoil the cast and crew and fantasize about her celebrity crush, Scotsman Cardwell Bennett, while navigating the daily chaos.

Izzie’s professional life takes a sharp left turn when her ex-boyfriend unexpectedly arrives on set. Her personal life spirals into Hell when she runs afoul of an unethical paparazzo. Thrust into the public eye, her notoriety is fueled by equal measures of constant scrutiny, speculation, and half-truths. Her rumored romance with Cardwell further stokes the flames.

Held captive by the media, accident-prone Izzie struggles to keep her privacy, secrets, and sanity intact—not to mention her sense of humor. With help from her best friend Delly, her temperamental cat Edgar, and unexpected backup, Izzie might withstand the onslaught. And survive the season.

Website/Social Media Links

Website/Blog: www.misplacedmisfit.com

Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/themisplacedmisfit

Twitter: @MisfitKJPierce

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kjpierce

 Purchase Links

Amazon Book: https://www.amazon.com/Yours-Truly-K-J-Pierce/dp/1509212825

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/yours-truly-k-j-pierce/1126326413

The Wild Rose Press Website (E-Book): http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4886-yours-truly.html

Author Bio: K.J. Pierce is a jack of all trades. Her interests are varied enough to make this a requirement for a happy existence. Her main goal in life is to understand the human condition, which she explores through various mediums, including fiction, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting. She sometimes succumbs to itchy-feet syndrome, a holdover from her Army Brat days. As a result, she can sometimes be found bouncing from locale to locale. She earned a BA in English Literature/Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College and a MLitt in The Gothic Imagination from the University of Stirling, Scotland. She puts them to good use by crafting stories that run the gamut in terms of genres, but which always include an exploration of the societal misfit and the darkness which pervades all facets of life, even in the most comic of circumstances.

K.J. currently lives on the east coast of Central Florida with her cat Dorian Gray, who lives up to his name by striving to be the state’s most prolific lizard serial killer. Yours Truly is her first novel.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave K .J a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Tena Stetler


I am glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author, Tena Stetler, to share her special friends and paranormal romance, A Warlock’s Secret. I’ve enjoyed getting to know, Tena. She’s smart and fun, and we share a deep love of animals.

(Tena’s gorgeous Chow Chow, Mystic Reign)

Tena: Furred, feathered and scaled creatures enrich our world. Mystic Reign, named after one of the characters in my books, is our Chow Chow dog and was a spitfire as a pup.  Chows have a stubborn streak a mile wide, good thing my stubborn streak is wider than hers.  LOL  I’ll admit to a battle of wills on occasion, but we always come to a fair compromise. She turned five years old, August 6th. Over the years we’ve watched that out of control pup grow into a sweet, confident, and obedient canine companion we are proud to take anywhere.

We take walks together every morning and extra treks when I need inspiration and my muse is being difficult.  If it has rained or snowed, the world is entirely different under Mystic’s nose and she has to sniff everything along the way. During the day she is guardian of the front door, letting me know when someone ventures too close. Several times a day she comes into my office, after completing a circuit through the house to make sure everything is as it should be. Then she sits down at my feet waiting for an ear scratch, kind words and occasionally a treat for a job well done. Yep, I have a bowl full of treats on my desk.

Some days I am so involved in my writing that I lose track of time. Taco, our Eclectus parrot makes sure to let me know when it’s lunch time by her insistent calling out “Hey guys… Is it good?” Yes, Taco can tell time. She has a large vocabulary and uses it appropriately.  At four o’clock every day, her sweet voice can be heard all over the house as she  insists it’s time to shut down the computer, let her out to visit, and for us to enjoy a little time in the sunroom before starting supper.  Writing can be a lonely profession, but with my furred, feathered, and scaled companions (can’t leave out Sammie, our forty-five year old box turtle) my world is anything but lonely. Oh, and they all enjoy hearing my tales.

Beth: I loved hearing about Mystic Reign (wonderful name) and your parrot. What a hoot she is. Now, more about Tena’s latest release.

