Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Taylor Jenkins Reid channels her inner dog...plus a book giveaway

Today we welcome back Taylor Jenkins Reid. Her latest novel, Maybe In Another Life, just came out last week! In addition to writing books, Taylor has written essays, which have appeared in numerous media outlets, including The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Pop Sugar and Writer's Digest. Her debut novel, Forever, Interrupted , has been optioned with Dakota Johnson to star. She also co-wrote a web series for Hulu called Resident Advisors, which was produced by Elizabeth Banks. Taylor lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dog, Rabbit.

Visit Taylor at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Taylor is here today to share a heartwarming story with us. Thanks to Atria Books, we have one signed copy of Maybe in Another Life for a lucky reader in the US or Canada!


What Would Owl Do?

I went to Chipotle yesterday and ordered a burrito. When they rung me up at the register, my lunch was $1.95 less than it should have been. They forgot to charge me for the guacamole.

I had a choice: stay silent and take the free guacamole, or be honest and pay the $1.95.

So I did what I always do when I am faced with a moral dilemma. I asked myself, “What would Owl do?”

*****

Owl was a brown and white pit bull mix. She was barrel chested and jowly, with floppy ears and tiny, kind eyes. She was already ten when my husband and I adopted her.

Neither of us were intending to adopt a pit bull, but we became interested in the breed when we found a cute, little white pit online. We scheduled a time for his foster to bring him over to meet us. But when this little white pit showed up, he wasn’t alone. He had a friend.

She was old and had been through a lot. She had a split ear and a snaggletooth, the result of a tumor that had recently been removed from her face. Her tail and belly were missing fur from having spent so many days and nights lying on concrete. But she walked right over to us, turned on her back, and asked for a belly rub. When we gave her one, she licked our faces.

We adopted them both. We named the little one Rabbit since he was white with big ears, and we named the older one Owl, since she was brown and wise.

The more we learned about Owl, the more impressed we were with her endless capacity for love. If you had a face, she wanted to lick it. If you had hands, she wanted you to rub her belly. Owl wasn’t discerning. She just wanted to love you. No matter who you were.

Over time, Owl grew sicker and sicker. She was in and out of the vet, sometimes on a weekly basis. She had moles that needed to be removed, skin allergies that wouldn’t go away, mange problems, arthritis issues, and other chronic ailments. You’d think, because she was always going to vet, she’d hate the car. Or she’d hate the vet’s office. But she didn’t. She was happy to be wherever she was. The vet techs started calling her “Grandma” because she had such a nurturing old soul. And everyone at the vet cheered when they got to see Grandma.

I never knew how she did it -- how she could be tough enough to withstand what humans had done to her in the past without becoming wary of people or holding it against us, how she was full of unlimited generosity and affection despite the physical pain she lived with. But that’s just how she was. She took whatever the world threw at her and gave only love to the world.

It’s been almost two years since we lost her and I still find myself tearing up when I think about how hard it was to say goodbye. But instead of dwelling on the loss, I try to focus on who she was. I reflect on how much she taught me about resilience and kindness. And when I come across a situation where I don’t know what to do, no matter how big or how small, I ask myself, “What would Owl do?”

*****

I looked up at the cashier yesterday and I let her know I had guacamole. It was the honest thing to do, and more importantly, it felt like the thing that Owl would have done.

As I walked home, I found I had a hint of a spring in my step. I was proud of myself. Not necessarily for copping to the guacamole, but for being just a little bit more like Owl that day.

She may have been a dog. And she may be gone. But she is, always and forever, my hero.

Thanks to Taylor for sharing Owl with us and to Atria for sharing Taylor's book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

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US/Canada only. Giveaway ends July 20th at midnight EST.

30 comments:

Janine said...

I could talk about my Nani all day. It's been three years since I lost her and I still miss her every day. She was my shadow, my little best friend and she stuck by my side no matter what I was doing. Some people believe in soulmates. I believe she was my soulcat. There will never be one like her again. It sounds like Owl might have been a souldog.

Kristi said...

