Saturday, May 23, 2009

Goin' To the Pets

By Donna MacMeans

As many of you know, I lost one of my best friends earlier this month. This is Oreo, who was my constant companion for sixteen and a half years. She was a pound puppy, a mix someone had left at a shelter, and we loved her dearly. She loved us right back.

We originally brought her into our home in the hope that caring for a pet would teach our children responsibility. You can guess how that went (VBG). Oreo knew when I wasn't feeling well, and would attempt to comfort me by squeezing her hot furry body alongside mine. She followed me around the house and laid by my feet for company. If she felt she wasn't getting enough attention, she'd nose my elbow up so she could cram her head underneath for a pet. Her constantly wagging tail was her most dangerous feature.

All this is to say why I'm so proud to be included in a new anthology of short stories, all love stories which also express an appreciation of the animals we love and who, unfailingly, love us right back. All author proceeds from this project have been donated to the Animal Adoption Foundation (AAF), a no-kill animal shelter in Hamilton, Ohio - a very worthy cause. TAILS OF LOVE is slated for release in just a little more than a week on June 2nd.

If you could, I'd like you to tell us a story about a pet you've loved. My contribution to the anthology, a story named "Lord Hairy," involves Hannah, one of the school girls from THE EDUCATION OF MRS BRIMLEY. Accordingly, I'll choose one of the pet stories from the comments to win a copy of Mrs. B.

In honor of the book's release, Bandita friend Michelle Buonfiglio is running a contest from May 12 through May 26th in which she invites readers to post a picture of their pet (limit 2). Random photos will be chosen to win prizes. Winners will be chosen on May 27th (Thursday) so you haven't much time. Put those adorable photos to good use at:

88 comments:

PinkPeony said...

Does the GR count as a pet?

Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

I was close Congrats Pink Peony

Have Fun
Helen

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL - Only if you have a story to share about the GR.

Congrats Pink!

PinkPeony said...

Hi Donna! Helen, I love that you always ask "Is he coming to my place" !! :)

I've only had the GR a couple of times. The last time, he chased my cats around and was too tired to do much else. But he sure eats a lot.

I grew up with lots of cats. We always had three or four and sometimes five cats..a rabbit, hamsters, fish...my sister wanted a goat for her FFA project but my parents nixed that. My dad did research at a university and he'd bring home a white lab rat in a cage on Fridays for me to play with. And on Monday, he'd take it back to the lab. I had no idea what he was doing to these rats but I had rats on weekends for quite a while. My favorite pet was my dog, Mimi..a Pekinese Poodle mix. I got her when I was seven and she died twenty years later. My entire family was depressed after she was gone. She was the only dog we ever owned. She didn't do tricks, but she was smart and lovable and never seemed to mind when we dressed her up in clothes or put her in the pool to watch her swim. The cats never seemd to take to the pool. I still dream about her and I keep her last set of dog tags in my jewelry box.

We have two cats now. Paxil was found in a dumpster at my husband's warehouse in NJ and Cheddar was a rescue cat.

Donna MacMeans said...

PinkPeony - Hugs to you for rescuing your two cats. My husband and son are terribly allegeric. I've told my dh that when he's gone on (yes, I've also told him to expect to die first),I intend to become known as that "crazy woman down the street with all the cats." *g*.

My kids have had fish, chameleons, and hamsters for pets - and, of course, Oreo - but no rats.

PinkPeony said...

Donna..when I went to the shelter to pick up the last cat, my husband phoned and pleaded with me to just get one cat. It was really heart breaking to see all of the cats and dogs there. I almost came home with a Chow too.

Helen said...

Sorry it took me a while to get back I had a girlfriend drop in and we had a cuppa and I am also minding my grandson Jake Poppy is giving him a bottle at the moment so I have some time to read the post.

Donna
I am really sorry about Oreo pets truly are the best friends and I am sorry to say that I have had to do the same as you did with a couple of pets one was one of my Mums dogs Sheba who was a Red Cattle Dog beautiful lady was Sheba always there for her family and loved giving piggy back rides to our children when they were really young Mum asked me to take her to the vet that last time because she said I was the only one who understood and Sheba and I were always really close I gotta say I was a mess at the vet and she will always have a special place in my heart.
Then when I had my last child we got a Blue Cattle Dog pup and called her Skye we had her from the age of 5 weeks till she was 13 years old and had gone blind and deaf and so crippled with arthritis that she could bearly move the day came and I sat with her for about an hour and talked to my best friend then my Hubby and our 2 youngest insisted on going to the vet with their father and all 3 of them held her and all came back a mess and Skye to will always hold a place in our hearts.

We have 3 dogs now Brandy and Blocker come from the pound and they are 12 years old and so much fun and I have my Mums dog Tootsie who is a mini fox terrier and she is 15 years old still going well but I know that we probably will only have her for a few more years and that is going to just about kill me. Where I go Toostie goes and I always feel like I have Mum with me.
The book sounds really good Donna and I will be ordering it as soon as I can.

