Category Archives: pets

FH000077

Paw Prints on My Heart

She looked at me. Helplessly. Pleadingly.

I was driving down the highway on the way to my folks’ farm when I saw a furry lump in the middle of the road. And just before I zoomed past, she looked at me. Those eyes haunted me. I had to go back.

Of course, I had two young children (ages 3 and 4) and three dogs. So I drove on to my parents’ house to drop off the dogs and get my mother’s help. My mom is a huge animal advocate, so she didn’t hesitate when I told her the situation. She grabbed her cat carrier and off we went.

The traffic was very heavy as it was about five in the evening. Huge eighteen wheelers sped along the two lane highway. The cat was still lying there. And still alive. I thought we’d never be able to cross the one lane to get to her. But suddenly, the traffic disappeared. My mom, such a hero, didn’t hesitate. She raced to the middle of the highway and scooped up the little cat. Carefully we placed her in the cat carrier and drove her to town to the vet.

We named her Hershey, because she had dark chocolate-brown fur with white spots. She sort of looked like a S’more with chocolate and marshmallow all mixed together. One chocolate spot was at her mouth and looked like she’d been eating chocolate. We couldn’t keep her because I’m allergic to cats, as is my husband, so we left her at the vet’s, so they could better care for her concussion and badly injured front leg. After a few days, without any success in finding her a loving home, we had to bring her home to my parents’ house. Her injured leg had a serious infection. She wasn’t eating well. And we discovered she was pregnant as she gave birth to one kitten at the vet’s. But the kitten didn’t survive. The vet said the kitten was born 10 days early, which usually means they can’t survive.

Of course as soon as we brought her to my mom’s house and settled her in the laundry room–ta-da–she delivered two more kittens. One of which, I had to actually deliver. Oh boy! What a night that was! So began our journey of trying to save these little kittens. We had to feed them every hour, even through the night. One, sadly, didn’t survive. But one did. We named her Miracle.

Eventually, Momma cat had surgery to remove her injured leg, and she came to live with us. Yes, even though we were allergic. And amazingly, we weren’t allergic to Miracle. Hershey’s milk came in 8 weeks after delivery, after Miracle had been weaned and was eating solid foods.

Most of the first year, Hershey stayed under my dining room table. Each night, when I would finally sit down, she would come to me and sit in my lap. She was the sweetest cat. She had the loudest purr. She helped me teach my children that every life is precious and worth fighting for. For five years, Hershey had a safe place to live. She passed away too soon, and I was heartbroken to lose her.

It’s been several years now since we lost Hershey. Over Christmas, I made a memory shadow box for her. I got the idea from my niece who made us memory boxes for our two sweet dogs when they passed away.

You can get a shadow frame at most craft stores. I used the fancy paper most use for photo albums. No cutting required. It’s a lovely way to remember our sweet pets that have placed their paw print on our hearts.

Have you had a pet to leave their paw print on your heart? Have you created a memorial of some kind to honor them?

Holley Gerth and Katie!



Le: This past spring, I met Holley Gerth at the Mt. Hermon Writers Conference. What a sweetheart she is! So I’m happy to welcome her here along with her adorable dog, Katie! So, Holley, let’s jump write in: what is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

HG: I’m a fan of dogs because they like to sleep and eat food as much as I do!

Le: They do indeed! How many pets do you have today?

HG: I have one dog, a beagle-basset mix (aka “bagel”) named Katie.

Le: And she is so cute! Have you ever rescued an animal?

HG: Yes, we rescued Katie from an animal shelter in a neighboring state. She was the featured dog on petfinder.com. I saw her picture, fell in love, drove two hours to put a deposit on her (we were leaving on vacation the next day) and came back for her a week later!

Le: That’s a wonderful story! What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?

HG: Our poor little Katie just had a cone on her head for about a week. Being the most laidback and uncoordinated dog in the universe, she bumped into all sorts of things. The funny part was that it didn’t bother her a bit! She’d just wag her tail and keep on bumping.

Le: They look so pathetic in those things, don’t they? Is there a secret that only Katie knows?

HG: She knows how much chocolate I truly eat and where in my house to find it.

Le: Uh-oh! That’s not good. No sharing chocolate with our pets. Not that we’re selfish with our chocolate, right? But it’s so bad for them! What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

HG: She thinks I need more exercise…specifically, the kind that involves her, a leash, and a walk around the block.

Le: Oh, yes, I have one like that too. Katie just cares deeply about you and knows that walking is the best exercise. What is your pet peeve about your pet?

HG: When she trees a squirrel or possum in the middle of the night, she howls like a madwoman and refuses to come inside. Anything that disturbs my sleep makes the pet peeve list!

Le: I hear ya on that one! Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us, Holley! Now, I’d love to ask Katie a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺ Hi, Katie! Aren’t you cute! I think you should write a story about your life in the shelter and how you were found by Holley. What would be the title of your autobiography?

K: Sleep is good. Food is better. How to quit your job and get all your needs met just because you’re cute.

