Sunday, May 21, 2017

Copper Lake on sale 99¢


Wow - I love it when the publisher puts one of my books on sale. This time it is COPPER LAKE.

Can Detective Kendra Dean solve the crimes of this sadistic killer, or will she become another of his strange tattoos?


May 22 - June 2 only 

 99¢





While you think it over, listen to the song that played on repeat while I worked on this manuscript.

Bring Me to Life – Amy Lee – Evanescense (Kendra’s song for Woody)



 Now on Audible as well! Excellent narration by Mindy Grall

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Permian Basin Writers Workshop Manuscript Contest!





Permian Basin Writers Workshop Manuscript Contest
Who: All writers are welcome to submit an entry whether you are non-published, self-published, traditionally published or just beginning your writing journey.
What: Submit the first 3000 words of your unpublished manuscript. It doesn’t matter if it is a completed work or a work in progress. Also, submit a 500-word synopsis.
When: Contest opens June 01, 2017 and ends at midnight June 30, 2017
Where: Manuscript contest winners will be announced at the Permian Basin Writers Workshop.
Why: Each accepted submission will receive feedback in the form of critiques from three authors. 



Friday enjoy the breakout session with Chuck Sambuchino - Writer's Digest


 Chuck Sambuchino
Schedule your pitch with Julie Gwinn
Literary Agent
The Seymour Agency
Schedule your pitch with Literary Agent -
Jeannie Loiacono
Loiacono Literary Agency
Schedule your pitch with Sara Barnard
Author & Editor
Prairie Rose Publications
Schedule your pitch with Literary agent -
 Mark Falkin
Falkin Literary
Schedule a pitch with Jennifer Canzoneri
Ben Bella Books



REGISTER HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE FOLLOWING SESSIONS & SPEAKERS

















http://permianbasinwritersworkshop.com

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Mom's Day! FREE Ebook for Mom

Does your mom bake cookies? Create amazing Sunday dinners? Bring home the bacon while Dad holds down the fort? If your Mom is anything like mine was, she probably does a little of everything.

All For Love
My Mom was a talented seamstress who not only made all our clothes when we were kids, but also all of our Barbie's clothes. She even sewed our quilts and curtains. Of course my Dad didn't care about all that, he was more interested in the food. Mom was a wonderful cook who had supper on the table at six o'clock every night. We never ate at a restaurant unless we were on vacation.

In addition to all that, Mom also grew gorgeous roses, kept the lawn mowed, cleaned the house top to bottom, and found time to sit in front of the fireplace and read. She loved to read. One day I came home from school and found Mom asleep in front of the fireplace, feet propped up on the hearth, book open on her lap, the bottoms of her Keds melted and curled down like little frowns.

So in honor of my late Mom's love of reading, I'm giving away ebook copies of ALL FOR LOVE to the first five commenters who tell me why they love their Mom. Just be sure to leave me your email address so I can send you the book. Happy Mother's Day!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Possum - True Story of a Good Dog