Have Fun
Helen

Tawny said...

Hugs, again, Donna on losing your sweet Oreo. My heart breaks for you - I lost my Bluto to cancer a couple years ago and it just about broke my heart to pieces. He was the sweetest lug ever, a pitbull/yellow lab mix with personality to spare and the biggest soft spot for my youngest daughter.

After we lost him, my kids decided that mom needed a new baby (since neither of them were volunteering to sit and listen to me whine and moan about my writing like he had *g*) and went in search of my 'dream dog' I'd always wanted a Rottweiler, so in '06 they got me a puppy -the runt of the litter- for an early Christmas gift. The breeder said she'd be lucky to reach 70 lbs, so I named her Tinkerbell. She's weighing in at 96 now and on a diet *g*

Along with Tinkerbell, we also have a neurotic rescue pup named Sierra, 4 cats and 1 bird.

I love dogs!!! Cats, too, but dogs are easier to talk to.

Anna Sugden said...

Hugs again on your loss, Donna. At least you can be assured that Oreo is happy and whole again over the Rainbow Bridge.

As you all know, I'm a cat person. We've adopted all out cats from rescue services and make a particular point of rescuing black or tuxedo cats. They tend not to be adopted (for stupid reasons!)

Our present pair, Jersey Girl and CC, are American cats, adopted in NJ. Wewonder if they meow with an American accent when they prowl the neighbourhood. Just as we wondered if our two English cats (who passed in 2007 - at age 15 and 20!) R2 and Kookaburra had English meows! (You can see pics of them all on my website)

The one who always made me laugh was Kookaburra. He was a mischief maker from the first day we adopted him! He was the one who tried to come through the cat-flap backwards, just to see if he could! He could *g*. He would also steal chicken drumsticks from a neighbour who (stupidly) put them on her window sill to cool!

I think CC channels him sometimes, as her latest trick is to go and sit on next doors window sill and tease their golden retriever!

Tawny said...

Oh, Anna, hugs. I know how hard it was for you to lose your sweet kitties!! But LOL on the channeling and the backward cat door maneuvers.

3 of my 4 cats are black... they just sort of end up that way *g* I think its a lucky color, myself.

Lori Foster said...

Lovely post, Donna. It is so, so hard to lose our fur babies. I don't need to win any prizes, but I have two quick doggy stories.

As a kid growing up (40 years ago!) we had a big German Shepherd, Bingo. It drove him nuts when we went water skiing, so he learned to ski too! Dad made a large round wooden disk, and Bingo would leap into the water the second he knew what was happening - which was usually as soon as Dad got the boat keys. Bingo too right to it, and he didn't mind being pulled behind the boat as long as he was with someone. He preferred that to having to watch!

When my boys were young (15 years ago!) we had the most wonderful dog, Pupeye. (Yeah, my oldest was a fan of Popeye, thus the name.) As she aged she went deaf and blind. But she could smell really good, so she'd follow my sons everywhere. Once she realized that she didn't have to do steps anymore, because someone would carry her, she'd go to the steps to follow my sons, then sit down and give a single bark. If they forgot, they got another, longer, outraged howl. LOL
They'd run up (or down) and cradle her to carry her the length of the stairs.
Both of those dogs were very smart, (so are the doggies I have now) and definite members of our family.

Animals care so much. It's only right that we care for them as much in return.

My best,

Lori

Kate Angell said...

Donna, lovely, heartfelt story on Oreo - what a sweet pup! I have a quick story to tell as well. I have several dogs, one of my smallest (a min-pin) named Senna had knee surgery. She couldn't take the stairs (I have a stilt house) from the yard to the porch. I ended up carrying her up and down with each visit to the yard.
My other dogs thought I was giving Senna 'special' treatment, and they all stopped taking the stairs. Needless to say, no coaxing would get the pups up or down. During the three months of Senna's healing, I made hundreds of trips on the stairs, carrying each one. My other dogs aren't big breed, but several weigh close to 60 pounds. I had quite an aching back! When Senna could finally manage the steps on her own, so did the other dogs once again too. It was wild time!
No need to enter my name for prizes, I just wanted to stop by and say 'Hello'.

Joan said...

LOL - Only if you have a story to share about the GR. ...

Now Donna, you KNOW this is a PG-13 blog!!!

PJ said...

(((Donna))) My thoughts are with you as you adjust to life without your beloved Oreo. Animals bring so much love and joy to our lives. Mine have always taken a piece of my heart with them when they crossed the Rainbow Bridge but they have also left a piece of their hearts behind so, in truth, though I no longer have their physical presence, they really never leave me.

I've been lucky enough to have already read Tails of Love and it's wonderful collection of stories. I fell in love with every single animal in the book - from slightly klutzy dogs to prissy cats to mischievous goats. They all found a way to steal my heart.

Donna MacMeans said...

Pinkypeony - THose chows are so cute.
I think my husband cringed everytime I took my dog to the vet for shots because they had a crate with the cutest kittens. I think he was sure I'd bring one or more home.
I suppose that's part of the affliction of being an animal lover. There so many cute babies that need a good one.

