P is for Puppy

You called?

You called?

Although the A, B, C for motivation challenge is over, I still have a lot of alphabet letters left. I didn’t do so well that month! But now, when I’m feeling sleepy and like it’s time to get ready for bed (it is 11:15pm here!) my young puppy is racing around the room with a squeaky ball. He’s not tired! He’s been sleeping under my computer chair most of the evening with his head on my feet.

As many of my friends and fans may already know, I own sled dogs. I raise them, train them, run them, and sometimes I race them – although I haven’t raced in a few years now. My dogs are Siberian Huskies – although you can use just about any breed that is larger than 30 pounds to pull a sled. I met a woman who ran a team of Irish Setters. She passed me three times on the same race! Typical of the breed, her excited team got turned around and ran part of the race backwards – but she passed me again to finish with a better time that I had! I run Huskies because I love the breed. They are smart, stubborn, independent, loving, loyal, and friendly. My new puppy learned the “sit” command in about ten minutes. It took another ten minutes to learn “down” and “come.” It took him several months to learn to pee outside. And he still only comes when he wants to – which is if I have a good enough treat in my fingers. He knows his name. When I call him, he’ll cock his head to the side, and you can almost see the thought process going on behind his devilish hazel eyes. “Hmmm… should I, or shouldn’t I?”

I wrote about sled dogs in a couple of my books. The Deceived was a short romance, book one in an unfinished trilogy, where three sisters wrote as a single pen name – the deception. They lived on an island in Maine, because I used to live on an island in Maine. And during the winter months, they crossed the frozen lake with a dog sled. I never finished that trilogy – just haven’t been motivated, but I suppose I should. I had ideas for the other two sisters’ romances, just never put them down.

River owns sled dogs in the full-length novel, River and Sky. That book was so long, that my publisher encouraged me to split it into two books, so the second half is called Sky’s Limit, River’s Reward. If you buy the print version, both halves are included in one volume.

Billy Boy

Billy Boy

I lost a dear friend this summer. My dog Billy passed away one weekend while I was at Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas. I felt so sad, as he wasn’t that old, just ten years old, and he was so full of life and personality. He was a rare husky, in that he loved water, and he loved the shower. He wanted so desperately to be a house dog, that anytime he got out of the fenced dog yard, he came straight to my door and barked to come in! My Dh didn’t want him in the house. We already had three dogs in the house, and Billy was just too big. Most huskies are between 45 – 60 pounds, they really aren’t very big. But Billy, although he was A.K.C. registered, was underweight when he was 82 pounds. He was just big all over. A bit like a bull in a china store. He’d bound into a room, and the floor shook and things fell down. He’d wag his tail and a lamp would topple to the floor. My DH scolded him once, and he promptly went over to his shoes and peed in them. Yep… my DH and my dog did not like each other much! So, Billy lived in the dog yard with four friends – Blue, Bear, Caesar and Jack. All neutered, with a huge dog house to share and an acre of woods to run in. Billy was a rescue dog – his previous owner wanted to put him down, because she thought he was vicious. He was a sweet lover-boy. I never had any problem with him – if you don’t count that pee in the shoe episode.

I lost another Husky this summer, as well. I wasn’t as close to her. She was my daughter’s dog, but I adopted her because she was old and crippled with arthritis, and my young grandchildren played too rough with her. My daughter was afraid of someone getting nipped. So Misha moved here for a couple of years. Most of our retired sled dogs do become house pets. It’s better for the running dogs to be outside dogs, or else they don’t grow a good winter coat. Misha never warmed up to me. I fed her, I walked her, I took her to the vet, but she never became my pal – not like Billy. She was in so much pain that she was turning mean. She attacked another dog, and the next day I put her to sleep.

I grieved for Misha, and for Billy. And a good friend of mine had a new litter of puppies about this time. I asked her if she might have one for sale. She didn’t, because as a responsible breeder, she sells her pups before she even breeds, and she has a two-year waiting list. But something came up. One of her customers was upset about something, and became obnoxious. She decided she didn’t want to sell a pup to that person – so she sold it to me. I didn’t get to “pick” the pup. I got the last one left after all the other customers claimed theirs – which was fine with me. I don’t know how I would have chosen just one! I went to play with her litter while they were still too young to adopt, and they were all prize animals!

So that’s how I got to have Buddy. Oh, yes – I named him Buddy, because he is my buddy. He goes everywhere with me. Even though I hope he’ll be a good sled dog, and maybe even a lead dog, he’s going to be a house pet. And sometimes I sing to him that sweet old song from World War Two, “My Buddy.”

Days are long since you went away…
I think about you all through the day,
My buddy, my buddy…
Miss your voice, the touch of your hand.
Just long to know that you understand,
My buddy, my buddy –
Your buddy misses you!

Isn’t that sweet? Some songs back then were corny, and some were wild, but that one was just sweet. I remember my mom singing that sometimes, while she was cleaning house or doing what moms do. That’s how I know the words to so many old songs – because my mom loved to sing.

Anyway, today’s post isn’t really about anything. Just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings for the newest member of my family, Buddy.

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