Friday, April 1, 2016

Dear Abby - Meet Louie (A Rescued Pet Spotlight)

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week.  We are having some rainy weather here, and I'm hoping there isn't too much thunder in our near future.  

Today I am excited to introduce you to my friend Louie.  I have not met Louie in person, but I am sure I would love him.  I have a couple of Chihuahua friends in the neighborhood and I think they are the cutest!  I try to love on them like they are puppies.  They do not seem to mind.

Louie is 1 year, 8 months old.  He is a Chihuahua mix (his Momma says probably Chihuahua/Rat Terrier).  He also goes by the nicknames Lil' Louie, Mr. Wiggle Butt and Farkle Face.

Abby:  What is your background and how did you end up in rescue?

Louie: I was known as Drake before I came to live with my mommy and the 2 birds who live in the kitchen. I came from Fresno, California because there is an overabundance of us Chi mixes in the shelters there. So they hooked up with other areas to distribute us to have a better chance at finding our own forever home. The Humane Society here recently took in number 1000 of us Chi's! My mommy is always asking me how my life was before she took me home, all she needs to know is I am very happy she came along and picked me.

Abby:  How were your first days at your new home?

Louie:  I hadn't been home but 2 minutes when I met the next door neighbor Chloe, my true love. We became instant friends!

When I came in the house I thought it was really weird that there were birds living in a cage in the kitchen but I soon found out that I really love to dig out the newspaper in their cage and drag it around the house, it riles the birds and mom too! So much fun!!

The best thing about my first night was when bedtime rolled around and mom went into the bedroom, I followed and jumped up in the bed and she didn't tell me to get down, so I went a little further by going under the covers and snuggling, I have been there ever since! 

The next day we went on a road trip to a store just for me! I got to ride around in the cart and have people come up and tell me how cute I was, it was a lot of fun. I got to pick out my own bed for pre-bedtime naps, toys, a leash, lots of good treats and more toys! When I was at the Humane Society I had to share a few rubber toys with a lot of other dogs who slobbered all over them but now I have my own soft and fuzzy friends that I can snuggle with or whip around whichever I choose! Oh yeah, and a seat belt for the car, I told her I was a big boy and didn't need it but she wouldn't listen to me... I love going there now, there are always such nice people waiting for me and I always get some kind of goodie!

I loved exploring my new home and the neighborhood - so many new things to smell and taste. It was a good trial to see what I could get away with. You could say I am a little bit spoiled now but hey that is ok right? I deserve it!

Abby: What are a few of your favorite things?

Louie:  Well for food I will dance my little heart out for some cheese, I will pretty much do anything for some cheese.

For toys I have a few favorites, I love my bacon flavored nylabone (this is my second one, my first one went under the stove so mom just bought me a new one), my "Y" shaped kong is a favorite past time of mine too when it is filled with
Braunschweiger, and for my fuzzy toys, I have a few, I love my giraffe, my pink flamingo and my owl is my all time favorite!

For hobbies, I love to chew reading glasses, library books, book marks oh and cork coasters, just thinking about it puts a smile on my face!

I also enjoy stealing mom's socks and slippers. I don't chew them, just steal them and strategically place them where mom will find them so she knows I can do it. I especially like our morning ritual before mom leaves the house, she tries to put on her socks and I steal them right from her hand and then she has to chase me around the house, then I crawl under the bed so she can't reach me. This keeps her at home for at least an extra 10 minutes and it really is the highlight of my day.

Then when mom comes home in the afternoon she does stuff around the house and I know my favorite time of the day is coming. She sits down on the couch to watch a box with people inside and I sit on her lap and snuggle. She kisses me all over my face and hugs me and tells me she loves me and it makes me feel so good. I do think she is kind of weird though, she tells me I have Frito feet and then talks about pigs going to market and eating roast beef while she plays with my toes (I won't tell her this but I secretly enjoy this!)

Abby:  Do you have any tips for people who want to adopt a rescue pet?

Louie:  Please research breeds, find out what kind of a dog or other animal suits you and your family best.  Make sure that everyone is willing to welcome a new pet into the home. Every dog deserves a home but not every home is right for a dog. But a cat might be right for you or another kind of animal. Then talk to the people at the shelter, they are with us every day they know what we are like. If you are looking for a couch potato it is probably not a good idea to get a dog that is going to want to go running every day to work off energy. It won't be a match made in heaven and the likeliness of the pet being returned to the shelter is higher.  

Please remember that we are just like you starting a new job or relationship, we are on our best behavior for a couple of weeks and then our true personality starts to come out because we are comfortable with you now. Please know that now is the time where our perfect potty training may go out the window but don't fret there is hope, we will figure it out and learn the rules of the house. 

But most important PLEASE ADOPT, DON'T SHOP! There are young ones, old ones, small ones, big ones, active ones, calm ones, and even purebred ones. They all need a home. An adoption fee includes vaccines, a medical check up and even sometimes a bag of food to go home with.  Once you bring one home if not already sterilized please spay and neuter, it helps your pet live longer and is healthier and most importantly it means less of us get euthanized every year.

Abby: Is there a rescue group you want to send a shout out to (with link to group?) 

Louie: and

Thank you, Louie!  I'm so glad you stopped by today.  You found a perfect home, and I can tell you are loved very, very much.  

I share your fondness for slippers.  I like to hide my Momma's slippers or flip flops in bed.  If they are under the sheets, it is even more fun.

I also love your message of ADOPT, DON'T SHOP!   I could not agree with you more.  Thank you! 

