guest blogger author Valerie Comer
I’ve lived on a farm for well over half my life. Dogs have been a steadfast part of my memories during those years. It hasn’t hurt that my husband is a dog person! I class myself as more of a cat person, and both species have a solid place on most farms.
Zebedee was part of our family when our kids were young. He was an ever-patient companion for toddlers, even ones who stuck their fists down his throat, peered in his ears, or sat on his back and bounced.
He was a blue-heeler-based mutt with boundless energy. He’d chase anything anyone threw for him, though he was none too happy when that included a swim. With a long suffering sigh, he’d head into the water to get the stick, but he let you know it wasn’t his favorite environment.
Snowballs were a source of both enjoyment and frustration for Zeb. He loved to catch them in mid-air, though the remains were impossible to bring back to the thrower, try as he might. But what was a self-respecting dog to do when the snowball smashed into smithereens upon impact against a snow bank or tree? He’d try to round the bits up, but to no avail. Yes, we did it often, because it was hilarious to watch.
Haying season was Zeb’s favorite time of year. We farm 40 acres, 25 of which are reserved for crops. Imagine the fun for an energetic dog, following the tractor around in circles day after day! When Jim would come in at the end of a workday, Zeb would lap his dish dry then collapse in the shade, but he was always ready to head straight back out. He delighted in catching and eating the mice that hid in the swaths of drying hay. When he’d eaten his fill, he’d keep killing and rolling on the bodies.
That sounds disgusting, I realize, but farmers know that mice can cause a great deal of damage. They can ruin the hay stacked for the cows’ winter feed. Having a dog that loved to keep the rodent population down made our lives much easier.
Besides that, though, dogs generally love to play. Zeb certainly did, and the kids adored him. It only seemed natural to include a dog on Hiller Farm, where the heroine of More Than a Tiara, my contemporary novella in Snowflake Tiara, lives. Baxter doesn’t play an active part in the story, but appears in all the scenes on the farm, romping with the children, chasing snowballs, and being a loyal companion.
Here is an Amazon link for her new book! Snowflake Tiara
The Debutante Queen by Angela Breidenbach ~ 1889 (Helena, MT): Calista Blythe enters the first Miss Snowflake Pageant celebrating Montana statehood to expose the plight of street urchins. But if her hidden indentured orphan is discovered, Calista’s reputation and her budding romance with pageant organizer, Albert Shanahan, could both unravel. Will love or law prevail?
More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer ~ 2014 (Helena, MT): Marisa Hiller’s interest in competing in Miss Snowflake Pageant for the city of Helena’s 150th anniversary is at zip zero zilch when she discovers the official photographer is Jase Mackie. Can Jase make amends for past mistakes and offer her, not only a tiara, but a partner in her crusade to help needy children and families?
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her award-winning Farm Fresh Romance stories.