I love dog stories like that except for when they make me cry happy tears! My dog Scout was such a loving dog too. He was so patient when my daughter was little and only wanted to hold him in her lap all the time. He knew exactly when you needed him to lay his big blocky head in your lap and just listen to you. And of course he would rest his heavy chin on your leg to let you know that he would love to help you eat whatever it was you were eating, as long as it was not a banana. We lost him almost a year ago in August and miss him so much!

Bonnie Franks said...

Our little mini daschund, Bella, knows who in the family needs her the most. She loves and is loyal to all, but she will glue herself to the person who is most in need emotionally. Dogs are amazing.

Beks said...

My dog, Charmie, loved everyone. She was the sweetest girl in the entire world. I had her since the day she was born (her mama was my sister's dog), and my sister even got to watch her be born. The day my mom called me to tell me that my precious girl had to cross the rainbow bridge, I was absolutely devastated. My dad and sister took her to the vet for the last time, because I was away at school, but it's almost fitting that my sister was with her as she entered this world, and as she drifted out. I still keep a picture of her at work, and any time I need to feel better, I just look at her sweet face, and remember the good times. Man, pets are amazing. <3

Suburban prep said...

I had a dog named Kelly when I was growing up. She was a great dog but she hated it when people would go in the pool for a swim.

Beth Weaver said...

I have a shepherd mix named Bear. Miss Bear, I have to call her, because she looks like a male, but is ALL girly girl, for sure! She loves to be the center of attention. For instance, when I have a party you will find Miss Bear in the middle of the floor, laying on her back in a most unladylike way. Doing this, of course she gets all kinds of attention from my guest. xoxoB

Jennifer C said...

My cats are babies! I love them dearly!

Jennifer C said...

I meant to comment on Owl, too! What a beautiful story that made me tear up. I don't know who I love more - Owl for her beautiful spirit described by Taylor, or Taylor for adopting and loving Owl.

Nova said...

our little cat, Slickerdoodle Sylvester, was adopted from a family we knew. she is the runt of the litter. she stayed small, but she is very smart. we trained her to do tricks, to come when called, to let us walk through the door first so i don't get tripped up on her. she lives with a family friend at the moment. Slick likes to be outside most of the time, and i didn't want anyone in our complex to possibly hurt her.

cpr040304 said...

We have two cats who are our fur babies. My mother-in-law's cat had four kittens and we took the two females and she kept the two males. That was 2 years ago. We love them, they are part of our family.

Books and Java said...

My first dog was an American Eskimo (Samoyed) named Bianca. I got her from a friend who couldn't keep her. At the time I got her she was 8 weeks old and it was love at first site. She was so in tune with me. If I was sad or upset she would not leave my side. It's been 10 years now since I lost her but I think about her loyalty and how much I loved her often.

pascale said...

On July 21, last year, we adopted Fenway... our precious 2nd dog. He is a great friend to our older dog. He loves all of us unconditionally. I know he would protect us ferociously. He is so grateful, every minute of his life, to be with us. He loves to sun tan. He makes all of us smile. He made Oliver (our older dog) young. He is the best

Hailey Fish said...

My Maltese Lily LeBlanc is one of my best friends; she's been by my side since 2002. Lily is the kind of dog that knows when you need comforting or how to make you laugh when you're crying. I don't know what I'd do without my little Lily!

traveler said...

My dog, Bogie, who is small, quick and nimble a strong mix, I rescued from Lap Dog Rescue is a fearless, loving, devoted companion. Sensitive, smart and a sweetheart. I call him a sage. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Terri. said...

I had a cat, Kitty, for over 17 years. She had the worse cattitude ever!!! I loved, Loved, LOVED her so much!!!

Vicki said...

I have a daughter (my kids keep telling me she's really a dog)who is a J.R. but she acts like a cat. My son has a cat who acts like a dog. We tell everyone we have a dogcat and a catdog.

Bonnie K. said...

I'm a cat person. I've always had a cat living with me. My first was Tinkerbell. I was about 9 or 10 years old. She was hit by a car (we lived on a busy street). I was so sad. My dad put her in a box, and we had a burial for her. I've had many cats since then with my current one named Doozey (actually it's my daughter's cat, but she's been away at college and Doozey just attached herself to me. She's currently about 13 years old and always wants my lap or sleeps next to me. I always find her near my face when I wake up.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Cher B said...

