Sunday, October 05, 2014

Pets and Their Author: Doggy Swimming Lessons by Melinda Curtis

Harlequin Heartwarming  author Melinda Curtis explains why she and her dog Tally swim together!
I admit it. I’ve become one of those dog-loving ladies. You know the type. They carry their dog in their purses or drive with the dog sitting on their shoulders or only share pictures of their dogs on Facebook.

Now, before you scoff at me, I don’t think I’ve gone that far over the deep end. However, we’re empty nesters now, and I work at home. The house was really quiet. So I brought home a puppy – a small dog when Mr. Curtis and I have had nothing but large dogs for 30 years. At first, Tally was afraid of everything. Translation: she yapped at everything. In desperation, I called the dog whisperer. Trainer Tom used to train dogs for the military. Now he works with people like me who want the “perfect dog.”

How is a perfect dog possible? It’s not. What Trainer Tom strives for are confident dogs and relaxed owners. What does that mean? It means we regularly go on pack walks around the local university (20 or so dog owners). We attend obedience classes. We have homework assignments (like taking our dogs to Home Depot). We visit veterinary clinics and go to outdoor events. Ever taken your dog to the farm tractor show? I have (and I’m not a farmer).
So it should have come as no surprise when Trainer Tom said we were going to have swimming lessons. Granted, we live in California. We have a pool and our 14-year old Lab (who is otherwise a slug) swims in it more than we do. Tally would not swim. At our first swim class, we were paired with a Rottweiler. We were taught how to “encourage” a dog into the pool, how to teach them to swim (much like you’d teach a toddler), and how to teach them to get out (the most important part). Our second class was a few weeks ago (while it was still warm outside).  Tally literally swam circles around Trainer Tom.

Am I nuts?  Maybe.  But Tally doesn’t bark at every grocery bag I bring in the house now.  I can take her into public places without her being a yappy, nerve-wracked pip-squeak.

Have you ever gone a little nutty over an animal or known someone that did? I’d love to hear about it.
Melinda’s latest release is The Christmas Promise, a romantic comedy novella described as a cross between Runaway Bride and Romancing the Stone. It’s available in the Sweet Christmas Kisses anthology for 99 cents and can be found on Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo.


Readers of the Pink Heart Society blog will be sent a FREE sweet, romantic comedy novella set within the Hollywood Rules world by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter. Link:

Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today recommended, Amazon best selling author.  She writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line (book 4 coming 3/2015). Brenda Novak says: Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”.  Melinda also writes independently published, steamy and fun romances as Mel Curtis (a new novella out 10/22). Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.” 

Find out more about Mel at her website, on Facebook and Twitter or on Pinterest!


  1. I love this! We've talked (for years) about getting a dog, but it hasn't happened yet.

    1. I love animals of all sorts (having been raised on a sheep ranch in remote Sonoma County, CA. Just don't think any animal will be perfect without you devoting some work.

  2. Thanks to the PHS for having me today! And let me be clear - Tally has a small carrier that sits on the center console when we drive. She doesn't ride on my shoulders! (My mother - when she had a dog and a license - was more like that)

    1. Thank YOU for writing for us! I love the piece and I also absolutely ADORE your Harmony Valley series and have them all on my Kindle. :)

  3. I always go nutty over other people's dogs - especially the big ones (even though I grew up with smaller ones). My husband was allergic for decades but recently found a medication that works really well. As a result, we now dog sit for friends. We can't afford vet bills/food so this is a nice second option.
    We had a St. Bernard living with the neighbours living way behind us. I used to climb over (or sometimes roll under) our metal mesh fence to go visit "Riley" (with the owners' permission), sharing a treat or two, but basically be slobbered over, with so much love (from both of us). Riley moved 17 hours away last April and I miss him tremendously. It's just not the same seeing pictures on FB. My daughter once Skyped them. Riley could hear her voice and barked and barked and barked, but he couldn't see my daughter on the monitor. Bummer, as I'd like to connect that way too....