05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Few Good Dogs

I live on land that was once a bird conservatory. While neighborhoods have sprouted up around it over the years, we still have a beautiful park in the center. When it isn’t buried beneath two feet of snow, a path beside the valley of lush green grass invites me on daily walks.

Canadian geese enjoy the hospitality of our natural springs. Even in the dead of winter, they manage to find a warm, steaming spot to rest from their journey. The walnut and acorn harvest has fattened the squirrels up to the point where they look like small dogs loping over mounds of snow. Only now, they come in search of birdseed and try to frighten away the visitors from my yard.
However, I don’t mind. I enjoy watching their antics from my window. The cardinals have grown bolder by this time of year and stand their ground. I might have even heard a little cheep of attitude, explaining that there’s a perfectly appetizing ear of corn impaled on a tiny chair nailed to the pine tree.

Aside from birds and squirrels, this neighborhood hosts a wide variety of dogs. Our canine friends possess a code of honor that won’t permit you to pass by their fence without at least one bark. Strangely enough, I find it endearing. These little guardians house enough gruff attitude inside their tiny frames to defeat an army.
One dog in particular, a miniature schnauzer, takes his job very seriously. Beneath the bottom edge of his privacy fence, you can see his little legs rushing along the perimeter like a soldier on duty.

When my husband and I were walking by one evening last fall, we remarked on his tenacity and quipped how he must be the general of the neighborhood, and likened him to the character Jack Nicolson played in A Few Good Men. Then, with every yipping tirade, we translated it to dialog from the movie.  Barking? You can’t handle the barking. We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by dogs with teeth...” As you can imagine, my husband and I laugh a lot.
While we don’t currently have a dog of our own, we’ve adopted those nearest to us—along with all the animals in our neighborhood—and consider them part of our familial pack and the forces that serve and protect. We do our best to watch over them, too.

Thank you to Judith and Sarah for inviting me on as a full-fledged Genre-ista! It’s such an honor to be welcomed into this amazing group you’ve created.

I’m working on an exciting project for Avon Impulse. The first book from the Wallflower Wedding Series, Daring Miss Danvers, comes on May 6th and is available for preorder now. For more information, please visit Or like me on facebook.


Judith Ashley said...

Sarah and I are both delighted you were able to join us, Vivienne! And, I too have adopted dogs in the neighborhood. Can't say the same about squirrels who ate through the metal surrounding my heat pump and have made great strides in doing the same to a cornice on my house.

Used to feed the birds but stopped because of the squirrels and then a hoard of rats invaded the neighborhood when they were working on the sewer line 10+ blocks away.

But I remember the days a bird feeder hung outside the window next to my computer and the various birds brought inspiration to me. Some day they really will find a way to deter squirrels and I'll brave the rats in order to feed the birds again.

Love your picture!

Vivienne Lorret said...

Thanks, Judith! :)