Joan said...

Donna, so sorry about Oreo. How cool that you can dedicate your anthology story to him.

My Mom was not big into pets but one year when I was about 9 I brought home a kitten from a neighbor's litter just to "show her". Must have caught her in a weak moment but she agreed to let me have "Pebbles"

Pebbles got to be an indoor cat for a couple of years. I would run down the hall with her chasing me, jump up on my bed and while she slid under and we'd ...WAIT. Then I'd take a ball of yarn and dangle it over the edge at different places. Where would the ball of yarn be? Could I dodge the paw of claws???

Ok, so as a kid I didn't have the internet to play.

She'd sneak into the bathroom during my bath too and sit at the edge of the tub looking for me. I'd sprinkle water on her head. I think she actually liked it though she never got TOO close.

After a few years Mom made her go outside. One day while I was waiting to go to school, I heard Pebbles shrieking on the front porch.

I hollered for my Mom "Mama, mama that big cat is attacking Pebbles!"

Mom glanced out, snatched me back and said "Get away from the door"..

However many days later, she took me to the garage to show me Pebbles in a cardboard box with 4 kittens.

"Mama, mama...how did Pebbles get kittens?"

She and I shared caregiver duties for her babies. Scout, Brownie, Panther (yup, all black) and Squeaky, a calico.

Alas, my Mom could not deal with having that many cats around so when they were weaned we had to take them to the animal shelter. All except Squeaky who...had met her end thanks to the devil dog next door, Blackie. Sniff.

One blustry day in March, Pebbles came to the front window and looked in at me. I put on my coat went and sat on the front steps and she came to curl up in my lap. We stayed like that for about 30 minutes. I stroked, she purred and then...she disappeared.

I always thought she was coming to say goodbye to me.

So, that was a fairly longwinded post about one little cat but...I still have dreams about her...

I also have suspicions as Susan Boyle has a cat named Pebbles.....hmmmmm

Donna MacMeans said...

Helen - I must visit your house sometime. Lots of grandbabies and puppies. Sounds wonderfully noisy (and I mean that in the best way). How sweet that you got to hold onto your Mum a bit longer with her dog Tootsie. They do steal our hearts.

Patricia Sargeant said...

Donna, I have a wonderful memory of meeting Oreo. She was such a welcoming hostess when I came to visit you.

Thank you for sharing your memories of her with us.

Hugs!

Patricia

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL - Tinkerbell at 96 pounds!

I don't know if I'm a dog person or a cat person - I love them both. I think you can talk to a cat, but they might not stick around to listen to the end of your conversation. Dogs require so much time and attention, but they love with a kind of loyalty that makes it worth while.

PJ said...

Joanie, you should never, ever tell stories like that without a tissue alert up front.

Hugs,
~PJ...who is frantically searching for the Kleenex box.

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - I love your cat stories! Kookaburra sounds like quite the personality. I can well imagine CC taunting the dog through the window.

When I was a teenager, we already had a cat who had the run of the house, when we took in a German Shepard, who we trained to stay off the carpet. Eventually, the two pets became best friends, but the cat occasionally would lie down on the carpet in front of the dog, just to show the dog she could. She'd lay there and twitch her tail - you call almost tell the na-nanny-na-na.

I know the old superstition about black cats being bad luck if they cross your path, but what's the deal with the tuxedo cats?

Donna MacMeans said...

Lori - LOL on the water-skiing German Shepard! Sounds like fun.

And you're correct. Animals are smart. I don't think anyone can live with one and not come to recognize the wheels turning. They quickly learn how to manipulate us, don't they? (grin).

Thanks for stopping by, Lori.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Kate! LOL on the smart dogs seizing an opportunity (and giving you a workout). I'm surprized you didn't concoct an elevator to pull them up and lower them down. My kids did that with a roaster pot and rocks. Ruined my pot, but I was so impressed with their elevator I didn't mind - all to save going up five steps to the back porch (although I suspect the fun factor had more to do with it than the steps).

Donna MacMeans said...

PJ - I'm jealous! I haven't read all the stories yet and I must admit I'm antzy to get my fingers on this book. The short teasers I've read have been wonderful.

It is an adjustment, isn't it? I keep thinking I hear her barking to come inside, but then I remember it must be a neighbor's dog. I miss hearing her tail thump out a welcome in the morning and in greeting when we come home. But she's in a better place and I'm adjusting.

Yes - one would never guess that you're an animal lover by your avatar (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Joannie - what a sweet post. What a smart little girl you were - a kitten in the hand is worth four down the street. Already you'd learned the art of handselling (grin). As to the babies, who said pets aren't educational? (grin). I do think dogs and cats come around to say goodbye. They know when it's time. Lovely post.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Patricia -

Thanks for stopping by - and don't forget you're coming to blog with us next month. (As well as being a contributor to TAILS OF LOVE, Patricia has a new Kensington release out next month). We'll talk...

