I had a solid work week, the routine I like best. Get up, fiddle around, get to work, knock off, work out, have a glass of wine, think about dinner.
We had some ridiculously spring-time temps, then winter roared back. I believe my beloved tulip magnolia–my favorite early spring bloomer–is fried. The cold won’t hurt the daffodils popping up, and the forsythia will probably make it though–even if we get this winter storm and 10 inches of snow they’re warning us about.
But it’s still damn cold.
My lemon tree gave me a slice of summer. Only two lemons–one big, one small, but I just love having them. The tree needs a bigger pot, fresh soil–and may give me more fruit next time around. I need to get to that soon.
But at the moment, I’m busy with another gift.
12 years ago my pal Pat Gaffney let me know about a woman who bred Lab/Retriever mixes. She’d gone to check it out, and came home with Jolene. I went to check it out, and came home with Homer. Best dog ever.
A week or so ago, Pat struck up a conversation with a woman at her book club lunch. Pat’s been sad as she lost Joleen and her sweet Finney within three months of each other this winter. Pat said she and her husband were ready for another dog.
The woman told Pat about her daughter who with her husband has a farm in the area. Every year, with her family, Mary spends a month on St. Lucia, taking a good winter break. And for the past several years when down there, Mary’s worked with an organization that helps rescue, treat, neuter and place many of the strays on the island–so many poor little puppies. Every year, Mary brings back three or four of the puppies–now treated by a vet, fed, cared for. She fosters them while they adjust, then works to place them in forever homes.
That’s an amazing thing.
Pat contacted Mary, and the short version is she now has the perfectly adorable Louie. At the same time, she fell pretty hard for one of the other puppies, but they’d decided–and were firm–it was time for a smaller dog, and the other puppy wouldn’t qualify.
She emailed me, sent a picture. And that was that.
I contacted Mary. A little more magic came into play as it turned out Mary had to be about ten minutes from me yesterday. She could and would bring the pup, let him get acquainted with us and the big guys, and when she finished her business, she’d swing back by.
Not only was it pretty much love at first sight for me, but Parker and Pancho went into full body wags. Parker, especially, was insanely happy. The pup let it be known, straight off, he could handle himself, barking them back until he felt comfortable. He got comfortable pretty quick.

He has sweet, soulful eyes, a cheerful nature, great curiosity and is really well-mannered. I named him Atticus. It just suits him.
He now follows Parker pretty much everywhere.

Getting to know Parker.
It’s been 12 years since I had a puppy–both Parker and Pancho came into our lives at age 3 and 2 respectively. It’s work. Countless trips out to Poop City a day–and in the dark. And thanks to this stupid turn in the weather, the cold. It was 17 degrees when I took Atticus out this morning at 5:30 by the clock–4:30 by my body clock. Thanks, Daylight Savings Time.
We’ve had more misses than hits with our first full day of housebreaking, but he’ll catch on. He’s a bright boy. You have to watch them, learn their tells–and make sure you provide lots of chew treats and toys. And try to keep the older dogs from stealing from the little guy.
Atticus will, no question, interrupt my work often for awhile–and I have to say, the book was rolling.
But it’s so worth it.
I wish I’d had a camera in my hand when Logan dropped by yesterday afternoon. His face just lit up–and Atticus bounded straight for him. Puppy, the boy thought. Boy, thought the dog. With equal delight.
We brought Homer’s dog bed up for Atticus. It’s a three dog night here now.

Three dog night.
We also rolled up the brand new rugs I just put down to set off the new upholstery. Better safe than sorry, and I’m confident Atticus will learn how things roll.
Clearly, he was meant to be ours, we were meant to be his.
It’s really lovely when a gift falls into your hands.
Atticus was being raised in a storm drain with his littermates, by a mama who was doing the best she could. Now he, and pups like Pat’s Louie, are healthy, safe and loved.

Louie and Atticus
We’re so grateful to Mary, who–also clearly–has a heart of gold, and the volunteers of St. Lucia Animal Protection Society. They care for the sick, the lost, the helpless, the neglected for the sake of caring. Bright blessings on them, and all who do this kind and important work.
It’s about time to take Atticus out to Poop City again. Hopefully we’ll hit. Either way, he’s home. His humans and his brothers couldn’t be happier.

45 thoughts on “Serendipity”

  1. He has sweet, soulful eyes, a cheerful nature, great curiosity and is really well-mannered. I named him Atticus. It just suits him.
    I have a grandson Atticus and this is his disposition also ! It suits him to a tee!

