Today is Love Your Pet Day. Are you wondering what this has to do with reading? Well, you know me…I’m gonna tell you. Curling up with a good book and your favorite winter or summer beverage makes you feel good. However, according to a survey conducted by Woman’s World magazine, spending time with your pet will also make you feel great. In their survey of “10,000 pet owners,” people were asked how their pets had a positive influence on their own lifestyle. The top responses: “Pets make us feel happy and loved, offer companionship, eliminates stress and adds humor to our lives.” Incidentally, scientists have confirmed that dogs, cats, and horses reap the same benefits from being petted by their owners.
Today, I’d like to share comments and photos of not only my sweet little dog, but special fur babies that belong to a few of my friends. By the way, my friends are also talented authors. Take a moment to click on their pictures to visit their websites and preview their novels.
Meet my Baby Girl. She’s thirteen years old, and has been my loving companion for ten years. She sleeps at my feet when I’m writing. Baby Girl isn’t her real name; it’s the name I gave her when I rescued her from the animal control center. Her story is a sad one. Someone had thrown this gentle little dog in a trash dumpster. That same evil person had also kicked her so hard that they fractured her hip. Actually, because of the injury, she was considered unadoptable, but it was love at first sight. I wanted this little dog and offered to pay all medical bills, and even agreed to sign a document stating that I knew she was injured and wouldn’t return her due to her injury. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I rescued Baby Girl one day before her kill date. She’s so special and means the world to me.
I agree with Flossie Benton Rogers when she says messengers and friends come when you need them. Flossie says that Marigold appeared at my front door, hungry and hurt, after the loss of my husband of forty-one years and the subsequent loss of our 14-year-old Bassett hound. Marigold was heaven sent. She is a sweet fur fae with a wild streak that emerges on occasional midnight runs through the house. She is quite a writing buddy and enjoys perching on the arm of my desk chair while I work. flossiebentonrogers.com/
Kathy Eddinger Smits shares that Corrin Castle (Corrin) is a feisty older lady who has been my equine partner for about 20 years. Retired from her job as a dressage horse, she grazes all day in a huge field, relaxes in a comfy stall with a cooling fan when it’s hot, and does exactly as she pleases.
She lives on a farm in Ocala. I live over an hour away, but I see her as often as possible. I’ve dreamed of owning a place with enough acreage to keep her at home, but I know she receives excellent daily care and considers herself the queen of the land.
When I walk into the barn, and she nickers for me, she brightens the day. Even after she gobbles down the apples and carrots I bring her, she hangs out with me, licking my hands and showing me the spots on her ears and under her chin where she wants to be rubbed. Before I leave, she often sticks out her nose for a kiss on her velvety muzzle.
The moments I spend with Corrin are peaceful. While she munches her hay, her wholesome aroma surrounds me, and time stands still. There’s nowhere I else I want to be and nothing more I want to do than savor those too-short visits with my best friend.
Jennifer Taylor shares this about her fur baby. My Great Dane Bridget is my good friend and constant companion. And she's the size of a human at 139 lbs. She's the perfect dog for a writer. I can say anything crazy and she's not fazed. She has a bladder the size of Alaska, enabling me to work for four hours at a time while she "works" as the world's biggest sofa spud. Then she grunts at me until we go outside, and she does her daily five-minute zoom, zipping around the yard at high speed. She is truly a gentle giant, great with grandkids but has a powerful bark when she needs to.
We have a daily morning ritual. My husband gets up at 4:30 every morning and lets her out of her nighttime crate. She grabs her stuffed gnome and comes up to the bedroom with my husband. He says, "take good care of mommy," and she gets on the bed. Snuggle time. When I was ill for a few days last week, I spent two days in bed. She didn't leave my side. The old girl really does take good care of her mommy. jennifertaylorwrites.com/
So, Dear Friends, as you can see, pets are important to our well-being and they enrich our lives in an infinite number of ways. They provide companionship, give us new purpose during career changes or retirement, and offer much-needed laughter and love at just the right moments. Pets are our best friends.
