Our One True Puppy Love….by Michelle Major

Years ago, my hubby and I made a giant commitment to each other. We decided to get a puppy.  At the time, it seemed like almost as big a deal as our actual marriage. We were going to be responsible for keeping something alive. Gulp. Then DH dropped the little bombshell that he’d actually paid for a puppy years before with his ex-girlfriend, but they broke up before they got the dog. So would I mind if we got his pre-paid Weimaraner? Hmm….

Otis1I was reluctant until I met Otis. All puppies are irresistible. Weims, with their silver fur and bright blue eyes, are something special. Otis had us wrapped around his paw from the start. He was sweet, affectionate and (unfortunately) prone to serious illness. In those first six months, he spent more time hooked to an IV than off it. It only made us love him more. Once he was healthy, he made up for lost time by eating his way through everything in our house. The dog was bad. Even that made us love him more (at least in retrospect – kind of like “Marley & Me”).DSC00052

The best thing about Otis was his smile. He had a full-on grin showing all his teeth. It freaked out countless UPS drivers and many friends over the years. But there was nothing better to us than being greeted by a dog so happy he’d actually grin. He saw us through so many milestones in our life – babies being born, job changes, family trauma, multiple moves. He helped ease our transition through that funny time in life when you go from being an adult to truly growing up. He’s been gone several years now, but we’ll always miss him and his sweet smile.

When Julia Morgan, the heroine in my March release, Her Accidental Engagement, needed the perfect dog, I knew just the one. Julia has lost her self-confidence and needs some unconditional love. She adopts a misunderstood Weimaraner who has had trouble finding a forever family because his toothy grin scares people away. But the dog (which is named Casper in the book) fits right in with Julia and her son Charlie, just like Otis made our family DSC00876complete. It was so fun to write my favorite Weimaraner into the book, and I hope readers enjoy it!

I know we love all our fur babies, but I’m wondering if you’ve had an extra special pet in your life? Maybe it was even a neighborhood animal that no one could resist. One of my neighbors has a cat that walks to the school every day, even when it’s freezing or snowy, to hang out with the kids on the playground and try to sneak her way into the building. I know my kids will always remember that quirky cat. So tell me about a stand-out animal you’ve known or what is special about one of your pets. I’ll draw a winner this weekend for a $10 Starbucks GC and a copy of Her Accidental Engagement.

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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29 Responses to Our One True Puppy Love….by Michelle Major

  1. Jenny Stallworth says:

    Otis was a great one! Can’t wait to read about him as Casper! Counting the days!!!

  2. We have had so many wonderful dogs, but our current one, Izze, a chocolate lab mix has to rate as one of the best. We’ve decided she’s part cat, as she likes to play with balls of yarn, can jump straight up onto the couch off all 4 legs from a standing position, and is ridiculously affectionate. I can’t wait to read about Casper! Woot!

  3. Joanna Sims says:

    Hi Michelle!

    I’m glad you included the pictures of Otis! They are all great pictures of your canine family member. I like to write my furry family members (past and present) into my stories too!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Joanna

  4. Caro Carson says:

    This is such a touching post. My little black poodle does the toothy grin, too! It’s so funny, because he’s jet black with jet black eyes, so the jagged line of little white teeth really stands out when he smiles.

    One of our dearest pets was a hamster, believe it or not. Santa brought her from the North Pole when my daughter was in first grade. My daughter had read that hamsters could be trained like dogs, so she patiently held single kernels of corn between her fingers and called that hamster by name for hours on end. It worked! “Hopscotch” knew her name, came out of her little burrows to say hi, never bit anyone, and lived to almost three years of age, which is probably 150 for a human! When she was old, I took her to the vet when she lost the use of her hind legs. The vet said, “Before I charge you for this visit, I want you to know that hamsters only live two years. Do you still want me to examine her?” I explained that she came from the North Pole and that she lived in my office, so…$80 and a B2 shot later, I took her back home and watched her improve! She lived a few more months and then passed away peacefully in her little cage. Best Hamster Ever.

