Stop and Pet the Puppy…

By Kathy Dunnehoff

I’m happy to say that a topic like “the best gift ever” is a tough one for me because over the course of my life, I’ve been given many wonderful things. Some were as small as my favorite tea from my daughters to an engagement ring one Christmas Eve from the man I’ve now been happily married to for 20 years.

But in choosing, I’m going to have to go with a present that wasn’t entirely intended for me…Tally on couch

Yes, this Christmas my husband and I bought a puppy for our daughters, Ava and Grace. They’d been begging for a dog throughout their childhoods, and since they’re both in high school, we knew it was now or never.

We brought home a six-week-old Yorkie named Tally. It was November and right in the middle of National Novel Writing Month, so I don’t know how I managed to finish the first 50,000 words of my new novel, The Rocker’s Mrs., but I did!

I knew the girls would be crazy about the dog, and they are, but what I failed to appreciate is that I would fall head over heels in love with her!

Evidence that this is the best gift ever (and that I have completely lost my mind):

1. On my phone’s homescreen I’ve replaced my beautiful daughters with the dog.
2. I show complete strangers the photo.
3. I’m entirely convinced she’s the cutest, smartest puppy in the world. (Even though she’s chewed my leather chair and still wakes up in the night to be taken out into the freezing cold)
4. I buy her toys every time I go to the store.
5. And, yes, I picked up a reindeer costume as well…

Tally reindeer

6. But the main reason she’s the best gift ever… while it’s difficult in the everyday whir of life to stop and smell the roses, it’s easy to stop and play with the puppy.

Tally attacking 2

Thank you for that, Tally!

And if you’re an ebook reader, Plan On It, is on sale 99cents today for the Kindle Daily Countdown. Just click on the cover…

PlanOnIt_Natl

The Best Gift Ever

The Best Gift ever for me was a ping back one.  One Christmas I did not know what I would give my daughter-in-law, Karen.  Then it dawn on me that she liked to make evergreen centerpieces for her friends, and Karen lives on the flatlands of Montana with no access to cedar, fir, balsam, or blue spruce.  I pestered my husband to driving up into our nearby mountains and help cut evergreens for Karen.  We packaged a large box full and sent it to her.  She called and excitedly claimed it was her best gift everHomerun for mother-in-law.

ginacent    About three years later my granddaughter, Karen’s daughter, decided to have a late November wedding and, of course, they wanted to do a Christmas theme.  I was asked to send lots and lots of greenery.  Okay.  I didn’t want to go into the mountians alone, so pestered my friend, Jo, to go with me.  “No way,” she said.  “Nope.  Nah.  Never.”  By the time we finished our 18 holes of golf, she had relented.

On the morning we left for the high country, I called her to tell her the time our adventure would begin, and I added, “Be sure and wear bright colors, something orange if you have it, so we won’t get shot by hunters.”  Stupid thing to say.  After much of her bemoaning and my cajoling, she loaded up and away we went.  We cut scads of lovely, fresh, aromtic boughs, just dripping with essence, and I mailed them off.  Jo’s gift of going into the cold, high country, during hunting season with me has been a gift I chuckle over and will always remember.  Jo is a good sport.

This is one of the 26 center pieces needed for the wedding.  They also wanted me to make all the black table runners.  Gotta love those flatland women.

mariemartin  Marie F Martin