Jul 7, 2014

when your dog is a smartypants

She’d seen to the security herself, and she trusted no one else.
Well, she thought, as she stopped the car. Except Bert.
The big dog sat on the covered front porch of the two-story cabin. Body alert, eyes bright. When she got out of the car, she signaled release. He bounded to her, all hundred and thirty pounds of him wriggling in joy.
“There’s my good boy. Best dog in the world. So smart. Just so smart.”

The Witness

(The Witness' Bert is a Bullmastiff) 


The 10 Smartest Dog Breeds



Sure your dog's clever … but is he or she one of the smartest dog breeds out there? 

"While all dogs are smart, certain breeds are more intelligent at specific tasks than others," said Lisa Peterson, spokesperson with the American Kennel Club


“Now that we’ve got a second coming along, I’m talking Seline into a Lab.”
“Girlie dog.”
“We’re girls.” She gave her daughter a kiss on the cheek. “You’re outnumbered.”
“This one might even things up.” He tapped her belly with his finger. “A guy needs a dog, not a little French toy.”
“Poodles are smart.”
“They are a highly intelligent breed,” Abigail agreed. “Only the border collie is thought to be more intelligent. They’re agile and, if properly trained, very skilled and obedient.”
“A Lab’s a dog. They’re smart,” Russ added, appealing to Abigail.
“Yes, of course. They’re the most popular breed in this country, and in Great Britain. They make excellent assistance dogs. They’re loyal, and most have a well-developed play drive. They’re excellent with young children.”
“Young children.” He snagged CeeCee, made the girl laugh as he tossed her in the air. “We’ve got one of those, getting another.”
“Poodles are good with kids.”
When Seline turned to Abigail, Sunny laughed. “Now you’ve done it. These two will tag you as referee in this battle. I’m going to save you, show you the gardens. Food’s going to be ready in a few minutes.”
“Maybe they should consider a Labradoodle,” Abigail murmured

The Witness

Jun 24, 2014

ground rules for dating a single dad

Freddie played with the edge of her blanket. "Will you come and see me when I'm not sick?"
"I think I might." She leaned over to make a grab and came up with a mewing kitten. "And to see Lucy and Desi."
"And Daddy."
Cautious, Natasha scratched the kitten's ears. "Yes, I suppose."
"You like him, don't you?"
"Yes. He's a very good teacher."
"He likes you, too." Freddie didn't add that she had seen her father kiss Natasha at the foot of her bed just the night before, when they'd thought she was asleep. Watching them had given her a funny feeling in her stomach. But after a minute it had been a good funny feeling. "Will you marry him and come and live with us?"
"Well, is that a proposal?" Natasha managed to smile. "I think it's nice that you'd want me to, but I'm only friends with your daddy. Like I'm friends with you."
"If you came to live with us, we'd still be friends."
The child, Natasha reflected, was as clever as her father.

Taming Natasha




Great news: You just met a wonderful guy! ... Yes, you’re dating a divorced dad, and he’s a tricky species, indeed. Whatever rules you’ve applied to dating in the past, just throw them out the window. Because when it comes to having a relationship with a man who has kids, you’ll need to follow a whole new set of guidelines.




"And you've done everything you can to give him a happy and normal life. Don't you see how much I admire that? How much I respect it?"
Flustered, he stared at her. He'd never thought of parenting as admirable. "It's what I'm supposed to do.
Thinking of him first, that's how it has to be. It's not just you and me, Kate. If it were… but it's not. A change like this—a life-altering one—he has to be in on it."
"And who's saying differently?" she demanded.
"Well, damn it. I can't just go tell him I'm getting married, just like that. I need to talk to him about it, prepare him. So do you. That's the kind of thing you'd be taking on. He needs to be as sure of you as he is of me."
"For heaven's sake, O'Connell, don't you think I've taken all of that into account? You've known me for months now. You ought to be able to give me more credit."
"It's not a matter of—"
"It was Jack who asked me to marry you in the first place."
Brody stared into her flushed and furious face, then held up his hands. "I have to sit down." He backed up, dropped down on a flattened stump. Because the dog was shoving the rope into his lap, Brody tossed it. "What did you just say?"
"Am I speaking English?" she demanded. "Jack proposed to me yesterday. Apparently he doesn't have as much trouble making up his mind as his father. He asked me to marry you, both of you. And I've never had a lovelier offer."


Considering Kate

Jun 22, 2014

Coming Home

A lot had stayed the same over a decade. But a lot had changed. 

He was well aware that news of his arrival was even now singing over telephone wires. 

It pleased him. He wanted the town to know he was back— and not with his tail between his legs, as many had predicted.

He had money in his pocket now, and plans for the future.The Barlow place was the heart of his plans. 

He didn't subscribe to ghosts, under most circumstances, but the house had certainly haunted him. Now it belonged to him, every old stone and bramble—and whatever else it held. He was going to rebuild it, as he had rebuilt himself.

One day he would stand at the top window and look down on the town. He would prove to everyone—even to Rafe MacKade—that he was somebody.

The Return of Rafe MacKade


tell the world 
I'm coming home
let the rain wash away
all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits
and they've forgiven my mistakes
I'm coming home
I'm coming home
tell the world I'm coming...



Later, when they were curled together in the deep feather bed, she laid her hand on his heart and smiled.
"I'm awfully glad you came back to town, MacKade. Welcome home."

The Return of Rafe MacKade