****

A Warlock’s Secrets –  Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought. Years ago, a sacred ceremony at the Dragon’s Moon Coven turned deadly. Son of the high priestess, Tristian Shandie’s life changed forever. With a price on his head and revenge in his heart, he has no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps to a profession shrouded in secrets. Now his skills as an enforcer for the Demon Overlord are second to none. But dangerous secrets he harbors are a liability he can no longer afford.

A chance meeting with a woman he finds irresistible flips Tristian’s world upside down. Hannah is a cyber security specialist with secrets of her own. Bad boys never appealed to her until Tristian, who changes everything. In his darkest hours, she is dragged into his magical world.

If they survive, is she strong enough to heal his heart and tame the warlock? Or will their secrets destroy them?

Amazon, Kobo, Barnes& Noble, itunes. The Wild Rose Press

About the author:

Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination.  Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures telling her their stories. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals to round out her books.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon

****Thanks for stopping by, folk. Please leave Tena a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Charlotte O’Shay


This country gal warmly welcomes fellow Wild Rose Press Author and city girl, Charlotte O’ Shay, to share her furry friends and spicy contemporary romance with a dash of suspense, A Model Engagement. (Out 9-20-2017)

(Stanley–Charlotte’s Darling  Cockapoo Rescue)

Charlotte: Thank you Beth for dreaming up FurBaby Friday.

What a great idea! Even if they’re not doing something miraculous like the golden retriever who recently pulled a fawn from the ocean, our animals are the unsung heroes of every aspect our daily lives no matter where we live.

Pets are beloved in New York City and its immediate environs but the decision to have a pet here is a serious one. Because—space. People are wise to consider the ramifications of the breed they choose or that chooses them! City dwellers live cheek by jowl and their pets must do the same.

One of our first family pets when I was a kid was a mixed breed an adorable puppy, given to my brother by his godfather. Snoopy was white haired, black-eyed terrier mix, our city kid version of the Charles Schultz cartoon dog.

Snoopy was the sweetest of dogs. We all grew up with him. Mom spoiled him with a healthy share of the same home cooked meals we enjoyed. We were lucky enough to have a small backyard behind our apartment where he could play with me and my four brothers and sister. He lived a good, long life. I don’t remember him ever being sick or ever going to the vet except for vaccinations.

(Snoopy–Beloved childhood friend)

Flash forward to college, grad school and young married life—all in the city. No pets. No time and no space.

Then we moved to the suburbs to raise our family with a gorgeous Bearded Collie we called Chance. He was perfect in every way. Hypoallergenic: my husband is allergic to cat and dog dander. And playful: Chance loved to play and run (didn’t care about eating over much) and we had the space for him to roam. He stayed puppy-like till he was 14 and only slowed down in his last year.

(Chance–Bearded Collie–age 12)

Then we moved back in the city and bringing Stanley, the adorable cockapoo we adopted seven years ago along for the adventure.

He’s also hypoallergenic but in all other ways Chance’s polar opposite. We don’t know much about Stanley’s early years and we don’t know how old he is. He came to us with a myriad of health problems and a super sweet disposition. He’s never met a discarded piece of pizza or donut he didn’t like. It’s a challenge to walk him in New York these days. He’s arthritic and his hearing is going. Although he’s definitely a country dog, he’s adapted to the city, and he’s never happier than when he is snoring by my side as I write. He only barks when my husband and I embrace and then we always try to bring him in for a group hug.

(Beth: Stanley sounds super special. Love hearing about your furbabies.)

In my upcoming release, (September 20th) A Model Engagement, fur babies play big supporting roles. My hero, Connor, has a soft spot for rescues and a house full of them. My heroine, Lacey balks at the notion that he might view her as a human rescue.

One of the many pet related scenes:

He hardly looked like a dog he was so thin. His hair was matted and covered with sand and leaves. He could hardly lift his head even though his eyes followed their movements, so he was clearly aware of their presence.

She looked up at Connor and murmured, “We’ll need something to put him on to carry him. He looks too weak to walk.”

“I’ll go back to the boat and get a blanket.” Connor turned away to do just that as Lacey sidled closer to the prone animal.

“It’s okay, little one, everything is going to be just fine,” she crooned dropping to her knees beside him. “We have you now. It’s going to be okay.”