Le: That would certainly attract a lot of folks I know. If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?

K: Yes, she would be the moody one who controls the milkbones. But we’d all love her anyway because she “accidentally” drops food on the floor.

Le: A good habit for a friend to have. What’s your favorite movie?

K: Hitch. It’s her favorite movie and she pets my head the whole time she watches it.

Le: Ahh! What musical instrument would you like to play?

K: The tuba. It sounds just like my howl.

Le: That’s funny! So you could just play that tuba when those squirrels or possums storm the house. What do you think about cats? Dogs?

K: I think both of them smell really good.

Le: Where do you sleep at night?

K: I used to sleep in a crate but I used my sad eyes to convince them to let me sleep on a blanket in front of the couch. Have you ever tried the “sad eyes” trick? You should. I’m telling you, pure genius on God’s part.

Le: Yes, indeed it does! I was the baby of the family and it works well. What do you do when your friend is writing?

K: The same things I do when she’s not writing…sleep and eat. Haven’t you read my autobiography?

Le: Of course! What is your idea of bliss? Wait! I bet I can guess…

K: The moment when I watch, in slow motion it seems, a piece of my favorite food slip from the counter and into my waiting jaws. It makes me so happy I sometimes wonder if my tail will fall off.

Le: What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

K: Chocolate. But I’m not telling where she keeps it.

Le: Oh, Katie! That’s so unfair! But thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?

Gail Martin and Jinx!





Le: Hey, y’all! Please welcome author Gail Martin to my blog today! Hi, Gail! Thanks so much for being here! Let’s just jump in and get started! What is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

GM: I can’t pick between dogs and cats. I’ve owned both and I love each for different reasons. Dogs are faithful and welcoming. Cats are whimsical and independent.

Le: I love both too. How many pets do you have today?

GM: Sadly, none. When my last cat died, we were pet-less and because we travel so much and sometimes for long periods of time when we are in Europe, we decided it wasn’t fair to the animals. Once I settle down again and stay home more, I would love a small dog or a cat or both.

Le: Traveling is good though. And very responsible of you not to leave a pet behind. It’s so hard on our animals. Have you ever rescued an animal?

GM: Yes, my cat Waifer who lived to be 20 was abandoned in northern Michigan. We had a popup trailer on my parent’s property and one night we heard a rustle outside. We assumed it was a possum so we decided to open the door and let our Samoyed and terrier outside to scare the pest. When we flung open the door, this tiny little kitten sat mewing up at us. We took her in, and then the next day went out to homes that were further down the road to see if they’d lost a kitten. Everyone laughed. They said people always dumped their kittens in the woods. We decided to take her back home to the Detroit area and find her a good home. We did. Ours. Since she was a little waif in the woods, we named her Waif-er.

Le: Ah, that is such a sweet story. Waifer was certainly blessed to find y’all. Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

GM: Yes, I’ve had cats and dogs in my novels and would love to have a parrot sometime. One book that stands out in my mind is Dooley, an Irish setter, who is a great character in my novel, The Christmas Kite. My series out right now is based on three women who are involved in a dog shelter. The first book, Dad In Training, is about Molly who wants to own a dog shelter. The second book, Groom In Training, is her best friend, Steph who runs a doggie day care in her home and wants to move it to the back of Molly’s shelter. Steph owns a border collie named Fred and he’s a great character in the first two books. The final book, Bride in Training, to be released in less than a week, is the story of Emily who is a part-time employee at Time For Paws, the dog shelter, and who also has a dog walking/sitting business.

Le: I love that! Love the premise of the series and new book. Very cool. What was your favorite character animal?

GM: I would have to say Fred the border collie. He is a fun dog, well-behaved and such a good friend to Steph. And best of all, he’s also a romantic too. He falls in love in book two, Groom In Training.

Le: Too funny! Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?

GM: Yes, both Jinx, a terrier-mix and Teddy, a Samoyed, inspired scenes and events in my novels. Jinx lived to be twenty as well and influenced my life very much. Teddy was a real character with separation anxiety. He was so powerful, that when we hired someone to stay at our home while we traveled for a month, he moved large pieces of furniture from room to room – like overstuffed chairs – and tore up every houseplant as well as the baskets they were in. The young woman asked our neighbor to help her find a way to keep Teddy in the basement when she left the house, but Teddy didn’t like the idea. He ate the basement banister which we had to repair when we came home. She swore she would never own a pet or have children. She did have children eventually.

Le: Oh my! And I thought the Hilo Monster (my labradoodle) was trouble! Do you have anymore funny stories?

GM: I have two funny stories. We fed Jinx canned dog food and when we bought cans of doggie stew, we realized Jinx didn’t like peas. He ate all around the peas and made a little pile of them on the outside of his dish. Teddy on the other hand liked everything. One day my husband came home from work and I was thrilled to tell him, I’d made chicken paprikash for dinner and homemade spaetzel (German noodle). He walked into the kitchen and called to me asking why I’d made such a small amount. I said I’d halved the recipe because I thought that was plenty. He said there’s less than a cup here. I knew he was wrong. I had made them, put them in the frypan with butter and bread crumbs to brown when he arrived home. I had a whole pan full. When I went in the kitchen, he was right. We looked down and saw Teddy sitting beside us with a large smile on his face. . .that’s if dogs could smile. But we knew he was guilty.

