What’s up with Bethany in a motor home? And with an Irish Setter?

In Teach Me To Forget , I put my heroine in a motor home.  When I conceived the book (I carried this baby for a long time, folks) I had a memory of the first time we rented a motor home to go to the dog shows in Lompoc, CA.  It was a class “C” which means built on a van base with a compartment over the driver section.  We slept in that compartment and the dogs stayed down below (well most of the time anyway!)  As we settled in that cozy spot,  I thought how good it felt to be snuggled together. It would only need some rain falling on the roof so close above our heads to give it that last nudge toward super romantic.  Not likely to have rain in Lompoc in July.  But very possible to have rain in the remote areas north of San Francisco.  And I had a pivotal scene for a future book embedded in my mental files.

After several years of renting, we bought a used Class “C.”  When it’s not hauling us to dog shows it makes a great guest room.  I’m packing it now for the Saluki National. A lot of good memories were made in this vehicle, and there will be a lot more to come.

And then the question comes up:  with my decades of life with Salukis, why does Bethany share her life with an Irish Setter?  Hmmm, good point.  I could say it’s because I’ve always loved those gorgeous red dogs, even though Salukis have been my passion for so long.  I could say it was a conscious decision due to name recognition of Irish Setter as opposed to the more rare Saluki.  Actually, I liked Bethany too much to subject her to life with a sneaky thieving Saluki.  Okay, not really.

The best answer I can come up with is an Irish Setter is the right breed of dog for Bethany.  Baron is a beloved clown with no desire to be anything but Bethany’s best friend.  He’s not much of a hunter or guard dog, but when it comes to Bethany’s safety, Baron is the hero of the moment.

EXCERPT:

“If you were really worth anything, you’d go for help. Lassie would have had the Marines here by now,”Bethany said sternly to the dog below her. Then again, she reminded herself, Lassie could have called for a stand-in. All Baron could do was look up at her with his head tilted, foolish tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. As first he had barked ferociously, frustrated because he couldn’t get up in the tree with her, angry because she wouldn’t come down and play with him. “It is, after all, your fault.”

In all honesty, she had to admit it was as much her fault as Baron’s. True, she’d slipped when the setter, fast on the heels of a slow rabbit, had tumbled into a ditch, yelping piteously as he lost his footing. But it had been her own idiotic impulse, born of a long denied desire, that encouraged her to climb the tree in the first place. Branches set close together and a convenient vine had aided and abetted in her juvenile whim. The same branches and vine served to trap her foot and score her hands deeply when she attempted to scramble out of the tree with more enthusiasm than thought.

They wouldn’t have wandered to an unknown section of the woods if her mind had been on where she was going rather than what had happened the night before. She’d left early that morning, too embarrassed to face Jonathan. The walk and her thoughts, after a night of too much thinking and not enough sleep, had brought her nothing but the realization that she could not continue to stay in J. Phillip Merritt’s house. Not and maintain control over her emotions and her life. If she started within the next few hours, she could be halfway to San Francisco before the evening.

***

Jonathan does rescue Bethany from the tree, and their relationship is able to grow as they learn to trust enough to reveal themselves to each other.   Teach Me To Forget is available as an e-book or paperback.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “What’s up with Bethany in a motor home? And with an Irish Setter?

  1. When our dog started crynig and whining because of the pain in his hind quarters from his old age, we were ready to put him down. We asked Gayle to prepare him. He told Gayle he wasn’t ready -he literally dumped on Gayle how frustrated he had been because it was getting very difficult for him to protect Mom, and that’s why he became so grouchy. He was right, and he wasn’t ready! We left Gayle and our dog alone for the session that day. He immediately became more relaxed and relieved , and his walking became a little easier to go potty. We knew how devoted he was to protect Mom and the house, but it helped us much to hear that from Gayle. We spent quality time with him longer with much home care. He started smiling again, despite the pain he had to endure because Mom and Dad understood his sense of duty and appreciated him even more.We are forever thankful for Gayle. She even counseled him and showed him how he could still be part of our family and continue to help us. We believe that’s what perked him up, allowing us to spend a little more time with him.

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