Saturday, September 5, 2015

Do animals have souls? And a NEW RELEASE

I believe animals have souls. I’ve had too many pets who have loved me, and whom I have loved, not to believe that there’s a special bond forged between humans and animals when you take them into your home.
Scientists say that animals are incapable of emotion, or that they aren’t intelligent enough to love.  But all pet owners who have experienced that special kind of bond know that’s a bunch of horse hockey.

One of our pets whose love had to be earned more than most was Gray Dog.



When my children started calling him Gray Dog he wasn’t our dog. He was owned by a man who lived in a trailer down the hill from our house. For 4 years I snuck down and gave him food, water, dog biscuits and even bones while the owner was gone. During those 4 years I never once saw the man or his wife and son offer a loving pat or a kind word to the dog. He was invisible to them. They’d get out of their car and walk right past him, ignoring his tentative wagging tail, and walk into the house. And I have to tell you it really infuriated me. But though they didn’t offer him any human contact, they didn’t beat him. (Not that I ever caught them, though I had my suspicions because of his behavior.) And they had to feed him otherwise he would have been in bad shape, so I had no grounds to call the police, though I really wanted to.

For 4 years, Gray Dog was chained to an old carriage house that the man had turned into a chicken coop for his fighting cocks. It isn’t against the law to own fighting cocks, just to fight them. So, I couldn’t call the police on him for that either.

I’m happy to report the guy hadn’t a clue how to train fighting cocks and when he finally got evicted he turned both the dog and the chickens loose and left. The dog wandered up to my house first and the chicken’s followed. They were all hungry and neglected. So hungry the chickens were eating the berries off my burning bushes. I baked cornbread and scattered it in the yard until I could get to the farm supply store the next day.

Luckily I had another neighbor who had a farm and I called him. I offered to help him round up the cocks if he’d take them. They weren’t aggressive and not once tried to fight each other or attack me. In fact, my Jack Russell, Cookie, tried her darnedest to kiss one of them. I convinced her chickens don’t have lips so they didn’t need that particular show of affection. But she’d still greet them with a stubbed-tailed, mile a minute wag each time they wandered close.

Gray Dog would eat the food I put down for him, but was skittish and wary. He wouldn’t take the treats or dog biscuits from my hand, so I’d put them next to his bowl and he’d gobble them down.  He’d stay about three feet away at all times. At the same time he came up to hang with us, my Dalmatian, Polly, was very ill with breast cancer. Polly was deaf and we’d had to confine her to the dog lot or the house for fear she’d be hit by a car or get into mischief. She loved Gray Dog. When I would walk her on her leash, Gray Dog stayed by her side. He would watch me when I offered her pats, back rubs and ear scratches. But he wouldn’t let me touch him.

Polly passed away two weeks later. A terrible time for us. We’d had her since she was six weeks old, and had for 12 years taken special care of her because of her hearing disability. The cancer had spread to her lungs making every breath she drew an effort. Though it hurt me terribly, I did the compassionate thing and took her to the vet to be put down. Gray Dog stood next to her blanket-wrapped body while we dug her grave and buried her.
  
I tried to work through my grief by doing yard work and planting bulbs and flowers. He’d sit next to me while I dug the earth. I’d talk to him. Just nonsense stuff about the flowers and all the things we’d do together now that he was our dog. He became more relaxed with me and one day while I was sprinkling plant food on the flowerbeds, I caught him lying on his back doing the back scratch boogie on the front lawn. I snuck up on him, bent and gave his belly a quick, gentle rub. He froze, his mouth parted like a big shark’s grin, his eyes focused on my face, startled. A big dog of 70 pounds, had he decided to bite me he could have done major damage, but I’d never seen him do anything but bark from afar when someone approached. He spent his time avoiding humans instead of attacking them.

I went back to the flowerbeds and he wandered over a minute later and sat next to me, closer than he ever had. I raised a hand and he bent his head to sniff it. I touched the bottom of his jaw and ran the back of my fingers down his throat to his chest and gave his chest a rub. From that moment on he was mine. It took a while, but he would often come to sit next to me on the deck steps and let me put my arm around him. He went from being a wary, skittish, mistreated creature to a loving member of our family.

A little stubborn. He would only listen when he wanted to, in typical male fashion. He  loved  the ladies—I once put a ad in the paper when he disappeared for 5 days only to see him walking up our road on the sixth day like he just been out for a long walk about. He did look a little lean and his tongue was hanging out.

And I guess you’ve seen from the picture above that he wasn’t gray. Well, we didn’t know he wasn’t gray with black spots until he received his first bath and brushing. Something that happened once I’d gotten him used to the idea.

