Sunday, July 05, 2015


This is a different kind of blog post. It's not so much about my books, releases or stuff like that. You might call it a dedication to our dog, Dolce, our "lil buddy."

Two weeks ago today, we had to put him to sleep. He had a heart condition and wasn't eating and was suffering. Trust me, it was one of the most painful, heartbreaking decisions we've had to make in a long time. We've been forced to do this with two of our other dogs who had cancer, and it never gets easier.

Dolce was one of our three rescue Shih Tzu dogs. He came to us in 2008, when a friend's friend could not longer keep him because she had to move. She loved him, was heartbroken at the idea of leaving him, didn't want him in a shelter and wanted to find a good home for him. She brought him over to us, and our other Shih Tzu at the time, Tiger, ran away from him. Tiger was scared of Dolce. Tiger was scared of everything, thus his name - Tiger!

Dolce peed on one of our chairs. His owner was mortified. We shrugged it off - "he's a dog!" So Dolce entered our lives and we were privileged to have him for 7 short years. When we had to put Tiger to sleep a year later because of cancer, Dolce was a huge comfort to us.

Dolce was the dog who always greeted us with a happy bark, and then ran to fetch a toy and bring it to us, his tail wagging furiously. Anything on the ground was game to Dolce. I traveled a lot for my day job to Haiti and other poor countries, and it was always tough leaving the DH and the dogs. They didn't like it, either. Once Dolce found my American Airlines ticket to Haiti and marched around with it in his mouth as if to say, "You're not going!"

He was a wonderful dog who loved us, loved eating, loved looking out of the window and playing with his toys. He was well-trained, never had an accident and so laid back that when Cookie and Holly, our other two present rescues, would snip at each other for dominance, you could almost see him shrug. Like, "What's the problem, ladies?"

He loved lying on the floor of our bedroom at night. When we'd go to bed, he had "his" place right in the doorway. You had to step over him in the middle of the night if you got up. Or he'd lie on "his" pillow on the floor at the foot of our bed. He was a wonderful, happy lil fellow. He was part of our family, and when it came time to make that horrid decision, we did what we had to do. I held him in my arms as the vet administered the shot, I stroked his head and whispered good-bye. And then I cried, and I've been crying on and off since.

His death, and the subsequent ill health of one of our other dogs, Holly (she has renal failure) has taken a lot of out of me these past two weeks. I've found it very hard to write anything. This weekend, I finally did drag myself out of it and wrote 8,000 words on The Mating Challenge, Aiden's book. I did it because I'm a professional author and I want to finish this book for readers who have patiently waited for Aiden's book. I did it because I need to focus on something other than grief.

I think I will dedicate The Mating Challenge to our lil buddy, who was always there in the background, patient, waiting, happy and so loyal and loving. He was the best lil guy in the world.

We miss you, buddy. Have fun chasing after squeaky toys on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

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