Heart dogs, heart cats and autographed books!

UPDATE: Wow! Thanks for all your replies. I loved reading your touching stories of the animals that left an imprint on your heart and soul. I truly believe the part of us that loves animals can be redeeming, no matter what else we are. Soooo … as of September 15 at 2:52PM CT, I have enough books to send one to everyone who replied. If you’re interested, please use the Contact Page to give me your address, and let me know if you want the autographed personalized to you or just signed. (Because autographed books make great gifts!)

(end of update)

I know, I know! I’m late getting this out, and some of you who usually get advanced copies have already bought one. So sorry, but it’s been a weird summer. Bringing Me Dreams was available at GCLS, so I know a few of you were able to get signed books there. I didn’t get my author’s copies until early August, and by then I had raging Covid for two full weeks and couldn’t leave the house to mail them, so it didn’t feel right to offer them and make you wait. Now I’m stuck with a stack of books and I want to give them away!


Bringing Me Dreams is a story of healing. Keenan McEvoy, who lost her partner to suicide, begins that arduous path when her friend delivers Bennie, a poodle mix he’s rescued from a puppy mill. Bennie’s a comfort, for sure, but Keenan finds even greater purpose when she trains him as a therapy pet to help comfort others. One of those he comforts is Gianna Del Vecchio, who’s suffered a similar loss. As she and Keenan put the pieces of their lives back together, they find love.

Those of us who’ve had pets — or let’s face it, whose pets have had us — know the extraordinary bond that can grow with day in and day out companionship, especially when those pets have been beside us through a difficult or lonely life journey. I’ve heard folks refer to their “heart” pets, animals with whom they shared a unique, soul-deep bond. I emphasize unique because the concept is this: Of all the dogs, cats, horses, etc. one has had, there is one that truly was more special than the rest.

Katie & Gracie

When I first started writing in 2002, I took my pseudonym from these two littermates I raised from age six weeks, Katie and Gracie. Both were lap cats, and I loved them equally — I swear! — but my heart cat was Gracie, the darker of the two. How could I possibly choose, you ask. I didn’t. She did, by making it clear that I was her person. Following me from room to room, sleeping by my head each night (and snoring), purring in my arms as I sang to her. She loved Jenny too, but if I was in the room, no one else existed. Fierce and goofy, she lived to 19 years, surviving cancer twice before letting me know it was time. I remember saying that I felt a piece of my soul leave with her.

I was Katie’s person too — up until the moment she met Jenny. Bear in mind, these two were already 9 years old when we moved in together. Katie never met a lap she didn’t like, but her love affair with Jenny took it to the next level. Jenny’s favorite way to relax was lying on the couch to watch TV, and Katie’s was lying on Jenny. Katie hung on for six months after Gracie, making it to age 20. I felt really blessed to have these two special cats for so long.

I know what you’re thinking. What about Rozzie and Agnes? I have special bonds with both, especially 12-year-old Rozzie. I’m definitely her person, but only to the extent that she needs a person at all. She’s very independent, so I’m not sure we’ll ever reach that soul-deep bond. Of course, that could change as we both get older and needier. And Agnes … she’s just cray-cray. Maybe we’ll bond over that someday.

Okay, so back to Bringing Me Dreams. Is there any doubt Bennie is Keenan’s heart dog? In the comments below, tell me about your heart pet. What kind of pet, how long it was with you, why it was special. I love reading that stuff! I’ll draw some winners (~10) from all the entries here AND on Facebook, where I’ll share this post. FYI, I’ll be saving back a few books for my regular donors; you know who you are, but make sure you post if you want one.

17 Responses to “Heart dogs, heart cats and autographed books!”

  1. Not sure how I missed this because you know Marilyn and I have almost all of your books. Too late for the giveaway, but I think my ❤️ pet is Pumpernickel, our elderly blind rescue Shih Tzu. I’ve always been a cat person, but the moment we adopted Pumpernickel, she chose me as her person.she loves Marilyn, too, but I am the one that she let’s take her outside. She comes tome first if I am home and whines at the door when I come home. Such a blessing to us both, especially since Marilyn is too allergic to cats for us to have any more. Congratulations on the new book!
    DebbieTheProf (Haven’t used that since Xena days)

  2. Reading this stings a bit because we just had to say goodbye to our 14 year old Chihuahua Roxy. She was supposed to be my dog, gifted to me by my parents at Christmas in 2007, but my wife quickly became her person. She was the smallest dog but the most demanding, we were simply her servants and she was our Queen. The loss is huge and we feel so empty without her. 💜

  3. My Mom’s old cat Lucy was a idiot, but such a cuddle bug. Loved the little stinker.

  4. Lovely post, KG!
    My soulmate cat was Liesel. We met in 98 when she was only four weeks old, an abandoned tabby kitten on a lousy cold October day. A similar start like little Pounce in the post below. At that time I had zero experience with cats, about as much as she had with humans. First love on both sides! A magic time began with lots of surprises, happiest moments and many learning curves for both of us 🙂
    When Liesel died of breast cancer in 2013, I was devastated. Like you put it so well: A part of my soul left with her…
    Now it’s me who has to fight the same devil. In the night after my breast surgery Liesel came to visit me in a dream. I remember waking up in that strange hospital room, all confused, the sun wasn’t up yet, but the dream still so vivid. I swear I felt her purring in my arm.
    My sweet Liesele, a part of her soul stayed with me – or so I sincerely hope.

  5. My Ghost, a white Boxer, was my heart animal. His mother was given to my daughter, abused and pregnant. She had 10 puppies, 7 dying in the first week from seizures. The surviving little warriors were Arya, Brie and Ghost. My daughter was really into GoT. We took them, and did round the clock feedings. All survived, and stole our hearts. But, Ghost was my boy. He always had seizures, so never developed past a puppy, mentally. He was adorable and silly. A year ago, he went to sleep, and didn’t wake. I had him 8 1/2 years. Not nearly enough, and I miss him terribly.

