Today I received my contributor’s copy of The Ultimate Dog Lover ((c) 2008 HCI) and it looks like a beautiful book for all you dog lovers out there! It’s very much like a Chicken Soup, but there are beautiful full page color photos that are the best of the best. Stories are divided into chapters, “Four-legged Family Members,” “Common Language and ESP,” “Teachers and Healers,” “Unconditional Love,” “Celebrating the Bond,” and “Must-Know Info” which includes training tips, help for battling bad habits, advice on traveling with your dog, socializing, doggy-breath, and puppy pedicures. My story, “Happy Together” appears on page 77.

It’s nice to reminisce about the childhood pet I wrote about: my faithful beagle-lab mix Happy. He was my companion from Kindergarten through high school. We’d found him starving and abused, abandoned in the woods. I thought he was the most beautiful creature in the world. Happy was utterly dependable. Even though in those days, in suburban Vermont, he was allowed to run free (something I’d never do today) he always came when I called. Kelly, on the other hand, won’t even come in from our small fenced-in back yard unless she feels like it, or thinks that a Snausage is waiting. Kelly loves me, but I think she is more interested in knowing that I love her and that I cater to her needs. I was watching an episode of a TV show where the dogs were actually strapped to a zip line, and were asked to jump down to their owners calling from below. Some of those dogs actually stepped out into thin air, taking a very real leap of faith, risking a fall and injury, just because they trusted their owner would never call them if it would harm them. I would be shocked if Kelly would make that jump. Happy, on the other hand, would have sacrificed anything for me, stood up to any danger for me, traveled through mud and hail or anything to get to me. In the story, I tell about a time he was going to be taken away from me, and how he cleverly handled the situation to a happy ending.
This book is full of happy endings, and I can’t wait to read all the other stories!