No dogs allowed!

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

We have a new addition to our family. Her name is Patty and our lives have changed.ppose

We have awesome friends in our little area on the lake in the campground where we have our permanent site. We spend a lot of time with our next-door neighbors and have gotten to know the whole family and they ours.


Tom and Christine (the neighbors) have a Shih Tzu named Gigi. She’s a beautiful blonde and she knows it. They also adopted a male Shih Tzu (Brutus) at the animal shelter who was abused and very afraid of people. Brutus is black and pbrutus2gray.

The first time they brought them to the lake, Gigi came running over to make friends with Ralph and me but Brutus stayed on his own porch and had none of the bouncy personality of the other dog. It got so that when we pulled in the drive (which we share with Tom and Christine) Gigi would stand impatiently on her porch waiting to race to one or the other of us for a hug and some kisses.

Last summer we enjoyed our lake lot and our friends. As we visited with Tom and Christine one afternoon, Tom said “I think Gigi may be pregnant but I’m not sure yet. She’s only had one litter of pups and they all died except one.” A month or so and the pregnancy became obvious. We all pampered and coddled the new mother-to-be and she flourished. Christine mentioned one day “Wouldn’t you like to have a dog? Tom and I will give you a pick of the puppies as a gift.” The puppies are purebred but have no papers due to a problem with Brutus’s former owners. Ralph and I quickly replied in unison “NO. We don’t want a puppy, but thank you so much for thinking of us. We’re on disability, retired, can come and go as we please and don’t want the responsibility of a dog.”

This went on all summer into the fall, when the puppies were born on September 17. Tom and Christine brought the puppies to the camper for a weekend when they were all old enough and we all had fun watching their antics and laughing at the roly-poly pups, that all looked just like their mom.

pfamily pic

Left to right – Sister Sally, Father Brutus, Mother Gigi and Patty

There were five little puppies and were they ever cute! Of course, again we were offered the pick of the litter and again we said no. One day we got a call from our friends in the winter and they wanted to stop by for a visit while Ralph was ill. They live about an hour from us and we were excited to see them. They brought only one puppy with them that day, the runt of the litter named Patty. Ralph loved having her on his lap and petting her. We had a great visit with our friends and again said no when they asked if we’d like to keep her.

During the winter three of the pups were purchased. Patty and her sister Sally remained with Gigi and Brutus. Soon it was spring and time to open up the campers again and one weekend Tom and Christine left the dogs home with their daughter. They came over to chat and asked again if we’d like one of the remaining puppies. They loved both Patty and Sally but had grown especially fond of Sally, even though she was a barker and Patty was the quiet one. We said no, but this time when we came home we really talked about the pros and cons of owning a dog.

I’ve never liked lap dogs and have always had a bigger dog. Ralph has had two lap dogs and really enjoyed them. We wavered back and forth and finally decided why not? Yes, we’re retired, but we pretty much stay home in the winter and are at the camper in the summer. These dogs are small and we could easily travel if we wanted to. We were told Patty was cage trained and loved the car. Against our better judgment we decided to try being dog parents. pyum

The weekend came for us to bring Patty home. By this time she was nine months old, had her shots, was almost potty trained and had a very sweet little disposition. We brought her home with lots of hugs from her birth family and shot records, dog food and the admonition to “bring her back to us if you decide she’s not for you.”

Tom and Christine were ecstatic that we decided to accept their generous offer and knew that we’d give her a good home. We got home the first night with our new baby and cuddled and got used to her. She’s a little sweetie who loves to sit on your lap and curl up to sleep. We bought her toys that she wasn’t too interested in at first but later grew to love.