  2. “He has sweet, soulful eyes, a cheerful nature, great curiosity and is really well-mannered. I named him Atticus. It just suits him.”
    I have a grandson Atticus and this is his disposition also ! It suits him to a tee!

  3. My mother had a schnauzer named Atticus and then another named Scout. Atticus is a great name for your new pup. My rescue dog, Happy, sends puppy kissed to the little fella

  4. Awww, he’s beautiful! I got both my girls this past July at 3 months old. First puppies I’ve had in oh about 27 years lol. I sympathize about the cold and snow as we’re going through that also. But oh! A puppy!! So much fun! Enjoy!!

  5. Nora, Kay Hooper had a good write up in the ending of her novel, “Haunted”, addressing this same issue. She featured a rescue dog as a character in her book, and gave a very good description of the process in the follow up. It takes special people to care for and help these poor animals. So glad Atticus was a good fit for your home.

  6. OMG! He’s adorable. Congratulations on your new addition and good luck. Looking forward to more stories as he settles in.

  7. Oh Nora I was so excited when I saw Atticus. I do believe that those eyes are going to be seeing straight thru you and your heart. They got to mine.
    Your right about how awesome it can be when a gift falls into your hands and into your life. Your not looking but then it’s right there.
    Congratulations on the new baby boy and your lemon tree. I almost bought one while in Florida last week. Now I could kick myself for not doing so.
    I have a Living Christmas Tree my son bought for me this year. Time for new soil and bigger pot here to.
    I will be anxiously awaiting new adventures of Atticus and his brother.
    One question. I would consider donatating if you would not mind sharing the organization.
    Have a great week.

  8. Hearing stories of people who adopt dogs instead of buying them from a pet store makes me very happy. There are so many strays and homeless dogs that need the love and home of an adopter. Thank you Nora.

  9. What an adorable and handsome boy he is! I love it when things just drop into your lap like that. We don’t have a big enough yard to grab up any animal that drops into our lap – and one nearly did, if we had let it, friend of a friend had pups, and it was a smaller dog. But we just couldn’t manage the yard space with a big American Bulldog, too. I’m so jealous that you have your three adorable puppies.

  10. Congratulations Nora & Bruce! I know what having to readjust to a puppy after a number of years. My Murphy died at age 8 last fall, and 1 month ago I got an adorable 8 week old Shih Tzu, so I’m having to re-learn what to do (& not do) with a puppy. It’s hard, but joyful, work and it will be well worth it once he’s trained. I’m so glad I got Guinness though, it was a long 6 months without a dog 🙂

  11. Love your story. I’m sure the pup will adapt quickly and he seems very much at home. Enjoy!

  12. That picture just melts my heart. We are up to 6 found dogs right now and they add so much to my life. Enjoy.

  13. I believe God brings us the dogs we need. After years of having cats instead of dogs because of our life style God brought not one but two rescue dogs into our life. We didn’t realize the hole not having a dog had put in our life. So glad Atticus was brought into your life. Enjoy your new baby.

  14. What a lovely addition to the family! I’m just re-reading Chesapeake Bay and your Atticus made me think of a Foolish and Simon and Seth…a boy and a dog.

  15. Luckiest dog ever! Congrats on your new addition, he’s a handsome boy. Bet you’ll get some good shots of his first snow. As always, thank you for sharing.

  16. What a delightful puppy- tail ending in Happily Ever After. I’m happy for every human and animal in the story?

  17. Re: our gardens, I have crocuses for the last few days. They will probably die in the snow- but they were delightful to behold. I stupidly told myself that winter is over. I love your lemon tree- I wonder if they will thrive indoors, in a sunny window? But we are getting a major blizzard. I live in NYC- home of Eve & Roarke. The forecast calls for 12- 18″ of snow. But what will you do w/Atticus if you can’t take him outside?

    1. Mine’s in a sunnyish window all winter. I’m in the woods, so sunny is relative. Snow or no snow, dogs go out! They don’t know how to use the toilet. LOL.

  18. Nora, I laughed out loud when I read your description “Poop City” and envisioned Eve using that phrase some how. Maybe you will one day. Love your fur babies. And, I’m curious as to what the blue thing is standing next to the newest baby and the door? Will you show a pic of it?

    1. I’m a dog person, Eve and Roarke are cat people–so I don’t see her using the term. Anyway, I doubt she’d ever say poop in any context. LOL.

  19. Oh how you take me back to Puppies-R-Us time. Eat, sleep, play, and poop & they’re happy. DH & I have been w/o a fur baby for 3 years when we suddenly find ourselves with young Charlie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who belongs to a relative having medical issues. We are retired and used to sleeping in. Silly us. So we are snuggling in and getting used to Charlie’s snoring that can be heard in the next county and thinking about him as a permanent fixture, if asked.

