For most of my life, I’ve been involved with big dogs. As newlyweds in the sixties we had Huck, a blue tick hound; Sunny, a border collie; and Zeke a black and tan hound of no particular heritage. Those dogs perished together in a car wreck when the driver suffered a seizure and overturned the pickup truck in which they were riding. To say I was devastated is putting it mildly. Barney was a black lab who showed up on our doorstep in Phoenix and stayed. Actually his owner showed up with a rope and took him back, but Barney escaped and made the five mile return trip through downtown Phoenix. That time I didn’t bother calling his owner. It seemed to me that Barney had made a choice and that was that.
Once Bill and I married, big dogs became the order the the day. Golden retrievers, dominated—Nikki and Tess, Aggie and Daph. There was the six-month retirement haven we offered to a platinum golden named Mandy and the half German shepherd/Irish wolfhound named Boney who was with us for eleven wonderful years. Some of Boney’s history is reflected in the Rambo/Lucy character in my recent Beaumont book, Proof of Life. As many of you already suspect, I’m sometimes too lazy to make up everything in my books, so I take a few pages from real life here and there.
So I was a big dog person. Not surprisingly, some of that real life big dog prejudice leaked into my fiction. Beau, especially, didn’t care for small dogs and referred to them alternately as “yappy little dogs” or else as WOFs–Wastes of Fur.
But here’s the thing, somewhere out in the great beyond, Someone is always listening—Someone with a sense of humor. So eight years ago, when my daughter, grandson and I found a WOF abandoned in the street, we had to take her home. And then we fell in love. At the time we found Bella, a longhaired miniature dachshund, she weighed a mere seven pounds when she should have weighed ten. Naturally she wormed her way into our lives—and into our bed and even into my book tours. And when she showed up at signings, people were quick to remind me, “Hey, wait a minute. Isn’t that the kind of dog you used to call a WOF?” Yup, guilty as charged!
So Bella introduced us to the wonderfulness of small dogs. Jojo came into our lives two and a half years ago, and Mary showed up last September. Both are long-haired miniature dachshunds and yes, both are very much “yappy little dogs.”
Today we have workers at the house here in Tucson—a guy from Cox is replacing our old modem with a new one, and the yard guys are outside mowing and blowing. And both dogs are busy pitching their yappy little fit.
Yes, somewhere Someone was listening to everything I said and wrote.
And Karma is a bitch!