Monday, August 12, 2013

The Rat Terrier Princess--by Linda P. Kozar


Her first Christmas...

Patches joined our family back in 1998 in spite of my husband's objections. He didn't want to bother with a dog. "Too much trouble," he said.

But I argued my case well:) "The children need a dog. It'll  be good for them." I smiled. "One day you're gonna come home and find a new puppy in the house and you'll fall in love with it."

"No way," he said.

Well, one day I came home with Patches. Totally surprised the girls. We rode bikes together to school that day. As soon as I got home, I jumped in the car and drove an hour and a half to Sealy, Texas in answer to a classified newspaper ad for Jack Russell pups. I'd been secretly searching the classified ads for weeks!

After a harrowing drive through Houston and confusing directions from the people I called, I arrived at a sad little farmstead. A tired old couple lived there and looked to be down on their luck to say the least. I followed the old woman to a makeshift pen outside the house, filled with Jacks who were barking and jumping--creating quite a ruckus. Was this some sort of puppy mill? Or were these people just trying to raise dogs to supplement their income? I looked at the house. Weathered and worn, the house was falling apart. The old man was too. He could barely get around. His wife went to the pen and came back with a little bundle of white. A darling, adorable little puppy!

The tiny pup was completely white, save for a patch of black around her left eye, (with a just a hint of brown fur around the edge of that patch). The old woman pointed to the pen. The mother dog was extremely agitated. 

"She's losing her last puppy today," the woman said.

"Her last?" I stroked it's little head.

"Yes ma'am, she's the last."

I looked at the pup with all intentions of examining her for runt-ly defects, but I'd already fallen hopelessly in love. "I'll take her."

Back on the road, I stopped at a pet store to buy food and water dishes, a small bed, dogwood, a collar and leash. Traffic was awful. I arrive home with enough time to put our new pup in its doggie carrier, before I had to hop on my bike and hightail it to school to meet the girls.

On the way home with the girls I could barely contain my excitement. They were in for a BIG surprise! When they walked in the kitchen door, the first thing they noticed were the items I'd purchased at the pet store. Then they noticed the carrier. 

"Mom, what's going on?"

I smiled. "Open the crate door."

To this day I don't know who squealed more, the dog or my girls. It was love at first sight.

The girls loved to play dress-up with Patches.

But that was the first hurdle. My husband came home about an hour later. I wondered if he'd be mad. He looked the dog over and watched the girls playing with the tiny pup. "What's its name?" he asked.

"Well, we thought about Magoo, like Mr. Magoo. What do you think?"

He shook his head. "Naah, that doesn't fit."

"Got any better ideas?"

"I do," he said. "Patches." He held the dog up and looked closely at her. She has a patch over one eye. "Patches fits." With that, he went into the living room and settled on the sofa to watch the news while I got dinner ready. Patches, eh? The girls loved the new name. And I had to admit, the name did fit. 

The girls went outside to play with their friends.

While sauteeing our meal at the stovetop, I stole a glance at the crate, to check on our newest addition, but it was empty! Didn't the girls had put the puppy back in the crate before they went outside to play with their friends? I told them to!

Frantic, I ran out of the kitchen and into the living room. The six-o-clock news was blaring, but there on the sofa my husband was napping, our new puppy happily nestled in the crook of his arm.

Smart little runt! Patches had won over the master of the house.



***

We found out later that Patches is a mix of Jack Russell and Rat Terrier. After a bit of research, we discovered she looks more like a Rat Terrier.
Napping is what Patches does best these days. Note the crossed paws...

So we began to call her our Rat Terrier Princess. In her youth, she chased squirrels with a fury. Her other favorite thing was chasing bubbles. We'd start blowing bubbles outside and she'd jump high after them, popping the bubbles with her mouth.

Our Patches is 15 years old now. Diabetic, she requires two shots a day. She's also blind. But our Patch still gets around, goes for a walk every day and is mostly in good spirits, although she gets a bit feisty at times. Patches is a member of our family and we love her. Now that she's a senior pup, she requires a lot more attention, but she's worth it. We're dreading the inevitable goodbye, but will take solace in our sweet memories with her.




My youngest daughter Lauren made Patches a YouTube star:)



Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/Ebook, Creative Woman Mysteries) and her nonfiction title, Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, released in 2013 (Indie-Published). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild.

In addition to writing Linda is Lead Host of the Gate Beautiful Radio Show, part of the Red River Network on Blog Talk Radio—interviewing Christian authors from Debut to Bestselling, airing the 3rd Thursday of every month. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency

Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.


4 comments:

  1. Amazing how pooches grab our heart, isn't it? Cute pics of Patches and I agree with your hubby - the name fits perfectly. Loved your story, my friend.

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  2. Awh, Janetta. I want to read your pup's stories!!! I'm sure you have some amazing ones:)

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  3. Love it Linda. Thanks for sharing Patches with us.

    Deborah Malone
    "Death in Dahlonega"
    "Murder in Marietta"

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    1. Thanks Deborah. I don;t know how much longer she'll be around, but we sure do love her:)

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