Canine Critters …by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Guest blogger Stephanie Grace Whitson
Dogs are better than any critter I know at modeling unconditional love, and we humans can never have enough of that. The animal star of my most recent book, A Captain for Laura Rose, is Logjam, a “fearsome-looking” mutt rescued off a logjam floating in the Missouri River.
Logjam decides that he is part-owner and therefore self-appointed security for a steamboat named the Laura Rose. He worms his way into my imaginary friend’s hearts with just as much finesse as did Samson, my Doberman Pinscher, who thought he was a lap dog (never mind that he weighed nearly 100 pounds).
This moment in A Captain for Laura Rose was inspired by the one time I let Samson up onto the bed and woke face-to-face with a sleeping Doberman who had decided to steal my pillow. The brat. Logjam came to the edge of the bed and rested his chin there, looking up at her mournfully. When she leaned down to pat his head, he swiped at the back of her hand. Just once, but it was enough to startle her and to make her laugh.
“You did good, you know.” She scratched behind one of the dog’s ears. He strained against her hand, then put one white paw on the edge of her bed. “Are you trying to beg your way up here, now?” With a soft whine, he removed the paw and rested his chin back on the comforter. He moved only his eyes. Back and forth, from comforter to her face and back again. “I’m going to regret this,” Laura said, as she patted the space beside her. Who would have thought a big dog could move that fast?
Elijah arrived, cup and saucer in hand. He spoke to the dog first. “Well, look at you.”
“A reward for saving me,” Laura said.
“You do realize you’ve a permanent fixture unless you lock him out?”
“I imagine so,” Laura tucked her feet beneath Logjam’s warm body. “But I don’t mind.”
“You’ll mind when you wake up in the morning and his head is on your pillow,” Elijah chuckled as he reached down to pat the dog …
After Samson came a German Shepherd named Tanner. Born and raised in the country, Tanner took the new fence around our yard as a personal insult. On more than one occasion when we left him in the back yard while we ran errands, we came home to a joyful dog who had spent the entire time we were away loosening one of the fence boards, loosening one just enough to get free so he could wait on the front porch to welcome us home.
I haven’t owned a dog for a while, and every time one of my fictional furry friends does something adorable, I find myself dog-dreaming. I have owned and loved Sundance and Micah (both shelties), Samson, and Tanner. And now dogless, late at night, I find myself dog-dreaming via the internet.
Have you shared your life and heart with a dog? What did the pup do that made you laugh?
Here’s an Amazon link for Stephanie’s book! A Captain for Laura Rose
And here’s the scoop on A Captain for Laura Rose
Laura Rose White’s late father taught her everything he knew about piloting a Missouri River steamboat. He even named their boat after her. Despite that, it seems that Laura will forever be a “cub pilot” to her brother Joe, because in 1867, a female riverboat captain is unheard of. The only way for her to overcome the nearly insurmountable odds is with the help of her brother’s disreputable friend Finn MacKnight, a skilled pilot with a terrible reputation. Laura loathes having to accept MacKnight as her co-pilot, especially when she learns she must also provide passage for his two sisters. Straight-laced Fiona has a fear of water, and unpredictable Adele seems much too comfortable with the idea of life in the rough and tumble environment of the untamed river and the men who ply it. Though they are thrown together by necessity, this historic journey may lead Laura and the MacKnights to far more than they ever expected.
Publisher’s Weekly says: “Whitson weaves a fine thread of faith into each relationship and plot development,
giving readers a view of maturity through trials … a vivid portrait of life on the Missouri River … lively dialogue keeps the story’s pace clipping along … strong secondary characters … contribute to subplots that add depth.
Romantic Times says: “ … all the makings of a great romance: love, intrigue, mystery, and unforgettable characters.” 4 Stars
If you’d like to check it out: http://tinyurl.com/pjuphny
And to learn more about my books, www.stephaniewhitson.com
This sounds like a wonderful read!
I have loved several fur babies through the years. All with their own personalities. I currently have a Dachshund, Shaylee who is six years young today! She brings a lot of love and laughter into my life. I love watching her wrap herself around a chair leg and chase her tail! She thinks that she is pretty sneaky at bed. Waits till I get under the covers, looks at me from the corner of her eye and pounces to me and gives kisses, then curls under the blankets with me. I also have a rough collie, Macree who has turned 12 years young on the 15th of this month. I have trained him as my service dog. He is up in age and I wont have him much longer. Vet has all ready warned me it can be any time. He is a great friend and many tears will be shed. I hope that some day you can have another fur baby. They love you unconditionally and accept you as you are. Great forever friends with lots of love. Blessings to you and yours,
Your “fur babies” sound wonderful, Wendy. As it happens, I just wrote an e-mail to a rough collie breeder last night … but I haven’t sent it yet. I’m going to make myself wait a week. A puppy is a big investment of time and love and I want to make sure I’m ready to make it. Thanks so much for chiming in.
Yes, Stephanie, our furry canine friends are models of unconditional love! During the last eighteen years, having moved from the city to ranch, we have seen many dogs who were abused and dumped. At one time, we had 11 such animals, all sweet critters, all just wanting some love and food! Over the years, we’ve had small dogs as inside dogs. We had a Bischon for over 16 years before we sadly had to allow her to pass on. Maddie was my shadow. She especially stuck to me whenever I was ill. More than once, she followed my husband up to retire for the night; I followed later. When I arrived at my side of the bed, Maddie was sleeping, her head in the middle of my pillow. When I attempted to move her over a bit, she growled at me!!! So funny! She never growled at me otherwise! Loved that precious creature!! We now have a precious Havanese, Tula, who has her humans very well trained! Just as Maddie, Tula loves to sleep between us, with her head on a pillow! We are down to four outside (spend some time inside and have their individual houses in a heated and air-conditioned garage) dogs who are all ruled by Tula!! We LOVE our four-legged critters!
What a cool animal-mom you are, Bonnie. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the little ones rule the roost, too. Physical size has little to do with their courage. Some of the tiniest dogs have the biggest personalities.