Monday, July 23, 2012

Male on Monday: The Dog lover plus giveaway from Shirley Jump

Harlequin Romance Author Shirley Jump explains why Her Male on Monday has to be a dog lover!

If there’s anything that can make a Monday better, it’s a Male on Monday blog post! Gives me something better to think about than the errands I have to run today and the laundry in the next room ;-)

            I got to write about three fantastic males for my summer trilogy featuring the McKenna brothers, three billionaires from Boston. The first, Finn, is the hero in ONE DAY TO FIND A HUSBAND. He’s an uptight CEO—the eldest McKenna—who is taken by surprise by a marriage of convenience to the outspoken, fun Ellie Winston. He’s as far from being in his comfort zone as possible, but he finds that by letting Ellie into his heart, he becomes a whole new man.

            He has a soft spot for dogs, though, and I think that’s what endeared him to me. I think you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats a dog. My own husband is a dog lover, and spoils our dogs mercilessly. He’s also been known to spoil the cats, so he’s an equal opportunity animal spoiler.

             But my best dog story about my husband is when we bought Sophie. After I wrote a book featuring a small dog that could do tricks (THE OTHER WIFE), I decided I wanted one, too. I searched and searched and found a place that had a couple of dogs I was interested. I talked my husband into going with me but he was DEAD SET against getting a third dog (at the time we had a Golden and a hyper mutt). I said I just wanted to hold the puppy, a little Havanese (they’re like Bichons), and he said fine, but NO WAY, NO HOW, were we getting a dog.

            I took the dog and sat in the little play area with her, and my husband looked over at me, and he said softly, “I haven’t seen you look that happy since your mother died.” (It had been a difficult year or so since I lost my mom). Then he turned to the guy who had brought us the dog, and said, “wrap her up. We’ll take the dog and anything it needs.”

            And that is how Sophie came into our lives :-) She’s sleeping on his lap as I write this, all curled up and spoiled. So when people ask me where I get the inspiration for my heroes, I always have the same answer—

            I live with that inspiration.

            Tell me, do you know a person with a soft spot for dogs or cats? Have a favorite pet story to share? If so, share it below. I’ll choose one commenter to receive a five-pack of Shirley Jump romances!

Shirley

You can read more about Shirely, her animals and books at her website www.shirleyjump.com

23 comments:

  1. The Story brought a tear to my eye, Shirley. Your man is a definate keeper.

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  2. I have a springer spaniel pup called Max (who forever wants mummy and daddy) and a very grumpy ginger cat called Jasper
    Jasper will look at the Max and cry at him to get his attention, then when max wanders over Jasper claws him it is funny but I think Jasper being a bit mean :)

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    1. We have a cat like that, then we rescued a kitten a couple weeks ago and now the dogs have a new playmate :-)

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  3. My husband and I are both animal lovers,too! I had a full size beagle, Ginger, growing up and always wanted another one some day. So when my husband's friend had one miniature beagle puppy left he offered her to us for free. My husband brought her home as a surprise and hid her in his jacket. When he walked in and unzipped his coat a bit, she poked her sweet little head out and stared straight at me. I stayed with her all that night, her first night away from her Mom and needless to say we bonded. Mandy is now 12 and the "doggie" love of my life!

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    1. Aw, that is such a cute story! When we got Max, our German short-haired pointer, we almost got a beagle puppy instead. Max just played and interacted with us more than the beagle did, but oh, that beagle was soooo cute.

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  4. The dog in my avatar "was" Austin. He was owned by a semi-retired couple living 3 hours away, and their daughter (my neighbour) used to dogsit Austin. The problem (the parents and I felt) was that the daughter and her family were away most of the daytime and nighttime hours, so Austin sat at the kitchen window looking out (sadly) when not sleepingm, plus he had to "hold it" for at least 8 hours at a time. I asked if I could dogsit him instead, as I work from home, and Austin prefers to be with people. Everyone instantly agreed, so I dogsat Austin probably a total of over 8 months in 3 years, until he died in May/11.
    Austin followed me everywhere and would wake up every 5-10 minutes just to make sure that I was still beside him. During his last year, I had to carry his butt up the steps because of his arthritic back legs (which is a common problem for golden retrievers) until he could no longer "help me", and then we wrapped him in a blanket so that two of us adults could carry him up the steps to the bedroom for sleeping.
    I still miss him every day.

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    1. Poor little guy! Our Golden got like that towards the end of her life. It was so hard to see, and she was such an amazing dog (she's still the best dog we ever owned). Hugs on the loss of Austin.