It took them a couple of minutes to figure out how best to transport him.

“Wait with him. I’ll pull the car onto the walkway as close as I can get to him. Then we can both carry him and put him in the backseat.”

Lacey sat with the dog in the backseat while Connor drove a careful twenty-five miles per hour. The ride was a far cry from their invigorating, top down, whirlwind five-minute, fifty mile an hour trip to the marina earlier. On the way he called the twenty-four hour emergency veterinary facility. The vet agreed to meet them there and take a look at the dog.

“It never gets easier seeing what can happen to these poor animals.” Sally Vaughn ran an expert gaze over the animal.

“Who would do this?”

Story Blurb:

Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer. With her savings gone, she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.

Though dazzled by Lace y, Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. His gut tells him to help, and he hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job, and Connor has put a bandage on a family crisis.

When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down—no matter what the consequences. Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?

Preorder A Model Engagement in kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/Model-Engagement-City-Dreams-Book-ebook/dp/B074DPCV76/r

Follow Charlotte O’ Shay  at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-OShay/e/B01FGUH8K8/

Find Charlotte on:

Her Websitehttps://charlotteoshayauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlotteoshayauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/charlotte_oshay

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Charlotte_OShay_author/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/coshayauthor/

***Thanks for stopping by, folk! Please leave Charlotte a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Jinny Kirby Baxter


I am happy to welcome my dear friend and talented wordsmith, Jinny Baxter, to share one of the most moving animal stories ever, and her debut novel.

Jinny: It was the worst time of my life. Spring of 2003. I had just lost my husband. We were only married fifteen months when he went to heaven, and I was simply staggering with grief. Thankfully, I had two of the sweetest little granddaughters, Mandy and Kit, who tried very hard to cheer me up.

I wasn’t surprised when they led me through the woods behind their house to a secret hiding place for a mama cat and her litter of kittens. I told them no, I didn’t need some little wild cats to take care of. They insisted that I needed something to love and to love me.

Well, long story short, I ended up with two kittens, mainly because I wanted them to have someone to play with while I was at work. TJ was a black and white Tuxedo and Baby was a silver Tiger with blue eyes. TJ would remain an outdoor cat and Baby would live her entire life inside, my constant companion.

The two little rascals became a family favorite. Even my son, who claimed he hated cats, grew to love them. Friends commented that TJ was so alert and sleek, he was like a panther. But Baby was the favorite. Her little pink nose topped a mouth that truly looked like a sweet smile. She, like most cats, insinuated herself into whatever I was doing, whether I was just reading a book or rushing a chair. Her snuggling was my favorite thing about her. Often, she would sleep with me and kneed my back, as if to say “Relax human mama, I’m here and I love you.”

When TJ was about five years old, he disappeared for a week. When he came home, he was obviously very sick. The vet gave me the terrible news, he had fatty liver disease and there wasn’t much they could do. I called my family and they all came to the vet’s office and cried with me as TJ crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. (I’m crying now, just remembering.)

A year later, I notice that Baby was having trouble breathing. Well, she was sick too. Stomach cancer. Once again, I called my family and we all wished her a wonderful journey to join her brother on the other side. There was so much emotion in that room that even the vet cried with us.

Oh, I grieved those fur babies.  I think they were more than pets, they were a connection to my late husband, they had shared my life while I slowly put it back together. I like to think TJ and Baby are together now, happy and rather smug as they say, “We completed our job on earth, we helped her find her way back to living her life.”

Fanciful maybe, but there is so much we don’t know about the other side, so many possibilities.  A couple of weeks after we buried Baby, I was sitting out on my back porch at dusk. It was a dreary evening, rather chilly for the time of year and a thick fog had fallen over the area. Suddenly the fog shifted a bit and a silver-grey tabby appeared. She sat there for about five minutes while I struggled with disbelief and maybe even shock. I knew it was my Baby, come to let me know she was alright. Finally, I rose and approached her. She tilted her head as if to say “Good bye” and turned and walked back into the fog.  You’ll never convince me that our pets don’t have hearts and souls and give us unconditional love. I will always miss them, but they were very big stitches in the fabric of my life.