  20. Congratulations on your new puppy, Atticus! I am finally in the mood for a dog, lap dog size, when my daughter got the report on my granddaughter’s allergies… she is very allergic to cat dander and seriously allergic to dog dander. Though she doesn’t live with me, she visits regularly and I’m at their home 1-2 nights a week, when my daughter’s job projects run late. Sometimes I spend the night or even the weekend, when rehearsals run back to back. We had figured I’d bring the puppy with me. You cannot be gone 9 hours or more from a puppy and especially overnight. As my granddaughter has been begging for a puppy, this would have been a chance for her to learn how to care, for one, before they moved into a new home and she received one as a gift, along with a shovel! Due to the severity of her allergy, she won’t be getting one, even a poodle mix. She suffers from. Asthma and the doctor strongly advises against a dog. Thst means my dream of a dog does too. Nona’s don”t jeopardize their grandchild’s health. I guess I’ll get an android dog I saw advertised. On the plus side.. I won’t have to walk it

  21. Aww, I have a rescued yellow lab named Jackson he’s almost 7 years old he was 2 when we got him. He was skin and bones and no training, he’s just a big baby now and turned out better then we ever imagined he would. We also have a black lab named Febie she’s 4. We got her as a puppy and I can remember all the trips in the dark to poop city too until the night we heard a bear in the yard then we really kicked house training in to high gear.

  22. I think that’s REALLY why I love you, Nora — the fact that you GET what dogs are all about. So delighted you added a new pup for you and your boys. May you enjoy many, many happy days in the years to come. They are such a joy, aren’t they? And, yes – blessings on your wonderful friend for knowing just what to do for you. Congratulations. Atticus is such a lucky lad.

  23. Nora, I already knew you were a dog person, esp. after rereading “Obsession” this weekend. I love Tag & the relationship that develops between him & Naomi and with Lelo. I esp. laughed at the 5:30 wake up call; waking up to him staring at her. Yep, been there, done that, decades ago. But your willingness to take on a third fella, and the training, etc. Yep, definite dog lover. And he’s a sweetie!

    I noticed the glass dish you have under your lemons. I love & have lots of depression glass, esp. green “Princess” pattern. I was trying to “read” the pattern, but the granite didn’t help. Do you know which pattern, or did you pick it up like so much that I have; love the pattern or the color, don’t know what it is and don’t really care? I use that several of that dish size & shape for coasters & they’re very handy .

    Magnolias around here were actually opening; they’re fried now with lows in the upper teens the last few nights. They are chancy bloomers here in SW Ohio. Such a shame because they are so beautiful. Currently hoping that the fruit crops survived. If not, 3rd year straight they’ve been hit by a freeze. I don’t know how the local produce farms survive, or if they can yet again.

    Thanks for sharing Atticus with us! Have fun!

    1. I’m sorry, I don’t know the pattern. I have a lot of Depression glass, the green, the amber, and some of the pink,but have no clue about the patterns. It’s just pretty.

  24. We have 3 dogs and I frequently have surround hound when in the house. Dad may feed them but mom is boss.

  25. Awww! Such a sweet face on Atticus! I love when dogs are rescued from horrific conditions and are immediately taken in by the other dogs in a household. This is love in its purest form. ❤

  26. Awww Puppy!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 and also love how you named him after one of the dogs in your BoonsBoro Inn Trilogy!! <3 <3 Wish I could take one in!!

  27. CONGRATULATIONS on your new puppy addition!! Atticus !! He’s so handsome !! Yes, those puppy eyes say it all !! So, so love the “PoopCity “. Will have to remember this !! We have a Goldie , Max and a yellow Lab, Denver !!
    So glad to see that yours have all settled in well with each other !!
    Many thanks for your wonderful ways and words to tell these happenings in your home and family !! So love all of your books & Eve & Roake !! ❤️❤️

  28. I LOVE your new puppy! He is so fortunate to have “found” you too! My husband and I received a dog last April from the Humane Society of Grand Bahamas. Our Adele was 4 when we got her and is such a wonderful addition to our home. Congratulations on your wonderful addition, enjoy!

  29. Atticus is a lucky pup! Just think of living with the real Eve Dallas. Yep, I’m a fan. My wife started me by “orcing” me to try your romance/adventure books. I believe I’ve now read all the trilogies/quadrilogies and waiting for the next. I got started late to the In Death series, but have gone back and gotten all the earlier ones in paperback. I love Eve & Rourke!

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