Possum 

a true story
by
Charlotte Orr 


 I was on my way home from work one afternoon and had to stop and get a loaf of bread. I stopped at this convenience store real close to where we lived. I went in and the man who ran the store had a puppy. The pup was so darn cute. It was love at first sight for me. He was so loving and playful. He was a mixed breed but looked like a Catahoula. He had one brown eye and the other eye was half brown and half blue. Asked the man, what is his name? He said we call him Possum. The pup looked like a possum because he was all legs and belly. The man asked if I would like to have Possum because he could not keep him. He was moving to a smaller place. He had more dogs at home that he also needed to find a home for. Yes, I would love to take him but I would need to talk to Dale, my husband, first. I would let him know later. I go home all excited, I could hardly wait to tell Dale all about the little puppy I found and wanted. I was so disappointed because Dale said we did not need a dog.
      The next night, Dale's nephew, Vance and his wife Linda, were coming over to watch the fights and eat supper with us. After we finished eating and Dale and Vance were watching the fights, Linda and I cleaned up the kitchen. I told her all about the puppy I wanted. I went to Dale and asked him again if I could have the pup. He tried to look around me so he could see the T V and said yes, if you will please just get out of the way so I can watch the fight. Before he could change his mind I grabbed my car keys and told Linda to come on. Off we went and got Possum. By the time we got back the big fight was over. I took the pup over to Dale and told him the man at the store called him Possum, do you want to name him something different. Dale said, no he looks like a possum to me. After we all visited a while Vance and Linda went home. After they had been gone for a little while Dale asked me why did I get the dog after we agreed that we did not need a dog. I said, well honey I asked you again and you said if I would get out of the way so you could watch the fight I could have him. So he is ours now. Dale looked at me and said, I guess I had better pay closer attention next time. Then we got on the floor and played with Possum.
     The next morning I took Possum out in the front yard and my nextdoor neighbor was out looking at her flower bed. She saw me and came over to say hello. I showed Possum to her, she took one look and told me you had better get him to the vet, he has hook worms and they will kill him. I asked her how can you tell. She said, look at his tongue and gums, they are pale and not a healthy pink like they are supposed to be and he is all belly. I did not have a vet so she told me about hers.  As soon as the vet's office opened Monday morning I made an appointment for that afternoon. The vet looked at Possum and said he has hookworms and he needs a blood transfusion. We had to leave him over night.
     Around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon we went to pick up Possum. The vet came out to talk to us and said everything went great. He had one of the ladies bring Possum out to us. When she brought him out he was wiggling so hard she almost dropped him. She said he sure knows who he belongs to, when he heard your voices he went nuts. Dale took him and Possum was so happy. He was wiggling and giving Dale kisses everywhere he could get to. Needless to say, he really won Dale's heart when he did that. I guess he knew he had my heart and needed to work on Dale.
     One weekend we were heading to Odessa to show off our new family member. We had been on the road for a couple of hours when Possum got restless. He would get in my lap and look out the window then go get in Dales lap and look out his window. This went on for a few minutes and I told Dale you had better stop and let him out, he needs to go to the bathroom. Dale said I will in a little while. After a few more minutes of him going from one window to another he went to Dales window and while looking out the window, wet all over Dale. I laughed so hard my sides hurt. I was so glad it was Dale and not me. Dale looked at me and said, he told me he needed out but I would not listen but you can bet I will next time.
      Possum loved water. One summer we bought him a kiddie pool. He would play, lay, and stand in that pool so much that we had to let him play for a while then pour out the water. He would stay in it so much that he would get bad sores on his paws.
       We decided to get a water sprinkler to water our grass one weekend and took Possum with us. On the way we needed to get gas for the car and lawnmower. Possum was hanging his head out the window and the man on the pump next to us was talking to Dale and saw Possum. He looked at Possum then said to Dale " did you know your dog has one blue eye and one brown'? Dale ran over to the pickup window, grabbed Possum's face and said "no I didn't, come here boy and let me look".  The man looked at Dale, put his gas pump back and took off. I told Dale that was mean but could not help but laugh after the man left.
       When we got home we mowed the yard then set up the sprinkler to water the grass. When Possum saw the water sprinkler he took off after it. He chased that sprinkler round and round. When he got tired he would put his paw on it till he rested then would take off again. We finally had to take him in the house so we could water. Then he just sat at the patio windows and barked at the darn thing.
         Possum was a medium sized dog, weighing 42 lbs. He was the best minding dog except when it came to water. We could call him off a rabbit but not water. One day Dale and I were going somewhere, don't remember where but we were taking Possum with us. We took him with us a lot. He was our baby. Anyway out the door we three went. As Dale was locking the door we heard a woman screaming. We looked and saw Possum running straight at our neighbor across the street. We called and ran after him but he would not come. Then we saw the water sprinkler the woman had going. We ran over to her yard as fast as we could yelling he won't hurt you he just wants your water sprinkler. Sure enough as soon as he got to the sprinkler he started chasing it. The poor woman was scarred to pieces. We told the woman how sorry we were.  Said she was so afraid he was after her and sure was happy it was the sprinkler that he was after and not her. She laughed at Possum and we told her that from now on we would have Possum on a leash or we would make sure no one had their water sprinkler on when we brought him out front. Told her again how sorry we were and she told us not to worry, that he was an OK dog. She had to turn off her water so we could take him home without having to pick him up and carry him.
       One day my mom called and wanted us to come for the weekend because some of my other brothers and sisters were going to be there. We went up on Friday night and the next day Dale was outside playing ball with Possum. A lot of the guys wanted to play football. They threw the ball and one of my nephews ran to catch the ball and so did Possum.  Clifton and Possum got to the ball at the same time. Clifton had to go low to catch the ball and Possum went high. Those two smacked heads together so hard we heard it. We ran over to Clifton to make sure he OK. He got up laughing and saying he was fine. He wanted to know if the dog was OK. Both were Ok but Clifton had a big knot on his head. We kept an eye on him to make sure he was fine.   It was such a beautiful day everyone decided to go to the river and go fishing. Mom and dad got poles for everyone and we dug worms from the field. Off we went to the river. Dale never was big on fishing so him and the kids played with Possum. Well like I said, Possum loved water. They would throw a stick in the river and Possum would go get it and bring it back to them. The kids thought that was great. Then they got this bright idea to throw a rock. They said he won't dive after a rock. Possum sure surprised us all. He dove in and brought up the rock. Someone said they did not think it was the same rock so they found a rock that they would be able to tell if he brought up the one they threw in. Well in went the rock and Possum right after it. Up came Possum with the rock they threw in. Every one thought that was amazing. How could he tell which rock to get. Poor Possum, the kids did not get tired of throwing sticks or rocks but he did but he would not quit. They thew in a stick real far and off Possum went to get it. Dale and I were watching Possum swim back and he was so tired we thought Dale might have to go get him but he crawled out of the water and we told the kids they were going to have to let Possum rest or they were going to drown him. To this day whenever we see Clifton he brings up Possum and playing football and the rock diving.
       We were so lucky to have had Possum in our lives. We got to enjoy him for 6 years. Wish it could of been more but it was not meant to be.  Dale and I have had a number of dogs in our 43 years of marriage and we loved them all but Possum has and will always have a special place in our hearts. We lost Possum one day in March and a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant with our first child. It was so hard losing Possum but being pregnant gave me something else to focus on. I wish for any one who is an animal lover that they get to find a special pet like we did. 


