More birthday fun!

Thanks for joining me on the third day of birthday celebrations!  Today I want to introduce you to Penny, Ridge's search and rescue partner in Colton Baby Homecoming.  She's an important part of the story, and I was thrilled to see her featured on the book cover!  My stories usually have an animal or two, but this is the first time one made it on the cover.  I think she looks great! :)

Penny is a chocolate Labrador retriever, which is a popular breed for search and rescue work.  It was really fascinating to research search and rescue dogs and learn more about the things they specialize in and their amazing capabilities.  I also loved learning about the bond that develops between a dog and handler--it really does seem like they can read each other's minds at times!

Penny works as an airscenting dog, which means she's usually off-leash, tracking the scent of a person in a given area.  Did you know Labradors have about 25 times the number of scent receptors as humans?  That makes their sense of smell especially powerful, which is why you'll find so many working in police departments or other security areas.

I really loved getting to explore the bond between Penny and Ridge, and I hope you'll enjoy it as well! Here's a little snippet to give you an idea of their relationship:
Image credit
A gentle touch on his arm snagged his attention, and he turned to find his partner, Penny, staring up at him with her soulful, dark brown eyes. “I’m okay, girl,” he said, reaching over to scratch behind her ears. Penny, a chocolate Lab, was the best search and rescue dog on the team, and she was always very attuned to Ridge’s moods. In truth, Ridge often felt closer to her than to other people. She didn’t care who his father was, didn’t whisper behind his back or ask awkward questions. She just stayed by his side, a true and loyal friend. She’d melted his heart the moment he’d found her as a lost and abandoned puppy, and he’d do anything for her.

“Ready to head home?” he asked. It had been a long day for her, as well, but she never complained. She let out a soft “ruff” in response, and he started the truck. Keeping one hand on Penny’s head, he idly stroked the velvety softness of her ears as he drove. “How about a bath tonight?” After spending all day in the woods, they both smelled pretty bad, and he needed to check her over for ticks and other unfriendly critters. Might as well kill two birds with one stone.

Her ears pricked forward at the word bath. True to her breed, Penny loved the water. While she’d much rather swim in the lake or splash through a stream, she tolerated a bath and its accompanying shampoo with the long-suffering patience of a martyr.

His mood lifted as he pondered the evening’s activities. First, cleanup for him and Penny. Then he’d build a nice fire so she could warm herself while he threw a steak on the grill. And after dinner, he’d get back to his book. Yes, that sounded like the perfect way to wrap up a disappointing day.

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into Colton Baby Homecoming!  Be sure to enter the giveaway!

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  1. of course the dog stole my heart....

    1. Me too! She's my favorite part of the book! 😊

  2. Love that your book has a lab rescue dog in it. Each one is a hero and Penny is adorable.

  3. Hi Lara

    I do love stories that have pets in them and what better than a rescue dog must have been fab researching them you just want to hug them for all that they do thank you for all of the snippets I really need to get this series :)

    Have Fun

    1. Thanks, Helen! I'm glad you're enjoying the posts! :)

  4. I love the snippet you chose to portray Ridge's relationship with Penny. It's so...real.

  5. Replies
    1. We had a black lab when I was a kid--they're such a sweet breed!