As always, take care, stay safe, and HAPPY READING!
Today is all about doing more things that make you happy. It doesn’t matter whether you spend an hour reading your favorite book, taking a short stroll, working on your favorite hobby, or soaking in an aromatic bubble bath, as long as you carve out some “me” time in your week to focus on you. After all, you are special and deserve that extra-special time.
Reading is one of my favorite Me times. Put a good book in my hands and I’m a happy girl. I enjoy authors such as Flossie Benton Rogers, Jennifer Taylor, Katherine Eddinger Smits, Linda Tillis, Charlaine Harris, Clive Cussler, Greg Johnson, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber, and a host of other wonderful authors.
Of course, I also shamelessly enjoy the novels I write. For your reading pleasure, may I suggest: Fate Comes Softly, an anthology about the lives of three unforgettable and extraordinarily brave women who took control of their situations:
Saving Liberty: Falsely accused of a crime she didn’t commit, Liberty Trivette is exiled from a wagon train. Alone on the prairie, she fears for the life of her unborn child. While on a hunting trip, Ethan Wheeler doesn’t expect to find a woman kneeling by a creek, and praying. For Ethan, saving Liberty creates unexpected challenges—the deadly moccasin coiled at the hem of her skirt; facing the unscrupulous lawyer who abused Liberty and then returns to kidnap her. For both Liberty and Ethan, survival means more than just staying alive. In their case, it also means falling in love.
Isabelle and the Outlaw: History Professor Isabelle Landers accidentally walks into a time portal. Propelled back two hundred years to land smack dab in Arizona’s outlaw territory, she meets Raphael Sinclair, a Pinkerton agent posing as an outlaw. According to her history book after he was wrongly hanged, his body disappeared and was never found. Isabelle is faced with the dilemma of saving Rafe from hanging a second time. Falling in love was never part of the equation. If he leaves his world he will die. If Isabelle stays with him then she will die. Can their love survive the ultimate sacrifice?
McKenna’s Woman: Nothing is more important to McKenna Smith than receiving a pardon from the State of Texas for a murder he didn’t commit. Working undercover as a photographer his luck changes for the better when he recognizes Audra Tadlock, the twin sister of the man who betrayed him. But McKenna and Audra’s delicate bond of trust is threatened when she learns the shocking truth that the brother she thought died ten years ago is alive and a maniacal killer. If she testifies against him he’ll hang; if she allies to save him, then she risks losing McKenna’s love.
Just think—three stories for the price of one. Fate Comes Softly is available as an Ebook or as a print book.
Remember, Dear Friends, being kind to yourself is not selfish. When we shy away from who we are, we lose sight of how to treat ourselves kindly.
As always, be safe, be well, and HAPPY READING!
Valentine’s Day is always riddled with grand romantic gestures, a lot of puns and just the right amount of candy. It’s a day where we can be as ridiculous as we want, claim it’s for love and no one bats an eye.
Valentine’s Day can also be one of the most romantic holidays to celebrate with your special someone. However, and more importantly, February is American Heart Month.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the “number one killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined.” I should know because I have constrictive pericardial vasculitis. It took twelve hours of heart surgery and tons of prayer to keep me alive. Therefore, I do all I can to keep myself heart-healthy. I’m very fortunate to be alive so that I can write this blog.
Listed are ways the American Heart Association suggests that women like you fight back:
GET YOUR NUMBERS: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol, or invest in a blood pressure machine and check your BP daily.
OWN YOUR LIFESTYLE: Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat healthy. It’s up to you. No one can do it for you.
REALIZE YOUR RISK: We think it won’t happen to us, but heart disease kills one of three women.
EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY: Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.
DON’T BE SILENT: Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our No. 1 killer. In fact, a recent report stated that women who suffer heart attacks while in the public are less likely to receive CPR from a bystander than men.
So dear friends, It doesn't matter whether you're single, coupled up, somewhere in between, or just looking for a fun Valentine’s Day activity with your friends, don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
As always, be safe, stay well, and HAPPY VALETINE’S DAY!