A Cookie To Go

A Cookie To GoThis book is a compilation of stories about my dogs and the dogs I have known. These stories have been a great comfort to others who have recently lost a beloved pet. It feels good to remember and laugh! What makes these stories special is they are one hundred percent, hand-over-heart true.

Every little detail actually happened. It’s ironic that Norman, the reason I wrote these stories, was such a great dog he doesn’t really star in many of them. He never created enough havoc to cause disarray like some of my other pets.

After Norman’s death a few weeks ago, I realized I needed to try and remember all the great things about his life instead of reflecting upon his last and very sad days. What came to mind was all the laughter he gave to our family. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them!
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Here’s a Sample:


The sheet of ice had formed on our back deck during a snowstorm. Norman discovered he could play with these pieces of ice, lick them, and then toss them down the deck, all the while chasing them like he would any other toy. One morning he decided he’d like to bring the piece inside. I quickly read his mind.

“Absolutely not.” I said.

But Norman proceeded to try and figure out how to get that huge chunk of frozen water in through his doggie door. The ice was bigger than Norman; about three feet across and held in his mouth like the limb of a tree. It took him almost half an hour before he finally figured out if he just turned it the other way it would easily fit in the small opening. He was so proud when he finally accomplished this task I didn’t have the heart to take it from him, and he got the last laugh.

Shortly after he came inside with the ice, I was distracted trying to get two kids ready for school. I took the kids to school, and upon returning, Norman was comfortably chewing the large, solid block of ice, on the top of our bed. There was water everywhere, the bedspread, blankets and sheets were soaked and I don’t think that bed dried for weeks. A little bit of ice goes a long way.

Our dear friends, Connie and Mike, had recently purchased a new home in Southern California. They spent almost as much on an incredible plan to landscape their new backyard as they did on the house. This plan included a new pool, spa, grass, palm trees, and an entire hill of flowering flora.

On one of our many trips down to visit, the weather turned and it began to rain. Connie and Mike’s recently landscaped yard was under water. Norman was with us as we always brought him everywhere. Although not fond of water, Norman did have an unusual affinity for mud; wet, mushy, caked, dried or just there.

Mike had given strict instructions as to what and where Norman could go while outside. We tied him to a long lead and he had fun playing in the new yard before all hell broke loose, and I do mean loose. He broke free of that pesky lead. Connie and I happened to look out the window just in time to witness Norman tearing through their backyard like a crazed animal. He was really having fun.

Connie and I just laughed, poured more wine, and immediately started contriving a story for Mike. Norman, now a giant ball of wet mud eyed us looking at him and laughing. Before we could stop him he ran over to the sliding door, blew through the closed screen, tore it open and flopped his muddy rear end on top of Connie’s new couch. I hope my face looked as horrified as Connie’s.

Time stood still. The cleanup was nasty, took hours, it cost us money for a new screen door, and yet we still laughed. At least, we laughed until Mike came home. We saved Norman’s life that night by hiding him in the car for a bit–Connie and I were not so lucky. A little bit of laughter makes mud go a long way.

Norman’s last bit of craftiness happened just a few months ago. Our son, Christopher, home from overseas, noticed that when he let Norman out to roam around the house he’d return with food of some sort. A little backstory on Norman; he was a chowhound. There was never a morsel of food that got by him. Honestly, that dog would have eaten himself to death if allowed.

So there were two questions. Why was the dog bringing home the food, intact, and where was he getting it? We live in a very remote neighborhood with only a few homes. Norman never went farther than next door so that’s where we figured he was acquiring these groceries. After speaking with our neighbors we were even more puzzled as none of them said anything was missing. Day after day Norman would show up with items like a whole chicken, a bag of flour and even a couple of loaves of unopened bread. Chris and I laughed and laughed about what would show up next – we even tried following him to see where he was getting this food.

We never really solved the mystery but did discover that our neighbors across the road were missing some bread after a trip to the market. Apparently Norman would wait until they went up their stairs then pop into their car and help himself to their groceries. I made Chris take Norman back over and apologize! A little bit of food goes a long way.