It’s a Dog’s World–Book and Dog Toy Giveaway


When two people share the same dog, there’s bound to be trouble

The Twelve Brides of Summer collection has just been released. My story The Dog Days of Summer Bride features a cow dog, which is just another name for a herding dog. I’ve always loved border collies so that was my breed of choice. Since the dog in my story has the annoying habit of disappearing every week for a couple of days, the independent nature of these dogs was a trait that served me well. His herding instincts also made him the perfect matchmaker. I mean, if a dog can herd sheep and cattle, he can bring people together, right?  Here’s a short blurb:

Music teacher Marilee Davis and blacksmith Jed Colbert don’t realize they’ve been sharing the same dog until…it digs up a stash of stolen loot.  The reward will go to the dog’s owner—if only that can be determined.

Border collies have an interesting history. In the 19th century a Northumberland man created the ideal herding dog by combining several breeds.  TMozarthis particular dog was especially  suited to herding sheep along the border dividing Scotland and England, which is how it got its name.  Collie is a Scottish dialect word to describe herding dogs.

Scottish sheepherders immigrating to America brought their border collies with them.  Some of these same sheepherders were lured west during the California gold rush, dogs by their side.  It didn’t take long for cattlemen to note the value of these black and white dogs and this led to a whole new way of herding.

A good cow dog can do the work of seven cowboys. (Today workers are replaced by machines and robots; back then it was dogs.) By the end of the nineteenth century, border collies and Australian cattle dogs were a familiar sight on every working ranch and cattle drive.

The dog in my story has the annoying habit of disappearing each week.  Tell us about a habit (annoying or endearing) that your dog or a dog you know has, and you could win a copy of The Twelve Brides of Summer and a dog toy made by yours truly.  (Note Giveaway Guidelines apply.)


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47 thoughts on “It’s a Dog’s World–Book and Dog Toy Giveaway”

  1. Though we weren’t farmers, I grew up in the middle of farming country with our two dogs, a fox terrier and a border collie. The fox terrier would occasionally wander about a mile away to a local ice cream shop who called us and then fed her a cone while we were on the way to get her. She was a true terrier though chasing undesirable farm critters, so our border collie–not having anything to herd–followed the terrier’s lead in work duties although too kind to hurt anything. Nonetheless, we figured she got the same A for effort the terrier did and accordingly they got equal treats for jobs well done. Both lived into their high teens. The terrier was oldest, a pup when I was just a year old, so I can’t remember my childhood without those two faithful, fun companions.

  2. We have a wonderful, happy poodle named Pooh Bear. He literally smiles all the time and is the happiest dog I have ever had. The thing he does that we are trying to break him of is jumping. He loves to run and jump wherever he is. He will run down the hall, turn around, run and jump on the couch bouncing off the back cushions and jump down and do it all over again.

    Cindy W.

  3. My dog used to steal our food when we first got her. We were her third owner and she needed some training. After training, she would wait until your back was turned.

  4. I’ve loved Margaret’s story in The 12 Brides of Summer. It truly was laugh out loud funny.

    My wonderful dog Suzie went blind suddenly a few years ago. She was truly good natured about it, and her nose worked overtime to compensate. She died after a final walk around the lake and we miss her.

    A good dog is such a pleasure.

    Here’s a little more about Margaret and her Dog Days of Summer Bride:

    • Hi Michelle, you do know that people will think I paid you to say something nice about my story, don’t you?

      For those of you who might not know, Michelle Ule’s wonderful story The Sunbonnet Bride is part of the collection I’m giving away.The way the town came together following a devastating tornado is pure magic.

      I agree, a good dog is a pleasure!

  5. Running a pet rescue has certainly taken a bite out of my writing, but you can’t beat the rewards. Five weeks ago a man brought in 6 very large puppies and said he’d found them in Sand Canyon. Luckily we had a foster who could take them. Two days later the same man brought 2 more pups and said they were of the same litter. He couldn’t catch the mom but we have people on the look-out for her because we don’t want her to have more puppies. Anyway, the foster mom wowed all of us by teaching these monster pups to use a littler box to potty. It was a big litter box, a storage container actually, and it took some of the pups a couple of tries before they figured out that the back end needed to go inside the box, but puppy shoppers couldn’t believe it when they saw these 30# babies do their duty in the box. All 8 pups found forever homes in one month. Of course all were spayed or neutered first, vaccinated and microchipped. This was the best and smartest litter yet and we’ve had a lot of them.