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    2. Shirley,
      I had two dogs while growing up, but I tell you, this Austin is BY FAR the smartest dog I have ever known. He only barked when I wouldn't do what he wanted me to do (like let him out because I was busy) - and then he'd first pace back and forth between me and the door, eventually sitting at the doorway, sniffing his leash, and letting out one bark. I could also tell by his eyes and the position of his head what he was trying to tell me ("Leave me alone!" or "Am I really your pillow?" or "If I could just get this blanket up over my fur, I'd be happier" or the usuals re going out. One time he went to the back door at an unusual time, after he'd just been out. I thought it odd, but hey, he knows best. Sure enough, he got well away from the house, out in the middle of the grass, and he was sick. What a sweetheart not barfing in our house! Yup, he was as smart as they get. I've heard that most goldens are.
      Interesting fact about Austin: he was training as a puppy to be a guide dog, but he was "fired" because he was "too friendly". During his almost 14 years, he became known as "Mr. Meet and Greet", as apparently he liked to say hi to all humans and animals alike - all without barking.
      Have I mentioned I miss him? (grin)

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    3. Aw, fired for being too friendly? Sounds like a total sweetie. No wonder you miss him!

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  5. Great story, Shirley, and so are everyone else's. Don't put me in the giveaway--I already won (and enjoyed) one of yours this year and have many of the others!

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  6. That really is a nice story....

    I have a husband/pet story for you. It was a Wednesday morning in Houston, TX. My husband and I were both working from home that day. He took the trash out and came back in and told me that the maintenance guy was walking around with a little kitten, trying to find it's mother. I say, well that's great, now the mother isn't going to touch the kitten, since his scent is all over it. Hubby goes back out to see what happened and I put a bagel in the toaster.

    Next thing I know, my husband comes running into the house and says, "he just left the kitten by the trash dumpster. We have to take it to the vet, so they can take care of it." I'm looking at him like what. He tells me that I have take the kitten, because it's about 30 minutes before he has to start working. I have NEVER gotten dressed so fast in my life. He asked if I knew where the vet was, I said yes. I really had NO ideal.

    He puts the kitten in a small box from our garage, with a baby blanket. I rush to the vets. It starts to rain, I started to cry. I still couldn't find the vet's office. I finally find it and I rush in. The lady at the counter, very calmly tells me that I have a female kitten who looks to be a day old and what I need to do for her. I looked at her, like she was crazy. I try telling her that we were dog people and we didn't do cats. Needless to say, I end up leaving with a box of kitten formula and a small bottle.

    I get home, after only being gone for 15 minutes. My husband meets me outside of the garage. He's thinking to himself, "Great. I made her take this kitten and it's died on her. What am I going to do now?"

    He named her Angel. I had to feed her every three hours. When I was at work, he would feed her and weigh her for me. When Angel finally opened her eyes, my husband was the first person she saw.

    We weren't cat people, be we both became Angel people, the minute we held her in our palms. Now almost five years later, my husband is STILL Angel's first love. She lays in his lap every chance she gets. But she still sucks on my finger to go to sleep at night.

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    1. Aw, that is such a sweet story!!!! What a wonderful sounding cat. :-) And a great DH, too!!!

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  7. My dog Gracie is the other woman. She is 3/4 lab and 1/4 rottweiler. She is in love with my husband. When we stand hugging, she always noses her way between us and tries to speak. I swear she says "I wov you" to my husband. Just imagine Scooby Doo saying I love you, and that is exactly what she sounds like.

    I can't complain too much, she likes to run with him and I don't have to.

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    1. Too funny! Max, which is my husband's German short-haired pointer mix, is so emotionally attached to him that every time he goes on a business trip, the dog has to be put on meds because he has seizures. He saw DH loading my suitcase in the car a few weeks ago, and thought DH was leaving for a trip, and started having a seizure right then and there. Silly needy dog :-)

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  8. That is the most precious photo of your princess in pink! And what a sweet story.

    I once took the kids shopping for a guinea pig, and we promptly fell in love with a puppy (it was pet adoption day at Petco). I called hubby to ask if we could bring another dog home--that wasn't something we could spring on him! And he surprisingly agreed. Of course, he did so with the stipulation that the kids do ALL of the dog care. :) He still reminds us of that fact when the dog comes to the door with muddy paws. :)

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  9. LOL. My kids have made many "we'll do all the care" promises, and the animals end up being under our care instead. :-)

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  10. I'm a cat person myself. When I was younger my dad was set against getting a cat. I heard from a friend that she had a litter of kittens and of course I had to go and look at them. Dad wasn't happy but after more begging he agreed that I could take 1 as long as I took care of everything. I came home with 2 kittens (how can you stick to just one) and at first dad wanted nothing to do with them. But they warmed to him and he to them quickly, even to the point of them sleeping in dad's lap, or sitting on his shoulder. They really loved my father and I remember fondly him saying to them that they were little angels send to give us joy. Still makes my heart melt thinking about it now so many years later.

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  11. I just realized (okay, I AM a blonde!) that I forgot to pick a winner for the five-pack of books. Drumroll...

    Kim M. Please email me your address! shirley@shirleyjump.com

    Congrats!
    Shirley

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