Thanks for telling your lovely story about Owl and Rabbit! I have shared my home with several animal companions over the years, but one incident comes to mind. In college I lived with an orange tomcat inexplicably named Sugar Baby in a downtown historic home charmingly and haphazardly split into apartments. One night, he and I were woken from deep sleep by someone twisting and rattling the door knob and the door itself. I was too dazed and confused and naive probably, to be really scared, but Sugar was on it. My eight pound tiger issued a deep, ferocious growl like a monster twenty times his size. The would-be intruder took off and I went back to bed after checking the locks. Sugar never made that sound again, but it was funny to know he had it in him.
Thanks for the chance to win!

writeoncindy said...

My shih tzu, Princess was the child I never had. When she passed I thought I wouldn't be able to continue. I've been blessed with her sister, my Sassy.

Maria Malaveci said...

Something about an animal. We use to have a Cockatiel named Cleopatra. We named her that because she loved to nible jewelry. Well, she was quite attached to my Dad and she sat on his shoulder everywhere he went. Well, one day we were outside and she got scared from the rain, and flew off - quite far. We have a creek behind my old house and my dad kept calling her and calling her and she finally came back, but it was unbelievable that she did because it was so incredibly far where she had flown off to. Smart bird!

Linda Kish said...

My DIL's Dachshund loves to swim in our pool but won't go in unless you are watching him. He has a special 'voice' for calling me when I am outside to say look at me'. He waits til I watch him and jumps in, swims around and climbs back out again, He will keep it up as long as I am willing to watch him. None of our other dogs will go in the pool.

bn100 said...

a dog smelled smoke and saved a family from a fire

Bethany Clark said...

My kitten Lila is the cutest thing ever! She is great with my children and a great new member of the family!

Judy Weaver said...

I love the love they give you!!

rubynreba said...

I have a cat named Ruby who fetches! Guess she thinks she is a dog.

Vivian Vereeke said...

My first service dog was a black lab named Meg. After 10 years together, I saw she was having some arthritis pain, so I made the decision to retire her. I couldn't keep her as well as a new service dog, so I gave her to my brother because I knew he would take care of her, and I could visit her. On Friday, 1 week before my new service dog was coming, I had my brother pick her up. I told him (hard as it was) that she was his and I wouldn't question any decisions he made, including if she had to be put down. I didn't realize I would be tested so soon. Sunday morning already he called and said Meg could not stand on her hind legs. She was in good spirits and wanted to get up, she just couldn't stand. He had called the vet, but an unknown clinic was on call. He said he would watch her to make sure she didn't get worse and call her vet in the morning. I met them at the vet on Monday morning. The vet gave him a decision to make; put her down, or leave her in intensive care and see what they could do for her. Bless him, my brother decided to give her a chance. The next day I went to visit her at the vet. When she heard me come, she stood up! It lasted all of 30 seconds before she sunk back down, but she stood for me. Both the vet and the Paws With a Cause trainer I worked with agreed: Meg had been staying strong for me, and when she realized she didn't need to anymore, she collapsed. She had really bad arthritis in her spine as well as hips. But she took the chance my brother gave her and lived another year being pampered by him until she had to be put down. It has been nearly three years, and I miss her still. My new service dog is the complete opposite of Meg, but she, too, is wonderful and loves me unconditionally.

Kimberly V said...

My dog put himself between a snake and my child, protecting her until the snake could be removed.

Rhonda Gothier said...

My dog Mistletoe smiles and gives loves. She is a Min Pin.

Snowpuff said...

I adopted my Siamese cat, Tia, from a Humane Society 11 years ago, when she was about 3 years old. Tia is gentle, a lap cat, loves to snuggle, and is my lovely companion. I treasure every single year I've had with Tia, and hope for many more!

Snowpuff said...

I posted as Snowpuff, but mistakenly said Audrey L. Hope that doesn't disqualify me! It's about my cat, Tia.