Dog Days Throughout the Years

Since we’re entering the “dog days” of summer, I posed the question to our our Romance Writers Weekly authors, “Do you have pets? What type and how many? Do you write pets into your stories? “

Hubs and I both grew up with a dog as a part of the family. Over the years, we’ve adopted both dogs and cats. My husband has always been a lover of Basset Hounds.  When we met, he had Beau, a large Hush Puppy with a mind of his own. After we married, a long-haired, gray tabby cat showed up where I worked.  Jasper and Beau became buddies. Once we bought a house, we added a chocolate lab who didn’t even know his name. We renamed him Jake after Mollie Ringwald’s heartthrob in Sixteen Candles.

A couple of years later, I came home to find a tiny, yellow tabby wrapped in a blanket. My husband had found him while working at a job site. The kitten had ears as big as Gizmo the sweet gremlin the movie. Gizmo joined the rest of the crew.

The first Halloween after Beau had passed, a friend of ours who worked at our city’s animal control called about a Bassett who’d been surrendered that morning. My husband picked him up that evening as I gave out candy.  Jake greeted Clyde and they ran off in the backyard together, besties from day one.  The “gangsters” had a great run.  When Jake passed buried him in the backyard and Clyde lay on his grave for days.

Down to one dog and two cats we held that number until our animal control called once again. We adopted Luc, a beautiful black flat coated retriever who was the sweetest boy. He became my dog.

After our son, Hunter, was born, we lost Clyde and got a Basset puppy.  Sophie was a beautiful girl who grew up with our son and lived a long life.  After the cats and Luc and Sophie passed over the rainbow bridge we went without pets for a while.

When Hunter was in his last year of middle school, we adopted Tucker.  Hunter immediately bonded with the little, black lab who continued to look like a puppy throughout his life. His coat looked and felt like black velvet.  Of all the dogs we’d had, “Boo” as I nicknamed him, stole all of our hearts. Then he splintered them into a million pieces when he died at only five from a tumor around his heart.  My first novel was released within a week of his death and all I could do was cry. I’ve never grieved so long over a pet.

My husband pushed for another dog well before Hunter and I were ready. A few months later my sister-in-law posted a picture of a lab mix on Hunter’s Facebook timeline. He didn’t see it but I did.

They told us “Roscoe” was in the shelter for a second time.  When they brought him out, he stood with his head nearly to my waist. I bent slightly to give him a pet and he extend his long muzzle and licked my face.  I handed the leash to my son, sure that the pony-sized dog would drag me through the walking area. To my surprise, Leo (as we would rename him) meandered happily with his nose to the ground.  We were told he is Plott Hound (state dog of NC) and Lab but with his stature, we believe he has Blood Hound in his genes.  We’ve had Leo for four years now and pray he has a long life with us. At 103 pounds, he’s our baby!

Romance Writers Weekly with coffe cup underneath and a mocha foam heart in cup

Thus far, my current work is progress is the only story with a pet as a character. The story is about a former military canine handler who is trying to find his dog when he meets a woman who’s training a puppy for service work. It is a bit challenging trying to incorporate a pet into a story that isn’t solely about them but I’m about two thirds done and hope to finish it this year. Now let’s hear from Jenna Da Sie who’s next on the Romance Writers Weekly hop.

Flash Fiction

Couple on Beach kissing

It’s Flash Fiction this week on Romance Writers Weekly. Five hundred words using Coffee, Blue and Waterfall with bonus points if kiss is used.

Jo dug her toes into the sand beneath the lounge chair. Sky and water stretched to infinity. Drinking coffee on a beach wasn’t odd. She did so nearly every morning back home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Having coffee seaside in Hawaii with palm trees reaching skyward seemed right out of a dream.

A relaxing cascade from a nearby waterfall, exclusive to the resort, made it a perfect honeymoon destination for two water lovers like she and Ray.  Two years ago, as she was fingerprinted in California, she never imagined being free again, much less married the man she’d been in love with as a teen.

His hearty chuckle brought her back as he chatted with the surfside bartender. A few seconds later, he sat down beside her and handed her a plate. “He gave us some fruit and croissants.”

“Thanks babe.” She nabbed a piece of sliced kiwi. The large blue sapphire sparkled on her finger.  How did she get so lucky?

He raised his wrap-a-round shades  to the top of his head. Ice blue eyes that always read her soul asked, “So surfing or hiking today?”

Her belly warmed inside as she remembered this morning in bed. While she wanted to ask for another round, she tamped down her attempt at a sexual innuendo. “How about that helicopter tour?”

“You think the pilot will let us have some fun in the back seat, if we pay extra?” He winked.

So his mind was on the same track. She grinned. “You could barely get those shoulders of yours though the door of the airplane bathroom.”

He nodded with a smirk and picked up his phone. “Let’s see what times they have open.” The man could have played pro football but decided firefighting was his calling and her dad probably has something to do with his choice of careers.

She was living the trope of falling for her brother’s best friend and it was absolutely fantastic.

Two hours later, a lush, green tropical canopy skimmed below them as they crested another volcanic cliff and then zoomed out over the sea. From the outcropping a towering waterfall projected a rainbow in its mist. 

Ray snugged her hand in his.  “Paradise, huh.”

“Yep, almost as good as sleeping next to you.” She bumped his shoulder.

The chopper dipped suddenly as the engine died. The pilot punched the start over and over working the controls as he tried to control their rapid descent.

“Shit.” Jo’s heart rose to her throat.  No! They couldn’t die like this. Not after all they’d been through.

The terror in Ray’s eyes said yes they would.  “I love you baby.”

He met her lips with a lingering kiss.

The chopper slammed into the water then blackness.

“Get up!” a harsh female voice echoed in Jo’s ears. I don’t have all day!”

Jo wiped her eyes, wet with tears.

The guard yelled again.  “Your bail has been posted. Get you blonde ass moving.

At least she wasn’t dead…now to somehow get back home. She ached to see Ray. Would even have anything to do with her now?

Romance Writers Weekly with coffe cup underneath and a mocha foam heart in cup

Want to find out if Jo makes it home and finds Ray? I wrote this as a prequel to Hot as Blazes. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited and all major e-book sellers and in paperback.  Now check out the lovely Leslie Hachtel for her flash fiction.

Seaside Heat Romance

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