Le: Oh, boy! Now that is something the Hilo Monster has done. Is there a secret that only your pet knows?

GM: Not really a secret, but people always think I’m very sweet and loving. Ask the dogs. They know the truth. I do get crabby, and that means raising my voice a lot. . .even if it’s just at myself. Or you could ask my husband. : )

Le: Our pets see all sides of us, don’t they? And they still love us. What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

GM: Our travels would have to be the answer. When we went up north to the trailer, they came along and loved it. They were both good riders. But taking dogs to Europe or on cruises isn’t a good idea. We love to do both.

Le: I’m with your pets about the cruises. Am I green just thinking about it? But I’m a different kind of green thinking of your trips to Europe. I definitely want to come along on one of those trips! What is your pet peeve about your pet?

GM: Dogs have one bad feature that cats don’t have. Cats use litter boxes. Dogs use the yard. That’s my pet peeve.

Le: Yes, they do. Or as one of mine (and I won’t name names) likes to use the inside. Sigh. Thank you, Gail, for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask your pet a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺ Hi, Jinx! What would be the title of your autobiography?

J: Hi – This is Jinx and if I wrote my autobiography it would be, A Terrier’s Adventure. Since I hate to think of what happened to me, I’ll let my master tell the story. When he was about 16 or 17, he’d lost his sense of smell and his sight wasn’t good. He followed our other dog out of the yard when a meter-reader came to our house and didn’t lock the gate. Teddy came back, but Jinx was gone. We did everything—kennels, police, signs, etc. – and after two weeks, we gave up. With tears in my eyes, I picked up his doggie dish and toys to get rid of them. Everyday my heart broke wondering his fate. The telephone rang that day and it was our vet asking if we still had Jinx. I told him until two weeks earlier, yes. He said I think he’s here. The secretary went out to lunch and spotted him hanging around the building. She thought he looked familiar. The vet looked at him and then called us. He wore his dog tag so we checked the number and sure enough. We picked him up – and though his foot pads were raw and he smelled like garbage, we were thrilled to have him home. The strange part of the story is that our vet was many miles from our home across two major highways. How he found his way there only the Lord knows.

Le: Wow! That is some adventure! If you were to write a novel (and sounds like you might have one), would your friend inspire one of the characters?

J: She might inspire a story. She’d done a 360 degree turn since she was young to now. She was very shy and had no confidence in herself at all. Today she is a speaker at churches and conferences all over the country. Plus she loves acting and is a solo singer. I think writing a story about how God can drag out people’s talents and change them for the better would be a good lesson for anyone who read it. I was always confident and talented so I couldn’t write that kind of a story about myself.

Le: Oh, isn’t that wonderful how God works! I’ll have to have Gail back sometime and talk to her about the changes in her life. So, Jinx, shat’s your favorite movie?

J: Easy. Lady and the Tramp. I’m sort of a tramp at heart. I suppose my adventure story shows that, and I’m also a lover. My girlfriend used to live next door and we had some romantic times together, although we never had a spaghetti dinner like the one in the movie. I always wanted to take her out, but no sense in talking about should haves. That’s one thing my master has taught me. She says in life and in novels those are in the past. We try to look to the future.

Le: That is definitely good advice. And I love Lady and the Tramp too. It’s one of my all time favorites. What musical instrument would you like to play?

J: I think I’d like to play the maracas. I could shake those babies and dart around the room. Sounds fun to me.

Le: What do you think about cats? Dogs?

J: I had little choice. Where I lived, they brought home dogs and cats so I had to deal with it. Teddy and I became good friends, but the cats. I tolerated them, but we weren’t exactly friends. For one, Waifer always tried to steal my spot in bed.

Le: Just like a cat! So, where do you sleep at night?

J: Where else? With my masters on their bed. Sometimes I like to sleep between them, especially in winter when it’s cold. I’ve even slipped beneath the blankets. I’m not really welcome there, but what’s a guy gonna do?

Le: Exactly! What do you do when your friend is writing?

J: Either bark to get in or out or, my favorite, curl up on a rug in the sun and take a nap.

Le: That definitely sounds like a good idea! What is your idea of bliss?

J: I love the sandy beach outside Mackinaw in northern Michigan. We had a long stretch of sand, some woods to visit, and best of all flocks of birds to chase. I even went swimming occasionally.

Le: That sounds lovely! And fun! What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

J: Probably the same. They spent many long weekends on that beach although they didn’t chase birds. They swam, went for walks, and, at night, sang around campfires. You don’t know what stars look like until you’re on a beach like that.

Le: They didn’t chase the birds? Huh! Thank you, Jinx, for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?

Interview with Nancy Mehl and Watson



Please welcome, author Nancy Mehl and Watson!