That night we put Patty in her cage before we went to bed and were careful to see that she had a night light on, soft blankets and even a ticking clock for comfort. She started to cry but we ignored her, even when her little voice barked a few times and she clawed at the closed door. We tried, and failed miserably, to wait it out. She was much happier with her new place to sleep on the foot of our bed. We figured it would help her since it was her first night with us. The next day we settled in with our new baby and had fun learning her

pdadsleepneckpersonality and watching her antics with the toys. Later I found out from Christine that none of the dogs played with toys (probably because they had each other). We love the way Patty sits on the floor and cocks her head to one side, as if she’s listening to a secret. As she got more used to the house she became bolder. We normally keep all doors open or slightly

open but she found out that she could push the door and get in the room.

We’ve had to learn to watch Patty’s signs that she wants to go outside. First she comes to Ralph and stands on her hind legs with her front paws on his knee. Then she goes to the door, but doesn’t bark or do anything else to flag our attention. She’s only had a couple of accidents and they were at the door and she had warned us but we didn’t pay attention.

This little imp has become the focal point in our home. She makes us laugh all the time and Ralph took over total care of getting her outside and seeing that her food and water are full. She likes me and gives me kisses, but it’s Ralph who is her sugar daddy. She loves to sleep on his lap. Ralph gets up at night with her to take her out and then the two of them cozy up on his recliner and sleep the rest of the night there. I come in the room in the morning and they are both asleep and comfortable.


Patty loves the car and gets very excited when she realizes we’re going somewhere. She is a great traveler but really wants to ride in Ralph’s lap while he drives. She’s happy in mine, though. When we can’t take her we put her in the cage and she settles down nicely. We learned from Tom and Christine that they put all the dogs in a cage together. No wonder Patty was terrified the first night in the cage alone. (She still sleeps at the foot of our bed though).

Have our lives changed? Definitely. Are we sorry? No way. She has brought love, laughter and excitement into our house. She is going to be spayed next month and we’re already anticipating with dread the day and night she’ll have to spend at the Vet’s while we stay home alone.

After her surgery I hope to feel well enough to begin training her. I’ve trained her to sit now but she has more to learn. My last dog trained easily and Patty is a smart little dog so I think I’ll have no problem. My hope is to train Patty and prepare her for visits to local nursing homes in the area. She’s so low-key and loving that I know the residents will love her as much as we do and it’s a way we can pay it forward. Gayle, I’ll probably have to ask you for advice since you’re the resident dog expert.

I don’t plan to write about Patty but I may put her in a book some day. All I want ptoysto do now is enjoy this little piece of fluff that we call “The Princess of Everything.” It’s amazing what a dog can do for someone who isn’t feeling well. Patty has gotten Ralph up and out of his chair after a long winter of illness and as soon as I got home from the hospital

she wanted to sit on my lap and give me kisses. She seemed to know how bad I felt. It was hard to keep her on my lap for long because of the pain I was suffering, but she made me feel so much better with her unconditional love.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that the Shih Tzu is called The Lion Dog?  Very appropriate, I think, since I’m a Leo with an August birthday!

I’ll stop raving on like a new grandparent but I hope you enjoy the pictures of our little sweetie and the ones of her sister Sally, her mother Gigi and Brutus, her father. Sometimes things you think you don’t want end up being a blessing. Our Patty is one of those things and we love our friends for giving her to us because they believed our home would be perfect for her. It is.

If you’d like more information on the Shih Tzu breed click here.

Here is a newspaper story about Pet Therapy in Nursing Homes

Programs for has information about free pet visits

In my writing career I have also said NO to things I thought would not be the best for one reason or another.  Have you?  I’d like to hear about it.


Books by L.Leander:



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Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders   INZARED bookcoverkindle







Inzared, The Fortune Teller Video Trailer



Inzared, The Fortune Teller (Book Two)   InzaredTheFortuneTeller_Feb19_1







13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing   13ext







13 Extreme Tips to Marketing an eBook   13marketingtipscover







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14 thoughts on “No dogs allowed!

  1. LInda,

    I am so happy for you and Ralph. Dog and cats can be such companions and bring such joy and love into your lives. May you both have many joyful years with Patty. You and she both deserve it. And you can talk about her whenever you want. Doris


    1. Thank you Doris. You’re right, it’s the companionship and unconditional love that make a pet good for any household. It just took us awhile to realize it, even though we’ve both had dogs and cats in the past. I can’t imagine not having this little scalawag now! And I can’t help talking about her.


