A Pause in Banned Books Week Coverage

Sit down. I have a story for you.

So we have a neurotic six-year-old German Shepherd. I generally refer to her as The Creature With Fangs. tho’ truth be told, she rarely uses them.






Isn’t she lovely?





We’ve known for a while now that she’s be a lot happier (and possibly less neurotic) if she had a buddy. (The chickens don’t count. She views them as snack food.)

We decided we needed a short-haired dog, maybe one of the breeds that provokes fewer allergic responses. Most importantly, the new dog would have to get along with The Creature With Fangs. But we are responsible adults here, very serious people. We knew that we should wait until after my book tour before we started looking forΒ  the Companion Dog.

Seriously. We meant it. For real.

Driving back from Ft. Ticonderoga on Sunday, we stopped at a super-great grocery store in Saratoga Springs, Putnam Market. As I was getting back into the car, I noticed a brand new Kong ball laying next to the front tire. I looked around. There were no dogs in sight. The only people I could see looked like cat people.

I tossed the Kong ball in the car, figuring it would be a souvenir of our trip for The Creature With Fangs.

Tuesday morning, as I was getting ready for the arrival of my writer’s group, a dog showed up at our house. A funny-looking dog. Looked like he had been built from the spare parts of several different breeds. Made me think of a chimera or a hippogriff. He was scared and hungry so we fed him and gave him some water. He had a collar, but no ID. Looked to be about six months old.

When I crouched down to pet him, he leaned against my leg.

I fell in love.

“His name is Thor,” I told my husband. Why? Because that was the name that popped in my head.

“Don’t fall in love,” BH warned. (I did not tell him it was too late.)

BH made a lot of phone calls. Turns out that this dog’s owner had ‘sort of’ left him at a neighbor’s house and forgotten to pick him up. For a month. The owner was more than happy to have us take the dog off his hands; he wasn’t in a position to care for the dog properly, but really didn’t want to take the little guy to the pound. Props to him for that.

But before we could agree to take him, he had to pass a test. We introduced the ChimeraDog to our Creature With Fangs.

We held our breath.

Or rather, we inhaled, but didn’t have time to hold our breath because they both started wagging their tails and playing as if they’d been born in the same litter.

So we have a new resident in the Forest. After much speculation, we think he is cross between an Australian cattle dog and possibly a Rottweiler. I imagine the vet will be able to figure it out.





Treats? Did someone say "treats?"



The Creature With Fangs is a very happy Creature indeed.




Our family is a little bigger and life is even more topsy-turvy than usual around here. In the best possible way.

One more thing!

We found out what the dog’s original name was. Can you guess it?

Right. His original name was Thor. And he loves that stray Kong ball that I picked up in Saratoga.

::cues Twilight Show theme::

25 Replies to “A Pause in Banned Books Week Coverage”

  1. Wow, I LOVE stories like that, although the name thing is truly creepy. My 3rd dog Pumpkin came to us like that. He ran in front of my car and had to pass the Lucy the Wonder Dog test before being allowed to stay. He had a ratty collar and no one was looking for him. Congratulations on your new family member, sounds like you are all a perfect fit!

  2. Awww, he’s beautiful! Congratulations! Our puppy came to us from a shelter from an animal cruelty case, and he had to pass the very scary test of meeting his two brothers (one of which believes he is a ninja.) He passed with flying colors, and that’s when we really knew he was part of the family.

  3. That’s awesome. Let the fun begin! They will keep your BH company during the long days when you are gone. πŸ™‚

  4. I got a dog in almost the same way. He showed up in the yard (skinny, limping, and thirsty), made friends with my kid, and laid down at my feet like he belonged there. Couldn’t not adopt him after that.

    Congrats on the puppy. He’s beautiful.

  5. Aw, I’m so glad Thor found you! I got my Maggie in a shopping mall parking lot, where she was extending her overflowing love to anyone who would take it. Of course – I did! She had to pass the Loba test – and, like your two – they were long-lost friends!
    Yay for dogs & people finding each other & Yay for kongs that want to go where they belong!

  6. Our mixed breed stray dog was found at the side of the road with a collar that had grown into her skin, and she had no fur on her chest. She became our pumpkin, is a lap dog, instantly loved the cat we somehow started taking care of as well (another stray), and we swiftly forgot that she was supposed to be this Vizla (Hungarian hunting dog) and pit bull mix. She’s the sweetest little thing.

    Okay, love sharing dog stories! The dog’s name really was Thor?? OMG, if that’s not fate — don’t know what is! What a fabulous story, and so glad to hear that The Creature With Fangs likes the new guy!

  7. Congrats! We had a cat adopt us when his owner married a girl with a big dog, and adopting him in turn was the best thing we could’ve done.

    In the first photo, his coloring makes it look like he got a mullet. Hippogriff indeed. πŸ™‚

  8. That’s such a sweet story. I’m glad Thor found a wonderful new home with you. Congrats on the new addition to your family!

  9. Congratulations on the new addition! I’m happily amazed that The Creature has taken to the newcomer so readily. We also have expanded our doggie family recently and I was also shocked that our GSD mix Louie is not only tolerating have two small girl dogs to boss around, but seems to be loving it. He might actually be upset when their owner gets out of the hospital and is able to take them back home!

  10. Congratulations on the new doggie addition to your home! My 3 year old German Shepherd seems as neurotic as The Creature with Fangs, I don’t think she’d adjust well to a second dog. When I told my girls that you had gotten a new dog, they couldn’t wait to see photos, thanks for sharing! And Thor is about the best name, for a dog that is. πŸ™‚

  11. Yes, he does look a little bit like a speckled red heeler (Australian cattle dog). I have an ACD that we got from the shelter. She’s not very speckled, but definitely has white ticking in her black, plus the tan markings where they belong. How lucky it was the dog found you.

  12. Maine–I agree–it does look like a mullet in that first picture. Laurie, I’ve got to say, he’s pretty hysterical looking! πŸ™‚ Thor! Of course! So glad he passed the Kezzie test. Our Betsy isn’t SO crazy about Dr. Pepper, but they are doing fine.

  13. Sounds like you and Thor and the Creature with Fangs were meant to connect. I’m so happy for all concerned. Thor really does look like some mythic creature, but one of the benevolent sort.

  14. I’m so glad you took him in. He’s gorgeous, too, wow. My sister has a simiilar story. She’d wanted a dog forever. In this year’s Christmas card, she’d painted a box under their tree saying Arf! In January, they came across a stray on their street. She was emaciated, frightened, and completely lost. They took her home on an extension cord, not having a leash. They put up posters, called the SPCA, did everything they could to find the owners, even though everyone hoped they wouldn’t find them. Now Margaret Atwood is a fatter, happier, and affectionate dog with boundless energy. You can’t help but cry about these awesome stories. I wish our baby, Lucy, would get along with other dogs, but she’s too spoiled a princess now.

    Okay, back to my review of Speak. πŸ™‚

  15. OMG! i love ur story! that is so wonderful that u found thor! im so glad that u guys are happy now!

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