Beth: Jinny, that was amazing and deeply touching. Thanks for sharing with us. I remember when you saw Baby, although I didn’t realize then the full significance of what she meant to you. I do now.

About Jinny’s new release:

“An August Affair” is my first book, although I have a lot of experience writing magazine and newspaper articles, as well as the dreaded SOP Manuals. (Standard Operating Procedures for work places.) This book was a refreshing labor of love where I could abandon excruciatingly boring facts and dream a little.

The setting is an old house in the mountains where many strange things have previously and are currently happening. My characters must figure out who committed a murder more than two-hundred years ago. Along the way, they learn a lot about themselves, and maybe fall in love.

Blurb for An August Affair:

Seth Berkeley was a man haunted by his past. Trapped in a small town with the ghost of his dead father’s perversions hovering over him, his prospects seemed bleak and hope was a distant fantasy. That all changed with the arrival of certified legal documents declaring him the sole beneficiary of a beautiful colonial estate in the mountains of Virginia. Seth jumped at this opportunity at a new beginning and left at once.

Willow Callahan suffered from one calamity after another. The most recent was leaving a job she loved after the sexual harassment of a new employee protected by nepotism made it impossible to continue working there. A chance encounter at a diner led her to discover that the old Berkeley estate may need renovating. Willow jumped at this chance to exorcise her personal demons and leave the specter of her past behind.

Their exploration leads to the discovery of a child’s skeleton on the wine cellar. From then on, every new discovery leads to danger and secrets they must unravel, and an unexpected passion neither of them wants. Can they solve the mystery of Seth’s heritage and heal their suspicious and fearful hearts along the way?

Excerpt:

She studied his face and could almost see the wall he put up. His bright blue eyes were shadowed and wary. “That sure sounds like an anxiety attack to me. And you used to have them? Were you ever treated for them? Medication? Therapy?”

Seth jerked back in embarrassment. “No! I got over it!”

Willow nodded, understanding instantly that this was a big issue for him. A sign of weakness, something real men didn’t do. “Have you ever tried to figure out what was causing it? Researched it on the internet or talked to a doctor?”

He frowned and shook his head. “No, I don’t even own a computer and my family, well, we didn’t go to the doctor for stuff like that. But it’s all over now; I don’t do that anymore.”

Willow raised an eyebrow and gave him a pointed look. He felt his face heat and averted his gaze. “Well, not until today,” he mumbled.

“Seth,” she urged, “I don’t want you to strip yourself bare. I just want to understand what happened so maybe I can help you get over it. If I’ve done something that reminds you of a bad time, tell me, I’ll stop. We all have things in our past we don’t want to share. I know I do. But I took them out and looked at them and decided I had to put them behind me. I couldn’t go on until I did. And the same goes for you. If you are hanging on to a bunch of yesterdays, you can’t embrace today. Do you understand that?”

Author Bio

Jinny Kirby Baxter is a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother who has always dreamed of being a published author. Her life has been filled with many obstacles, but here she is at this late date killing it! She has written many newspaper and magazine articles, as well as the dreaded SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) for her past employment. Some of her past experiences prompted her to write about a man tortured by childhood abuse and the growing awareness of this despicable social problem. Her mantra is “It’s never too late to shine” and dreams can come true for all of us! She lives with her sister in a small town in Nevada and is working on a sequel to her first book!

***An August Affair is available in kindle: 

Follow Jinny’s Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Jinny-Kirby-Baxter/e/B073KKLMH7

Furbaby Friday with Author P.L. Parker


Friend and fellow Author P.L. Parker is sharing about her amazing childhood friend, a little dog with a big heart who didn’t know he was small, and giving away a copy of her featured romance. More on that below.

…And then there was Spike

(Spike with Patsy’s brother)

He was already 2 years old when Grandma and Grandpa found him for us. Scrawny and ugly, dirty brown and unkempt, he was a far cry from Sandy, our beautiful little Chihuahua who’d recently died of kennel cough. He had the large soulful eyes and a baby face and his name was Spike, a strange name for a little part Chihuahua/terrier who barely weighed in at 5 pounds. He was scared and mean, having spent the first two years of his life beaten and tied up in a dark basement, maturing without anyone to train him or give him love.