Le: What is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

NM: I love all kinds of animals, but I’m probably drawn more to dogs than anything else. They are so loyal and unique. Every dog I’ve owned has had a different personality.

Le: How many pets do you have today?

NM: Just one now. Last year was tough. We lost two dogs that had been with us for many years. Rosie was fourteen, and Eddie was only nine. He had cancer. He was my best bud.

Le: Oh, I am so sorry. I know how hard it is to lose our beloved pets. I lost a cat two years ago and I still miss her. She was our rescue kitty. Have you ever rescued an animal?

NM: Every pet we’ve ever had except one was a rescue animal. Our current dog was rescued from the Humane Society.

Le: That’s terrific! Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

NM: Yes. In fact, I can’t think of a novel that hasn’t had an animal! LOL! I have two new series debuting this year. In my Harmony series, there is a cat named Snicklefritz and a dog named Buddy. Buddy is fashioned after Eddie. And in my Curl Up and Dye series, there is a dog named…Watson! Funny thing is, I wrote the book before we got “our” Watson. And I’d totally forgotten about the fictional Watson since publication of the book was delayed for a while due to changes with the publisher. It was quite a surprise when I remembered the connection!

Le: Oh, how fun! What was your favorite character animal?

NM: Oh, my. When I was a child, I’d have to say it was Black Beauty. Now, it would be hard to pick one, although I adored Eddie, the dog in Frasier.

Le: I love Eddie! Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?

NM: Yes, Eddie is Buddy in my Harmony series. And although the Watson in the Curl Up and Dye mysteries is an eight-year old pug, and my Watson is a one-year old puggle, they are definitely connected.

Le: What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?

NM: They’ve all been rather funny, but Watson is really hysterical. He’s the first dog we’ve had who watches TV. If any kind of animal comes on, he runs to the TV, stands up on his back legs and stares at them. Many times he barks too. (One day he put his paw up to touch a dog and changed the channel!) Oh, just thought of something else. We have a fireplace stove with a glass door. One day he saw himself in the door. He stared at the image for a while, and then he peeked behind the stove, trying to find the dog he saw looking back at him from the glass! LOL!

Le: That’s funny! Is there a secret that only our pet knows?

NM: Too many to mention.

Le: Not fair! What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

NM: Well, he doesn’t like it when I won’t play “tug the rope” with him. He keeps tapping my leg with his rope until I give in.

Le: What is your pet peeve about your pet?

NM: We’re still trying to convince him that he doesn’t have to protect me when my husband wants to hug or kiss me! LOL!

Le: Ah, how sweet…and uh…well, not so sweet. Funny though. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us, Nancy! Now, I’d love to ask Watson a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺

Hi, Watson! You are sooo cute! What would be the title of your autobiography?

W: The Long Walk by Watson Mehl. (Yes, I know Stephen King wrote a book with the same title, but walks are my very favorite thing! Besides, I don’t think he wrote about the same kind of walk. Although I wouldn’t know because I can’t actually read.)

Le: If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?

W: Yes, the main character. I love her sooooooo much. She’s my best friend.

Le: That’s so sweet! What’s your favorite movie?

W: I’ve only seen one movie. My owners checked it out just for me. It was called “Hotel for Dogs.” I loved it. I barked a whole lot. Even though it’s not a movie, my favorite TV show is “The Dog Whisperer!”

Le: That is a good show! I haven’t seen the movie but I’ll have to rent it for my doggies. What musical instrument would you like to play?

W: Hmmmm. Well, I toot a lot so I guess a trumpet. But I’m not really talking about that kind of “tooting.”

Le: LOL! What do you think about cats? Dogs?

W: I love all of ‘em, but cats are a little different. There’s a cat in our neighborhood that comes right up to visit with me. I like him, but if I get too close, he makes a funny hissing noise. I don’t like that.

Le: Where do you sleep at night?

W: In bed with my owners. Where else would I sleep????

Le: That sounds like the perfect spot. What do you do when your friend is writing?

W: Sometimes I like to sit on a special seat she put in her office just for me. I can look outside while she works. Sometimes I take a nap on the seat, and sometimes I take a nap by her feet. But other times I get bored and go downstairs. Then I take a nap in her special chair.

Le: What is your idea of bliss?

W: Hmmmm. A walk with my owners. And cuddling up with my best friend while she snoozes in her favorite chair.

Le: That sounds lovely. What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

W: Cuddling up with me in her favorite chair – after her writing is done for the day!

Le: Now that does sound perfect! Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?

