Leika likes Laurie and Linda

I know, I know, I should have written this blog three days ago. But time seems transparent when sleep deprivation is involved. I don’t even want to count how many hours of sleep I’ve lost since Saturday. I know now why it’s such an effective torture mechanism.

Two years ago, just after my birthday, I suggested to my loving partner, Linda what she could get me for my upcoming 50th birthday. I remember she looked at me with one eyebrow raised (I’m extremely jealous that she can do that, btw) in question. I told her I wanted a Vizsla pup. When she asked why I wanted it specifically for my 50th I replied, because after that I’m not sure if I’ll be able to chase a youngster around.

 Leika and Linda


After an excruciatingly long wait, Leika finally came home to live with us this past weekend. The twelve pound ‘little red ant’ is but a miniature of what she’ll look like when she grows up. She has plenty of skin to fill out. When she sits down, all the excess makes it look like she has a puddle of red fur around her. She has more wrinkles on her face than a wadded up sheet, which magically disappear when she parks herself on her tiny butt.

The seven hour drive, from Michigan to back home (NY) was fairly uneventful. Leika slept on my lap for the majority of that time, waking only a couple of times to play before dozing off again. When she finally met our other four dogs (3 labs and a jack) face to face, she was undaunted and immediately started to play with Cagney and Echo. Although not two years old yet, Echo is huge by comparison and took to his little sister like white on rice.  Before the weekend, he was still immature. He’s aged years since Saturday.

Leika HATES, HATES, HATES to be in a crate. The incredible sounds that come from her sound like a cross between a tortured coyote and a goose getting plucked. The first night she did a lot of complaining, mostly whining. That was bad enough. But throw in the fact we had to ‘spring ahead’ and lose an hour…yeah, you get the picture. Linda and I looked like a couple of raccoons all day Sunday while Leika bounced and played happily with her new found friends. The second night when she started out by baying and throwing herself against the crate sides, I finally relented and brought her into bed with us. Linda had to go to work the next day and we both needed sleep desperately. Leika fell asleep next to my neck and woke only once for me to take her out. I guess she got her point across.


Saturday was special in another exciting way. An announcement by Blue Feather Books hit the wires that they’d be publishing my first novel A Kiss Before Dawn. That big old bubble of adrenalin ballooned in my chest again, just like it did when Emily Reed initially offered me the contract. I experienced all the same symptoms: shaking hands, squeaky voice, chronic elation, and that surreal feeling of floating on air.

…only to come crashing down when the howling started. Don’t get me wrong, I still undergo all those things…when I’m awake enough to think about it.


About laurie salzler

novelist, outdoor enthusiast, animal lover, dog trainer
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