PJ said...

I've been blessed with many dogs who have brought endless love and joy to my life but to tell you about all of them would require pages...so I'll spare you and tell you about my birthday girl.

Wednesday was Smokey's 13th birthday. I still remember vividly the first day we met. Bandit, our 11 y/o lab mix was slowing down and my dh was recovering from a debilitating stroke. The dh was afraid both he and Bandit would die and insisted we get a puppy so I wouldn't be left alone. The dh, my niece and nephew (who were spending the month of July with us) and I headed to the county animal shelter to scope out the dogs. Everybody immediately found a favorite - cute, round, cuddly puppies eager to grace our lives with laughter and joy - but I was immediately drawn to the least likely candidate in the shelter. She was about 10 weeks old, quiet, skittish and missing most of her hair but with the biggest, saddest eyes that all but begged me to choose her. The decision was made. They all tried to sway me - the dh suggested we go home and think about it - but no other dog would do. She had stolen my heart and I was not leaving that shelter without her. (I later found out that she had been at the overcrowded shelter for two weeks and was one day away from being euthanized.) It was fate.

I named her Smokey and she immediately set about making a place for herself in our family. She let Bandit know right away that they were going to be friends and she wasn't about to let him fade away on his pillow in front of the fireplace. She got him up and playing and running again and I'll be darned if he didn't live another three years...and loved every minute of them.

The first week she was with us she dragged the newspaper (almost bigger than she was) all the way up our 200 ft. driveway and took it to my dh. She decided that was one of her jobs and hasn't missed more than a handful of mornings in 13 years.

She's ever vigilant in watching over her humans and protecting us, me especially. She always knew when I needed her during the years of my dh's illness and was his greatest source of comfort during the last weeks of his life. She's extremely intuitive and I swear she knows exactly what I'm saying most of the time.

She has grieved with me over the loss of two beloved dogs and has taken on the training of two more. She "tolerates" my reading habit but never hesitates to let me know when it's time to close the book and go to bed. If the throat clearing and yips don't work she simply walks over, closes the book with her nose and gives me "the look". lol!

She's old by "big dog" standards and I know my time with her is limited. Arthritis has slowed her down but she still struggles to her feet to greet me at the door, brings me balls to chase, and shows me undying love with every breath she takes.

She has blessed my life with her presence and I give thanks for the day she chose me to be her forever mom.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good morning, Donna!

Oreo looks like a heart stopper. I'm sure you miss her terribly.

As you know, I have an 80 pound boxer mix dog named, Rocky. Or as I like to call him, Rocky-the-wonder-dog. He's nine now and we got him because we'd promised our son he could have a dog once we had a house with a fenced yard.

When my kids moved out, as they are want to do as young adults, Rocky became mine and my husband's constant companion. Normally fairly well behaved, Rocky gets a tad bit unruly when he sees squirrels, rabbits, cats, other dogs. All hazards on his daily walk. Which is why my husband gets to take him on the walks. That and they walk reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally fast to wear the poor guy out, (Rocky, not hubby).

Rocky is also my swimming partner. Once the weather gets warm enough we hit the water almost daily.
He's also my time keeper. If by 1 every afternoon I'm not in bed for my nap, he sits and gives me "the stare". If I don't pay attention, he pushes himself between me and my computer, forcing the keyboard up and inside. See, I work nights, and my afternoon nap is important to get me through the night. I doubt Rocky knows that as much as it's an excuse for him to cuddle up on the bed with me... :)

PJ said...

Donna, just wanted to let you know that I sent you an email about Lord Hairy but it came back so I messaged you on Facebook.

PJ said...

I'm loving reading everybody's animal stories!

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Oh, Donna - Your tribute to dear little Oreo, broke my heart. She's so precious and I know only too well how terrible it is to lose a beloved pet.

My darling Jack Russell male, Em, is affection-needy, too. He is always glued to my side. When I work, he is on my chair, pressed snuggly against me. And he must come up to me to give me hugs a thousand times a day. To him, a hug is when he leans hard against my shins.

He's very good at getting his way, not that I mind, of course. Example, he is -always- with me in here, my office. But when he thinks I have been working too long and he wants a walk or cuddle time on the couch, he leaves this office and lays down just outside the open office door.

He'll then rest his head on his paws and stare accusingly at me until I get up from my desk. He absolutely will not come back in here, won't cross that threshold, until I've left the desk and we've gone for a walk, or whatever.

He is also jealous of my time and attention. In the worst heat of a deadline, he resents the intense concentration I give my work. Those are the times he really goes nuts. He will then do everything he can to distract me. Anything to direct my attention away from my work and back to him. Once, he snatched a feather duster from my closet in here and dismantled it in quick time. I had feathers floating everywhere! He dashed about, having a ball as I cleaned them up.

As soon as the book is done, he is a little lamb again, all innocence.

I can't begin to imagine life without him. Great big hugs on losing your beloved little Oreo.

