Ladies And Gentlemen, I’d Like To Introduce … Trotsky

IMG_6505Now don’t be confused, this little guy pictured to the right is not related to Leon, the Russian Marxist. He’s an eight-week-old black, male Labrador/Golden Retriever mix puppy, whose name just happens to be the same as the Russian theorist. I picked him up today at Canine Companions for Independence, and this cute little puppy will live with my family for the next eighteen months.

During that time, we will train him in the basic commands to become an assistance dog for someone who has a physical disability. But more importantly, we will socialize him to surroundings that he may encounter in his life as an assistance dog. This will entail taking Trotsky to restaurants and hotels, letting him ride on busses, trains, airplanes, and even boats, going up and down on elevators, plus going to department and grocery stores; every conceivable place his recipient would possibly go,

My family and I have been training service dogs for over five years now, and we love every minute of it. There are times when we lower our heads and sigh, and then clean up the mess, but that is no different than any regular puppy. But when you see what these dogs will ultimately do for a disabled person, it would astound you.

After the eighteen months he lives with us, he will then go off and be trained by professionals at Canine Companions, who will work with him for six more months in the commands specific to a person they feel he is best suited to assist. When you see these dogs at graduation, and the love the recipient has already developed for the dog after only being with it during a two-week training period at the end of the six-month professional training, it brings tears to your eyes. And believe me, Canine Companions definitely knows that’s what brings all us puppy raisers back to raise and train another dog. And we all willingly do it in order to help this wonderful organization provide someone in need of such care and love from a dog, no matter how many tears we shed when we have to turn them in.

Look Who’s Getting All The Attention!

Unrelenting_Nightmare_CoverYou know, many people have told me how much they liked reading Unrelenting Nightmare, the novel I released at the beginning of the year. And since the time my publicity campaign started in March, I’ve done three interviews, have written two articles, and have another two requests for interviews, plus another one that I am not able to attend on the East coast. But before you congratulate me, I must confess that the majority of these opportunities came about because of my dog, Tawny, and also since I raise and train assistance dogs.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Tawny, who has even been at book signings with me. I also thoroughly enjoy volunteering to raise and train puppies to help those in need of assistance dogs. But come on, where’s the appreciation for my fine writing skills? Now two of the interviews did pertain to my book and me being an author, but all the others, plus the two articles I wrote, were related to my raising and training … Hey, wait a minute! Does that mean my publicist is having a difficult time promoting my fine written works and suspenseful plots? Or could it be … well, I mean, is it possible that my book is not as good as I … No, no, that couldn’t be true, could it?

All kidding aside, every interview I’ve done has been a pleasure. I love taking about dogs and especially to people who love dogs as much as I do. As I often say, “Dogs are the best people in the world.” Tawny is at my side right now, looking at me through her dark brown eyes, with a soft, chewy doggy soccer ball in her mouth, begging me to throw it, so she can go get it, so I can throw it again. I tell you, it’s the most fun game in the world, at least from her perspective. For me, well, I seem to get a little tired of throwing a soccer ball after about ten minutes. And when I’m writing, as I am right now, my attention is not drawn to such antics. But her dark brown eyes are still looking at me, begging me to quit this silly game of typing — which I always seem to be doing — and instead play “fetch the ball”.

Okay, I just told her I’ll throw the ball as soon as I get done with this blog, so I had better hurry up, or my life may be in peril. Anyway, I have enjoyed the entire process of marketing and promoting my book, and have indeed received both written and verbal positive comments about my book. As a writer, I know we all love to hear people tell us how much they enjoyed reading our work. It’s that kind of feedback that brings us back to the computer, and pushes us to create that next great novel brewing in the depths of our minds.

It’s an unbelievable experience to write a book, assuming you have the passion to do so. It can also be a physical reward — to hold a bound covered book in your hands that only a short while ago was nothing more than an idea in your head, or maybe your heart if you write romance novels. The pleasure of writing has been a great adventure for me, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. If you have not read my novel Unrelenting Nightmare, then please do. I feel confident you’ll enjoy it, assuming you like suspense novels. Interesting, though, the other day I received an e-mail from a woman who admitted that she didn’t care for suspense novels, especially ones involving assassins, but really enjoyed my book. So if you’d like a  suspense novel, where the antagonist is one extreme ruthless assassin, look no further than the Available Novels page of my website where you can order a copy of my book.

Oops, the dark eyes are still locked onto me, so I better go.

Thanks for visiting.