Lovable Dogs and Cats, Shelter #Pets by Debbie Burns
Shelter pets are close to my heart. Over the years, I’ve volunteered and worked for several animal-related non-profits, including a few animal shelters. Like Kelsey, the heroine and lead adoption coordinator in Sit, Stay, Love, I have firsthand experience with the challenge of deciding which dog to take home from the shelter when it’s clear every animal there is due a loving forever home.
Fortunately, my kids have helped make these decisions easier for me. Hazel, our now 8-year-old Border Collie mix, stood out from her littermates because she had a distinctive x-marked scar on her forehead. Hazel was one of thirteen young puppies found in a trash bag on the side of the road. Fortunately, a concerned driver noticed the bag and stopped to investigate. Not only did he get the puppies to a shelter, he ended up adopting one of his own. When my then 9-year-old daughter learned Hazel had been passed over several times because of that scar, well, she wouldn’t put Hazel down. We took her home that night and Hazel’s been a member of our family ever since.
Several years later, my kids wanted to foster a puppy (or series of puppies) over the summer. We connected with a small rescue and on our second night of fostering, it was already clear that then-8-week-old Nala was fast becoming a member of our family. At the time, she was weak and undernourished from having been turned into a high-kill animal pound at only 4 weeks of age. At first it was difficult to get her to eat, but once she started and her energy picked up, she perked up incredibly. Nala, now almost two, has turned out to be such a character. She’s stubborn, curious, extremely playful and energetic, and just plain loveable. She also has zero fear of heights and naps like a panther on the back of the couch.
My family’s other animal is a four-year-old Maine Coon/tabby mix cat named Owen. Owen is from my cousin’s country farm. He’s my first experience with Maine Coon cats, but hopefully not my last. Owen’s often described by visitors as dog-like (large, friendly, long tail, and big paws). He’s also fearless, curious, and highly social. He follows us on walks even without a leash (something the dogs are never happy about). Owen is also my inspiration behind Mr. Longtail, the Maine Coon featured in Sit, Stay, Love. Like Mr. Longtail, Owen holds his own with dogs of all sizes and doesn’t mind strangers, though he does play favorites with his family.
Sit, Stay, Love - Rescue Me, #2
These dogs aren't the only ones in need of rescue
For devoted no-kill shelter worker Kelsey Sutton, rehabbing a group of rescue dogs is a welcome challenge. Working with a sexy ex-military dog handler who needs some TLC himself? That's a different story.
Kurt Crawford keeps his heart locked away from everyone. Well, everyone except the dogs who need his help...and always have his back. But as Kurt gets to know the compassionate, beautiful woman he's been assigned to work with, he can't help but feel a little puppy love...
This giveaway is now over. The winner has been posted in the comments.
Debbie lives in Saint Louis with her family, two phenomenal rescue dogs, and a somewhat tetchy Maine Coon cat who everyone loves anyway. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening and daydreaming, which of course always leads to new story ideas.
A New Leash on Love, Debbie’s first contemporary romance, has finaled in multiple contests. Her writing commendations include first-place awards for short stories, flash fiction, and longer selections from the Missouri RWA and the Missouri Writers Guild.