Dog Blog

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just a reminder:  

Left Coast Crime Mystery Conference begins Thursday, March 29, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.  I'll be a guest panelist on the Four-legged Flatfoots panel with other animal-focused mystery authors at 2:45 p.m.  Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

                                                 Bubba on a Distant Shore

It was a day just like this one three years ago when we had to say good-bye to our beloved Bubba Gump, our longest lived basset at the ripe old age of 14.  The sun was shining on a beautiful first day of spring, and the potato vine was blossoming in bright yellow buds in our front garden where we had prepared a soft pallet on our front porch for his passage to the Bridge.  It was far too lovely a day to lose your best friend.  I remember hearing the insistent hum of honey bees collecting nectar from the blooms as he left us.

Of the eight bassets we've had over the past three decades, Bubba was our longest lived and greatly cherished.  We had so many fine adventures together up at Lake Tahoe, where he loved to go and walk along the shore of the lake at Tallac Historic Site.  He provided me with the inspiration for Cruiser, the beloved canine sleuth in my mystery series.  He's the reason I still write these books.  I'm so glad I wrote them, because he lives on in Cruiser.  And now so does Crazy Daisy in Calamity, my new canine character in the series.  She's Cruiser's sidekick, as Daisy was Bubba's in life.

Bubba was such a handsome dog with obvious good breeding.  I never knew how he ended up in the county pound.  I loved every day I got to spend with him.  I miss him a lot.  I guess you never really stop missing the ones you love and lose.  I also lost my dear father in the month of March the year before Bubba died.  Those were two immensely hard years.  Dad always liked Bubba so much and Bubba really took to Dad.  Every time Dad came over, Bubba sat in his lap.  I like to believe that Bubba is sitting in his lap on an easy chair up there in Heaven.

I recall the first time I laid eyes on Bubba was at the old Sacramento County Animal Shelter.  He was trapped in a kennel with a randy young husky who kept humping him.  Bubba was grumbling his displeasure at such an indignity but never snapped at the other dog.  He seemed so mellow and was such a beautiful boy, I just knew I had to get him out of that place and away from that annoying cellmate.  I found him on his last day before the big sleep.  He was about 2 years old at the time.  I brought him home the day after Thanksgiving in 1997, and he lived the life of a spoiled, happy hound for the rest of his days.  If you wanted the best seat in the house, you had to move Bubba, but we never did.  That well-worn leather chair that comforted my dad and my dog still sits in its place of honor, now warmed by Peaches or Beau.

This morning I took some extra time after I awoke to cuddle with Beau the way I used to cuddle with Bubba before arising each morning.  He loved to sleep on my bed, just like Beau does, though Bubba slept at the foot of my bed nearly every night.  Peaches and Beau take shifts from night to night.  Beau looks so much like Bubba, sometimes it almost seems as if he has never left us and that Bubba somehow guided me to Beau to help ease the pain of his loss.  Or maybe it was Dad.  I know Bubba has never left us in spirit.  In fact, he visited me in my dreams last night.  Thank you, Bubbie.  You are never, ever forgotten.  Love you forever, Beautiful Boy!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

               ERIN GO BASSET! 
          Peaches, my lucky charm


Thursday, March 01, 2012

“Compassion is the capacity for feeling
What it’s like to live inside someone else’s skin;
And it’s the knowledge that there can never be
Any peace and joy for me,
Until there is peace and joy for you, too.”

Frederick Buechner