W: I will. I promise. One other thing – my friend typed all these answers for me because I don’t know how to use a computer and I don’t have fingers. Just wanted to be honest about it…
Le: Well, I appreciate that Watson. And your friend is a professional at the typing thing. ;)

Shades of Morning


SHADES OF MORNING
By Marlo Schalesky
Published by Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishers
Shades of Morning is Marlo’s third “Love Story with a Twist” (think a Nicolas Sparks type love story with an M. Night Shyamalan type twist!).
A BIT ABOUT THE BOOK:
Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But that’s nobody else’s business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church – they all think she’s the very model of compassion and kindness. Then Marnie’s past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son—a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome – and that she’s woefully unprepared to care for him. What’s worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister’s attorney, a man Marnie once loved—and abandoned. As Emmit—and Taylor—work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?
FROM ROMANTIC TIMES:
Top Pick! 4 ½ Stars! “Schalesky has a knack for weaving a surprising spiritual twist into her tales. The touching plot will make readers examine how they deal with past regrets, and how God moves them through it. A not-to-be-missed, stunning novel!”
A BIT ABOUT MARLO:
Marlo Schalesky is the award winning author of numerous books, including her latest novel Shades of Morning, which combines a love story with a surprise ending twist. Marlo’s other books include the Christy Award winning Beyond the Night, and its sequel If Tomorrow Never Comes. Marlo is also the author of nearly 700 articles, the mother of 5 young children, and holds her Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. When she’s not changing diapers, doing laundry, or writing books, Marlo loves sipping Starbucks white mochas, reading the New Testament in Greek, and talking about finding the deep places of God in everyday life.
FIND OUT MORE:
www.marloschalesky.com/fiction
www.facebook.com/MarloSchalesky

Rachel Hauck and Lola



Please welcome my sweet friend, Rachel Hauck and her dog, Lola, today!

Le: What is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

RH: Dogs! I love, love dogs. Mostly because I grew up with them, and have had four since my husband and I got married. But I think if I’d had a horse my answer might be different. I like animals that can “relate” to me. Like, my dog is voice trained so it’s like having a kid. Only she doesn’t talk back. ;)

Le: Doesn’t talk back? Wow, I like that. My sister had a Siberian Husky and she definitely talked back. My Hilo Monster does too. Maybe it’s all in the training. ;) How many pets do you have today?

RH: We have a mini Schnauzer and an 18 year old cat. We love him, too. He’s out lived three other dogs. He’s king of the house.

Le: Wow! 18 years. That must be more than 9 lives, huh? Have you ever rescued an animal?

RH: I kind of rescued our dog Pal, a Sheltie-Beagle mix. Our friends had him from puppyhood, but they were not pet people. So my husband and I took him in. After all, our dog Jack was his dad. A-hem. But we didn’t want two dogs and I thought I’d find a good home for him. Never, ever, ever put an ad in the paper, “free dog.” All the weirdos come out of the wood work. Lesson learned. I rescued Pal from that situation a few days after I gave him away. We did have a few more responses to the ad that sounded like really good families, but I couldn’t bear to give him away again. He died a month before his 10th birthday.

Our Schnauzer I kind of rescued. I found her walking down the road. A few days later, the owner responded to my “found dog” ad in the paper and gave her to me.

Le: Oh, how sweet! Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

RH: Yes! There’s a dog in The Sweet By and By who I just loved.

Le: I can’t wait to read that book! What was your favorite character animal?

RH: Bugs Bunny. Hobbs.

Le: My kids love Hobbs too. Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?

RH: Not really. I suppose the dog in the Sweet By and By is a combination of all my dogs.

Le: Gotta use those experiences, don’t we? What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?

RH: The list is long and varied, enhanced by the fact my husband and I picked up a trait of my brothers: talking for the animals. We’ve had some fall down laughs talking for our cat, then watching the cat “do” what we “said” he was doing.

The funniest thing though was with our cat and our Sheltie, Blue. One week we noticed Blue hanging back when it was bed time. He wasn’t crossing the living room into our bed room. We’d call him and he wouldn’t come. Finally, one night my husband decided to walk him to our room. As Blue passed by the darkened dining room, Red the cat (yeah, we know, Red the cat and Blue the dog, but my parents named the dog) jumps out of the shadows, paws waving, attacking the dog.

Blue darts into our room, growling, and jumps on the bed. Red, casually, oh so casually walks in as if he had NO idea what was going on. He sat at the foot of the bed catatonic. Suddenly, he jumps up and whaps the bed right by Blue with his paw. “Wam! Wam! Wam!”

Oh, it was so funny. He was intentionally hiding from Blue, leaping out to spook him, then taunting him.

Le: That’s hilarious. Love it! Is there a secret that only our pet knows?

RH: They know nothing!

Le: Hmmm. Sounds like they know a lot. Can’t wait to talk to Lola. ;) What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

RH: What? They adore me!

Le: What is your pet peeve about your pet?

RH: The cat comes in my office every night and meows really, really loud. It’s really nerve wracking when I’m on deadline.

Le: I bet. Those kind of yowls can go right to the base of the spine, can’t they?
Thank you so much, Rachel, for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask your pet, Lola, a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺

Le: Hi, Lola! So good to have you here today. What would be the title of your autobiography?

RH: My Mom is the gweatest!

Le: Ah, I love to hear that! If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?

RH: She would be the kind Queen of the Universe.

Le: Rachel is one of the nicest people I know. What’s your favorite movie?

