Archive for December 9th, 2017


The Captivating Dogs in Patchwork Love

Author Comments on Susie & Molasses & Family

“I would purchase this book based on the title and tag line alone – dogs and kids, you can’t go wrong.”

That comment by reader Brenda took me back to the early planning stages of writing Patchwork Love. No doubt in my mind about Susie – she was a “Lassie” dog, sidekick of Timmy, always there to ease the crisis, to find the problem and then to make sure it was resolved. I loved that dog through all the 50’s, and 60’s, and even into the 70’s, as my own “Timmy’s” were born and had pets.

But as I begin to write Patchwork Love, I realized I didn’t know much about the breed. So I researched “collie” and learned that the Lassie dog of memory was a “Rough Collie” – meaning it has a long coat, as opposed to the short-haired “Smooth Collie.” The character of Susie began to take shape – a Rough Collie by breed, sweet natured and loyal, polite with strangers and peaceful with other animals. Of course she would rescue two lost children. Of course she would companion a lonely man. The photo is exactly how I imagine Susie looks, walking alongside the creek, although with a patch over her left eye.

Of course Susie would be a good mother, but I won’t get ahead of the story. I will make you privy to the playfulness of collie pups, because, yes, there are pups and I needed to imagine them jumping around under their mother’s watchful eye. I found a You Tube Video at aldredeliecollies, published Sep 28, 2014, entitled Peggy’s Rough Collies Playing Tag. Those last two are Lucy and Archie in the flesh!

And then there was Molasses. I had a very clear picture in mind of Molasses, always by Buddy’s side, Lassie and Timmy by nature, but DIFFERENT. Big brown soulful eyes. Short hair. I searched dog pictures online for several days before finding JUST the dog. A Fox Red Lab. Perfect!

On The Labrador Site I read an article by Pippa Mattinson (Dec 14, 2016) describing the Fox Red Labrador Retriever as a friendly dog, with an exuberant personality and a sense of fun. They love human companionship, she writes, and stay close to their master at all times, until required to retrieve. Highly co-operative and intelligent, they are the most popular family pet in the world.

No wonder Marybeth was so delighted when Cinnamon joined her family. And when you get to the part of the story that takes place at the edge of the ravine, you will know exactly what Molasses is going to do. Here is one of Pippa’s photos, in case you’re not familiar with the Fox Red Lab. A dead ringer for Molasses in Patchwork Love, at least in his younger days.

Now who is going to ask Santa for a dog for Christmas?