As for Lord Hairy - I am so looking forward to reading his tale! And so happy to be in Tails of Love with you.

Pets give us so much and ask so little. They just want to be loved. It's tragic that so many aren't. Hopefully Tails of Love will help ease the lives of lots of needy shelter animals. I'm hoping, too, that the anthology will encourage readers to adopt a rescue pet or, at least, do something good for their own local shelter or the rescue organization of their choice.

I'm so glad Lori spearheaded this project and so very thrilled to be a part of it.

Btw, leave me out of the prize drawing. I'm just popping in to say hello.

PJ said...

OFF-TOPIC: Sue-Ellen, I was up until midnight last night (and endured an hour of not so subtle hints from my Smokey) finishing Seducing a Scottish Bride. It was wonderful!

jo robertson said...

LOL, PinkPeony, that's hilarious! The GR is definitely a pet, but I'm not so sure he's as warm and comforting as a puppy.

Great topic, Donna. We had a black labrador retriever named Ebony, a beautiful pure-bred that weighed over a hundred pounds and was the friskiest dog I've ever seen.

We have a very deep back yard that butts up to the high school baseball diamond. Kids were always hitting their balls into our yard and jumping the fence to retrieve them.

Ebony would sit on the cement patio, watching as a kid climbed cautiously over, crept slyly toward the ball, and quickly snatched it up. He emitted a low growl all the while, but the kids were too far away to hear.

Then, just as just as the kid reached the fence, he'd come bounding toward them barking and snapping and snarling like a hell-hound as they barely made it over the fence.

Ebony was all bluff, of course, and the kids never caught onto his game as he repeated the act over and over. I imagine our dog's still laughing over those experiences in doggy heaven.

Virginia said...

Congrats Pink Peony, on nabbing the GR and yes he is a your pet for the day! Helen you missed him by a feather!

We don't have any pets right now other then fish in a tank in the living room and fish in a pond in the back yard. Although the fish in the pond will eat out of your hands.

I had a little bird one time that would follow me through the house wanting me to pick it up. When I was washing dishes in the kitchen she would fly down from the cage and come to the kitchen and stand on my foot and chirp until I picked her up. She was very attached to me!

Kirsten said...

Hi Donna -- I love that you are doing this anthology. It sounds fantastic and for such a great cause. Our pets are all rescued from the pound EXCEPT for the newest, wackiest member of the menegerie -- my daughter's gerbil, Puff-Puff.

We are in love with Puff-Puff. He is absolutely insane. Chews like a mad-man, constantly in motion, willing to bite at random moments, loves his gerbil ball and is fearless. He gets stalked by our cat (while he's in the ball) and he runs toward her. She sits by his cage and I swear, he'd bite her on the nose if he had the chance. It's a little like Tom and Jerry.

Actually, very much like Tom and Jerry, come to think of it!

Have a great long weekend, everyone! We are headed out to the lake for some relaxation and possibly some sunburns. :-)

Cheers!

Donna MacMeans said...

Pj - Your Smokey brings tears to my eyes. What a wonderful companion. It sounds as if you two were fated to meet.

I remember when we went to the pound for a puppy, I was impressed with Orea as she wasn't jumping up on me like the other puppies. She'd just come over to where I was sitting and look at me with hopeful eyes. When signing the papers, I asked about the shaved portion of her leg. Turned out she was spade the day before and was still sore. No wonder she wasn't jumping! She recovered and became more active, but we loved her and her wild ways.

Donna MacMeans said...

Suz - Is it any wonder that dogs are such wonderful assistants for people with disabilities? They truly are intuitive. Rocky the wonder dog sounds like he could qualify. I'm all for a dog that tells you when it's time to take a nap - where was he when the kids were little and you needed a break? Rocky - tell those kids to go to sleep!

Dina said...

Donna, I'm so sorry for you loss.
I have lost many pets in my lifetime and they all have been bad.

Recently my dog Sassy had a cut on her paw and she is almost 11 yrs old and when I took her to the vet, they had to do moinor surgery and gave her sedatives, I feared she would not wake up, but she did and I am very happy that she is doing ok!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Sue-Ellen!

Em sounds wonderful. Those Jake Russell are such intelligent dogs! Your story about dog hugs reminds me how Oreo liked to press the top of her head against the underside of my chin. I thought it was how the dogs as puppies gave their mom a hug.

It's been an honor sharing some pages with you. Thanks for stopping in!

Donna MacMeans said...

Jo - LOL - I'm here laughing at the image of Ebony chuckling - just like they do in the cartoons (He-he-he). I bet Ebony had quite a reputation among the kid community. I thought you were going to say that Ebony waited till the kid was just about to pick up the ball when he scooped in, grabbed the ball and made the kid chase him for it. That's more like what Oreo would do.

Donna MacMeans said...

Virginia - I had an aunt that kept a cage full of parakeets. Those birds were so interesting to watch. Fish can be mesmerizing as well.

Two weeks ago I was invited to the Govenor's Mansion here in Ohio as part of a book celebration. They have a turtle in a water pond that will eat out of your hand. Darn if that little bugger doesn't beg for worms as well.

