Thirteen years ago I took the trip of a lifetime…to PetSmart. I came back with a small black and brown puppy never dreaming that she would change my life…she did. At the time I was a diet-obsessed single lawyer just coming off the winter of my discontent. Fate-and that fortuitous trip to PetSmart brought rascally puppy Sadie into my petless, pristine, if a bit sterile-life. Since that day life hasn’t been the same for me or Sadie. With Sadie’s inspiration I accomplished my secret dream of one day writing a book and THE DOG DIET was born. (HCI, 2006)  The Dog Diet is the true story of the first year Sadie and I were together. We learned how to be a family during that year and all that went along with it. From moments of great joy to the day we discovered Sadie had a serious heart condition, it was all part of our becoming Mom and Dog Daughter. As we traveled for our book events we made precious memories and new friends, developed a comfortable rhythm in our travels, and out bond grew stronger. I am lucky to be the person who accompanied Sadie Lawson on her book tour!

Baby Sadie

The day Sadie became my dog.

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A pack of two


 Sadie “helps” prepare a DOG DIET meal!


There he was on Facebook…a nameless dejected looking dog that it seemed everyone was begging me to rescue. Why? They said he looked like Sadie. Well, he sort of did, but Sadie and I were a solid pair…united together with barely room for Rodney at times. How could I care for another dog? The pleas became stronger, and I agreed to take him and find him a home. I did…with me. Rusty was such a gentle spirit and so genuinely grateful for everything we did for him that I simply couldn’t let him go. The struggle to convince Sadie to accept a brother however, was another story. Patience, love, advice and encouragement from other Pet Parents worked and tolerance of Rusty has turned to sibling camaraderie. In fact, sometimes both of them scheme together against me for extra treats! Rusty went from the high kill Mingo County Shelter here in West Virginia, to our garage, then in our home, and forever in our hearts. Now he is on the cover of our book and ready to go out and greet his fans!

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And we became a Pack of Three


Rusty celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

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Me and my big boy dog


My first week in Charleston, WV…just graduated from law school, I met Rodney. A charming, funny, good looking guy I was happy to hang around with.  He asked me to go to the beach with him…I did. The years moved on…we stayed together…enjoying life…travelling…making memories. He was there as I learned how to be a lawyer, won my first trial, bought my first house. I watched him as he directed newscasts and once took a picture of the television screen where his name was listed! He was the first person I introduced to Sadie the day I brought her home in the back of my convertible. One day we realized that over the years we had already been through “for better or worse, rich or poor, sickness and health.”  In November of 2015 at beautiful Kiawah Island, South Carolina…we got married. Rodney, the fourth member of my pack is my two-legged soulmate.

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So we are now a pack of four and a family in every sense. Sadie and Rusty are included in what we do, how we spend our time and our money too. Rodney and I have been together a long time and made serious heartfelt vows to each other last November. We offer no less to our dogs…we are there for them in sickness and health, for better or worse, rich or poor…we will make things work…and yes…until death we part. We live in the moment with wonderful memories behind us and adventures before us.