My Dog BJ

I'm really excited about the release of a new book this month - The Dog Next Door. It's a delightful collection of heartwarming stories all about dogs, and I'm honored to have a story included. My story is about my baby, BJ.

BJ was a black standard poodle I rescued from a puppy mill several years ago. He was the smartest dog I've ever known, and had the best personality! I'd had dogs in my life before, but none like BJ. He was amazingly well trained, which is a testament to his intelligence considering the fact that I know next to nothing about training a dog. It wasn't so much that he could Sit, Lay, and Stay. It was that BJ seemed to understand exactly what I was saying, and he usually agreed to do what I asked.

He slept in a kennel, and he loved it - it was his bedroom. Whenever he got tired, he would go into his kennel by himself and go to sleep. If he didn't happen to be tired when it was bedtime, I'd say, "BJ, crate up!" and he would obediently trot inside and lay down. And get a treat, too! But when my sister babysat him for a weekend once, she called me and said, "He is ignoring me. I say BJ, crate up, and he just stands there and stares at me like he has no idea what I'm saying, like I'm the substitute teacher in a middle school." I think he was having too much fun with my niece and nephews, and didn't want to go to bed.

BJ is one of the few dogs I've known who wasn't motivated by food. I would have thought since he came from a puppy mill and was terribly underweight when we got him, he would devour any food that came near. Not true. he was the pickiest eater I've ever known, and I tried every way in the world to get him to eat. If I put something down that wasn't up to his expectations, he would sniff it, and then turn his head away. Wouldn't move from in front of the bowl - just turn his head as though he couldn't deign to look at such a pitiful offering. I think he knew it upset me that he wouldn't eat, and he used it as a weird sort of power play. (Yeah - I had a kid who did that, too. Maybe it's me.) The only way I was able to get him to eat dry dog food was to pour gravy over it, or mix it with shredded cheese. Even then he would lick the gravy off the dry chunks, and somehow managed to nose out the tiny little shreds of cheese while leaving most of the dry food behind.

If you want to know about BJ's shaky beginnings and his paranoia, I hope you'll read "Walk of Joy," which is the lead story in The Dog Next Door. That story is also about BJ overcoming him great fears in order to bring joy to others.

These pictures are of BJ in a black leather Harley Davidson hat that his Grampy gave him. He didn't so much love the hat, but he agreed to wear it for limited periods of time.

The Dog Next Door is edited by Callie Smith Grant, and contains 35 true stories about man's (and woman's) best friend. For an opportunity to receive a free copy, check out the Reader Fun page of my website here before June 15th.

(A HUGE Thank You to Revell for providing the give-away copies!)

I'd love to hear your dog stories! Post a message on my Facebook profile, or visit the Contact page of my website and send me an email!