Coco's Birthday Party, Day 1: Author Sandra D. Bricker and Her Rescue Dog


I don't even know Sophie and she already has a spot in my heart not only because she's a collie but she's a rescue dog! Yay! I encourage you to go to your local shelter or rescue and consider adopting a pet or just donating your time or some food and supplies if you can!

Here's Sandie and her furry pals, past and present!


When writing the sequel to Always the Baker, Never the Bride, I had to create some new characters as memorable and compelling as the ones in the first book. When Sherilyn, my heroine, emerged, a sweet and organized Type A, I wanted to give her something or someone to butt heads with. My dog Caleb sprang instantly to mind!

When I first brought Caleb home, he was quite a nightmare. An Old English Sheepdog, so dirty and matted that you could hardly tell what kind of dog he was! ... but somehow I managed to fall in love with him beyond appearances. His behavior, however, was another thing entirely. The dog ate anything that wasn't nailed down, and often things that were! At the time, I was an entertainment publicist, so my day planner had celebrity addresses and phone numbers in it that couldn't be easily replaced. I went out to get the mail one day and came back to find the corner of the planner hanging out of Caleb's mouth, and the notebook rings laying on the floor at his feet. The dog had eaten my day planner in the time it took me to walk outside to the mailbox! Later, he ate things like the corner of a wall, a kitchen cabinet, countless rolls of toilet paper, even the entire back cushion of someone else's sofa! And every time he got into the car, moving or not, he barfed. The dog was a nightmare, and it seemed like a no-brainer to immortalize him in print as Sherilyn's nemesis, Henry. A lot of the stories in the book are based on my early relationship with Caleb.

The old boy flunked doggie college three times before he finally got it right, and in later years he was the most devoted, well-behaved dog on the planet. But it sure didn't come easily! He died of bone cancer at the age of 16. I grieved his loss more than almost any other loss I've ever suffered. I selfishly kept him alive much longer than I should have, and he really suffered in those last few months ... so I had no choice but to finally let him go.

I had sworn there would be no more dogs in my life, but that didn't last long. Caleb's departure left an enormous hole in my life with his passing. Finally, I gave in and went looking for a new best friend. Eventually, I found Sophie, a red-haired Collie mix who stole my heart away. I'm a true believer in rescue adoptions, and someone at one of the organizations I work with called and told me Sophie's sad, sad story. Still, she was everything I didn't want. She was a girl, and I wanted another boy. She'd just had her third litter of puppies, and she wasn't even 2 years old! She was a shedder with thick undercoats of fur. So I said no, about four times. Then a girlfriend called me and said, "Remember that Collie they wanted you to adopt? Well, I'm down at the adoption drive in the Petco parking lot. You've GOT TO GET DOWN HERE! This is YOUR dog." I reluctantly drove over, and Sophie caught my eye before I ever reached her. She stood up in her cage and wagged her whole body, with intense eye contact the whole
time, as if she'd been waiting for me to arrive. We've hardly been separated for more than a few hours ever since.

The beginning of Sophie's life was so tragic, and I think she's well aware of the concept of being rescued. She is a total goofball, really funny!, and as loyal as Caleb ever was. I think she truly behaves as if she owes me her life. I guess no one told her the truth: I'm the one who owes HER.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COCO -- With love from Sandie and Soph

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Sandra Bricker is the author of many great books including several Love Finds You titles and the one I can't wait to get my paws on, Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride from Abingdon Press.

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Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win one of three prize packs I'll be giving away at the end of the week!

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Comments

  1. That is so sweet! It just brings tears to my eyes thinking about all the animals needing homes. If I didn't already have 4 I think I'd go adopt right now!
    I can totally relate to Caleb. Our first English Bulldog chewed everything, including our couch. He chewed the cushions to pieces! He wasn't as bad as Caleb, but I can relate! The one we have now is so lazy, he just can't find the energy to make a mess. :)

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  2. Aw, what a beautiful story! I'm pretty sure dogs can enrich your life like nothing else in the world!

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  3. @ Bluerose- I hate when I go into Petsmart and they have adoption drives because I want to take them ALL home but I can't!

    @ Rachel- You're so right! On your way home from work I think you should stop at the animal rescue in Boston and pick up a brother or sister for Lucy. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

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  4. Awwww! It always amazes me how dogs can impact our life so much. I couldn't imagine my life without my dog, Diesel...eventhough, he's eaten his fair share of inedible items and even had to have emergency surgery because something got stuck in him! :)

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  5. Super cute story! Hubby and I are suckers for rescue dogs...Bella is one of them! :o)

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  6. Awwww, what a lovely story. :) All my cats are rescued kitties..actually they are what I call street babies and they found me. My dad says I'm a cat magnet. My dogs are kinda rescued...I took in my brothers three dogs (two have since passed away) and then I got my Shepherd from my dad's friend and then there is Hope... ;)

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  7. All my animals are rescues so I can relate. I wish I could see the pictures - I know they'd be cute. :o)

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  8. Adorable story! I am very excited to read the sequel-I so enjoyed Always the Baker.

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  9. What a sweet post! I'll never forget any of the dogs we had growing up, and saying good-bye to each one was heartbreaking. I like the sound of Caleb's attitude. What a fun guy!

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  10. Fun guest post! My dog is mellow now, but it took her a while to stop eating/chewing on everything in sight. She still goes for the Advent calendars if they are not out of her reach.

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  11. Now I can see them! How adorable. :o) I use Mozilla - but whatever was the problem - it works now. :o) Thanks so much for sharing.

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  12. Adorable Sandi!! The photos weren't coming up when I checked in yesterday but I'm glad they are now! Love it!!

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  13. I'm sorry ladies that the pics weren't working yesterday. They worked on Google Chrome but they weren't working on IE or Firefox either apparently. I fixed it though, thanks to Lee and Sandy for letting me know. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

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  14. Oh, very touching! :) Thank you so much for sharing your pet stories with us, Sandra!

    Again, happy birthday, Coco!

    BTW, I haven't yet had the pleasure of reading one of Sandra Bricker's books, but I might have to change that sometime! ;)

    ~Amber

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  15. Amber- YES pick up a book by Sandie ASAP! I've read most of her books and have enjoyed each and every one!

    XOXO~ Renee

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  16. What a sweet story!

    And I had no idea another book is coming out. I loved book one.

    Btw, sweetie thank you so much for your concern and prayers :) *hugs*

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  17. Happy birthday, Coco!!! Hope you have an awesome time celebrating with Coco, Renee! Love all the posts!

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  18. My goodness, that Caleb was one cute dog! Love the cover of Sandra's new book too.

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