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Reckless - The Dog from Hell


Reckless
The Dog from Hell 

by
Linda Wells


I have blocked out my life the best I could until I was dumped along a busy highway, a scared pup of 6 months. Scared and alone I looked for a place to hide. When I could go no farther, I stopped by a building and rested by the front door and drifted off to sleep.

Suddenly I woke surrounded by a group of men. I growled, they laughed and said, “You are a feisty little thing, aren't you?” They opened the door and called me inside. They went to work, but left me in the hall. Later a woman came in the door and spoke to me. “Good morning, Pup. Where did you come from?” All day she kept up a running conversation with me and in time I lay at her feet. Laying there I felt the need to protect her come over me. A feeling I had never had before. When someone would come into her room, I would automatically go to full alert mode. The guys would laugh and tell her, "Boy, you got a watch dog there.”

Late in the day she asked me if I was ready to go home, picked me up, and put me in the front seat of her pickup. I didn't know what “home” was, but it had a good ring to it. After a long drive she pulled into a driveway and stopped. A big white dog, Blanco she called him, came to the fence barking. I was scared and ran under the pickup. She called and called to me...but I wouldn't come out. She reached under the pickup, taking my legs in her hands and dragged me out. I bit her, bringing blood. She didn't turn me loose, but put me in Blanco's fence. He mostly ignored me. When he did come close I showed him “I'm a baby and I don't want to fight stance.”

The woman went into the house leaving us alone. After a while she came out, telling us she had to go feed and calling Blanco to the fence for a treat. She had one for me. I took mine so aggressively I brought the blood from her hand, I didn't mean to hurt her, but I had never had anything that smelled or tasted so good. She shook her hand and told me I had better be more careful next time.

