They say animals are smarter than people, sometimes, when it comes to knowing the bad guys from the good guys. I’m sure that’s not always true—but when my dogs (two terriers who basically love all people, all the time) are wary of someone we meet, I tend to keep my distance. And I’ve never been sorry!
In my latest release, Shoreline Drive, the hero is not the most popular guy on Sanctuary Island. Dr. Ben Fairfax is the local veterinarian, a known misanthrope and acknowledged grump who keeps most of the world at arms’ length—at least, the human world. As the heroine, Merry, discovers when she finally sees his secluded farm, Ben spends most of his time with a collection of broken, abandoned, rescued animals. And every one of them, from a three-legged goat to the pack of near-feral cats and scruffy dogs, loves Ben.
We think of animal love as unconditional, but I believe there’s a special bond between a rescued animal and its new owner. New studies show that dogs are capable of more complex emotions than we previously imagined. For instance, jealousy—no surprise to me, since my younger dog instantly muscles his way into any cuddling my older dog manages to score. I think animals also feel gratitude. They know when their lot in life has improved, and domesticated animals understand on a deep level that their welfare is dependent on us. It makes sense that they’d be good judges of character!
As Merry discovers, Ben’s menagerie knows him better than the human townspeople. Under his gruff exterior is a deeply caring, nurturing heart that turns out to be exactly what she needs in her life.
Tell me about your animal friends! Any pets? What kind and what are their names? One randomly chosen commenter will get a signed copy of Shoreline Drive along with a custom Sanctuary Island beach tote!