PJ said...

I thought you were going to say that Ebony waited till the kid was just about to pick up the ball when he scooped in, grabbed the ball and made the kid chase him for it. That's more like what Oreo would do.That's what Smokey does. In fact, it's one of her favorite games!

Jo, sounds like Ebony was a real character. I can imagine him sitting there chuckling every time a kid came over the fence. Too funny!

Donna MacMeans said...

Kirsten - Aren't those hamster/gerbil balls the coolest inventions? The little guys turn up in the oddest place negotiating those little mobile gyms. We used to have a hamster habitat contraption of tubes, wheels, and gadgets for my daughter's caged hamster. They were fun to watch - but sneaky manipulative things. They managed to sneak out of the cage - I still don't know how. We usually found them under a couch and could put them back in the cage - but then one time we weren't so lucky. The hamster probably made it to the wild outdoors, but every now and then I think he might still be living in the basement. You never know...

Donna MacMeans said...

Dina - Those vets are good people. I'm so glad they were able to fix Sassy up. I'm sure she recognized you immediately upon waking and was ready to hang her head out the window on the way home. Isn't it wonderful how those simple things can give us so much pleasure? I smile whenever I see a dog, ears flapping back, nose in the wind.

Keira Soleore said...

Congratulations once again, Donna, on the release of your story in an anthology with Lori Foster. Hugs on the loss of Oreo.

PinkPeony, the GR definitely counts as a pet, a shared pet. He willing shares his love with every visitor to The Lair.

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

PJ - Your story about how you found Smokey really squeezes the heart. I, too, would have wanted her and no other. I love hearing such rescue success stories! She was clearly meant to be yours. She knew it instantly and so did you. What a triumph!

Thank you so much for your kind words about Seducing A Scottish Bride! You've really brightened my day. I love that book and had so much fun writing it. It was one of those special ones that just keeps you smiling as you write.

You'll have met Buckie in the story. I have a soft spot for senior dogs and really loved letting him go on his grand adventure.

To me all dogs are heroes, whether in real life or our books.

But I love all animals, really. Even the raven in the book - the bird, not the hero - was based on a black bird who stole my heart once. The bird lived in my garden and was quite tame. He'd follow me around like a dog, hopping behind me wherever I went. Or he'd perch on my chair back if I sat on the terrace.

He was my beloved little friend for many years. He was very special and I still miss him. So he inspired the raven. I loved bringing my little old friend back to life again, if only in the pages of a book.

Btw, if you'd like to see setting photos of the special places in Scotland that inspired Seducing A Scottish Bride, you can find them on my website. Just look for the book's cover on the home page and click on "see the inspiration."

Anyway, thank you so much for your good words.

Likewise for Tails of Love. I can't want to read all the stories. I've only read Kate Angell's and Patricia Sargeant's and they both just blew me away. Wow!!! I want Houdini! And Patricia's story made me cry

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Oh, Donna - you're right. Oreo's hugs do sound very much like Em's. Just given differently, but the need to show us love is there, either way.

Em knows the word "hug" and although he gives them freely a gazillion times a day, as said, he also gives them on command.

If I say, "Gimme hug," he'll immediately press himself hard against my legs. He'll do this for strangers, too, which I probably shouldn't admit! Ha ha.

But if someone clearly loves dogs, I tell them to give him that command and he'd toddle over to them and dutifully give them his kind of hug.

Btw, I see we both agree that PJ and Smokey were meant to be together. I believe we all have soul pets just as I believe we have soul mates. It's a true blessing when such life paths cross.

Can't wait to see you soon!

Donna MacMeans said...

Keira - You're right. The GR belongs to everyone in the lair, though he insists he belongs to no one. Such an independent bird!

Sue-ellen - Thank you for the opportunity to mention that most of the authors included in TAILS OF LOVE will be in West Chester (which is just north of Cincinnati)on June 6th for Lori Foster's and Dianne Castell's reader event. I'm not sure about the registration deadline, but if you're in the area - stop by.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey - Has anyone sent their pet photos to Michelle Buonfiglio? I want to know who to cheer for.

PJ said...

Sue-Ellen, thank you for sharing the story of your black bird friend. I'm glad you were able to bring him back to life in your book. Clearly, he was a very special bird.

I adored Buckie! I too have a special place in my heart for senior dogs and, believe me, Buckie's scenes with Ronan had my tears flowing more than once.

Thanks for letting me know about the pictures at your site!

PJ said...

Hey - Has anyone sent their pet photos to Michelle Buonfiglio? I want to know who to cheer for.Smokey and Cassy both have photos entered in Michelle's contest!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jen, congratulations! Oh, no, he'll get fatter than ever now he's got your wonderful cooking to eat!

