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Would you please drop everything right now and get yourself a copy of Dog Days? It really is the funniest book you’ll read this summer. If you don’t take my word for it, then check out this post by Elsa Watson, giving you a little glimpse into her world. I don’t really want to tell you too much. If you loved Freaky Friday and chuckled through the movie The Change-Up, then this book is for you.

Susan, thank you so much for having me!

I was just taking a little trip down memory lane, remembering that the first Susan Wiggs book I ever read
was The Ocean Between Us. From that big opening scene, I was totally hooked. Each of Susan’s books
comes with such happy memories. I read The Horsemaster’s Daughter during one Christmas vacation
when the temperatures were freezing and I was oh-so-glad to slip away to the barrier islands. More
recently, I cried my way through The Goodbye Quilt—and did a whole lot of cheering through Marrying
Daisy Bellamy. The newest, Return to Willow Lake, which I was lucky enough to read in advance, is my
favorite so far. I feel like I’ve been waiting years to get to know Sonnet Romano better!Dog Days

I know Susan is no stranger to the crazy—and sometimes ridiculous—things dogs do, so I thought I’d
take this chance to share something goofy that one of our dogs did recently. This involved chickens
(indirectly) and a dog (directly), so if you like a good chicken-and-dog story, please read on.

We have fifteen hens and a rooster. We also have two dogs that are fascinated by the doings of the
aforementioned hens and rooster. Every time one of the hens launches into her “OMG, I have to lay an
egg!” sqwakings, the dogs feel compelled to race outside, barking at top-bark. Then they dash across
the lawn in the opposite direction of the chicken coop, barking at the air, trees, grass, etc.

Since, with fifteen hens, there are about 8 egg-laying incidents a day, you can imagine that this adds up
to a lot of barking. But the dogs love it. They love the chickens, love to bark, and one of them—Kota—
loves eggs. And I mean she loooves eggs. She’s only ever had them raw and on accident, when one fell
out of the egg basket or she gently lifted one from that same basket when no one was looking. For a
112 pound dog, Kota can be surprisingly stealthy.

With all this egg-laying going on, I have to admit that we are sometimes lax about getting them into the
kitchen right away. Eggs sometimes sit in the basket overnight, sometimes outside on the table near the
front door. Sometimes the egg basket is full and we wind up collecting them in any old plastic container
that’s at hand. The point is that for an alert egg-thief, opportunities abound.

Still, even with all the egg availability at our house, I was shocked—shocked!—the other day when I
caught Kota sneaking through the kitchen. Her sneaking step is quite distinctive (she uses it to try to
sneak up on squirrels all the time—in vain). Like I said, she’s a big girl, so you know something’s up
when you see her moving at quarter speed, making no noise whatsoever. When I caught her doing

this in the kitchen, I immediately checked her mouth. There was something in it. Something she was
holding ever-so-gently in her teeth. I put out my hand and received a very dirty egg.

Apparently Kota’s plan had been to creep through the house with her egg and eat it while she lounged
on the sofa. I don’t think I need to say how grossed out I was by the thought of this. Raw egg? On the
couch? But the disaster was averted, right? Ha—so I’d thought!

The very next day, I caught her doing the same thing. With a new, dirty egg. Then she did it again. And
finally my husband and I wised up. Kota, that great lover of eggs, had apparently found a bonanza (a
whole basket full), and had carefully buried her treasure so she could enjoy her eggs one at a time while
lounging in her favorite spot, the couch.

Dogs—you’ve gotta love ‘em. There’s no knowing what a dog is going to do next—and it’s often
something hilarious.

I guess this is why I write about dogs, because I love it when work comes with a chuckle. A little
romance, a little real-world drama, and a dog that steals cookies from babies. What could be better?


Elsa Watson is the author of Dog Days, a fun summer read that includes a little romance, a little real-
world drama, and a lot of dog goofiness. In it, Zoë (a dog) and Jessica (a person) are struck by lightning
and switch bodies, leaving Jessica trapped in a dog’s body—and giving Zoë thumbs and the chance to
speak. Find Elsa online at Don’t forget to "like" Zoe the Dog on Facebook. She has the cutest Facebook page!

I’m enamored of this feta cheese. And everyone is enamored of watermelon. Mint grows like a weed in my garden; I use it as a ground cover. So here’s the salad:

I feel kind of silly posting the recipe. It’s pretty obvious:

watermelon, cut into bite-sized chunks

crumbled feta cheese, enough to sprinkle

fresh mint, snipped

Serve nice and cold. Enjoy with a friend, or with a good book.


Lenny really doesn’t like his boxer shorts, but he loves his sweater. I know, it’s immature, but I love putting clothes on my chihuahua. He’s a rescue from Kitsap Humane Society. Have you adopted a homeless pet lately?

What a nice art project in downtown Seattle. The paint is nontoxic.


I have the coolest daughter.

We are picking the name for the next Willow Lake baby here:

Aren’t these beautiful? Handcrafted by my friend Susie. 🙂

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

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May 2012