RH: Hm, we don’t watch many movies but I wuv the dog Eddie on Frawsier.

Le: Oh, yeah. Frasier is a hoot! What musical instrument would you like to play?

RH: I’m a singer. Ooowwwwwllll

Le: And quite a lovely voice you have! You should help Rachel with worship. What do you think about cats? Dogs?

RH: Dis is Lola, da dog. Cats bug me. Dogs annoy me. I wuv peoples.

Le: And peoples wuv you. Where do you sleep at night?

RH: Between my parwents.

Le: A very good place indeed! What do you do when your friend is writing?

RH: Sleep at her feet. She needs me.

Le: I’m sure she does! I bet you’re good at brainstorming. What is your idea of bliss?

RH: Widing in the car wif my mom to McDonalds. Especially of the top is down.

Le: Does she give you any fries? She should. ☺ What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

RH: Same as mine of course.

Le: Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend, Rachel, now, ya hear?

RH: Thanks for having us!!

Le: My pleasure, Rachel! And Lola too!

Deborah Raney and Biscuit




This week I’m pleased to welcome Deborah Raney and her adorable cat, Biscuit!

Le: Hi, Deborah! Thank you so much for stopping by today with Biscuit! What is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

DR: I love cats because they are so independent––like a well-behaved teenager, and because they add such warmth and personality to a home.

Le: How many pets do you have today?

DR: We have three cats in the yard: Frosty, Biscuit and Sundae.

Le: Have you ever rescued an animal?

DR: Yes, our cat Biscuit showed up on our doorstep about 4 years ago. She presented us with 9 kittens (2 litters) that summer and fall. We kept one of the kittens, Sundae, and the others all found good homes––thanks in part to author Kim Vogel Sawyer, who adopted Maizie herself and found homes for several other of the kittens.

Le: Oh, I love that! Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

DR: I try to put a cat or dog in almost every book. Sometimes it just doesn’t suit my characters, but usually a pet adds a wonderful spirit to a book.

Le: What was your favorite character animal?

DR: I loved the rabbits in Watership Down, especially Hazel. My newest book has two dogs that have been adopted by homeless shelter residents. Sparky and Boss end up bringing my hero and heroine together rather delightfully, I think.

Le: That’s terrific! Makes me want to read your book even more! Although, I always want to read your novels. Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?

DR: I tend to write cat characters more than dogs, mostly because we are currently cat people. I grew up with a wonderful series of dogs on the farm, but haven’t owned a dog since early in our marriage.

Le: What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?
DR: We have an old black cat named Frosty and when Biscuit showed up on our doorstep, he wasn’t exactly pleased. My husband had built a large “dog” house on the back deck, but Frosty refused to share with Biscuit. When Biscuit was about to give birth to her kittens, we set up a makeshift shelter for her (built from Styrofoam coolers). One day that March, I went out to the deck and discovered Frosty in the Styrofoam hut. Sure enough, Biscuit was in the doghouse with newborn kittens!! I have no idea how that all went down––either Frosty is more of a gentleman than we knew, or Biscuit put her foot down.

Le: Good for her! That’s hilarious! Is there a secret that only your pet knows?

DR: See above. ☺

Le: I like that. Maybe Biscuit will share later. ☺ What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

DR: That we don’t let them in the house more often. They have all the comforts of home…a beautiful fenced garden, a cat door offering free reign of the house. But they prefer the kitchen.

Le: My cat likes the kitchen too. I think she wants to be near us. What is your pet peeve about your pet?

DR: They shed too much!

Le: I hear ya on that one! Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask your Biscuit a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺

Le: Hi, Biscuit! You are so pretty! Thanks for stopping by today. Tell us, what would be the title of your autobiography?

Biscuit: Three Cats in the Yard, Life Used to Be So Hard

Le: If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?

Biscuit: The brave and beautiful heroine, of course.

Le: Deborah would make a wonderful heroine! What’s your favorite movie?

Biscuit: Homeward Bound

Le: I like that one too. What musical instrument would you like to play?

Biscuit: Actually, I DO play the piano. With four paws, I can play duets single-handedly!

Le: I love it! Do you play on Deborah’s computer keyboard? My cat Miracle likes to do that sometimes. What do you think about cats? Dogs?

Biscuit: Four words: cats rule, dogs drool (that’s actually a line from my master’s next book.)

Le: Very good! My cat would agree! Where do you sleep at night?

Biscuit: On a cushion in the garage. I take catnaps on the kitchen windowsill.

Le: What do you do when your friend is writing?

Biscuit: When I was a kitten, I slept on her lap while she wrote, or on top of her manuscript. The day I tried to help her with some typing and “accidentally” erased a chapter was the day I was banned from her office.

Le: Oooh! I can understand that. Sorry, my cat would be out then too. What is your idea of bliss?

Biscuit: Licking yogurt lids.

Le: Yum! What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

Biscuit: Watching my kittens play.

Le: Ahhh. I’d like that too. Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?

