My mom was a dog breeder—rottweilers and pugs during my childhood––so I’ve pretty much always had dogs around me. Right now, I live with two dogs—a poodle-mix named Houdini Beauregarde and a chihuahua-mix named Sheba Reba Rita Peanut. Both are rescues. I met Houdini at a restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale where his foster mom had brought him to socialize. He was such a gentleman that he stole my heart. Our Australian Shepherd had passed away two years prior, and my husband and I had agreed not to get another dog because the pain of losing her had been so awful. Houdini changed our minds and has brought much joy to our lives.
Sheba came to us as a foster. I was doing a favor for a rescue organization. Sheba was scheduled to be put down on Friday, and the person who wanted to rescue her couldn’t get to the Miami area until Monday. My job was to pick up Sheba at the shelter and keep her for the weekend until the rescue volunteer could pick her up. Monday turned into Wednesday, and Wednesday turned into a week and a week turned into forever because we decided to adopt her ourselves.
Although they got off to a rough start, Houdini and Sheba are now the very best of friends. Sheba takes her job of lizard patrol very seriously, and Houdini acts as her back-up barker for all security related activities. They both love snuggling and eating carrots, not necessarily in that order.
The poodle, LouLou, in Cold Nose, Warm Heart is of course inspired by Houdini, but LouLou is her own dog. Although LouLou has Houdini’s sweetness and Sheba’s love of licking people, her adventurous nature that sends her roaming from home is all her own.
Lady, the black Lab, is LouLou’s best dog friend in Cold Nose, Warm Heart and will appear in future books as well. Lady is the grand dame of the neighborhood, beloved by canines and humans alike. She enjoys head pats and being told how good she is.