Wednesday 8 February 2017

Novel Blogging, Newsletters and Dogs

If you like a good read, then Mandy Brittany (a name I know many will recognise) is sharing two novels free via two blogs. One is a magical comedy called Phototime and the other is a mystery thriller called The Cold and I know from her short stories that she’s very good at both.

As I said, the novels are free to read, but Mandy is hoping to raise money for Cancer Research and there is a link on the blog to the Just Giving site. Whether you wish to donate or not, the books are there to be read. You can start reading The Cold here and Phototime here.


I subscribe to a few of my favourite writers’ newsletters and as a subscriber I was lucky enough to win a beautifully illustrated little book of poems by Robert Burns. It really is lovely and I have Rosemary Gemmell to thank for it.  Rosemary’s is one of my favourite newsletters and you can subscribe via her blog here.

Rosemary’s blog is well worth a visit anyway.


You’d think after all that leash walking Dusty had to do while he was recovering from his leg operations, that I’d have managed to train him to walk nicely wouldn’t you? He’s so quick to learn and has been the easiest dog I’ve ever had to train.

And he’s incredibly helpful, bringing me my dog-walking shoes when we’re going for a walk and pulling the duvet back for me to get into bed. He even gets my clothes for me in the mornings and it’s hard to be grateful when they’ve been dragged all round the floor and thrown up in the air, but I do try.

I’ve tried all sorts of different head harnesses and body harnesses to get him to walk nicely. I’ve tried treats, but for a food obsessed dog, he’s just not interested once we leave the house. I’ve tried toys and balls and doing the stopping and changing direction thing. Nothing works. So I’ve given up and resigned myself to having a dog that is almost rubbing his chest on the ground because he’s pulling so much.

I steel myself against the tuts and dirty looks I get from those lucky enough to have dogs trotting along beautifully at their sides. Oh and did I mention he also shrieks as we walk along which draws even more disapproval.  But something amazing has happened…

I pass an elderly couple with their two dogs when I walk to the fields. They always smile and laugh and say “We can hear you coming a mile away! He’s so keen! It's lovely!” And I see a man with a hearty laugh and a small dog and he says, “It makes my day seeing you! I love the noise he makes. He’s so eager to get off the lead, so full of energy. I love him!”

So if we brighten the day for a few people, then I’ll put up with the embarrassment!

It was Dusty’s best friend Poppy’s 6th birthday last week. She’s much more of a cat person than a dog person and would rather play with cats than dogs, but she makes an exception for Dusty.