I’m happy to have fellow country gal, Paty Jager, here to share her little dog, Tink, and latest western romance from her Shandra Higheagle Mystery series.
My Furbaby Tink by Paty Jager
Tinkerbelle or Tink, as we call her, is a mini-pincher, chihuahua cross that I brought home when she was only five weeks old.
It all started with me making over an older couple’s dog that their granddaughter had given them. He was a min-pin/chihuahua mix named Mokie. I liked his personality, his manners, the way he carried himself. When we visited them, or they visited us, I would hold Mokie and talk to him. We’d moved into a new house we’d built and had lost our mini-schnauzer to old age. I told my husband, I didn’t want any more house dogs. We had three outside dogs. One was ours and the other two were our daughters’ that had been left behind when they went to college.
The older couple showed up at the house one day and told me to get in their van. I did, and they took me to a house with a mother dog and 8 puppies. “You get the pick of the litter,” they said. Mokie had sired the litter with a chihuahua mix female. There were four puppies who had the same coloring as Mokie. I sat on the floor and watched them moving around. One came over to me, crawled up my leg, and sat in my hand. She was as big as my palm. She had a kink in her tail. I said I’d take this one. The lady with the female dog said, “You might as well take her today. The mom doesn’t have enough milk and I’ve been feeding them puppy chow.” She gave me a small bag of puppy chow because I wasn’t prepared to take a dog home. But I did.
Because she was so small, we named her Tinkerbelle, but call her Tink. We had snow, and she was so small she couldn’t walk through it. I had to clear the snow in a small patch so she could go to the bathroom. But she also didn’t like the cold and would shiver and not go. We ended up most of that winter using a pad in the utility room for her.
She also couldn’t get up the stairs to my writing area. I would carry her up, and she’d sleep on my lap or in a bed by the desk. She still follows me into my office every day and sleeps on a bed next to my desk as I write.
Because she was so young when I got her, she has never learned to play with other dogs. When they try to play with her, she puts her nose in the air and walks away. She tolerates another dog sniffing her, but then moves off. She will play with a toy and with me or my husband. She has been leery of the smaller grandchildren but will tolerate the older ones petting her when they first arrive. After about thirty minutes she’s had enough and finds a quiet place to sleep.
She likes to go on walks, enjoys laying in a chair on the porch in the sun, chasing sage rats, and riding in tractors and farm equipment. She thinks she’s bigger than she is.
We have two other dogs at this time. One is my husband’s dog, Mikey, who is two to three times the size of Tink. She tolerates him, and they go for rides in the backhoe with my husband. We also inherited my dad’s dog Harlie, she’s a border collie/boxer mix with a lot of energy and gentle disposition. She has tried to play with Tink but has been snapped at for the attempt.
I’m not sure what I’ll do when my 13 year-old Tink leaves us. She has been the best dog I’ve ever had. She only barks if someone comes and then she stops as soon as you tell her to. She has manners. I can leave open food in the car with her and she won’t touch it unless I give it to her. She knows the words, thirsty, hungry, kids, walk, backhoe, tractor and many more. She is clean, doesn’t roll in nasty stuff like the other two. And tolerates baths.
Because of my love of dogs, my character, Shandra Higheagle in my Shandra Higheagle mystery series, has a big, furry, goofball of a dog that in some cases helps her find clues to the murders.
In my current release, Artful Murder, Sheba, the dog, hears someone leave a package on the doorstep and keeps Shandra safe.
Blurb from Artful Murder, Book ten in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery Series
Secrets… Scandal… Murder…
An autistic boy and his brother need potter Shandra Higheagle’s help when a teacher’s body is found after a confrontation with the older brother. Shandra knows the boy is innocent. Digging into the teacher’s life, she and Ryan turn up scandal.
Detective Ryan Greer has believed in Shandra’s dreams in the past, but she can’t always be right. When his investigation uncovers a principal on the take, females being harassed, and parents kept in the dark, he discovers more suspects than the brothers. Shandra’s time at the school is coming to an end, and the killer has struck again.
Excerpt from Artful Murder:
“I’ll be fine. Besides, you’ll be there sometime this morning, won’t you? To talk to Jennifer?” Shandra buttered her toast and tossed half the slice to Sheba. Having a large dog made it easier to eat foods she shouldn’t. She could take a few bites of the forbidden food and then toss it to her furry companion.
“Yes. I’ll head there after I go by the department and fill in Sheriff Oldham. After the school, I’ll catch up with Mrs. Lawrence at her work. Someone, somewhere is bound to slip up and give me a detail that will give me a foothold on some information.” Ryan set his coffee mug in the sink and stopped beside her. “Please be careful.”
Shandra stared into his pleading eyes. He knew her well enough by now to not tell her what to do. But his caring always did more to shake her need to find the truth anyway.
“I’ll be careful. I just want to make sure the real killer is found.” She hugged Ryan, wondering how she’d been so lucky to have found him.
“Good. We have a wedding to plan for and it’s hard to do that without a bride.” He kissed the top of her head and walked into the living room.
The wedding! She still needed to get the invitations sent out. In all the hubbub the last week or so, she’d forgotten they were in a box in her suitcase in the bedroom. Sheba rose up off the floor as Shandra headed out of the kitchen. Before she crossed the living room, Sheba woofed and pounced on the door.
“You have to go out the back door.” Shandra pivoted toward the kitchen.
Sheba woofed and pounced on the front door again.
Shandra spun around. “You can’t go out there unless I watch you.”
The dog pounced at the door and dug at the floor.
“Okay. I get the point. You want to go out the front door.” Shandra snagged her coat from where it lay across the back of the couch and walked to the door.
Sheba whined and plopped down on her furry backside.
“What is wrong?” Shandra looked out the peephole on the door before opening it. All she spotted were kids headed to school. To avoid one of them getting knocked down by her overgrown puppy, Shandra grabbed the leash by the door and clicked it to the collar.
“Let’s go.” She opened the door and Sheba refused to move. “You’re the one who had to go out this door.” Shandra glanced down and found a shoebox.
She shoved back into the house and closed the door.
Where had she left her phone this morning? A quick look through the living room and kitchen didn’t find it. The second she stepped into the bedroom her gaze landed on the object of her search. She crossed the room, grabbed the cell phone, and hit Ryan’s speed dial number.
“You have reached Detective Ryan Greer—”
“Voicemail!” She hung up and dialed the Sheriff’s Department.
“Weippe County Sheriff’s Department this is Deputy Davis. How may I help you?”
“Cathleen! This is Shandra.”
“Hi Shandra. Ryan is in with the Sher—”
“I know. He’s not answering his phone. Someone left a shoebox on the front porch.” She knew there could be something innocent in the box, but given someone followed her last night, she really didn’t need to find a harmful surprise.
Get Artful Murder in Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Artful-Murder-Shandra-Higheagle-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07B282PHN/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Universal Buy Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bapvjq
Author Bio: Paty Jager is the award-winning author of the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. This is what Mysteries Etc has to say about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”
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