If you’ve raised one of these critters you know that beagles are mostly nose, and that nose leads them into all kinds of trouble. Their keen sense of smell is also the reason they are, according to some professional trainers, only about 85% trainable. Once they get a whiff of something interesting, everything else goes out the window.
I realized as Nemo began to pull on his leash after my surgery, or alternatively as I began to pull on the leash to haul him back, that I felt the tension in my injured knee. The initial cause of the problem became perfectly clear.
I turned the dog walks over to my husband.
This week Michael was unable to do the walks, so it was my turn again. Since I have no desire for more surgery, I developed a plan. I would feed Nemo only two scoops of kibble and carry the third in my pocket. Then, any time he came back to my side when I said “with me,” he would get a piece of kibble.
As it turns out beagles are not all nose. They are also tummy. Two days into this Nemo trots along beside me like a Westminster show dog. He’s even stopped eating rocks and things too gross to print, glancing at me after he eyes them to see if I’ve noticed how good he is, so he can get his next kibble offering instead.
It’s nothing short of a miracle.
We are all trainable. We respond to the things we love with joy and a desire to have more of them. Life really is just a bowl of kibble, whatever your kibble may be.
You, my terrific readers, consistently dole out treats to me.
- You buy and review my books online or in print.
- You email to let me know a story touched you.
- You follow me on Facebook or Twitter, read my blog and comment, or talk about my work on Goodreads.
- You ask for sequels, most notably to the Shenandoah Album series.
- You select my books for your neighborhood book clubs.
- You share pieces of your life with me, an honor I always appreciate.
- You even chastise me when you think I’ve made an error, which shows you’ve paid attention.
Did you think I didn’t notice? And what’s your reward for that kind of generosity? I listen and what you say affects me. While publishers determine some of what I do, you determine it, as well. You are the readers who most affect me, the ones who “get” my books and show your loyalty in myriad ways. In return I try to please you by giving me more of what you like. I have to write what I’m inspired to write, of course, but you are part of that inspiration.
To show my appreciation this month, and in honor of carnival season and Mardi Gras, which is right around the corner, I’ll be giving away one two-book set of my Louisiana duo, Iron Lace and Rising Tides, to a reader who comments on any blog post between now and the end of Mardi Gras day, February 12, 2013. The comment must be HERE and not on my Facebook page or at Goodreads so that I can keep track. As always random.org will determine one winner from everyone who participates.
Laissez les bon temps rouler, and many thanks. You really are the best.