  6. Last year it was a horrible year as I had to put 3 beloved pets to rest. First it was my rescue cat prim who was such a character and she is missed by the neighbors as well. She used to hop into cars or ly Infront of people so that they had to pet her. Then it was my one and only man in my life Jingles. He was the only cat I ever picked out myself and he got to be 16 years old. He was such a lovely cuddlie cat. Then we lost poor Bessie my mam’s dog. My mam moved in with me when she got very sick as she couldn’t stay with her husband who was also sick. Her husband passed away last year and her two dog’s Bessie and Charlie couldn’t stay in the house anymore. So we decided they might as well move in with me and the 4 cats. All of the cats and dogs got on surprisingly 😊 Bessie got very sick fast and she developed a tumor on her shoulder blade and we had to put her to sleep last October she got to be 16 years old. Now we have poor Charlie who is 17 and he has dementia and his eyesight is failing and we have sleepy and aurora two cats left. On top of that we also lost 2 other family members that year (humans) Have to say my heart broke more over loosing all the pets and I would say loads of pet owners no what it feels like.

  7. One mid October night the temperature dropped quickly and a storm was moving in with the wind. I lived in midtown Kansas City where the usual nightly sounds were gunshots, sirens and endless beats of the police helicopter rotor blades. But this night I heard what sounded like a baby crying across the street. I had to check it out. Turned out it wasn’t a baby but two abandoned freezing kittens. They didn’t even have their eyes open. I scooped them up and brought them back to my apartment. Called a friend on how to take care of them, went to a late night store for supplies and food and my life with Pounce began. I later found a home for Pounce’s littermate but kept Pounce. He was a bright orange tabby and full of energy and mischief. I heart that cat. He only lived for 12 years and I miss him to this day. But I cherish the memories.

  8. I have a 9 year old Cairn terrier named Baxter. I called him El Diablo when he was a puppy because he was so bad lol. He has grown into a very sweet boy. Any time I’m hurt he turns from a crazy terrier to a gentle lap dog keeping me company. He is my heart dog ♥️

  9. Hi KG. I know you have been writing for quite some time, but you are relatively new to me.
    My heart pup was Pixie. She was a corgi/papillon mix that I rescued from a grungy basement outside Kansas City. She moved with me to East TN as my sole companion. She saw me through several heartbreaks and surgeries. Ten years ago, I was enmeshed in both at the same time. I was recuperating from my second cervical fusion, grieving over the loss of physical freedoms and the end of a relationship, and Pixie just couldn’t make it through that round. She had slipped into kidney failure and stayed with me as long as she could. I still get choked up about her. I was struggling with my other losses when I had to let her go too. She was my closest, consistent companion. It was then that I discovered lesbian audio books. The stories provided me an escape and a sense of connection to community.
    I have another corgi mix now. It took 5 years for me to settle in to a place where I felt ready to open my heart and home to another dog.
    Wishing you and yours many joyful days and laughter shared with your fur babies.

  10. Sounds good.

  11. Our precious furbaby Willow passed away from breat cancer during covid after 11 years of loving her. We missed her so much that we adopted two kittens during covid when working from home. I recently started a new job and have to go into the office and it’s so hard to go back to the office and leave them. Their names are Kenzie and Ysabeau in honor of Lost Girl.

  12. As a child we didn’t have pets. Many years ago my partner at the time brought home a beautiful young Persian cat that was left at our Vet’s office. She was so sweet and I fell in love with her immediately. I had Callie about 5 months when she got sick and died…cancer. I was devastated.

  13. My heart animal was Sydney the best cat ever. He was part sphinx and part Siamese and was just the most intuitive cat I’ve ever had. He knew and understood humans emotions and I used to call him my best friend. My nieces could drag him around the house and he would never run from them. He was chatty like a Siamese but loved to cuddle like a sphinx. I miss him every day!

  14. I was 16 and in foster care. My foster mother had…oh geez, 3 horses, I believe 3 cats and about 5 dogs. It was a very long time ago so I am forgetful. lol She had about 10 acres at a top of a hill and just had strays coming in all the time. But there was a new kitten. His name was Eugene. He had a white streak down his neck and on all paws. Black every where else. Many times that crazy cat brought me hope. I don’t think I’d made it without him and his unconditional love. He wasn’t too bossy. lol The last I heard, he had moved over the hill with a family while I was put back with mine. Over 40 years and that is the last pet that touched me that way. He saved my life.

  15. My heart pet was a calico cat named Emmee. Emmee’s mom died when she was just weeks old. Her eyes were still closed when I rescued her. She didn’t like many people, but she loved me unconditionally. She followed me around everywhere I went. Emmee was my best girl for 18 years.

  16. My soul kittie is Luna. After I lost my sweet boy of 17 years (about twelve years ago) I swore I would never have another pet. I tried caring for my mother’s cat, Miss Kitty after my mother died but she was too sick and I couldn’t afford her medical care, so she moved back with my sister. “No More Cats,” I swore.
    Then the pandemic hit and as soon as I heard we were going to lock down, I called a friend who fosters cats and kittens for another County. I told her I needed a cat and quick. She brought me, not a foster, but one of hers. That was Luna. My heart went quick. She is such a dear one and only five now. I am lost, lost, lost in love with her.
    Two weeks ago, my apartment flooded and I had to sofa surf for a while. Luna moved back in with my friend. My friend told me pretty quickly that I had made her more loveable and loving. Well, I don’t know about that, but she is my dear one forever!

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