    • Hi Chelley, those dogs really do sound smart. I’m sure they’re making a lot of families very happy.

      BTW: I recently had the pleasure of visiting Chelley’s Rescued Treasures resale store and pet rescue. The store benefits the Have a Heart Humane Society. If you’re ever in Tehachapi,California be sure to stop by and say hello.

  6. We just bought a 5 month puppy for my daughter who is having anxiety problems. We named her Heidi. I do not have many stories about her yet. Although, she is fun and has kept us entertained.

    • Hi Mary, you write some pretty funny stuff yourself!

      For those of you who don’t know, Mary’s story A Brides Rides Herd is also in the 12 Brides collection. You’ll love the way her hero and heroine ride herd on some very mischievous little girls.

  7. I have an older mini dachshund who doesn’t know she is older. She now wiggles her way through any little opening in our fenced yard, runs around the house, scratches on the front door, and then stands looking through a small window by the door. As I approach to let her in, she starts looking down like she knows she in trouble but when I open that door, she runs in like a wild thing, circles the living room and gets ready for a good belly rub. She is a mess!

    Oh yes, the way she came into my life is different. I was going in to Walmart one day and on a bench out front were two people holding a small dog each. I approached them just thinking they were waiting for someone. They told me they were moving and had to get rid of their dogs. With a price I couldn’t resist, Heidi came home with me so I always said, “I even got a dog at Walmart!”

  8. Margaret, Your story is wonderful!

    As for my dog story, my favorite was the day that the very stodgy company where I worked sent out a “new employee” announcement, introducing Belle. It listed her training, former employers, awards she’d won — all the things that a normal announcement included. The difference was that Belle was a Border Collie, hired to chase the Canadian geese that had decided the corporate lawns were the ideal place to live. She did a great job and even herded a few employees, too.

    • Amanda, thank you.

      I love your Border Collie story. Belle sounds like the perfect employee.

      Amanda is another Twelve Brides author and you won’t want to miss her tender love story in The Fourth of July Bride.

  9. I’ve always like having a small, fluffy dog. We had two Yorkies–one of which was a tiny tea cup Yorkie. Though small, she was fierce and would fervently protect our back yard. Would you believe those dogs had a kill count? Two squirrels, two birds, and a possum. I never saw them take down a creature–just the carcus. Ok, that was a bit morbid. I used to have a poodle that liked to eat lettuce and bananas. And I had a Shih Tzu that would sit up in the back yard on her behind, with her back straight up and front legs in the air. She’d sit there for half an hour, sometimes longer. It was the oddest thing.

    • Vickie, I have to say you really do attract some most unusual dogs. I can’t imagine a tea cup Yorkie going snout to snout with a possum. And your Shih Tzu made me laugh.

      It’s reunion day for the 12 Brides authors. Yep, you guessed it;the collection also features The County Fair Bride, Vickie’s delightful story about a mismatched couple.

  10. We have an 18yr old chihuahua/terrier mix and while her days of “tricks” are over, she still is a huge part of our lives! When my daughter was younger, she trained Rosie (our dog) how to patiently wait for a treat. She’d set a cheerio on Rosies nose, tell her to wait, and then when she said okay, Rosie would flick her nose up in the air to capture her treat! Sometimes she would even catch it in her mouth!

    I grind my own coffee beans at home and she just has to have one when I’m done. She also loves peanuts and popcorn! On the rare occasion when we go to a fast food place, my husband will set aside 2 small fries, wrap them in a napkin, and put them in his jacket pocket to take home. As soon as we walk through the door, Rosies nose goes a hundred miles an hour trying to figure out where those fries are! She won’t let us greet her until she’s had them 🙂

    Dogs (or any animal) play a huge part in our lives don’t they? It was interesting to learn about the origins of the boarder collie! Thanks for sharing that and for the chance to win a copy of “The 12 Brides of Summer” collection.

  11. I love the premise of Margaret’s story in The 12 Brides of Summer! Too cute and funny! 🙂 There are so many dog stories I could tell…

    Dixie was our Border Collie when I was a kid. Dixie and her offspring were cattle dogs and would swim out into the pond to make the dairy cows come out when it was time to be milked. Sometimes, they’d grab on to the cows’ tails and for a free ride back to the bank.