Wow, talk about neck and neck! Helen, missed it by THAT much! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, I was so sorry to hear about Oreo. I still miss the dog I had as a kid. He went mad in a storm when I was at boarding school and ran out onto the road when, sadly, my brother's best friend's mother hit him. He was pretty old by then but he was such a great dog. He was a collie like lassie. We call them Scotch collies here but I know the Brits call them Shetland Sheep Dogs. Not sure what US people call them. He was absolutely gorgeous, anyway!

I hope the anthology sells great guns. It's a really worthy cause!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Sue-Ellen, lovely to see you here! By the way, I'm loving everybody's pet stories. Keep them up!

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - I think we call them "those lassie dogs". (grin) I'm sure Jeanne will know the correct name, but no matter - they are beautiful animals. Too bad that you had to lose your pet rather suddenly without a chance to say goodbye.

So sad about your brother's best friend's mother who probably felt miserable for what had happened. No one wins in those situations.

Helen said...

I am loving these stories pets really are the best of friends I have shifted a box of tissues to the computer desk.

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

I cried my eyes out when Mum called to tell me, Donna. But it was quick and he'd had a wonderful life - he'd run free across our farm and all the neighbouring ones where people loved him. He'd been dearly loved and I think he knew it. There are worse ways to go.

Donna MacMeans said...

So PJ is the only one with pets in the running for Michelle Buonfiglio's contest? I would have entered Oreo - but that doesn't seem quite fair. (smile)

One thing I like about the anthology is that not all the pets are cats or dogs. Anyone with some exotic pets?

Anna Campbell said...

I have wild bearded dragons in the garden. I don't have an official 'pet' at the moment and I do talk to them (yeah, I'm truly tragic!). Do they count?

Christine Wells said...

Hi Donna, I'm so sorry about Oreo. You must miss him terribly. I know that when we lost our Alex (Great Dane/Ridgeback cross) I kept turning around, expecting to see her and it would hit me again that she's gone.

What a lovely idea to contribute to an animal shelter through your writing. Good on you! I hope TAILS OF LOVE sells its socks off!

Joan said...

One thing I like about the anthology is that not all the pets are cats or dogs. Anyone with some exotic pets? ...

I'm not NEARLY as exotic as Anna (in many ways :-) but I have a nest of baby wrens in the drainpipe outside my bedroom window....

Who knew baby wrens could CHIRP so much and so EARLY in the mornings!!!

Joan said...

PJ, didn't mean to make you cry.

Ok, so gonna preface this with an up front I like dogs. Don't have one, really doubt I ever will but as I've mentioned before, LOTS of my friends have dogs (Buckarudi, Harley Marie, Cooper, Brody, Pooka, Sadie)and these dogs ALWAYS clamor on me (Buckarudi is a 75 lb Airedale...yeah...clamor is a loose term)gushing affection in my direction. So don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way.

Blackie? The dog who ATE Squeaky?

I. Hated. That. Dog.

He used to chase cars...bad. So the day he got his tongue run over by a car...I...well, let's just say I thought it just retribution for eating my baby girl...

Louisa Cornell said...

How funny that I stick my head out of the cave in time to see a post on pets! Great stories everyone! I have been writing like mad AND nursing a seriously ill dachshund. Don't know how the writing is going, BUT I think Miss Sassafras has turned a corner.

PJ said...

Louisa, I'll keep Miss Sassafras in my prayers. I hope she makes a complete recovery!!

PJ said...

Joanie, I completely understand how you feel about Blackie. I shared similar feelings toward our paperboy's Doberman devil dog when I was a teenager. That dog came right up onto our front porch and attacked my little Chihuahua-Terrier mix. He almost killed her (it was touch and go for several days) but she pulled through and lived to the ripe old age of 16. I never forgave devil dog though and was happy to leave him in my dust when my family moved from Michigan to Florida.

PJ said...

No unusual pets here, Donna. I leave those for my youngest brother. He favors snakes, parrots, parakeets and iguanas.

Louisa Cornell said...

My deepest sympathies on the loss of Oreo, Donna. How fortunate a dog to have found such a loving forever home.

And congrats on the anthology too! Can't wait to read it!

I have had every kind of pet from tarantulas, to a six foot iguana named Sigmund Freud, to a 13 foot 100 plus pound python named Big Mama to a four foot White's throat monitor lizard named simply BIG.

Now I am a simple pet owner - dogs and cats.

My Frodo is so BAD that only one vet in town will see him. While other vets are terrified of my 12 pound Rottweiler in a chihuahua body my current vet is merely amused by him. He thinks a dog that hates everyone but his Mama and tries to attack anyone else has "character." Thank God for a vet with a sense of humor!

My dogs are my writing muses. They sit on my feet when I am at the computer keyboard and hold me in place until they think I have written enough!

Donna MacMeans said...

Joan - How does a dog actually get his tongue run over and not the full head? Or a tongue and not a paw? No don't need to know - as you said retribution.

LOL on the wrens. My daughter closes her window at night - even with these beautiful cool temps (I'm not fond of air conditioning unless the thermometer heads into the ninties. Fans work just fine, thank you) because of the birds that perch on the window box outside her window. She says they wake her up in the morning.