After an hour or so she came back to the house, talked to us for a minute and went in the house. About dark she came out with our dinner. She put down Blanco's pan and walked across the yard to put mine down. She stepped back, giving me room to eat. When Blanco finished his meal, he didn't come and take mine. It was the first time I remember not having to fight for my food.

The next morning she came out, gave us another treat and said she was going to work and left. Late afternoon, she came home and the evening was the same as the one before.

Soon the weekend came. In the afternoon she came out with a leash and collar. Blanco knew what was going to happen. He reared on the fence, the collar was slipped over his head, leash attached, gate opened and he was taken into the house. She came back for me. I really wanted to go with her, but I couldn't go to her and let the collar be put around my neck. I would go to her, but when she would start to catch me, I would run. This went on for 15 minutes or so. She got tired of trying to catch me, so she went into the house with Blanco. Later she came out and tried to catch me again. This time I mustered my courage, stood and let her put the collar around my neck. I had no idea what to expect when I went through the door. With great anticipation, I entered. Blanco met me at the door, wiggling with joy.

What is that smell - cats? I started after one as I had been taught and was told in a stern voice, “Pup, leave the cats alone.” Which was easy, they were gone in a flash.
She took the collar off and I had my freedom. Upon the couch, cushions flying, cleared the dining room table in a flash, kitchen cabinets came next. This was fun. I heard, “Pup, you need to settle down,” bringing my attention back to her. I ran back to her, jumping on her, licking her in the face, mouthing her arm, I was completely out of control. After a battle, she got me under semi control. She petted me for a long time. Finally I lay down.

I saw the cats peeking out from behind a couch. I had to investigate. The cats had no fear of Blanco, but they were afraid of me. The woman watched me and the cats and kept telling me, “Now don't hurt the cats. Be gentle with them." I would try to catch them, but I couldn't get behind the couch. By the time it was time for us to go back outside, I was getting used to the cats. I was told, "Pup, you are driving me crazy,” and both of us were put back outside. I had a good time in the house...I hoped I would get to come back.

What was Blanco doing? He had been fed a treat, petted and was laying on the rug. He wasn't having any fun. The next day was Sunday, it was like Saturday, I was still out of control but she seemed to think I was a bit better than the day before. Time in the house became a weekend ritual. We would spend all afternoon in the house, sometimes even coming back in after she fed the horses. She would tell me, "Pup, you are driving me crazy.” I would try, but couldn't settle down. After one visit in the house I got my name, Reckless, or Her Dog From Hell.

Time went by and she got her back yard fenced. Now we could come inside anytime we wanted. She was happy telling people how much better she would sleep with us in the house at night. She hadn't counted on how excited I would get being on the bed with her. When she would start to get into bed, I would jump on the bed and start running back and forth on the bed, licking her face, grabbing her arm in my mouth...completely out of control once more. To get into the bed, she had to throw the bedspread over me and even after she was in she had to keep her head under the cover. I would be frantic to lick her. I would claw at the cover over her head. When I gave up and laid down, she would softly rub my ears. In time I learned, when I settled down I would be petted, but not before. The grabbing her arm in the mouth was the next thing I learned not to do. Over and over I would hear, "Don't bite me.” When I didn't bite, I got more petting. The hardest to hear was, “Don't lick me.” I'm better, but still try to sneak in a lick when I can.

I have been a house dog for months and learned a lot. I take treats gently, I don't mouth her arm, I only sneak a lick in from time to time. I have learned that Blanco can be petted and her loving him takes nothing from me. If I stand by him without growling, she will pet us both. The cats are fun to play with. If I move over on the bed at night, she will pet Blanco then pet me until she falls asleep. My feeling of protectiveness grows with each passing day.

I was introduced to tennis balls. How I love them. I have something I can bite to my heart's content. I lay on the couch or bed, throw them off, sneak up on them over and over. Sometime they roll under the the bed or couch and I'm too big to get them out. The first time she come into the room with the broom, I couldn't help myself, old fears die hard. I cringed running from the room. As I ran down the hall she called after me, "Hey Pup, I will never hurt you.” I stopped my flight, turned and peeked in the door to see what she was going to do with the broom. She was bending over with the broom under the bed. Out came my ball.

