Category Archives: dog

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?


Happy birthday to my sweet Belle! She’s 15! When my husband and I got married, he gave me Belle for my birthday! The birthday present that keeps on giving. She has always been such a sweet girl. She’s deaf now and couldn’t hear us sing her happy birthday and she can barely see but she’s still moving and grooving. And nobody has a better sense of smell than she does. What does she need to hear momma opening something in the pantry for? She can SMELL it and she comes running.

Presenting: Tamera Alexander and Jack!

Le: Hi, y’all! I’d love to introduce you to Tamera Alexander! She just won the RITA award, so congrats, Tamera! And she brought her special friend along today. Her silky terrier, Jack. So, Tamera, let’s get started. What is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

TA: I’m a dog lover all the way. I don’t wish cats harm, by any means, I just wish them “away” from me. But only because I’m horribly allergic to them. I’m also allergic to most dogs too . Jack, our silky terrier, has hair instead of fur so that’s the defining difference.

Le: I suffer allergies to cats as well. Not fun. How many pets do you have today?

TA: Only one. A ten-pound silky terrier named Jack Brennan Alexander. Named after a character in Remembered, which I was writing when we got Jack.

Le: Ahhh! Love it! Have you ever rescued an animal?

TA: Joe and I were taking a walk not long ago and we heard something “bawling,” and not in a good way. We followed the sound and came upon a baby goat with his head stuck in a fence. I provided moral support while Joe pried the wire open so the goat could get his head out. I know that’s not what you meant by rescuing, but that’s as close as I come.

Le: Oh, no! Rescuing can be many ways! It’s taking the time to do something that is what is important! That poor little goat! Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

TA: My hero, Daniel Ranslett, in From a Distance had a sweet beagle named Beau. The scenes with Daniel and Beau together were really fun to write.

Le: Ahh! I like writing those kind of scenes too. What was your favorite character animal?

TA: Hmmm…I’d have to say Beau in From a Distance. Since he’s the only one so far!

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

TA: Not yet. So far I’ve written Colorado historicals (1870s) and a “Jack” dog would have been an appetizer for the coyotes. But maybe someday.

Le: LOL! Not so funny actually. And you have to be true to the time period. Is there a secret that only your pet knows?

TA: Yes, but I can’t tell you what it is.

Le: Ah, no fair! What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

TA: That I won’t give him more table food.

Le: I hear that a lot! What is your pet peeve about your pet?

TA: He freaks out over squirrels and geckos, and scares the next sentence right outta me!

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

Le: Hiya, Jack! Aren’t you cute! What would be the title of your autobiography?

JA: It’s a Ruff Life

Le: LOL! Good one! You’re very clever. If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?

JA: Probably not. She’s not exciting enough. All she does is sit around all day and write.

Le: I hear that a lot about writers. So, what’s your favorite movie?

JA: Whatever Mom is watching.

Le: Very good. What musical instrument would you like to play?

JA: A chicken flavored clarinet.

Le: Love it! I wonder if they make those. What do you think about cats? Dogs?

JA: Love ’em all! I especially love to run with the big dawgs!

Le: Oh, then you should come visit at my house! Where do you sleep at night?

JA: Anywhere I want to.

Le: Good for you! You have your friend trained very well. What do you do when your friend is writing?

JA: Sit and stare out the window, then back at her, then out the window, then back at her, then out the window, then back at her, then…

Le: What is your idea of bliss?

JA: Never having to hear the keys jangle, followed by the words “Mommy will be back!”

Le: Oh, that’s so hard to hear, isn’t it? What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

JA: Taking me to Sonic.

Le: Ooh! That sounds like fun! Maybe you can get her to take you there today. Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear? And congrats, Tamera, on your latest book that just released!