Wait... have I named OTHER posts Puppy Love? Let's don't research that, 'mkay?
In *this* post about dogs, I'm going to show you my first love, a beagle named Jake. I just celebrated with my brothers who have birthdays a week (and five years) apart and gave everyone at the table a copy of my newest book, Keeping Cole's Promise. Absolutely no one was surprised by my delight at the cover.
First there was Jake. And then J.J. (Jake Junior), and Pepper. Then I met Betty and Harley. Last weekend, while walking Jack around the apartment complex, I met one named Rusty. Beagles. They're adorable. Also, they're sometimes loud and usually in the mood for a snack, but I grew up with them so seeing one reminds me of my father, who would lounge in his recliner with a beagle in his lap, the "hunting" part of hunting dog looooong gone. I miss my patient mother, who repaired more than one electrical cord chewed by puppy teeth and so many of my teenage broken hearts. I think of home and love and sometimes the pain of loss and remember laughing at stories of puppies who howl every time they have to wear a collar.
(Also, this was probably not the first dog to give me this long-suffering look. And Jake was definitely not the last. Now that I've found this picture, I realize I was older than I thought when I talked my parents into moving the dogs inside the house. In my mind, they were always there.)
These memories go straight into books, too. In Keeping Cole's Promise, there's a vocal beagle named Freddie who desperately needs some training. The hero Cole, a man who's just been released from prison, wants the job that will help him keep his promise, but meeting Freddie will bring him so much more than a paycheck. He will howl as he does it, but Freddie will change Cole's life.
Oh, yeah, and there's a sweet heroine who needs to see the people around her better, too. She and Cole don't get along all that well in the beginning, but time and finding a connection and Freddie can change all that.
So, what do we think of my fashion sense in this photo? I think I actually dressed better as a little girl than I do now.
Want to meet Freddie? He's right here:
Keeping Cole’s Promise
It's time he lived up to his wordEleven years ago, Cole Ferguson made the biggest mistake of his life, but now he can finally get back on track. The first step? Nail the job at the local animal shelter and keep his head down. But working at the shelter means spending time with Rebecca Lincoln. Rebecca is beautiful and kind but she's also determined to save the world. Cole isn't about to join her. Helping Rebecca would mean breaking his promise—running toward trouble instead of staying clear. She doesn't need him anyway. How could she ever see him as more than just another charity project?