Soon I learned the broom meant the ball would run out from under the bed or couch. The ball had to be afraid of the broom, not me. Some nights I wake up, fearing danger, a different kind of danger than in my old life. I instinctively stand guard over her sleeping form, watching and listening, on high alert.

She never wakes, feeling no danger. I get off the bed, stand in the doorway, seeing or hearing nothing, I go back to bed. The danger is there, I know something is in the house. My resolve grows stronger, I will protect her.

Being awakened to an unknown danger begins to happen a couple times a week. Each time the feeling of danger is stronger. Now as I lay in the doorway guarding her room, I sometimes see a vague shadow. My first instinct is to run, but I can't leave her. Why doesn't she feel the danger?

One morning she is petting under my neck and puts one hand on my rump and pushes down slightly and tells me to sit. Hey, I know what she wants, so I sit. Twice more she asks me to sit and I do. I get a lot of “good dog, good boy” and “good Reckless, you are so smart.”

The next morning she asked me to sit. I sat for her, but a low growl came from my throat intended for the dark form, The Thing, just behind her. I promise I wasn't growling at her, but at the form. She asks, “Did you just growl at me?” with disbelief in her voice. She asked me to sit again. I did, but the growl came louder as The Thing's hand joined hers as she reached to touch my rump.

“Reck, don't growl at me,” she said. And I was put outside. I could feel her fear of me, but not The Thing. Why me? I would never hurt her. When The Thing is near, I growl as she pets me. Each time I growl I feel her fear of me grow.

Now most of the time when I come inside The Thing is in the house. When it is close my fear of it makes my hackles rise and I cringe in fear, but my need to protect her keeps me from running. 

Her nephew came to do some work on the well. He is laying new pipe from the well to the house. He had to get in the back yard with me and Blanco. We had fun rough housing. I got too excited and growled. He thumped me on the nose, telling me, "Dog you don't growl at me." Then he started to rough house with me again as if nothing happened. He left and I was called inside. I came through the door and The Thing was overpowering. My hackles came up, I cringed and my eyes filled with fear. I started to her as I came inside, but one look at me and she backed up, face showing fear. I ran into the living room, with The Thing all around me. As I started back though the house, she got a ball and threw to me. That broke the spell and The Thing moved away. I played with the ball, she came to me and put her arms around my neck....all was right in my world.

Blanco
Poor Reckless, he is so afraid of The Thing. It takes all his courage to go into the house. Me, I'm more laid back. I'm not afraid until I need to be. I watched the Thing and saw no signs of aggression. I do like to know where it is when I'm going out or coming in. She gets so aggravated at me when I stand in the door checking out the utility room before I come inside or when I stand in the doorway and check out each room as I come though them on my way out.

I'm sure Reckless wasn't born with his fear. It was instilled in him by his treatment before he came here to live. Me, I was lucky. I never knew pain or fear. When I was dumped out, the first house I went to fed me. A few days later the woman came by and was asked if she needed a dog. She said yes and loaded me in the pickup for the drive home.

For some reason I was born timid. When company comes I try to get out of sight. Maybe my timidness was the reason I was dumped. They thought I was too timid for guard duty for a herd of sheep. It doesn't matter, I'm happy in my new home. Reckless and I will both protect the woman with our last breath. We just show it in different ways. I try to stay out of the way and he puts on this mean front.

My dog from Hell
When I came into my office, there he was, a Pit-Rhodesian Ridgeback cross. Just a half grown pup. He was scared but calm. After talking to him, he came and laid with his head on my feet. I have a soft spot for strays, so knew I would be taking him home with me. My other reject, Blanco, a German Shepherd – Giant Pyrenees cross, needed company. Blanco was lonesome since the death of his old running buddies. It had been a long time since I had only one dog living at my place.

