Anne McAllister is hard at work. She is looking for inspiration – among the four-footed family in her life.
It seems fitting, after a Male on Monday, to have a celebration of a female on Tuesday – particularly this female. She came into our lives ten years ago last week from an animal shelter in Montana. She came unexpectedly because life, we had learned is full of unexpectedness. Some good. Some not so.
She came because one of my sons had recently nearly died, and not many months before that, his beloved dog. Belle, had actually done so. My other son’s girlfriend decided a new dog -- someone to focus on == would be a good thing for him.
And so they adopted Star.
Star was nothing like Belle. Well, she had four-feet. But that was about it. She was not an easy dog. She didn’t like being left in the truck where she could see him. She made quick work of the roof liner to let him know. She didn’t like loud noises or firecrackers anywhere in the county. She had a habit of taking off and disappearing faster than you could say her name if she heard one. She was heedless and intrepid and opinionated. She drove her intended new ‘owner’ to distraction.
And for the past ten years she has enriched his life. She became his first child. He and his girlfriend – now his wife – didn’t really expect her to be theirs. But, as we all know, life’s like that.
Star was certainly like that.
She made life a challenge – and a joy. She was always game for a hike or a swim or to climb a mountain or to shepherd a small boy up a hill or across a bridge or to the top of a summit. She loved going fishing, supervising the journey from her spot in the canoe. She loved lying in the sun and surveying her domain. Nothing much got her down. She even underwent reconstructive knee surgery at the age of nine, nearly four years ago, after which she climbed more mountains and forded more rivers. – her idea, no doubt, of heaven. Whatever is on the other side of the rainbow bridge, she’s definitely commandeered the mountains and rivers part of it.
She never did learn to love thunderstorms – or firecrackers. She always had her own ideas about the way things ought to be done. She had lessons to teach them that have made them wonderful parents. She did some ‘parenting’ of her own – that’s her trotting down the road in the picture at the top, keeping an eye on her ‘brother.’ She did that. After all, he might be going somewhere interesting, some place she’d like to see for herself. She has provided us all with hundreds of “Star stories” that will make us smile for the rest of our lives.
And for ten years she was part of our lives. Now we hold her forever in our hearts.
Personally, I think my heroine needs a Star in her life. Something unexpected to brighten it up. I think my hero might know that.
Anne’s upcoming book, Breaking the Greek’s Rules, will be out in December as a Mills & Boon Modern. If it sees the light of day as a Presents remains to be seen, as scheduling has currently dropped it – and lots of others’ wonderful books, through the crack. But you can check bookdepository.com (or .co.uk) if you so desire. There’s a dog in it. But not Star.