I'm so excited to be welcoming Pam Hillman to Everydays today. Always great to have a visit from one of the Seekerville ladies! I just loved this story she has to share about raising puppies, and the perspective we can get from a growing awareness of God's beautiful creation. Besides, let's be honest, who doesn't love puppies? :) Be sure you pick up a copy of her newest release, Claiming Mariah, and look at the end of the blog for more information about your chance to WIN a Kindle or Nook! Thanks for visiting, Pam!
The puppies were born on August 28th, 2001, two weeks before September 11th. Of course I was proud of them and visited the barn almost daily to talk to Ruby, our chocolate lab, and to cuddle her brood of satiny black puppies.
But after September 11th, the puppies became more than just seven little squirming bundles sent to entertain us. They represented life and peace and safety: all the things I felt had been torn from our country in a senseless act of violence. Many days I escaped the harrowing news accounts by wandering down to the barn to visit the litter of puppies.
Even minor details about the puppies still stand out in vivid relief. When the puppies were born, their little faces were squished in to the point that they didn’t even look like Labrador retrievers. Their tiny ears were soft as velvet, and when held close, they would snuffle softly until going to sleep in my arms.
When nursing, survival of the fittest ruled. Of course, I kept a wary eye out for the runt, positioning her so that she got her fair share of milk. As their stomachs grew full, they would curl into a ball, snuggle together, or simply roll away from Ruby, so satiated they didn’t even know they were in the world. Little pink tongues stuck out between tiny pearl teeth as they dozed off to dream of fields of rabbits and squirrels and quail.
The puppies all thrived on Ruby’s milk and grew healthy and strong. Many times my children would join me, and we’d laugh at the puppies’ roly-poly stomachs, their comical attempts to walk, and Ruby’s quizzical expression as she kept an eye her litter of pups.
As the puppies grew bigger, they began to explore their world among the hay bales we’d fashioned into a makeshift pen. We’d call to them, and they’d come running, tumbling over themselves, sending us into gales of healing laughter.
The puppies even got manicures at one point. When Ruby wouldn’t let the puppies nurse, I was concerned that she might have milk fever. But I soon discovered that the puppies were clawing her, leaving painful welts on her tender underbelly. I tried making little socks out of the fingers of gloves, but when that didn’t work, I took the fingernail clippers and gently clipped off the tips of their claws. Ruby, the puppies, and I, were all much happier after that.
My family and I spent many hours with those puppies, letting their exuberance and love of life heal our hearts and souls. For a moment in time, life became crystal clear. It’s not about the hustle and bustle of the outside world, but about family, about laughter, about being delighted by the simple gifts life has to offer.
It’s about puppies.
Our puppies were a gentle reminder of what’s good and right in this world, and I’m glad my family experienced that reminder at a time when we needed it most.
Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel. Pam loves puppies, kittens, newborn calves, foals, and babies of all kinds. Almost without fail, she includes at least one or more in her books. www.pamhillman.com
Pam is thrilled to announce the release of her second novel,
Claiming Mariah Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/apnzl5n
Claiming Mariah B&N link: http://tinyurl.com/ays6fq7
Claiming Mariah CBD link: http://tinyurl.com/bvjx3m7
Claiming Mariah Goodreads link: http://tinyurl.com/d9u2k6j
Claiming Mariah 1st Chapter: http://tinyurl.com/ageh54r
To celebrate, Pam is giving away two eReaders
(choice of Kindle Wi-Fi, 6" Display, or Nook Simple Touch)
Two Winners: One on facebook. One through Pam’s Newsletter.
Registering both places is not required but will double your chances of winning. Also keep in mind that you will receive updates more often being connected on facebook than through the newsletter. Just sayin’
Contest runs from January 1st until March 31st, 2013.
And....that’s not all! There will be prizes offered randomly throughout the tour.
(3 Pewter Bookmarks from Deirdre’s Handmade Jewelry PLUS 40% off coupon at Deirdre’s online store. Click link to register and for coupon code)
PREVIOUS STOP ON TOUR:
March 1st: Audra Harders
NEXT STOP ON TOUR:
March 5th: The Borrowed Book