I put the pup in the pickup and he laid watching me all the way home. I let him out of the pickup and instead of following me inside, he crawled under the pick up all hackled up. I thought he was just afraid of Blanco standing at the fence barking. I reached for him and darn, he bit me and brought the blood. What have I got myself into here I thought? I went ahead and pulled him from under the pick up and put him in with Blanco. The pup made the signs of “don't hurt me, I'm a baby” and Blanco ignored him. Blanco is a very laid back dog and I was sure he wouldn't start a fight. I went into the house to let them get acquainted.

Later I went to feed the horses, he and Blanco were halfway playing. I called Blanco to the fence and gave him his evening treat. The pup wanted one too and about took my hand with it. “Oh, he is just scared and hungry,” I thought, making excuses for him.
After feeding, I fixed their evening meal and the pup didn't seem aggressive while he ate. The rest of the week went about the same. The pup never brought blood when I fed him his treat again, but he came close. He was always so hyper and excited when it came feeding time. Or anytime I paid attention to him.

I wanted Blanco in the house at night, but my yard fence wasn't around the back of my house. Living in the country, I had let Blanco out at night a few times and instead of going out and doing his business, he had to patrol the place looking for predators, his Giant Pyrenees guard dog breeding coming to the surface. He had a perimeter he checked out anytime I let him out, taking about 10 minutes. In time I knew he would see a coyote, wild hog, bobcat or fox and give chase. I had decided it was best for him to be only let out in a yard, so I couldn't keep him inside at night. The yard gate was too far from the house to be going to it in the middle of the night to let him in or put him out. Remember snakes crawl at night. So I brought them inside on weekends and evenings in the summertime.

The first time I brought the pup inside was a disaster. He hit the house in high gear. He was so hyper. In the blink of an eye the cushions flew off the couch, everything but him from the dining room table. When the table was clear, it was onto the cabinets. I watched in amazement. I finally had the smarts to tell him to settle down. That brought his attention back to me. He jumped on me, almost knocking me down. I put my hand on his head forcing him to the floor. In time I got him settled down by petting his ears and under his neck. As he laid by the chair, I was afraid to move, knowing if I got his attention, he would be all over me again.

Before I brought him home I knew he had issues. He didn't like to be touched on his back, sides, underbelly, or legs. He would jerk away if I touched him there or sling his mouth toward my hand. He never snapped, but I got his message. I had picked up many strays and felt in time I would gain his trust and I could handle him. Talking to our dogs had always worked, but from the beginning I could tell he was going to be the hardest dog to bring under control. There was fear in his eyes most of the time.
Soon, I called him Reckless, or My Dog From Hell. Poor Reckless. He was everything I didn't like about a pup, hyper, mouthy, and oh so needy for my attention. Oh, did I mention he was also a licker. He couldn't get enough attention. He would growl and push Blanco away if he even came close.

When I would really get aggravated at him I would always fall back on: He doesn't bother the cats. Of course they stayed hid most of the time he was inside. Each time he came inside I could see a bit of improvement.

I had never had a dog act like him before, so I started asking everyone I knew about to handle him. Most of the answers involved carrying a stick and hitting him when he did wrong. I didn't think punishment was the right answer for Reckless. I could see the fear in his eyes and the way he cringed when I raised my voice to him. Rescue dogs had filled our home as long as I could remember, some very abused, and never did I have a problem with control until Reckless.

One can find all kinds of information online so I started Googling dog training sites. The SPCA site came up. I started reading about hyper dogs. I found I was re-enforcing him being hyper when I petted him to calm him down. The site said to ignore the dog until he settled down then reward him with attention. The site said it would be hard and I thought...yeah...you don't know how hard it will be to ignore Reckless.

The next time I brought the dogs in, I put on my heavy winter feeding clothes. I brought the dogs in and covered my face and head. Reckless went more crazy then usual, trying to get to bare skin. Amazingly in 10 minutes or so he laid by by the chair. I reached down and petted him. That started his motor running again. Once more I ignored him. This went on all afternoon. Each calm spell lasting a few seconds longer. The bravest of my cats came of hiding. She made sure she had an escape route, slowly she would stick out a paw from behind the couch to see what would happen. Reckless was in heaven, he had something to try to lick. I was grateful Reck's attention was on her not me. The weekend ended and I could see progress, I was happy.

