Jun 22, 2014

Paw Prints

Paw Prints in My Heart Was a Labor of Love

Greetings from Portland, Oregon –
MAC, the dog of my life and the four-legged love of my life, passed away last June 14th.  At the time I had just written and posted his 14th Birthday Post to my blog, and was only a few chapters into the newest installment of my Cups Drayton crime thriller Series. Mac inspired the character of ‘Weller’, an old black Lab that first appeared in The Old Dog’s New Trick, then became a recurring character in Imperfect Resolution, and was returning for the third time in my new book.

When he died, a day after turning fourteen, we were devastated but hardly surprised.  In a way we’d been preparing for it since he was a puppy.  There had been a time when we had real doubts he’d make it to two, the medical challenges were that daunting. But with plenty of love and dollars he lived an improbably long and wonderful life, and we were lucky for it.
His love and friendship, his joy and trust of life, found a way to trump five leg surgeries before he was three – all his joints were bad; a bout with mast cell skin cancer, a frightening intestinal blockage, and no shortage of other assorted lesser ailments over the years.

He was the Labrador retriever that couldn’t retrieve; it was too painful and he knew better.
Despite a lifetime medical tab that we’ve come to refer to as his Freshman and Sophomore years at U of O, we were grateful, thankful, to share our lives with a great guy that wanted nothing more than to be with us and shower us with affection, and appreciation, too.  On some level I think he understood that he’d landed with the right family.

I put the new novel aside to write his story, Paw Prints in My Heart. It was my attempt to capture precious memories and the story of his unlucky-but-oh-so-lucky-life.
My goal was to finish the book and have it available by the first anniversary of his death.
As I wrote it, some remarkable happened.  It was more than Mac’s story, and mine, it was how an old dog that never said a word had taught me so much.  About love and friendship, acceptance, forgiveness, and making the most of every day.

In calling Paw Prints ‘Life lessons learned from the dog of my life’ know that the words are heartfelt.
If you’re a dog lover you’ll enjoy this book and I hope you see some of your dog in Mac. 
If you’re not a dog lover, I hope you’ll give a try. Plenty of laughs and a few tears.
I’ve had dogs all my life.  Loved ‘em all and cried over each of them but Mac was different.
My best friend, the dog of my life, and my writing partner. 
Soon I’ll return to the new novel, and to the character Mac inspired, and the truth is I can’t wait to be together again.

I hope you’ll read Paw Prints in My Heart and thank you in advance.
May the pages turn and deprive you of sleep.
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