And the one thing that hurt me the most for him was that it took him 8 years to learn how to do the look-at-me dance for attention and discover that people would love on him when he did it. (He learned it from our next rescue, Kally, a blue tick hound given to us by a neighbor who couldn’t afford to feed her.)

I wish he could have learned that dance the year we got him and had been able to eat up all the affection people would have shared with him. But he remained cautious around strangers, waiting for that harsh voice and harsher hand he’d been dealt those first 4 years, despite all the love my family and I showered upon him.

He was four when we got him, 13 when he passed away of heart failure from Cushing’s Disease last year. I’ve missed him all summer.  

And why am I thinking about all this. Well, I’ve been reading research books for my next SEAL book. I know the last one I just finished BREAKING BOUNDARIES isn’t even out yet.

BREAKING BOUNDARIES will be released September 15th.



Here’s the blurb:
Corporal Callahan Crowes returns home from Afghanistan missing part of a leg and haunted by guilt over the loss of his men. He pledges to live every moment of his life to the fullest and works to build a career in the only field he knows besides being a soldier: construction.

Reeling from her fiancé’s infidelity and their broken engagement, Kathleen O’Connor accepts a job far away from Boston and the suffocating pity of friends and family. She puts romance firmly behind her, and, armed with her shiny new architectural degree, launches her career with a commercial construction and design firm.

Her first day on the job, she sees Cal risk his life to rescue a fellow worker, and is shocked when his act of heroism triggers an unwarranted attack on him from her supervisor. When she learns Cal may lose his job because of his leg, Kathleen urges him to use social media to fight the decision, putting her own job at risk.

The public firestorm pushes Cal into the limelight in ways he least expects, but shows him a missing limb’s not the barrier to love he's believed it is. But there’s something besides business politics brewing at work, and when Kathleen’s life is threatened, she discovers there’s more to a man than two good legs—it’s the size of his heart that counts. 


I’ve already started the next book, BREAKING OUT. This is Doc/Ensign Zach O’Connor’s book. This one is special in that I’m introducing another element of the SEAL life. MWD’s (Military War Dogs.)
So I’ve had to do tons of research about veterinary medicine, military medic training, and the training and treatment of the dogs.  

I’m hard at work on BREAKING OUT and working with a cover artist on the cover for the next Paranormal Urban Fantasy, DEEP WITHIN THE STONE.  Cover sneak peaks will come for both. Maybe in my next newsletter. http://bit.ly/I7TtiC 
 

DEEP WITHIN THE SHADOWS (Book 1 of the Superstition Series) is still $.99 if you’re interested.


Here’s the blurb:
Welcome to Superstition, Kentucky

Twins Miranda and Juliet Templeton have been haunted by childhood trauma their entire lives. One has the reputation for being bold and rash, the other compulsively responsible. When both are viciously attacked within minutes of each other, they are forced to leave their differences behind in order to survive.

Caleb Faulkner has always loved Miranda Templeton. Her letters to him, during his deployment gave him a slice of home to hold on to. Even though they’re finally together, something is keeping her from acting on her feelings. When she and her sister are injured Caleb’s driven to protect them both. But all his military training can’t help him combat this danger.

Detective Chase Robinson is lead investigator for the murder of Tanner Newton. When the two hired thugs responsible for Tanner’s death are killed and Juliet, his only witness, nearly strangled to death, Chase is certain the crimes are connected. He decides to stay close to the twins so he can catch the real killer. But his police training is useless against his growing feelings for Juliet and what’s hiding DEEP WITHIN THE SHADOWS.

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1H21xKN


And don’t forget my other Paranormal Urban Fantasy WHISPER IN MY EAR




Here’s the blurb:
Injured as a child, mermaid Katrina Lawson has adapted to living on land among humans. Denied the comfort of her water world, she’s stripped of her ability to transform and to hear. But the promise of a cochlear implant offers her a ray of hope. 

Drew Saunders is a creature no woman can resist: mystical, magical and musical. With a hum he can seduce women and make them slaves. When he meets Katrina he’s enthralled. But being unable to hear, she’s impervious to his charms. So he must work to build a relationship with her the human way.

Katrina’s doctor suspects there is more to her than scans and x-rays can detect. His obsessive fascination with her, places her and all aquatic species at risk, forcing her to make a horrible choice. Can she sacrifice the only true love she’ll ever know for the good of her species?

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1DYityV


That’s all my news.

Thanks so much for subscribing to my newsletter. Without your support, I wouldn’t get to do this writing gig, which is the BEST JOB EVER.

Read on,


Teresa Reasor

3 comments:

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