Hello naughty readers! Wow – we’ve had some great posts, haven’t we? Very tasty morsels of cover art this week too, I might add. And in just a few weeks … ahhhhhh … *starts playing Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard* … it’s gonna get crazy up in here!!
Now that I got that out of the way, I’m going to change gears for a moment. I hope you’ll indulge me a little, because I have a story to tell you. It’s a story about survival and hope, strength and perseverance. I want to tell you a story about my dog.
To set the stage, let me explain something. I’m a dog person. Always have been. I suppose I always will be. I’ve spoiled my animals with love and affection, exercise and attention. I’ve had friends tell me when they died, they wanted to be reincarnated as my dog. But I digress…
Rome and I had two girls – a boxer, Lakhota, and a Siberian husky, Cheyenne. We raised them from pups, and in 2010 we lost Lakhota to cancer. She was sixteen. Those of you who have pets will understand when I say it almost killed me too. I was without my shadow. My constant companion. Rome used to joke that if I was in the house, Khota was going to be touching me – even if it was just a paw on my foot when I curled up in a chair. More than likely though, she shared the chair with me…all sixty-five pounds of her.
Then, just nine months later, we lost Cheyenne as well. She was seventeen. Even our vet was amazed at the life span of our girls and I was honored to have been their person. But I was done. No way in hell was I going to put myself through that kind of pain again. It was too much.
Many times over the next year, people tried to get us to take this dog or that dog and we kept saying no. We weren’t ready. I didn’t think I would ever be ready.
In November 2011, Rome told me a friend was bringing us a boxer he’d found. I remember scowling and saying we weren’t getting a dog. No way, no how. He asked me to be open to it. That this dog was in desperate need of a home. I said, “Fine. But, I won’t love him.”
Famous last words. And as it turned out, he needed much more than a home.
The minute Titus (our friend was calling him Bruno at the time) stepped out of the vehicle, I turned to Rome and told him that dog was staying with us. Titus ran directly to me and leaned against my leg, shaking and scared. He weighed twenty-eight pounds. I could count each rib in his thin body and his coat was yellow, almost jaundice (see pic of the night we got him –>). He had a spark in his beautiful brown eyes, but it was buried under what I can only imagine was a lifetime of fear.
Ty’s front teeth are worn to nubs. Our vet believes he wore them down trying to chew his way out of somewhere. I don’t even want to know how he got the scars that cover him, and his canine teeth have either been cut or have broken off. I have my own suspicions as to what he’s been through, but again, thoughts like those only make my blood boil and are best left alone.
Anyway, we took him to our vet. He estimated Ty to be between four and five years old. And then we got the news I’d never expected. He had heartworms. “One of the worst concentrations I’ve seen,” our vet had said. With his low body weight and compromised health, the vet said all we could do was try to treat him. It looked like my little dude still had to fight for his life. As for me, I would have slayed dragons for that sweet, gentle boy.
Ty’s treatment consisted of antibiotics (30 days on, 60 days off, repeat) and monthly heartworm treatment. For the next year, I watched helplessly as the five antibiotic pills a day upset his stomach and caused him to be sick more often than not. I watched as he tried to run and play, only to dissolve into coughs and ragged breath. But, he never gave up. He suffered. He fought.
You see, as of last Friday – over a year and 600 antibiotic pills later – our Titus is heartworm free. He is strong and healthy at sixty-five pounds. His coat is beautiful and, these days, he’s only afraid of loud popping noises. Like when Rome pops his gum. Yep – that’ll have Ty sprinting from a room like he’d been shot out of a cannon.
Titus blows bubbles from his mouth when we eat and he’ll wave at anyone willing to pet him. He’s incredibly sweet and gentle…unless you mess with me, that is. And, as you can see, he’s taken to being spoiled like a duck to water. At this point, I’m not sure who rescued who. But, I suspect he rescued us.
So…what does all this have to do with writing erotic romance novels?
But I hope this inspires you. Whenever I have a bad day, I look at my little dude and know that he never gave up. So, no matter what, neither will I.
Until next time…