Let's Talk with Maggie Toussaint
Gone To The Dogs
The Dog Days of summer are finally gone, and I’m celebrating with a doggie retrospective. This cute little terrier was on a neighborhood walkabout as I was recently driving to a photo shoot. Josie’s owner wasn’t home, so I left a message for her person and took Josie with me. The best photos were of me and Josie.Though I am pet-free now, I enjoy being a pet aunt to my sister’s dog. Stinky is a hound mix, and he’s an expert in finding shade. He hunkers down inside when its thundering. And he never misses a meal. Smart dog.Above is my sister Ginny treating the neighborhood dogs at our favorite bench. We have several who are treat-trained. Now the question is: were the dogs trained or did they train us?My husband and I started marriage with his black lab named Zak. As a pup, Zak had obedience trouble until he realized everyone at the dog class was watching him. Then he aced the final test. Months later at home, Zak ate the cover off my guy’s prized Ernie Banks baseball. Zak presented him with a treasure at day’s end, a soggy unrecognizable mess… Misery occurred, but everything came out fine in the end.
After Zak’s long and happy life, we got a black lab puppy that we named Max because of his big feet. Max is shown above in his Easter finery. He adored tennis balls. He mouthed them until they were in position, and then he’d spit them across the yard at your leg. Direct hit every time! Max had regular checkups, until one day he had bone cancer, everywhere. That was a horrible, no-good, awful day.
Our next dog came from my mother-in-law when she moved to a care facility. St. Luke the Holy Terrier, a blonde cairn terrier, was high maintenance and a pistol. If the kids didn’t latch the back gate just right, Luke would take off. He was shaped like a football, and he ran just fast enough to beat us, then he’d slow until we caught up, and then scoot out of range again. He became ill after a few years and required homemade dog food twice a day. For many months, I carried him outside and held him while he went to the bathroom.
Since Luke, we’ve been pet-free, and I enjoy visiting with other people’s dogs. I’ve never met a dog who didn’t like me. I jokingly claim I have animal magnetism. I’m glad to experience the unflagging trust and licks of all dogs. Above is a blast from the past (circa 1973) with me, my father, and Ryan, the Irish Setter. Ryan loved to spin in circles in front of cars. Luckily there were many ruts in the dirt road so people didn’t drive fast, and everyone recognized this loopy dog on sight!
With such a history of memorable dogs, is it any wonder dogs appear in my mysteries? There’s Madonna, the pregnant St. Bernard in my Cleopatra Jones series, who arrives in book 1, In For A Penny; Oliver, the Great Dane ghost dog in my Dreamwalker series, who shows up in book 3, Doggone It; Bailey, a Black lab, who appears in all of the Lyndsey & Ike Mysteries; and Artie, the German Shepherd, who features in my culinary cozy series starting in book 2, Spawning Suspicion. As of now, there are no dogs but there are two cats who feature in the Valona Jones’ penned books.Leap into fall with some great reads! Try Snuffed Out and then preorder In the Wick of Time, which releases October 17. This Magic Candle Shop Mystery series is a page-turning, fast read of murder, mystery, and mayhem in the candle shop.
There will be lots happening in October with this book’s release. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, do that right away so you don’t miss out! Sign-ups are through my websites, and those addies are listed at the bottom of this post.
For a chance to win a print (US only) or digital ARC of IN THE WICK OF TIME, comment below about a pet you’ve known. The winner will be selected by random.org on Tuesday, October 3 and the winner’s name posted on this page. THE WINNER IS CAROLK! Congratulations, Carol!
Our October contest begins Oct.1. One winner gets two books. How cool is that? After Oct. 1, this link will be live: CONTEST
Posted in Let's Talk, with Maggie Toussaint • Tags: Gone to the Dogs, In the Wick of Time, Maggie Toussaint, Snuffed Out, Valona Jones | 26 Comments