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - I think bearded dragons count -- not as much as a pet, but definitely exotic. My son used to have a thing for Kumodo dragons when he was little - I have no idea why. I remember he built a boat (more like a raft) from the odds & ends lumber from our deck when he was little. He found some nails but only hammered them in enough to make the wood "stick" together, but not enough to be flush. It was a ragtag creation of love and he named it the Kumodo. We took it up to the resevoir to see if it would float. It didn't. Too many nails I suppose.

Joan said...

Joan - How does a dog actually get his tongue run over and not the full head? Or a tongue and not a paw? No don't need to know - as you said retribution....

I could give more detail but suffice to say his howling was...off.

Don't worry. The devil dog recovered while my Pebbles mourned the loss of little Squeaky....

Maybe THAT'S why she left? To look for her baby....awwwwwww

Donna MacMeans said...

Louisa - hugs for you and gentle hugs for Miss Sassafras. Nursing sick babies & dogs & cats can be so heartbreaking. They can't talk to tell you how they feel - it's all in their eyes. Poor thing. Hope she comes through just fine.

Donna MacMeans said...

PJ - Didn't know you had your roots in Michigan. Can't blame your family for trading in the snow for sunshine. There are days when I'm sorely temped.

Donna MacMeans said...

Christine - I must admit, it is really neat to be able to help out a worthy cause through words. I mean, I've contributed financially to many causes, donated hours of accounting services to other nonprofits, donated food to food banks, and clothes to homeless shelters -- but this is the first time I could use storytelling abilities to help in a way greater than my wallet --if that makes sense.

Plus one has to admire Lori Foster for putting this together. She's done an anthology for the last two years with the author proceeds going to assist some agency. She's a truly generous soul and I'm grateful to be invited to participate in this year's project.

Hope you all like the story (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Okay guys, I'm facing a dilemma. I think everyone who has posted a comment here today already has a copy of THE EDUCATION OF MRS. BRIMLEY. So if you don't & want one - better tell me as I suspect another bandita post will be up in the next hour or so.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Donna said: They truly are intuitive. Rocky the wonder dog sounds like he could qualify....

Nah, Donna. I think he just likes sleeping on the bed!

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Anna C - You remain my hero! Haven't looked in here - or anywhere - in months because I always seem to be deep in the deadline cave, but I haven't forgotten our chats about you-know-where. Big sigh....

Wish you could enter dear Wolfram as one of our Tails of Love mascots in Michelle's Pet Photo event. You know how much I loved him.

Hope you're well!

PJ said...

Donna, I have two copies of "Mrs. Brimley" so don't include me in the giveaway. Thanks!

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Suz - Oreo was that way too. Actually, I think she liked to jump on the bed (when she still could jump on the bed) so she could look out the upstairs window and be the BIG DOG. (grins)

Donna MacMeans said...

PJ - TWO copies! Aren't you a sweetheart.

Helen said...

Donna

I have a copy of Mrs B as well it was a great book

Have Fun
Helen

Dina said...

Donna,

I'm sorry to say that I have not read it yet.

Louisa Cornell said...

I've got it Donna and I LOVE it!

Stella Cameron said...

Donna:

You're right, this is a wonderful site. Of course I'm crazy about all the animal stories but I also see some more books for me to gobble up--thank you:)

I bet Oreo bounded over that rainbow bridge--they must feel so light and bright when they're free. It's too bad we have such a terrible time letting go of our darlins.

Zipper, the new black shelter cat, has taken over the house. Millie is fine with this but Mango is still having a hard time. She knows all cats should be orange, just as she is, and certainly never ugly and black.

Cheers, Stella
A Knotty Tail
TAILS OF LOVE

Stella Cameron said...

Donna:

You're right, this is a wonderful site. Of course I'm crazy about all the animal stories but I also see some more books for me to gobble up--thank you:)

I bet Oreo bounded over that rainbow bridge--they must feel so light and bright when they're free. It's too bad we have such a terrible time letting go of our darlins.

Zipper, the new black shelter cat, has taken over the house. Millie is fine with this but Mango is still having a hard time. She knows all cats should be orange, just as she is, and certainly never ugly and black.

Cheers, Stella
A Knotty Tail
TAILS OF LOVE

Stella Cameron said...

Donna:

You're right, this is a wonderful site. Of course I'm crazy about all the animal stories but I also see some more books for me to gobble up--thank you:)

I bet Oreo bounded over that rainbow bridge--they must feel so light and bright when they're free. It's too bad we have such a terrible time letting go of our darlins.

Zipper, the new black shelter cat, has taken over the house. Millie is fine with this but Mango is still having a hard time. She knows all cats should be orange, just as she is, and certainly never ugly and black.

Cheers, Stella
A Knotty Tail
TAILS OF LOVE

Donna MacMeans said...

Dina - You're the winner but I'm way late in posting. Send me an email at www.donnamacmeans.com and I'll put it up on the blog as well.

Dina said...

Thank you Donna!