Thursday, August 21, 2014

Story Ideas Come to Life

My September release, Winning Ruby Heart, is one I'm really excited about. As an author, I'm probably supposed to love all my books equally, but I don't. I have favorites and Winning Ruby Heart is going to be one of them.



Five years before the book starts, middle-distance runner Ruby Heart was caught blood doping at the Olympics. She's the heroine of the book and it's needless to say that she needs to learn about making better decisions and taking responsibility for her actions. When I was brainstorming this novel with my friend Mary Margret Daughtridge, she suggested that Ruby volunteer at a local animal shelter. There are few better places to learn about how carelessness has rippling consequences than at an animal shelter. So, Ruby takes shelter dogs for runs. The dogs get to burn off some steam and Ruby learns lessons in adulthood that no one thought to teach her when she was a child.

Which is why I was tickled when I read an article about my local Animal Protection Society offering a day fostering program for their dogs. The idea behind day fostering at the APS is the same as I talk about in Winning Ruby Heart; kenneling is damaging to a dog's sociability, making them nervous and stifling an active dog's energy--all of which can make a perfectly adoptable dog seem less desirable. By taking a dog to your house for the day, or out for a run, or on a long hike, a dog comes back better adjusted and calmer for the next person who walks through the shelter doors, looking for a forever pet. For the volunteer, it's a good opportunity to help out when you can't commit to long-term fostering.

Winning Ruby Heart was already past the editing stage when I read the article about day fostering. It felt a bit like a part of my book was coming to life--and that was fun.

Instead of giving a book away, I'm going to try something different. I'll donate $5 to my local APS per unique user comment left on this post, up to $100. People have until September 17th to comment. On September 18th, I'll tally up my comments and write my check.

Need an idea about what to say?

If you had a dog for a day foster, where would you take it? Me, I'd take the dog for a long hike by the Eno River. Lots of chances to stretch legs (both mine and the dog's) and things to sniff (dog only).

13 comments:

Colleen C. said...

I hope you get a bunch of comments! I love animals and wish they all could find happy homes. My family has adopted a variety of animals through the years... dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, and even a bunny.

Anonymous said...

From Marcie R

I'd hug it and love on it and play in my front yard with it.

Pamela Hearon said...

Hey, Jennifer (waving)! I definitely wouldn't take the poor dog for a run because he'd have to drag me back home :-)
But I would take him for a long walk around our farm property. There are several ponds he could swim in and plenty of geese, rabbits, birds, ducks, squirrels, and maybe even a few skunks to chase. He would love it!

kris said...

I would have to take a dog far, far away from wherever my kids are, because otherwise, I would spend the next week explaining over and over why we can't have a dog of our own.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

I meet so many dogs when I walk around Bond Park Lake or Apex lake. Such a treat. So that is where I'd take my foster.

Bless you for supporting the cause.

Peace, Julie

Di said...

that day-foster is an excellent idea! I'd take the dog for a walk - there are some excellent trails near the shelter I know best - I wonder if they use this idea?!

Kaelee said...

I would not be able to bring a foster dog home as I have two cats that would not like the visit. However I would love to take any dog on a long walk on any of our walking trails.

Geri Krotow said...

Great idea, Jennifer! I'd bring the foster pup home to meet and play with our rescue dog Misha. We rescued him in Moscow, Russia four years ago. He loves other dogs. Then I'd probably keep the foster pup, too!

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Jennifer,

If I could have my dog back for one day. I would take her for a car ride to get french fries. Go to a park and throw a tennis ball - she would catch it in the air almost every time. And I would hug here and be so happy to see her again. With my three cats at home , the park would be a better place,

Anonymous said...

What a great idea for a post! I have to also say that I've read Winning Ruby Heart already and absolutely loved it. Micah and Ruby had such a great and unique story. Best of luck with this and your other books!

Jennifer Lohmann said...

These are all lovely. I especially love the french fries comment from Tammy! Any dog would be over the moon for a treat of french fries.

Stephanie Kirby said...

Hi! I'm the volunteer coordinator at APS of Durham. We'd love to have you join our team. :-)

Thank you for this great promotion for our dog volunteer program and your generous donation!

Jennifer Lohmann said...

Thanks, everyone, for the comments! I've made my donation and I know it's going to a good cause.

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