Don't you just love this time of year? I'm definitely a crazy Christmas lady during the month of December. As for the rest of the year? I'm a crazy dog lady–and proud of it!
Almost all of my books feature dogs in prominent roles. For example, my brand new book, LET THERE BE LIGHT, features a whole team of sled dogs on their quest for the Iditarod. There are Huskies, Akitas, Malamutes, mutts, rescue dogs, and even a very special litter of puppies!
And that's just one book in one series. I also write stories about Chihuahuas, Golden Retrievers, Pomeranians, Newfies, and more. There's just something about our furry friends that add a whole different level to books–both writing and reading them, and I take tons of inspiration from my own mini pack at home.
I talk about my dogs a lot, but I don't think I've ever formally introduced them. Let's fix that right now!
My long-suffering husband has agreed to take festive holiday photos of each of our dogs. Most Christmas, but we've got some Hanukkah love in there too, since we happen to celebrate both holidays.
It is now my pleasure to introduce the 5 dogs of the Storm Family Christmas (in size order)!
Crash is a 2 year old Landseer Newfoundland.
Crash weighs a whopping 160 lbs and comes equipped with a perpetual slime machine. Seriously, if you've ever seen the movie, Beethoven, then you already know what it's like to live with Crash.
He's our naughty doggie and is always finding creative new ways to get in trouble. For example, we've had to put him on a diet because of his hip displaysia (poor baby!). He did not like being on a diet, so he ate our wall. Yes, our wall!
Crash loves books, but unfortunately he most often shows that love by eating them. This makes his author parents very sad, especially since we aren't able to turn our den into a proper library as we planned when buying our house last year.
At the end of the day, he is a love bug (like the giant kind of bug that destroys Japanese cities). He wants nothing more than to protect his family from our evil neighbor, Cranky McMyTrees. You can learn more about that particular fiasco in this post if you'd like. Now let's meet another Storm family dog!
Polo is a 9 1/2 year old English Golden Retriever.
Polo was my very first pup and has been with me a long time. He saw me through a rough first marriage and an even rougher divorce. He was there when I wrote my first novel and as I opened my business. He stood by me during pregnancy and watched me very carefully, because he knew I was sick. And now that my little girl is here in this world, he watches over her.
In fact, he loves Phoenix so much, that the two of them have best friends necklaces. Phe wears hers around her neck, and Polo has his charm attached to his collar!
He's super smart and knows that being BFFS with a 4 year old means lots of yummy treats for him. She feeds him so many scraps that he's had to be on a perma-diet basically since she was born!
Polo was born with Luxating Patella, a condition that makes his knees pop out of joint if he strains himself too hard. He now also has Arthritis and Kushings disease in his old age. Some days he can't make it up the stairs to our bedrooms, so he sleeps downstairs where it's cool and comfortable.
He still has no idea he's old, despite all these pains. If a visitor comes to our home, he'll greet them so exuberantly, he'll barely be able to move the next day. Most days he feels fine and is just a little slower than normal, but it's still hard knowing that he won't be with us for too much longer, especially given how much he means to our little girl.
Sitka is a 1 1/2 year old Pomsky (half Husky/ half Pomeranian).
Weighing in at about 35 lbs, Sitka is our only medium-sized dog. Her mom was a red Husky and her dad was a merle Pomeranian, that makes her a red merle Pomsky!
We were so shocked when we learned about a littler of Pomsky puppies up for adoption that we just had to take a look! Seriously, we thought they were an Internet myth. Naturally, we (especially Mr. Storm) fell straight in love with the energetic litter as they worked together as a team to pull off baby Phoenix's diaper straight from her butt!
Sitka, who still enjoys scavenging diapers out of the trash and being totally disgusting in her spare time, is also a super lovey dog. She gently stands on her hind legs and puts her paws up to ask for a hug. And she does it several times per day!
She's particularly loyal to Mr. Storm and is often at his side while he works throughout the day. She's also been a huge inspiration for my Sled Dog Series! Even though she's half Pom, you wouldn't know it except for her size. Her personality and athleticism are all Husky.
She is also overjoyed this time of year because of all the snow! She runs through the yard so fast, she kicks up all the snow and leaves dirt trails everywhere. She's also a skilled hunter and often brings in “gifts” through the dog door. Yup, Sitka is sweet and disgusting in equal measures!
Cricket is a 3 year old Pomeranian.
Cricket and I share a birthday! We are exactly 30 years apart, born on November 24. When we went to meet her and her litter-mates she chose Phoenix. She was just obsessed with our then 1-year-old, and we knew it was a great match!
Unfortunately, when Cricket was still small, she was viciously attacked by a fox outside of our doggie door in our fenced in backyard. Even though she had 5 fractures in her face and the vet wasn't sure she would make it, she miraculously pulled through and looks and acts like a normal pup despite that early trauma.
I was recovering from surgery at the same time she was recovering from her attack, so the two of us bonded intensely. Cricket does not leave my side the entire day, no matter what. If I take a shower or use the bathroom, she waits outside the door. She sits on a chair next to me all day while I work and sleeps on a pillow beside me at night.
She is so loyal, in fact, that we recently discovered she has a special talent for running dog agility courses! Because of her desire to be with me and make me happy at all times, she quickly and easily learned the course and will one day compete in competitive dog agility trials!
Sky Princess is a 6 month old short-haired Chihuahua.
The proper spelling of this sweet girl's name is SKY PRINCESS!!!
Our daughter Phoenix started begging us for a “Jawa” during the spring. It took us several months to figure out she meant Chihuahua, and several months after that to realize she wasn't anywhere close to changing her mind.
Well, we caved. Of course, we did, and she immediately fell in love with Sky Princess. Guess what else? She named her, too.
I have since become utterly obsessed with this tiny, needy creature. It took her months to learn to go up and down the stairs, so she had to be carried everywhere. She's always cold, so she likes to cuddle up inside my sweater while I write. Her second night at home, she figured out how to open her crate and came over to scratch at our bedroom door! Ever since then, she sleeps on the bed with Mr. Storm, Cricket, and me.
Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows how much I love this little creature. I'm even starting a new book series inspired by my love for her. Watch for the Church Dogs of Charleston coming next summer!
Tell me about your pets!
Well, that's it for me and my family dogs! We also have a cat named Schrödinger and a Cockatiel named Pegasus, but I'll introduce them some other time.
Which of my naughty, lovable dogs sounds most like someone you'd enjoy to know, and why?
I would also love to hear all about your pets in the comments!
(and, psst, don't forget to grab your copy of my new dog-inspired Sweet Romance, LET THERE BE LIGHT)