I got the back yard fence and the dogs became inside dogs. Now I figured Reckless would forget his abuse, settle down and not be so needy. A lot of progress had been made in his behavior on weekends, but he was far from being under control.
Winter came and something happened that made me see Reckless for the dog he had hidden under his fear. It was very cold, I was sick and went to feed. I made it to the barn, fed the first batch of horses and was so cold and tired I had to rest, leaning against the fence before I could get back to the pickup. I debated whether to go back to the house and ask for help in feeding the last of the horses. Finishing feeding by myself won and I drove to the second pen. After feeding them, once more I had to lean on the gate to gather strength to make it back to the pickup. At this point I thought I was going to have to call for help to get back in the pickup. My pride told me to just rest and I could make it to the pickup and though the gate. I made it to the pickup and rested again. At the gate I got it opened and drove though. 

I sat and rested once more until I could get the gate shut and by leaning on the pickup bed I made it to the cab. The trip home was short and at the house I sat dreading the short walk to the door. Slowly I started to the house, had a hard time getting the door unlocked, got inside and collapsed on the couch. As I lay there I thought...that Dog From Hell will be all over me. Instead later I was awakened by a paw being laid gently on my face and a small lick on my cheek. I said, "I'm okay, Reckless, just go away.” I opened my eyes and saw him laying on the rug by the couch, watching me. I slept until 10:00 pm with him waking me a couple more times always so gently. I got up and went to bed and he laid down on the bed beside me with his head on my back. I didn't know he had it in him to be so gentle and have that compassion for me. I had dreaded getting into bed. Most of the time he would bounce up and down the length of the bed trying to lick my face and grab my arm in his mouth. This time he just watched me get into bed. So no matter how aggravating Reckless is, I now knew he could be a great dog.

Weeks go by and I'm so proud of Reckless' progress. Everyday I see better and better behavior. All this progress with never a hand laid on him in anger. He still has issues, but with time they are becoming less noticeable.

Then he growled at me. I was shocked. All the stories of pits turning on their owners came to mind. I tell myself over and over Reckless would never attack me unless I pushed him into a corner, but the growls brought up the fear.

My first source of information was the SPCA site. I read and reread all their information on aggressive dogs. The more I read the more confused I got. Watching Reckless for signs of aggression made me see aggression in everything he did. After all this time I became very afraid of him.

When one lives in the country something always needs repair. This time it was my well. My nephew came up to help me....well, to do the work while I watched. My nephew needed to work in the back yard. I was going to put the dogs in the house, but he jumped the back yard fence and started to work. Soon him and Reckless started to rough house. I watched them play and Reckless growled at my nephew and got a thump on the nose with, “Don't growl at me.” I watch them continue to rough house with Reckless not growling again.

My nephew got water to my house and I worked in the yard for a bit longer. Later I went into the house to rest, calling the dogs in with me. Reckless came though the door cringing and slightly shaking. He had the wildest look in his eyes as he checked out the house. The cats took one look at him and hid. I was afraid to touch or speak to him. I went to the pantry and got a ball and bounced it to him. He grabbed the ball, started to play with it. The cats came out of hiding and my Reckless was back.
I admit, I'm afraid of Reckless and getting more afraid of him with each passing day.

My niece called and I thought I would ask her if she had any ideas about Reckless. Her first thought was my ghost was back and he wasn't growling at me, but the ghost. That was something I never thought about.

My Ghost
Several years ago my husband became very depressed because of bad health. He committed suicide. His little dog Skeeter almost died from grief. I often thought I should have taken her to the funeral home so she would have known he was dead, but at the time I didn't think of it.

Not long after his death strange things started to happen. I would come home to find typing paper in the floor, a book in an unexpected place and loose change by the outside door or laying in the living room. I always brushed these occurrences aside. The cats were playing with the typing paper, even with no teeth or claw marks on them. The misplaced books were just me forgetting where I had laid them when I finished reading. The change dropped from my pocket while I was pulling out my car keys, even though I never carried any cash. A ghost was the farthest thing from my mind. Later things started to happen I couldn't explain away.