Friends, if you have a rescued pet who would like to be featured here, please let me know (with your email address) in the comments.

Thank you for stopping by, and have a wonderful weekend!

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired By Jane Eyre - Edited by Tracy Chevalier

Book Synopsis

This collection of original stories by today’s finest women writers takes inspiration from the famous line in Charlotte Brontë’s most beloved novel, Jane Eyre.

A fixture in the literary canon, Charlotte Brontë is revered by readers all over the world. Her books featuring unforgettable, strong heroines still resonate with millions today. And who could forget one of literatures’ best-known lines: “Reader, I married him” from her classic novel Jane Eyre?

Part of a remarkable family that produced three acclaimed female writers at a time in 19th-century Britain when few women wrote, and fewer were published, Brontë has become a great source of inspiration to writers, especially women, ever since. Now in Reader, I Married Him, twenty of today’s most celebrated women authors have spun original stories, using the opening line from Jane Eyre as a springboard for their own flights of imagination.
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Tracy Chevalier - Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Tessa Hadley
Sarah Hall - Website | Facebook
Helen Dunmore - Website | Twitter
Kirsty Gunn - Website | Facebook
Joanna Briscoe - Website | Twitter
Jane Gardam
Emma Donoghue - Website | Facebook | Twitter
Susan Hill - Website | Facebook | Twitter
Francine Prose
Elif Shafak - Website | Facebook | Twitter
Evie Wyld - Website | Facebook | Twitter
Patricia Park - Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Salley Vickers - Website | Twitter
Nadifa Mohamed - Twitter
Esther Freud - Website
Linda Grant - Website | Twitter
Lionel Shriver - Facebook
Audrey Niffenegger - Website | Facebook | Twitter
Namwali Serpell - Website | Twitter
Elizabeth McCracken - Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Review

I first encountered Jane Eyre in a Classics Illustrated comic book when I was a young girl.  We were on a trip to my grandparents' farm, and I read the comic book again and again.  I was very young and still reading children's books ... but I was fascinated by this story.  I sought it out later in the library,  and fell in love with this classic.  It was a book I reread over my teens and twenties, often back to back with Wuthering Heights, which is so different but just as compelling.

When I first read about a collection of stories inspired by Jane Eyre, I was eager to read this book.  Everything about this book is interesting, from the lovely cover art, to the title Reader, I Married Him, to the introduction by Tracy Chevalier, and most of all, the collection of stories.

Tracy Chevalier's Foreward is so well written and insightful.  She writes:  "'Reader, I married him' is Jane's defiant conclusion to her rollercoaster story.  It is not, 'Reader, he married me' - as you would expect in a Victorian society where women were supposed to be passive;  or even, 'Reader, we married.'  Instead Jane asserts herself;  she is the driving force of her narrative, and it is she who chooses to be with Rochester" (p. 2).

There are 21 stories included in this book, by some of today's finest women writers.  Some of the stories are contemporary takes on marriage inspired by the line "Reader, I Married Him."  Some are more closely inspired by the novel Jane Eyre.  The quality is astoundingly high, and the variety of tone and subject matter is a delight.

A few of my favorites included:  

"My Mother's Wedding" by Tessa Hadley.  The young woman in this story remembers her mother's plans for an unconventional wedding in the 1970's.  She describes her mother's beauty and then talks about her own fascination with the Pre-Raphaelites.  "That was the way life was divided up between me and my mother.  I knew about things, and she was beautiful"  (p. 10).  This story has one surprise and then another, as the young woman takes charge of her own destiny.

"Grace Poole, Her Testimony" by Helen Dunmore.  This story is told by Grace Poole, who is Bertha's caregiver in Jane Eyre.  It seems she was once young and very taken with Rochester.  

"The Mirror" by Francine Prose continues the story of Jane and Rochester after their wedding, and into marriage counseling and their future. 

"Reader, She Married Me" by Sally Vickers tells the story of Jane and Rochester from Rochester's perspective.  I found this passage intriguing:  "With the hazily restored sight of my one eye I observe her nightly at her desk, where she sits writing furiously.  She tells me she is writing an account of her life, and I have every confidence that she will turn our story as her will would have it - herself my saviour, her fierce morality triumphant, a truly righteous heroic love conquering all.  Which is why I have seen fit to write down my own version of events in the hope that some future reader might ponder an alternative" (pp. 169 - 170).

"The Orphan Exchange" by Audrey Niffenger.  This story focuses on Jane's life as an orphan in a contemporary war-torn country ... with a very different conclusion than Jane Eyre.

It is a pleasure to read fine short stories, and even more of a delight to read such imaginative work.  I recommend Reader, I Married Him to anyone who loves Jane Eyre, to anyone who enjoys the short story genre, and to anyone who craves strong writing.

I received this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Upcoming April Book Reviews

Hi all!

I have some fun upcoming reviews here for April.  Some of these also feature book giveaways, so please check back!

Reader I Married Him:  Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre - edited by Tracy Chevalier.

Death by Trombone by Rebecca M. Douglass (cozy mystery).

Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro (historical fiction, Boston, 1930's).

The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love (historical fiction, England, World War II).

Sit, Stay, Love by Dana Mentink (chick lit - romance).  I am sure I will love this - check out the cover!

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan (historical mystery, Toronto, 1910).

When I get caught up with these I also have a stack of unscheduled review books waiting.  This stack includes 2 children's books, 11 mysteries, a doodling book, and a New Testament audiobook.

Lots of great reads ahead!