The first few days, he hid under a chair and as we walked by, he’d jump out and bite our ankles and then dive back into his hidey-hole. Finally, my dad got disgusted, put on a pair of leather gloves and dragged him out biting and squealing. Dad sat him on his lap, talked soothingly to him, petting his back until he settled down. One by one, Dad had us come over slowly, put our hand out so Spike could smell it and then, if Spike was willing, we could pet him. After we’d all introduced ourselves, it was if Spike said “okay, these are my people.” He got down off of Dad’s lap and found his food bowl. That was the beginning of our life with Spike. Once the good food and lots of love kicked in, Spike’s coat turned into a beautiful light golden blonde.

He was gutter smart, not the fancy trained pet who did everything we wanted, but he was so smart—and he adored us kids. I could dress him up in my doll clothes and he’d wear them proudly for as long as I wanted.

I had a special connection with him. I could just tell him things and he would do it. I had a pet hamster once and we were playing in the back yard. Mom called me in to do something. I told Spike to keep the hamster in the back yard, went in the house and promptly forgot about them. Hours later, near dark, Mom asked: “Anybody seen Spike?” Oops.  I ran outside and there was Spike still herding the hamster around the back yard. I apologized and picked the hamster up. Spike glared at me as if to say “you idiot,” and then marched into the house and ate his dinner.

There was a human trapped inside that little body. He was a hunter, a protector and from his point of view, a German Shepard. There wasn’t a dog in the world he wouldn’t take on, much to our dismay. I can’t count the amount of times he’d slip out of the house and come back so chewed up, we thought he was dead for sure. On one such event, we didn’t think there was any hope. Spike crawled under a chair for days, not eating, not drinking. (I should mention here that Spike’s favorite food was chocolate and back then we didn’t know how dangerous it was for animals.)  Worried about the little guy, Mom went out and bought him a whole box of chocolates and hand fed him. He gobbled them down and then he was fine.

He always went everywhere with us. He would sit over the front seat so he could watch out the window and even when Dad had to slam on the brakes, he never fell off. Our female Siamese cat Tammy was his close companion and she went on vacation with us as well. We never worried about her running away, she was always two steps behind Spike. On vacation to northern Idaho one year, it was so hot, we stopped along the river and we all piled out and into the water. Spike waded in and right behind him was Tammy. They flopped down in the water next to us for as long as we stayed in. Tammy was Spike’s baby and when she died we all, as well as Spike, mourned her for a long long time.

(Spike with her father)

As I said, he loved us kids. One year at the lake in Yellowstone Park, my sister and I were about waist high in the water. Spike was on the beach with Dad so we started bobbing up and down, acting like we were drowning. Spike grabbed Dad’s pant leg and tried to drag him into the water. Finally, he jumped in and swam out, to save us I am sure. When he got to us, we jumped up and laughed saying “Ha Ha Spike, we fooled you.” He was so mad. He swam back to shore, shook himself off and then stalked to the camper where he stayed the rest of the day.

He loved to hunt and no one can tell me a Chihuahua isn’t a hunting dog. If Dad got his shotgun, Spike was on his tail begging to go. We were out pheasant hunting one day and two hunters came by with their fancy, expensive hunting dogs.  They’d just come through a field and hadn’t flushed anything. Dad laughed, told them their dogs were worthless. Didn’t make them happy. He put down Spike and told him to flush. Spike ran to the brush, paced back and forth and then froze, looking over his shoulder at Dad.  Dad gave him the go to flush and the little guy dove in.  Three pheasants flew up. Spike bit on the tail of the rooster and wouldn’t let go. Needless to say, the other two hunters loaded up their dogs in a huff and drove off.  The rooster was so big, he flew off with Spike on his tail. We thought we’d lost him, but he ran back a little bit later.  Even when he was so old he couldn’t keep up, Dad would put him in a front pack and take him along.