    • Caro – that is so sweet! Hopscotch might be the best name ever for a Hamster. What a cute story. I bet your daughter remembers that you paid the money to get a B2 shot for the hamster. I imagine vets have stories we wouldn’t believe about dedicated pet owners!

  5. Michelle, love that dog! And especially the picture on the play structure. Priceless. When I was little, we had this cocker spaniel, Skippy. When he parked he sometimes put his head so far back, he fell over. He was still with us when I started dating. My boyfriend used to call him, “Wheelie Dog.” He was such a sweetheart…

  6. Cindi Madsen says:

    We had a border collie with a big personality. He was our cow dog, and the worst thing that could happen was if we left him home instead of letting him go feed or chase cows. We’re also pretty attached to our kitty. My little guy hangs out with him all day & I call them my little Calvin & Hobbes. They’re quite the duo.

  7. Thank you for your story about Otis, Michelle. He clearly left his pawprints on your heart.

    I’m a cat person. A crazy cat lady, really. I’ve had twelve during the past twenty-four years. Not all at the same time!

    Each one was homeless or about to be when I adopted him or her. I love all of them. But only three still live with me in my home. The rest live in my heart.

    One of my furry children is Spartacus, a handsome golden tabby. I adopted him in 1999 when he was six weeks old. He’s still with me—and still active, and quite a character. If he could talk, he could honestly say, “I am Spartacus!”

    Good luck with the release of “Her Accidental Engagement”. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

    • I think all of those cats were very lucky to be rescued by you! Spartacus sounds like a real character – it’s so funny when pets live up to their names! Thanks for your comment and Happy Valentine’s Day!

  8. Jennie Marts says:

    Our first dog was a Samoyed named Mishka. She was the most gorgeous dog and our first baby. Soo excited for your new release! Can’t wait to read it!

  9. Michelle, I loved hearing about Otis! What a sweet puppy. Animals do complete our families, don’t they? The only time I’ve ever been without an animal in my life was when I was going to college. My brother was moving to go away to school and showed up at my apartment one day with the cutest little tiger kitten. He said he’d gotten it to watch over me while he was away. I named the cat Dexter. He way my baby, and he really didn’t like anyone else but me. He put up with my husband (Dex and I were a package deal) and tolerated our daughter after she was born. I have this funny picture of my daughter holding him when she was a toddler. She’d captured him and he has this resigned look on his face, but you can clearly see he was not a happy camper. But he obviously knew better than to misbehave. He lived to be eighteen years old. To this day, when we talk about Dexter, someone always ends up saying, “He was kind of a nasty cat, wasn’t he?” I always defend him, “But he loved me.” :)

    • Sounds like Dexter was awesome. What a great brother move to bring you a kitten – that is really sweet. I have to say it’s kind of special when one pet loves you best of all! :-)

  10. Lori says:

    In September of 2013, I lost my “little girl”. She was a Westie and her name was Blithe. I had her since she was a puppy. For the last 4 1/2 years of her life she was a diabetic. I gave gave her insulin twice a day. The last year of her life, she was putting my sister’s female Doberman in her place. It was funny to see my dog who was not even 20 lbs speaking her mind to this 80+ lbs overgrown dog.

    • Hi Lori – I love when little dogs have ‘big’ personalities! It sounds like you were very devoted to Blithe – I’m sure she’ll always have a special place in your heart.

  11. Jodi says:

    Furkids are so special. Can’t wait to read about Casper, especially now that I know he’s fashioned after a special ‘real’ furkid.
    We have our Sadie, a lab/golden mix rescue dog, who is a three pound dog in a 70 pound body. She is a big couch potato of love and we wouldn’t have her any other way.

  12. Jane Squires says:

    Nice – maybe I’ll find me a puppy for my birthday next month. I got to get one – just been putting it off.

  13. Anne Eliot says:

    Michelle,
    Otis has my heart forever!! aww. Amazing post and because I’m a day late, amazing replies. So great to read about all the pets others have. That hamster story was so cute. I love how we love our crazy pets. We are all being ruled by a 14 pound trouble maker named Pico over here. Thanks for sharing your stories.

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