A warm welcome to author Amy Lane joining us here at Love Bytes today to talk about the release of her new Riptide story, Freckles.
Welcome Amy 🙂
Dogs and Their Hobbies
by Amy Lane
The first time Mate and I tried to own a dog, it ran away. It was a small dog named Worf, and I was pregnant, with a toddler, living on a big spread of property. I had no idea what to do with a small dog, and Worf didn’t get enough attention. End of story.
I felt so bad about neglecting him, that the next time Mate wanted a dog, I put my foot down. No. We had already let one dog down—what did we know about dogs?
But we were in a different situation then—Mate wasn’t working and going to school forty miles away anymore, we had a fenced in property, and our kids were old enough to play with the dog.
And that was how Chiquita came into our lives.
Chiquita was a Rottweiler crossed with something else, and toward the end of her life she had a back so broad you could set a cup of water on it as she walked across the floor.
I wasn’t so excited about her at first, like I said. Mate wanted her, the kids wanted her—but I was the one who ended up feeding her, and trying to walk her (she gave herself kennel-cough every time I tried—we gave it up.) She was smart and sweet, and to me—for years—she was a giant pain in the ass that someone else wanted and I had to take care of.
But I figured out some tricks.
I figured out that if I scratched her sweet spot once a day, she would love me forever.
I figured out that she hated walks, but loved drives. If we could take her for a drive—even once a month, she would love me forever.
When I lost my job, I figured out that she was a living breathing sentient being in an empty house that I could pet and who would respond to my affection, because she loved me forever.
She lived to be about fifteen years old. We looked that up—it was three years older than any website said she should live, and putting her down was one of those moments in which it sucks giant donkey balls to be a mom, because everybody—Mate, the kids, my parents—wanted to cry on me, and I just wanted to roll up into a ball and sob on my own.
The decision to put her down was a rough one—but our veterinarian made it easier. She said, “Every animal should have five hobbies—five things about their lives that they really enjoy. When they lose those things, you have to ask yourself who you’re keeping the animal alive for—you or her?”
Well, I still remember Chiquita’s hobbies: barking at the turkeys in our neighborhood, barking at the parents dropping their kids off at the school across the street in the morning, snuffling over and sticking her ass in your face so you could scratch her sweet spot, eating kibble, eating people food even though she shouldn’t, spreading across the living room floor and sleeping, accepting pets from the kids, soliciting pets from the adults, sitting with her chin on your knee while looking at you with soulful eyes, wondering when you were going to get off your ass and let her outside to pee, going outside to pee, running along the back fence to torment the dog currently living back there, coming back inside from going pee, going back to sleep on the floor.
As you can see, she had a full day.
In those last three years particularly, she was my friend, my buddy, my companion—and when those hobbies dwindled, and even sleeping was painful, it was time to do what was best for my friend.
I had prepared though. I already had Johnnie, my tiny little buddy who had endeared himself to Chiquita in his two days alone. I’d gone looking for a little dog on purpose—I loved Chiquita, but my kids were now old enough that sitting on my lap was out of the question, and I wanted a lapdog.
The fact that Johnnie looked like a tiny replica of Chiquita made the transition easier in some way. She’d taught me how to be a dog mom—and how to love a dog. Having Johnnie home after we put her down was like a diploma in dog ownership. After Chiquita, I would always want another dog.
The year after we got Johnnie, we got Geoffie, who had never been taught how to be a big dog in a small dog’s body like Chiquita taught Johnnie, and together, they became the terror of our small neighborhood.
Right now, even as I type, they are barking their assess off.
No, I don’t know why. It could be because I shifted in my seat and squeaked. It could be the postman, who is their eternal enemy, never to be reconciled. It could be all men with hats and beards—it’s a crapshoot, like most hobbies. When the barking inside is over, they shall go outside and bark, and they shall socialize with the dogs next door, and run back and forth along the fence line. We shall go walking in the morning and they shall sit on our laps—inconveniently, mostly—in the evening. At night, before I go to bed, they shall tussle and growl like a giant dervish, up and down our hallway, because it makes them happy. When we go to bed they shall make a big production out of snuffling their way under the covers between Mate and I so they can sleep at our feet.
Frickin’ dogs and their hobbies.
I treasure every one.
Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.
Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.
But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!
He can be the owner of a small dog.
Now available from:
About Amy Lane
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.
She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.
She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
Connect with Amy:
- Website: greenshill.com
- Blog: writerslane.blogspot.com
- Twitter: @amymaclane
- Facebook group: Amy Lane Anonymous
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/amymaclane
To celebrate the release of Freckles, one lucky winner will receive Freckles in ebook and another ebook of their choice from Amy’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!