My oldest sister moved out but came home to visit and when she did, she had this nasty part Siamese cat who was really mean. One day I was sitting on the couch and Spike was next to me and the cat was ripping at a chair, biting people as they walked by and just being a brat. I looked at Spike and said, “Go over there and shake the crap out of that cat.”  He looked at me as if to say “really?” Then he got down, went over to the chair, hopped up, grabbed the cat by the scruff of the neck and shook the cat hard as he could. He got down, came back, sat by me and yawned.  Across the room, my Dad was sitting there with his mouth hanging open. He said, “How’d you get him to do that?” I said: “I told him to.”

I have so many memories of that little dog.  You might think these stories are fabrications, but believe me they’re not and these are just the tip of the iceberg. As I’m sitting here writing this, I begin to cry, for the loss of the little friend of my childhood and for the wonderful times gone by.  He lived to be 18 years old and by that time, he’d lost an eye to a tumor and was somewhat senile, but he never failed to get excited when one of us kids would come home.  Somewhere out there, a little dog is just waiting for us to come home—and he’ll be so happy when we do.~

***Wonderful story. I loved learning about this amazing dog, Made me tear up.

A pic of what Spike might look like in color. He was a Deer head chihuahua.

A bit from the author:

I am a dreamer, an avid reader of fiction, a sometimes gardener and an inept crafter. I live in Idaho, with my husband, three sons, daughter-in-law and little granddaughter. I love to travel, but always return to my beloved Idaho. For many years, I performed and taught dance but as time passed, I decided to try my hand at a new endeavor – writing. I enjoy life and all its promises

***PL Parker is giving away a copy of The Breeder Slave to one of the visitors leaving a comment.

Blurb for Science Fiction Romance Novel Breeder Slave:

He was her salvation…or her destruction.

The galactic war between the Chiagan-Se and the treacherous Deg’Nara wages on. The human females Leah and the Irish lass Moira are captured and then abandoned, forced to fend for themselves on a barren planet light years from all they know. Their only hope is Sulas, a fugitive breeder slave, who wants nothing to do with them. Survival is chancy at best, but together, the three embark on a perilous journey to rejoin the Chiagan-Se rebels. But can they survive?

Excerpt:

“He wants one of us to find his pet,” Leah grumbled. “Like we haven’t got better things to do.”

“Well, I cannae leave my post,” the petite redhead retorted. “I need to keep track of any emissions from the Deg’Nara encampment.”

“I wouldn’t even know what to look for,” Leah grumbled. “Could be a two-headed dog for all I know.”

Sulas regarded them with curious intensity, as if he understood their conversation, which was ridiculous since he didn’t speak English.

“You will need to search for the creature,” Sulas nodded in her direction. “I don’t trust Eschel. He needs watching and Moira has her duties.”

Leah snorted, disgusted. “And what kind of creature am I looking for? I don’t recall him mentioning that.”

Eschel favored her with a wide grin. “She’s a Zostarian….”

Sulas coughed and then turned away.

What’s with that?

“…a young female, practically an infant,” Eschel continued. “I call her Zozzi though she answers to anything. She’s very affectionate and sweet but she hates the Deg’Nara. I suspect she is hiding in the rafters of the storage compartments.” He turned back to the command console. “Just call her name and then say dostia ka.”

Looks like I’m elected to lead the hunting expedition! “And what does dostia ka mean if I might be so bold as to ask?”

“Come here…close enough. She’ll understand.” He spun on his chair. “She’s been hiding for some time and probably hungry by now. I suspect there wasn’t much for her to eat in the cargo hold.”

“Any chance she’s a meat eater…like maybe human meat?” Better get that cleared up before I find out the hard way.

Sulas ignored them, staring at the holographic star chart as though his life depended on it.

            “Zozzi eats what I eat,” Eschel said. “But she prefers plants and bugs.”

“Oh great, plants and bugs.” As an afterthought. “What kind of bugs?” Bugs came in all sizes and she herself might be considered a bug in the right environment.

“She will not hurt you,” Eschel grinned again. “She’s a female and much less aggressive than the males can be.” He whistled, the shrill sound long and annoying. “You don’t want to mess with the males.”

Leah sighed, a scrap more relieved but still nervous. “So all I do is go into the cargo hold and call her name and say dostia ka? And then she’ll come to me and it’ll be fine?”