Janice Thompson, Sasha and Copper




Le: Hi, Janice and welcome! What is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

J: I’m a dachshund fanatic. I have two short-haired darlings, Sasha and Copper. They’re great lap dogs and love to “shadow” their owner, (meaning, they stick close). They’re so lovable!

Le: They look adorable! How many pets do you have today?

J: Two. I had a little Beagle mix several years ago, but she passed away.

Le: Oh, sorry about that. Have you ever rescued an animal?

J: I feel like I rescued my doxie, Copper, from sure fate. He was six months old and living in a (supposed) legitimate dog breeder’s yard with over 150 other dogs! The situation was not good and I know Copper was happy to get out of there! For the first year of his life, he was told a familiar night-night story: “Once upon a time, there was a dog named Copper who lived with some terrible people in the woods. Then a wonderful family swept in and saved him from a life of poverty and despair. . .” (etc.) It’s still his favorite bedtime story.

Le: Well, I can certainly understand why! I’m sure he feels very blessed. Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

J: Oh yes! Sasha and Copper are both key players in my “Wedding Caper” (Barbour Publishing) books. In fact, Sasha helps solve the crime. In my “Weddings by Bella” series, Bella (the heroine) has a little dog. And in my upcoming Hollywood-themed book, I’m adding a Greek dog!

Le: Gotta love that! What was your favorite character animal?

J: No doubt about it. . .Babe, the Gallant Pig. I still get excited, just thinking about that movie!

Le: Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?
J: Yes, in fact Sasha and I had a long talk before I added her as a character in the first “Wedding Caper” book. She insisted that her picture be on the cover of the book, and the folks at Barbour willingly played along!

Le: Wonderful! Now she’s a star! What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?

J: Just one? I actually wrote several devotions for dog-lovers last year, telling all sorts of stories about Sasha and Copper’s antics. One of the wackiest things I’ve ever seen Copper do is eat a jar of Vaseline. I called that devotion “Oil and Lube Job.” You can guess why. Copper likes to sit up on his hind legs to get my attention. Sometimes he’ll sit there for as long as fifteen minutes or more! His back is straight as an arrow, too. What talent!

Le: Oh, my little Belle does that! We call it her party trick. It’s her way of telling us to rub her belly. I bet The Hilo Monster and Copper would get along great. He must have a pretty stout tummy to have survived Vaseline. Is there a secret that only our pet knows?

J: Well, I live alone (with Sasha and Copper) so they see all sorts of things that others don’t. . .like, when I drink Diet Dr. Pepper for breakfast, or when I don’t change out of my nightgown till noon. They’re pretty good at not blabbing, though, so it’s all good.

Le: That’s great that they can be so trusted with your secrets! What is Copper and Sasha’s pet peeve about you?

J: They don’t think I spend enough time doting on them or giving them treats. (I’m sure my family members are rolling their eyes if they’re reading this because everyone is convinced I spend TOO much time with the dogs and give them far too many treats!)

Le: LOL! What is your pet peeve about your pet?

J: Hmm. I own a steam cleaner and use it regularly. Does that clue you in? Doxies are stubborn and have occasional accidents. Of course, I’m not sure they can still be called “accidents” when the dog is five year old. Ya know?

Le: LOL! I definitely know. We have one too. Because of our stubborn llasa. Believe me, I know what ya mean! Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask Sasha and Copper a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺

Le: Hi, Sasha and Copper! Y’all are way too cute! Thanks for coming by. It’s okay, we have time for both of you to speak. So let’s get started. What would be the title of your autobiography?
SASHA: “I Did It My Way”
COPPER: “To Dream the Impossible Dream”

Le: You both seem very sure of yourselves. Good job. And very different. If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?
SASHA: If I were to write a novel using my owner/friend (Janice) as inspiration, it would have to be a romantic comedy, where a handsome fellow (a dog lover, of course) sweeps her off her feet.
COPPER: I’d rather have a treat than write a novel, but thanks for asking.

Le: Sasha, that’s very considerate of you. And Copper, I understand what you mean. Many days I feel the same way about my writing. What’s your favorite movie?

SASHA: It’s not actually a movie. It’s a TV show. I love watching “The Dog Whisperer.” Not that I ever plan on changing my evil ways, but it’s admirable to watch so many other dogs try.
COPPER: I’d rather have a treat than watch a movie, but thanks for asking.

Le: Sasha, I like that show too! I learn a lot. Copper, I’m detecting a theme in your life. What musical instrument would you like to play?

SASHA: I regularly play the keyboard. No, not a musical keyboard. I walk across Janice’s laptop keyboard and mess up what she’s writing. Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get attention.
COPPER: Playing an instrument takes energy. I’d rather eat a treat and take a nap. Then eat another treat.

Le: Sasha, I have a cat that does that too. Copper, here, have a treat. You’ve been working hard here. What do you think about cats? Dogs?

SASHA: Cats are evils and must be removed from the planet. Dogs (all but Copper) are a nuisance to be tolerated.
COPPER: Depends. Will they steal my treats?

Le: Copper, they definitely might. Be cautious. I think Sasha knows the score. Where do you sleep at night?