    Our dog Ruby (a chocolate Lab) loved to go to church. As soon as she saw (heard?) cars gathering at the church 1/2 mile away from our house, she’d head that way. She stayed the entire time and all the children had to pet her when church was over. Ruby would also take ahold of my skirt after a walk to try to convince me to stay outside and walk a little longer with her. She was a good dog and very smart. Her only flaw was that she hated other dogs and cats with a passion. I guess she was just extra territorial of her space.

  12. Hi Pam, lucky you for growing up with a Border Collie. I love the story of your church-going dog. Now that’s one I hadn’t heard.

    Pam is the fifth 12 Brides author to stop at the junction today. That means half of us, including me, are accounted for. You’ll love the hunky hero in Pamela’s delightful story The Lumberjack’s Bride.

  13. Since we’re all sharing dog stories today, I want to tell you about Bear, a Labradoodle once owned by my son, and who looked like a big fluffy teddy bear. She was trained to work with blind children but failed her final test.Somehow she ended up with my son.

    Bear was unlike any dog I’d ever met. She could talk; I kid you not. I was eating chips in front of her one day and she rolled back her head and said, “I wan some!” in a voice clear as day.

    You couldn’t light a candle around her without her howling her own doggy rendition of Happy Birthday. She was also the only dog I’ve known who LOVED fireworks.
    Sadly, Bear passed away last year, but she still lives on in our hearts.

  14. Margaret, I love your blog. I, too, love border collies. We had one at one time and I loved that dog. Daisy was a fierce protector and sent many a person running, either to their car or by foot. In any event, they left our property. But we lived in a rural area so not too many came. She would bite the preacher every single time he came. She did not like him.

    I put a border collie once in an anthology story. Her owner was a shepherdess so that breed was perfect. The ranchers were trying to run her out so lots of conflict.

    • Hi Linda, loved reading about your border collie. How funny that she didn’t like the preacher. Oh, yes, I can imagine the conflict in your story. Cattle ranches had no patience with sheep. Have a great weekend!

  15. We had a german shepard who would try to chase everthing as many times as his collar would cause him to choke slightly he never learned that trying to go beyond the boundries of the chain that was hook on a line between 2 trees he had a good 5 foot run beyond the trees but he was just bound and determined to try and chase whatever came down the street. But when it came time to see the vet once or twice a year he was the biggest baby.

  16. I love animals and their quirks! My puppy loves to pull out her toys and treats from her basket… she can never stick with one item… I have learned to watch where I walk otherwise I step on something…

  17. My brother’s late dog had this bad habit of not bringing the ball all the way where she was supposed to bring it and I ended up being the one who had to fetch the ball. I got so tired of it I finally taught her to give the ball a push with her nose.

  18. Hi Diana, every dog (and cat)of mine knew how to beg. They take one look at me and know I’m a sucker for the “woeful” look.

    Diana is the seventh author of the 12 Brides Summer collection to check in today. The Honey Bride is a powerful story about loss and gain.

  19. Bogie is a delight but if he gets loose he runs off. Many times he would just race away and disappear. So far we have found him in a neighbors garage, in a field nearby and he doesn’t realize what could happen.

  20. When we rescued our dog we had no kinds. Now we do and he knows the best way to retrieve food is to stand by the kids chairs and there will definitely be goodies. On the floor he has managed to have many meals.

  21. We had a dog when I was young named Ginger. She would beg for food at the table at every meal and we were not supposed to feed here because it was a bad habit, human food and we knew it. This did not deter us in the least. She lived 18 years and were devoted and loving.

  22. So many dog stories I could tell! There was the day who ate my entire birthday cake when I was 10, the dog who chose to have her pups on my bed in the middle of the night when I was even younger – we think she got the idea from the cat who’d done the same. Later in life I had a golden retriever who used to let my kids climb all over him. I’ve got pictures of both the kids sound asleep using him as a pillow. 🙂

  23. I know the contest is over, but dogs are a favorite in our house. We started with a rescue beagle mix and currently have 3 rescues. We have had several beagles, a border collie mix that showed up one day to play with “the girls,” our dogs at the time. He was much like your dog in the story spending the nights with us and heading somewhere else during the days. We made sure he had his shots and had him neutered. He eventually stayed with us, but never lost his bad habit of chasing cars, which finally did him in. We have done foster care for the local animal shelter and kept two from the many litters we raised. Of all of the dogs we have had, we have had, our first, Noli the beagle, and our black lab, Olivia, were our absolute favorites. They were the sweetest creatures. Both lived to be 17. We lost the beagle over 20 years ago and the lab 2 years ago. We miss them both dearly.

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