D. F. Krieger

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Animals and Authors: Layla Hunter

Hello everyone. We're getting very close to Thanksgiving! Today I'd like you to welcome Layla Hunter!

I am excited to be here today to participate in D.F. Krieger's Rescued and Thankful blog and I cannot wait for you to meet Maggie Moo! This endearing 7 year old greyhound/lab mix literally trotted into our lives on Easter Sunday of 2012.

Our journey began Good Friday, the plan being to get our feet wet looking for a dog, and St. Hubert's in North Branch, New Jersey had many dogs available for adoption, especially seniors. Given our schedules, an older dog would be a perfect fit for us.

We toured the shelter and although there were quite a few older dogs looking for a forever home, they didn't meet our needs, one in particular being getting along with cats.

Before leaving, we took one last walk out back to look at the dogs in the outdoor runs and it was then this gorgeous lady, lying so nonchalantly in a brilliant sun spot, glanced over her shoulder, taking us in. After sizing us up, she stood gingerly, so very thin and cautious, and came over, those liquid brown eyes sparkling in the sunlight.

Those eyes reminded me so much of our first dog, also a greyhound/lab mix we'd adopted many years ago from St. Hubert's in Madison … our first beloved Maggie.

Yes, their names were the same. When the volunteer told me her name was Margaret but they called her Maggie, I looked over at my husband, the coincidence not lost on him either.

We asked to take her out and as we walked to the outdoor meet and greet area, she followed close at my side, nudging my hip as we strolled along as if to hurry me up. Once inside and off the leash, she took one look at us and then the cool, green grass and … the grass won out. *laughs*

Turns out grass is her catnip. She loves to lie in the grass; to roll in the grass; to breathe deeply of the grass; to sleep in the grass.

Of course, it was love at first sight but since we had cats, also seniors, we needed to think about how she would fit in with that dynamic. Besides, adopting a dog is a huge commitment and we wanted to take the time to sleep on it. Morning came and we were back at the shelter, giving Maggie the 'cat' test. She passed with flying colors and the decision was unanimous … she was coming home with us! Mellow and sweet, she would be a wonderful addition to our family.

Our loving and friendly cats had no idea this small pony of a dog would be invading their realm but after a carefully supervised meet and greet, a couple of our cats began to groom her, an act she accepted gracefully. She chose a bed of her own and made herself at home and it was as if she'd always been there.

A visit with the vet a couple of days later led to a clean bill of health except for her being considerably underweight at only 44 pounds. The stress of being in a shelter had taken its toll and the plan was to add some weight over the course of a few months.

Fortunate to be able to take her to the office with me those first few weeks, we were able to bond quickly and settle into a routine. Co-workers nicknamed her 'Maggie Bag of Bones' and 'My Little Pony'.

Over the next few months we did what we needed to do in order for her to gain weight and took her on frequent, short walks so as not to tax her obviously achy joints. We loved seeing the spring in her step and the sparkle in her eyes as we went on our daily walks. We quickly learned that Maggie loves walking almost as much as she loves grass.

Four months later, with even brighter eyes, a shiny coat, and 56 pounds to call her own, Maggie is thriving and much to our surprise has the energy of a puppy! So much for a laid back senior dog! *laughs* She is quick to remind us when its walk time with what we'll call her 'inside voice' … she doesn't bark but she'll try to 'talk' and never fails to make us laugh.

I think she knows she's making us laugh too because I swear this dog smiles. She prances and hops like a kangaroo to where her leash is and waits patiently for the walking shoes to go on. Wonderful in the house and always eager to snuggle on the couch with us, she seems to find her greatest joy when all of us are home and together.

We've always adopted our animal companions and we've been blessed over the years to have some truly remarkable souls come into our lives. Everyone comments on how wonderful it was for us to save Maggie from the shelter but the truth is we saved each other. Life is all the better with a dog named Maggie Moo.

Needless to say we are all rescued and thankful and in honor of the special gift we've given each other, I'd like to host a contest that will benefit the other beautiful souls … dogs and cats alike … waiting for their forever home at St. Huberts!

All you need to do is to leave a comment about what, or who, you are thankful for, and for every comment made, I will donate $1 to the shelter.

If you want to learn more about St. Huberts, be sure to visit their website at http://www.sthuberts.org/

I can't wait to read everyone's comments and even more so, I can't wait to deliver our donation!

Wow, that's really awesome! Go you for the fund raising! Can you share a little bit about your writing with us now?

Emily Monroe, a statuesque high school English teacher, is convinced that getting a tattoo to cover the remnants of her brush with Morphea is the only option left to open the door to self-acceptance, allowing her to finally move on with her life after the devastating diagnosis left more than physical scars in its wake. 
Rick Sutton, owner of Skin Deep, a successful tattoo shop, has his own cross to bear. Crippling guilt and the specter of unrequited justice overshadow every aspect of his life, trapping him within the haunted corridors of his heart and soul; until the day Emily walks into his shop. 
 Instantly, he recognizes a kindred spirit in Emily, and a tenuous bond is formed. When the intimidating yet teddy-bear of a man offers her a glimpse into his passionate side, she is moved by what she sees and takes a leap of faith. Together they traverse the physical and emotional journey of freeing themselves of their perceived flaws, an erotic undertaking that proves to them beauty is only Skin Deep.
 If you have a moment to watch the trailer:
Want to read an excerpt or two … I have one Sweet and one Sexy! http://www.secretcravingspublishing.com/files/Skin_Deep_Excerpts.pdf

Special Agent Analiese Valentine – aka "Val" – lived and died for her career. Possessing a sixth sense for as long as she could remember, Val always knew she was different – and so did everyone else. So different, in fact, her own mother – apparently unable to tolerate her daughter's unusual gifts – abandoned her, forging internal scars so deep most relationships, if any, were cultivated at a safe distance. A near-tragic accident opens unexpected doors – some otherworldly – changing her life in ways she'd never imagined possible.
 Dr. Maxwell "Max" Thornton, a psychiatrist, ironically lives an almost reclusive life except for his practice. Although his empathic abilities allow him to help his patients in ways most practitioners never could, the effort is taxing, at times debilitating. Keeping a limited and selective clientele, he manages to pursue a career and maintain his sanity, convinced normal relationships are out of the realm of his reach.
When a guarded agent and a reluctant empath cross paths, unexpected revelations occur and a delicate thread binds them to one another as a predetermined Fate begins to unfold, sending them plummeting into a war between good and evil.

Download link:

Thanks once again for stopping by and sharing Maggie's story with us! Get to commenting, readers! This is a great cause! ~ D. F. Krieger


D. F. Krieger said...

And here is a comment to get you started on your fund raiser! :)

Sherry Gloag said...

What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Layla Hunter said...

Thank you both!

gayl said...

I am thankful for my boys, my close friends, and for seeing one more sunrise each day.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Layla Hunter said...

Thank you for stopping by Gayl!