SASHA: Three guesses! It’s warm and cozy and I get to snuggle up next to the person I love most! (And I don’t mean Copper.)
COPPER: Ever since my owner got her CPAP machine, I’ve resorted to hiding under a blanket on the closet floor.

Le: Oh, I bet Janice would protect you, Copper! What do you do when your friend is writing?

SASHA: Serve as my master’s muse.
COPPER: Wonder when she’s going to stop writing so I can have another treat.

Le: I completely understand, Copper. When I finish my writing, I get a treat too. I think we think a lot alike. So, hat is your idea of bliss?

SASHA: My current life.
COPPER: My current life with an extra bag of treats in the pantry.

Le: What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

SASHA AND COPPER: Janice’s idea of bliss is a quiet writing day with her puppies snuggled up on either side of her on the sofa and a cup of Earl Grey tea nearby.

Le: That sounds perfect! And here are some treats for being such great sports here! Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?

Tiffany Amber Stockton and Roxie!



This week, I’d like to welcome author, Tiffany Amber Stockton (writing as Amber Stockton) and Roxie to my blog. So let’s get started!

LE: Hi, Tiffany! Welcome! Thanks for stopping by and answering a few questions for us. What is your favorite kind of a pet? Why?

TAS: A dog, primarily because they are so loyal, interactive, companionable and somewhat easy to train. I love their dispositions.

LE: How many pets do you have today?

TAS: As of last week, 2. We’ve had a dog since a few months after my husband and I got married, but a little over a week ago, we added a Beta fish to our family. ☺

LE: Ah, we had a Beta fish named Bob for a while. Have you ever rescued an animal?

TAS: Yes, the dog we have was rescued from the Humane Society. My husband picked her, and he made a fantastic choice! Every dog I ever had was rescued. Each and every one was a true delight and holds a special place in my heart.

LE: Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

TAS: When I can. Usually, they provide comic relief or become emotional support for one of my characters. But they are always portrayed in a positive light.

LE: What was your favorite character animal?

TAS: That’s easy. The horse, Braedon, that belonged to the heroine in my first novel. Not only was he an excellent work horse, but he knew my heroine inside and out, and he provided her with a listening ear when she needed it, as well as comfort and encouragement at just the right time. He truly had a personality all his own.

LE: Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?

TAS: Not yet, but I have some ideas and look forward to when I can utilize her.

LE: What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?

TAS: I’m guessing you mean one of my pets, as opposed to an animal in one of my books, so that would be eating the remains of an ice cream carton while the carton is stuck on her nose. ☺

LE: LOL! I assume that was your dog, not the Beta fish. ☺ Is there a secret that only our pet knows?

TAS: No, but only because I don’t keep any secrets from my husband.

LE: What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

TAS: Probably that I don’t allow her to become a lap dog, like she’d prefer. But she’s a border collie and far too big for that.

LE: My lab is a lap dog, as is my labradoodle. It’s funny how they want to be close to us. What is your pet peeve about your pet?

TAS: Her need to be involved in everything so much. I do love pets, but there comes a time when they need to not be in your face.

LE: Thank you, Tiffany, for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask your pet a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺

LE: What would be the title of your autobiography?

R: Waggin’ It.

LE: If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?

R: Definitely! She sometimes gets down on the floor on all 4’s and romps around with this little version of her. She also goes nose to nose with me and our favorite game is soccer when she’s cooking in the kitchen. I nose my ball to her and she kicks it toward me, then I block it.

LE: I bet that’s fun! What’s your favorite movie?

R: Any western that has cattle and horses, because I love to herd.

LE: Oh, of course! I bet you love John Wayne. What musical instrument would you like to play?

R: Drums, because my tail bangs a lot of things, and I’d love to be able to see what I’m striking all the time.

LE: LOL! I bet you have good waggin’ rhythm. My lab does too! What do you think about cats? Dogs?

R: Cats are a lot of fun to chase, especially when I can scare them up a tree or under a car.

LE: Where do you sleep at night?

R: In my own special chair, unless the weather is nice enough, and then I sleep on the deck on a comfy pillow bed.

LE: That sounds nice. What do you do when your friend is writing?

R: I either lie at her feet by her chair, or I sit and rest my head on her arm or lap. Until I hear another dog or people outside, and then I have to go investigate.

LE: What is your idea of bliss?

R: An open field full of other dogs to play with, or squirrels to chase. If there are horses and cattle, though, that’s great too!

LE: What is Tiffany’s idea of bliss?

R: She loves to sit outside and stare at these jagged things off in the distance. At certain times of year, they have white caps on them. I’m not sure what the appeal is, unless we actually drive to them and I can run up and down the hiking paths.

LE: Thank you so much, Roxie, for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?

R: Oh, I will. She takes great care of me, so I want to do the same.

LE: And y’all don’t forget to pick up Tiffany’s latest book, Liberty’s Promise, (author name: Amber Stockton) so she can buy lots of treats for sweet Roxie…and that Beta fish.