“It will be fine,” Eschel agreed. “But hurry, she’s probably scared…”

Sulas coughed again, the sound suspiciously akin to a chuckle.

“Okay, okay,” she groused before switching to English. “Moira, I’m depending on you to save me if anything happens. I have a weird feeling about this little episode and I don’t trust these two as far as I can throw them.”

Sympathy etched Moira’s baby face. “I willnae fail you,” she vowed with solemn resolve. “If you scream, I will come.”

“Just you remember you said that!” She inhaled a deep breath. “It can’t be that bad. Here I go. Dostia ka Zozzi! she trilled as she strode down the passageway towards the cargo hold. “Dostia ka!”

The panel to the cargo hold slid open. Leah hesitated, allowing her eyes to adjust to the murky dimness of the cluttered space as the musty smell of old storage bins wafted through the door. She took a cautious step forward. “Dostia ka Zozzi!” she called.

Nothing.

Zozzi. Dostia ka! Woohoo!”

            Still nothing. Wonder if I’m getting treated to a good old snipe hunt—Chiagan-Se style!

She inched forward, noting the dark corners and concealed areas where the creature could secrete itself.  She shivered as tremors of anxiety traveled up her spine. It’s just too dark and quiet in here!

“Dostia ka, Zozzi!” she sing-songed. “Dostia ka!”

Her voice sounded tremulous even to her. “There better be something in here or someone is in sooo much trouble!”

Overhead, she heard what sounded like the flutter of wings. Did the creature fly?

“Zozzi, dostia ka!” Head tilted back, she scanned the darkness beyond the rafters.

Another flutter of wings. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”

A soft chirrup—like a squirrel.

“Come on, baby,” she crooned, making smoochie noises. “I won’t hurt you.”

A black shadow erupted from the darkness. She caught a glimpse of bat-like wings and a wide open mouth lined with a double row of needle-sharp teeth before the creature landed on her head. Hissing and growling the mini-monster attacked entangling itself in her hair.

She screamed like a banshee, tearing at the little bastard. Leathery wings covered her face sticking to her skin like strips of psychotic Velcro. If she pulled one wing free, the creature clutched her with tiny claw-like feet as it wrapped the other wing around her. It’s trying to suffocate me!

She screamed again, rotating in a stumbling spin as she grappled with the hellish fiend. It wouldn’t let go!

Amidst the screaming and growling, she heard the cargo door slide open.

Lord save us!” She heard Moira yelp. “I’ll go for help!”

NO!” Leah screeched. “Don’t leave me!”

****Follow P.L. Parker on Amazon and visit her page: https://www.amazon.com/P.-L.-Parker/e/B002BMIAPM

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Kicking Off Furbaby Friday


Attention pet loving authors and readers, I’m kicking off a new weekly blog feature in honor of dear little Sadie who was my faithful writing companion, as was my curmudgeonly cuddler, Kitty Percy.

Both Sadie and Percy left me in late winter within a week of each other, and it’s been very hard without them. This is the last image I took of the two by my side. But precious memories go on, and I’m grateful for other writing buddies. Puppy Cooper needs to settle down a bit, but he’s beginning to sit with me when not in scamper mode. Peaches and Cream, who also act as my publicists, are purry pals. Jilly has a seat at my right side while I research and type away on my keyboard. She also has every other seat in the living room if she wants. All surfaces are covered with sheets that can be changed due to her shedding, and I’ve added towels for the occasional puppy puddle. But Cooper is getting better about that, I say cautiously. (Cooper sitting by my knee.)

My furbabies help me to write. I know many authors greatly appreciate their furry companions, and cherish memories of past friends. Peaches and Cream are ready assistants (when not snoozing in a sunbeam), as is Jilly, below, giving me the ‘I didn’t do it look.’ *She did. Kitty Pavel is a funny bird, but does his best.

I rescued these animals, but they are the ones who rescue me. Every day.

My thinking is to have authors share about furbabies who are or have been part of their writing life, and then share the highlights of a recent release. No erotica. Pet pics are essential. If you’re an animal loving author, please message me about a spot at bctrissel@gmail.com or leave me a comment. Or both.