January 31st, 2013

Mindy's head shot

Happy 1st Birthday, Ruby!

My sweet little puppy is one today.  Happy birthday, Ruby!

I honestly didn’t think Hubby would let us get another dog, and was thrilled when Ruby came into our lives.  It’s hard to believe that she was abandoned out in the Everglades, fighting for her life.  I’m incredibly thankful that a local rescue group saved her!  Ruby was so scared when we first met her.  I’ll never forget how she shook when I held her for the first time. It wasn’t an instant connection.  I thought she was adorable, but she didn’t really want to interact with us.  Then, another dog was brought into the room, and Ruby’s eyes lit up.  She practically hopped around the room, kissing the dog right on the mouth.  We just sat back, watching them play, and I could tell that with some love and attention, she’d be incredible with people, too.  When I was about to leave, I picked her up and she wasn’t shaking anymore.  She gave me a tiny kiss on my nose, then lay her head against my cheek.  That’s it.  I was totally sold!

C Ruby loves her new boneRuby opening a door

I feel so lucky to have Ruby in my life.  She’s totally in love with her big sister, Lolly.  My three year-old bullmassador acts like a puppy again, and I love seeing them snuggle and play tug of war.  I’m still in awe of how smart Ruby is!  She figured out how to open every door in my house, and practically taught herself to walk next to us off leash, even if a dog is barking at her!  I love the way Ruby makes these adorable grunting sounds, especially when she’s happy. And she lets me know when she needs something—she jumps up to get my attention, then leads me to whatever it is she wants (I always know if she’s hungry, thirsty, wants to go out, or is bored and wants to play). 

I think every writer should have a special pet or two.  It’s so nice having them keep me company!  They often curl up by my chair, and constantly inspire me.  In fact, I believe every novel that I’ve written has at least one animal in it.  Lolly helped me come up with an amazing dog for my MG, Mom Wars.  And the sweet Siberian Husky I was lucky to have for 13 ½ years inspired one of my favorite characters…a husky-sheepdog-mystery mutt who is the biggest scaredy dog on the planet, and sheds enough fur to form a guinea pig. Our birthday pup has the same name as the main character in that book…and I can’t wait to see how my grunting, door-opening dog will work her way into a future manuscript or two.

I’d love to know who keeps you company when you write, and how animals inspire your stories.  

I’m off to celebrate Ruby’s birthday with a special treat my daughter made…vanilla cupcakes with peanut butter frosting for Ruby and Lolly and butter cream frosting for us.  Yum!