One evening as I loaded hay in the back of the truck, I felt it shift as if someone sat down in it. My first thought was, “Boy, Skeet, you sure jumped in heavy.” I went to the cab and nothing was inside. Skeeter was coming though the gate, nowhere close to the pickup. I called her and she came running, jumped in the cab with me. Instead of looking out the window as usual, she lay down in the seat. At the barn instead of going with me to feed she stayed in the cab. She didn't leave the pickup for her evening swim. Strange I thought. When I got back to the house Skeeter was very reluctant to leave the pick-up. I finally got tired of waiting for her and picked her up and carried her inside. She lay by the front door, ears pricked watching or waiting until bedtime.

One night Skeeter woke me jumping off the couch. I thought she needed out. Instead of going to the door, she started for the other couch. She had her head down the same way as when she saw something on our walks she didn't know what it was. Just before she got to the couch, her ears came up and tail started to wag. She was so excited as she jumped on the couch. She made a couple of passes leaning against the back of the couch. She gave a big sigh and laid down still wagging her tail. She laid there for 30 minutes or so, happy. Then slowly she got down and came back to my couch and laid back at my feet. She watched the other couch for a bit and went back to sleep.

One evening I saw an apparition as I was getting hay. As I parked I saw a wisp of gray coming from in front of the pickup. At first I thought my pickup was on fire. Looking closer I could tell the wisp was in front of the hood. It was light gray, transparent, about a foot wide and extending about 4 foot above the hood. I just sit, looking at it. I wanted to see if I could walk to it and see if I could touch it but something held me back, fear of the unknown maybe. In time it became fainter and fainter until I could no longer see it. All the time I sat there Skeeter was watching it with pricked ears and wagging her tail. When I could no longer see it, I got out to see if it was really smoke and something was smoldering. I looked and looked but found no evidence of fire.

Meanwhile I was still finding items out of place in the house and the change laying in the floor. Overtime I decided my husband's ghost was at the house. From time to time I would tell someone about my ghost. People who didn't believe in ghosts would think I had gone crazy. People who believed in ghost loved hearing about everything out of the ordinary. Two questions I was asked over and over were, could I feel the ghost presence and was I afraid. I would have to tell them no on both accounts. No way could I be afraid of my husband's ghost. He would never hurt me in life or death.
Skeeter was old and one evening she collapsed at the barn. By the time I got her back to the house she was dead. Her death was very hard on me. She was my last connection to my husband except for his little yellow mare.

A few days later I was feeding and missing Skeeter not being with me. As I carried an arm load of hay, I was thinking what a nice warm spring day. On days like this I enjoyed feeding. Then I walked into a fast air current of very cold air, colder than air from an air conditioner on a hot day.

I dropped my hay, back tracked, running in the direction the current was moving. I was never able to find it. For the first time I was afraid.

There were no more signs from the ghost. In my mind he had came back for Skeeter and they went to the light together.

Could he really be back?
Blanco had started going into the living room and barking for no apparent reason. At


times he would not come though certain rooms unless I put him on a leash. He would bark at the door wanting in, but before he would come in he would stand and look around, down the hall, check out the washer and dryer, but mostly he would look up. Finally he would come on in. He would do the same when he went outside. Blanco no longer sleeps in the living room. He now lays on the rug by the bed. He would wake me wanting to be petted, very unusual for him.

Thinking back it was about the same time Reckless would wake me standing guard over me, watching the door, finally jumping from the bed and guarding the door. The same time he started to growl from time to time.

After talking to my niece, I decided to talk to the ghost. I told him they didn't know him like Skeeter and they were afraid of him. So would he back off? I felt pretty stupid talking to him, but I did for the dogs sake. By the dogs' actions he must have realized what he was doing and kept his distance. Reckless was more relaxed and no longer waking me up by standing guard over me. He no longer laid in the doorway on full alert looking down the hall. But best of all, he hasn't growled at him since I talked to the ghost. Blanco also began to come inside and go out much better.

Life is good on the farm once more.