Sunday, April 22, 2012


By Jeanine McAdam

The sheriff was going to shoot him right between the eyes if only he could draw a bead on the dog. In Gordo, Alabama (median income $23,813) there isn’t an Animal Care & Control agency or an ASPCA. There are only the police to keep the abandoned, homeless, unwanted canine population off the streets.

Thankfully Labs4Rescue ( came to the rescue! They provide loving foster homes, spray/neutering services and a free trip north for sixty five dogs in a Rescue Road Trip trailer ( Rumor has it, when the truck crosses the Mason-Dixon Line the dogs bark and howl. Along the way volunteers walk these wonderful creatures and post pictures and messages on Facebook for their forever families to view.

Two weeks ago our chocolate lab with the fine name of Aaron arrived via this underground canine railroad. In an empty parking lot in Rockland County and holding a homemade sign that said “Welcome Home Aaron”, we met the Rescue Road Trip trailer. Yes, I cried when our big boy got off that trailer. After taking pictures with other rescue families, the road trip driver and wishing everyone good luck we brought this new addition to our family home.

Aaron is seventy pounds of love with droopy brown eyes, webbed feet and a disposition to please. That continuous look of admiration in his eyes took time to get used to, plus there’s the insatiable desire to ride in the car. Any car, if a door opens in Manhattan--Aaron’s there! Which can be hilariously problematic when trying to explain to a jaded New Yorker that my dog is panting over their back seat.

Since Aaron regularly plops his shiny brown head into my lap while I write, I’ve been thinking a lot about romance hero’s and their dogs. A guy in worn Levis and a torn t-shirt with a dog at his side is HOT. But not any old dog, it has to be a big dog. A black, yellow or chocolate labrador, a german sheppard or even a golden retriever. These four-legged friends for life will have the reader’s hearts fluttering.

Besides being big our hero’s dog needs to be well behaved. Sit when the hero snaps, growls when danger is lurking in the woods just beyond the camp fire or chases down the bad guys when the hero is trying to save the heroine’s child. Plus, there’s the mandatory pulling of his master from a wrecked car just before it explodes.

Sound sexist--I completely agree. Let’s look at the heroine. Nora Roberts wrote a book called THE SEARCH. The heroine was a dog trainer and she depended on her three labs for security, protection and companionship. The imprisoned psycho killer trained a prodigy to hunt the heroine down (she escaped years ago from his teacher). With her wits, her dogs and a little help from the hero, this brave woman saves herself.

Will my next story be about Aaron and the volunteers doing such wonderful work to save him and others like him? You betcha! I just need to take some advice from my big brown boy--sit, stay and write!

Jeanine McAdam’s short story, "A Cowboy's Toughest Ride," will be published in May by Secret Cravings Publishing. Aaron is super excited too.

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