Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Wendy Kendall…
George’s Best Friend
George loves his career as a chef at an assisted living facility, and he loves his family. Phil is his family, and what a tail-wagger he is. Once these two lost souls teamed up, they never looked back and a corner of the world became a brighter place. After therapy training together, this beagle and his partner enthusiastically serve up emotional support and nourishing meals for the facility residents who delight in Phil. When this dear beagle with the pudgy silhouette and low-to-the-ground amble enters a room, all eyes immediately fall on him and coo’s encourage him from every direction. His whispered “arf” stirs laughter, and his celebratory howls are legendary. This doggone beagle’s company is a treat, and George’s heart skips a beat as he savors the relief and delight Phil brings to others. His own life is brightened by their caring gift.
Researching this noble endeavor of animals and their owners was a labor of joy. I learned so much and met wonderful people and dogs. A therapy dog is a dog that offers affection, comfort, and stress relief to a group of individuals. These dogs are commonly seen in nursing homes, schools, courtrooms, and hospitals. These dogs help multiple people throughout their day. They do not solely provide comfort to their handlers. These dogs are usually certified and evaluated by therapy dog organizations. Therapy dogs are trained to master certain skills and must have a very good disposition. Therapy dog handlers are only allowed to enter public spaces with permission.
A husky/german shepherd adorable mix named Leela is the inspiration for adorable Phil. The beauty of Leela’s soothing temperament and personality embraces compassion and empathy around any troubled spirit. Leela, and Phil, are filled with the heart of Christmas. They jump in joy and run with ribbons of love.
Ribbons of love run through the heart of Christmas
Liz buried her hopes three years ago when she buried her husband. She hides under a corporate desk, struggling for time with her young son and his grandmother Violet.
George is chef at the assisted living facility where Violet recovers from an accident. He loves his adopted beagle, Phil. This tail wagger is George’s only family. They are a therapy animal team for the patients.
Juggling work, her son, and Violet is complicated for Liz. Continual collisions with meddling George irritate, and intrigue her.
Violet plots a cookie bake, as matchmaker and to reunite her family. She conspires with George as chef, not realizing it puts his job at risk. Could baking together soften Liz’s heart?
Phil’s sudden disappearance interrupts plans. George is desperate to find his dog. The search leads him into a surprising twist of fate, and accidentally pulls Liz along with him.
She approached the car and noticed the back tire. Flat. She rolled her eyes and groaned. She put her hands on her hips and paced back and forth next to it. She gently kicked the rubber, but it squished against the rim, confirming no air inside.
She crouched down and pulled her wallet out, searching for her road-assistance card. Phil walked around her and licked the back of her hand. “Thanks, Phil, but that won’t help me get to work on time.”
She stood up again and turned around to see George. His hands on his hips. “Flat tire? Can I help?”
“Thanks, but I’ll call somebody.”
“Do you have a spare?”
“Yes, in the trunk.”
He grinned. “Assuming your spare is in good shape, I can get this changed faster for you.” Her mouth dropped open. Someone willing to help.
“Really? I couldn’t put you to the trouble.”
“No worries. Lunch is over, and we came outside for a break.”
“This isn’t a very nice break, but I’d really appreciate it.” She unlocked the trunk.
George took off his black chef shirt, putting it on the front seat of the car. He rolled up the sleeves of his blue shirt, revealing toned forearms. Liz’s glance lingered. She called her assistant to have the VP of Sales step in to host the client. Disaster avoided. Someone else could help.
She felt like celebrating. She scratched Phil’s tummy, talked nonstop to George about his cooking, baking, and recipes, while she stole admiring glances at his physique, including his broad shoulders and flat stomach.
When he finished, he put the jack and flat tire into the trunk. “You’re all set to drive.”
“I don’t know how I can thank you, but I’ll find a way. This was really nice of you.” Impulsively she hugged him. The warmth of his arms wrapped around, then her phone rang. They broke apart, and Phil barked. She looked into George’s brown eyes.
He grabbed his shirt off the driver’s seat. “I’m happy to help.” He turned toward the building and called Phil. She glanced at her phone screen and let it go to voicemail. Had she misjudged George? She’d actually felt comfortable talking with him. She hadn’t talked about baking in years. It felt good. When she hugged him, she’d surprised herself. What a pleasant embrace.
She drove across the lot to the exit, smiling to have all tires turning. She waited for a chance to turn onto the road, one problem solved. Maybe today she could dream of a little dream? In the rear-view mirror, her back window was fogged. She turned onto the road with an unfamiliar feeling of hope, although she had no idea what might be around the corner.
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Christmas-Cookies-Dreams-Kendall-ebook/dp/B0BGCRBNDJ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=156ZT4688XQWK&keywords=heart+of+christmas+cookies+and+dreams+by+wendy+kendall&qid=1667896150&s=digital-text&sprefix=heart+of+christmas+cookies+and+dreams+by+wendy+kendall%2Cdigital-text%2C193&sr=1-1
The result of Wendy Kendall’s passion for purses, mystery and romance is the intriguing In Purse-Suit Mysteries. Kat Out of the Bag introduces Katherine Watson purse designer/sleuth. As Kat moves from designer bags to body bags, she’s uncovering clues to a murder. The prequel, Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash delves into a chilling cold case. Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense at Killer Nashville, Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For creates a tangle of mystery and love and raises suspicions about Desiree’s romantic new sweetheart, Leo. A summer read that will keep you on the edge of your beach towel, Cherry Shakes In The Park blends danger, divas, and frothy delights. And ribbons of love run through Wendy’s newest book, Heart of Christmas Cookies and Dreams. Wendy enjoys investigating the Pacific Northwest life, and she leaves a trail of her own clues as a blogger, YouTube podcaster, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist.
Website – WendyWritesBooks.com
Facebook – WendyKendallMysteries
Twitter – @wendywrites1
Instagram – wendyekendall