Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, particularly the ones who pet dogs!
There were days when Yalu had a very important job. She made sure everyone was up and ready to pet her inside the Puppy Palace. In order to pet her, people had to be awake because it’s much easier to pet a cute brown dog when you are awake than when you are asleep—we’ve tried sleep petting, it doesn’t work unless you are a cute brown dog.
Making sure DiMamma and Daddy, Daddy, Daddy were up was easy because Yalu slept with the parents on their bed—rumor had it that a little brown dog, who shall remain cute, would wake up Daddy, Daddy, Daddy at three in the morning for special nighttime petties—but that’s a story for another time.
Usually, Yalu used her nose to open doors—since she didn’t have important people thumbs, a nose certainly did help. Sometimes, Yalu encountered closed doors that required doggy diplomacy to overcome. When a closed door blocked where she wanted to go, Yalu would knock with a scratch of her paw upon the frame and sometimes add a polite “I would like the door opened, please” bark. When that failed, the puppy diplomacy deepened.
I lived on the second floor so when Yalu would used her nose, knock, or give a polite bark, I heard her could open my door for her all important petties. The same was not the case for Honey-Honey. She lived another floor up in the loft and sometimes would not hear the puppy knocks or her polite barks. For Yalu, that could only mean problems—the biggest involved her not getting Honey-Honey petties.
When Yalu entered my room and jumped on my bed, we would discuss her concerns during her petting sessions. Her jumping off the bed, running to the door, looking at me, and then jumping back on my bed indicated that we needed to leave my bedroom and check on Honey-Honey.
Since I had thumbs, I could open the door to Honey-Honey’s room. On the way up to the loft, I would let Yalu know that the Honey-Honey might be asleep and that we might have to wake her up. Good thing I sent a puppy up there first because Honey-Honey without her morning coffee is well … not awake and what she needed was a cute brown dog substitute for her morning cup of Joe. Fortunately, we had one of those.
With everyone now awake and morning puppy petties completed, we could move on to more important issues such as mid morning petties, followed by the late morning puppy petties, then the noon petties, early afternoon petties, followed by the very important mid afternoon petties that led to the early evening petties because the best petties in the world were the ones that happen that instant.
There was a status report from the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. My entry has been processed and the hardcover copy of Yalu and the Puppy Room that was sent to Writer’s Digest has been forwarded to the judges—it’s nice to know that my book made it to Cincinnati. Ohio and that it was worthy of going before a committee for further review.
The email went on to say that the winners will be notified by October 14th, 2013 so I’m gathering there will be a phone call for the top entries. The winners’ names will be made public in the March 2014 issue of Writer’s Digest and will be listed on the Writer’s Digest web site the following month. Judge’s commentaries will be forwarded to the publication of the March 2014 issue. I’m guessing that everyone who entered will receive commentary that can be counted as a review.
The non-winners will receive email after that date to confirm the competition has ended. However, and this is big, if I haven’t been contacted by October 14th, “then you did not win and it is not necessary to email the competition office to inquire.” Translation: if you don’t hear from us, better luck next time.
The good news is that I’m in the running with the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Since I live in Las Vegas where the number twenty-one is supposed to be lucky, I’ll take that as a good sign of future events.
Happy Mother’s Day to one and all!
This past weekend was the Best in Show sponsored by the Animal Foundation of Las Vegas. Saturday was the Best in Show Campus Adoption Day and Vendor Fair at the shelter located on 655 N. Mojave Road in Las Vegas. The event went from 11 am to 4 pm.
Saturday’s event was outside and did I bring a tent? No. Did I bring a cap? No. Was it hot? Yep. What I did bring was plenty of ice water in a large jug that promptly melted (the ice, not the jug) during the course of the day—I did find more water. I also brought sun block and applied it four times to my exposed skin. My sister Lori would be so proud because I didn’t turn into a lobster. On Saturday, I met some venders, traded ideas, and sold three books. I also meet a few of the four legged stars of the show such as Lux, a very friendly one year old male Labrador Retriever.
Sunday was Best in Show at the Orleans Arena. It was inside and the air conditioning at the Orleans worked. I met more venders, got more ideas, and sold seven books for a total of ten over the weekend.
I smile because ten books were better than no books and I will withhold comment on what I paid for the booth because after all, it was for a good cause. What I wanted to do was read before the crowd and have the pictures of my book show up on the large widescreen television sets. That didn’t turn out to be possible.
Thirty-one abandoned dogs, including Lux, did found a home by the time the show ended. More than enough people bid for a pet or an item and for the first time in a long time, all the dogs present were the center of attention, and most now have new lives with families eager to pour out their love.
Earlier this week, I was in a waiting room where I had the pleasure of meeting Destiny. She was about seven or eight and quite bored in having to wait for her dad. She explored the reception area and happened to end up next to me. I stopped reading the book I had brought with me and I fluttered my fingers at her. That sparked a big old smile from my visitor.
Right off the bat, I realized old Destiny needed not only a gift, but a surprise so I gave her my Yalu bookmark. Like all kids, she loved the three strings I had looped through a hole at the top of the bookmark and asked about the doggie in the picture.
“Why that’s Yalu.”
“Yellow,” was her response.
“No, Yalu, it’s a name you can howl. Try it.”
She did and a few people nearby looked our way.
I told her Yalu was the main character in a book I had written.
Shame on me for not having a book handy, but I did have internet reception so I showed Destiny my webpage, www.yaluthepuppydog.com (hey, gotta plug the webpage and book whenever possible) and brought up the audio version of me reading Yalu and the Puppy Room.
For eight minutes and fifty-eight seconds, I entertained a bored little girl with a story. Made me wonder if that’s how Hans Christian Anderson spent his days in Denmark. Well, that’s how Danny Kaye seemed to have portrayed the storyteller in the 1952 movie and like the great story teller, I too entertained someone with a tale near and dear to me.
Happy birthday Yalu.
Thank you for bringing so much joy into not only my life, but the lives of those around you. One look, one smile, one wag of the tail ignites a spark that brings so much happiness to my heart. You have always been the brightest part of everyday.
For those lucky enough to have a Golden Retriever, you are truly blessed. Golden Retrievers are convinced they are the center of your universe and if you ever come home mad, then you must be mad at them. Their response is to run up to you, find out what’s wrong, and cuddle until all is well in your world.