  2. What a beautiful story, and so easy to relate to. I just read this out loud to Gayle as she followed along and to a fellow-writer as we meet at our place today. What a sweet little dog and am so glad she wormed her way into your heart! Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thank you Neva. She is really sweet and you can’t believe how much fun and joy she’s brought into our household. In the morning while we’re having breakfast she’s so funny. She minds her manners and doesn’t ask for table food, but she runs back and forth with one toy or another and we can hardly eat because we’re laughing at her antics.


  3. Oh, Linda, I LOVE, LOVE THIS!!! (I’m sure you knew I would!!) I’m so happy for you, Ralph, and Patty! You are welcome to check out my pet blog to learn more about dog care and such ( and I think getting Patty into the pet therapy is an EXCELLENT idea! In fact, my next blog post is going to be about pet therapy and service dogs. Your post made me laugh, smile, and just FEEL GOOD! Thank you, Linda!


    1. Somehow I knew you’d love this Gayle! I checked out your blog – can’t wait to read your posts. We feel that getting Patty into the pet therapy is a way we can give back. Both my husband and I are disabled and he loves to talk. I think taking Patty to the nursing homes will be fun for all of us. She loves everyone so that’s the first step, I think. I’m so very glad we finally said yes – we would have missed this little scamp and all the fun and unconditional love she has brought into our house. It’s been a good move for both Ralph and me, and Patty seems to be quite content. (I would be too if I was the Princess of Everything!


  4. I understand why you did not want a dog at first. I felt the same way. Although I might like a cat, after taking care of my partially paralyzed husband for six years, I am not ready to care for another living thing. I am glad it worked out well for you.

    Sent from my iPad



  5. Thanks Abbie. It is a responsibility and we thought long and hard about it before we finally decided to take a chance. We’re so glad we did. The nice thing about cats is that they are pretty self-sufficient and you can be away without too much worry. Patty travels well and is pretty little so she’ll be able to go along with us most of the time.


  6. After I lost my Great Dane and Pomeranian a few months apart, I did not want any other animals, ever. Then my husband decided to gift me my boxer. I instantly decided I would not like her, but of course you know I fell in love with her for nearly 10 years, she blessed me. So , of course, I never wanted another dog after her, and I think you all know the story behind Tootsie, our adorable little Carin Terrier. LOL Thanks for the smiles and the thoughts of yes I understand and YES, I understand. Patty is adorable and I’m glad she’s in your lives. Cher’ley


    1. One of my problems with adopting another dog, especially at this time in our lives, is that I had to put my last dog to sleep. Her name was Ginger and she was a Besenji Corgi mix. She was sweet, loved to play ball and took good care of me during my second back surgery by not leaving my side. Ginger had a lot of allergies that we had a hard time controlling and she was terrified of loud noises. I had to have her put to sleep in Mexico by a very caring vet when she was only six years old. She had developed thyroid disease that we couldn’t get controlled because she was allergic to the meds, and then she got diabetes. I still miss her and I cried for weeks after her loss. I think the idea of having another dog scared me because I remembered the pain and not the joy of owning a pet. I’m so glad I overcame that concern and we adopted Patty. She’ll never be Ginger. She doesn’t have to be. She’s Patty and I love her just the way she is.


  7. So glad you finally said yes to Patty and found a new friend, Linda. I have a couple of cats–no dogs–and one of them I had initially said no to. Now I’m glad I have her. They keep each other company when I’m not around.


    1. Thanks Stephanie. We are thankful every day that we finally gave in. Patty is a little scamp and we so enjoy her antics. I don’t think we’ve smiled this much for a long time. We just got back from the lake and our neighbors were up. Patty had a wonderful weekend with her parents and sister and we enjoyed time with our friends.


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