Pictures taken August 2018
Born 14 October 1920
“I recommend this book to all who love a mystery. Melinda Mahoney Powers is a gritty, gripping, and, at times, grotesque novel. The story encompasses several decades and fascinates with its window on history, but also becomes very relevant to today with its depiction of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. The author keeps you guessing with its story within a story up until the very end. I recommend this novel to all who love a mystery. Billie Cotton
Prisoners in Paradise; Published September 2013; ISBN:9780972058568; Paperback; Pages 216 ; Price: $7.50
Prisoners in Paradise invites you to visit a beautiful tropical island alive with intrigue, danger, and romance. Just imagine sailing away for a fantastic tropical getaway to explore the islands of your dreams. Suddenly your world spins out of control. You find yourself grasping at survival skills you didn’t know you had. You don’t want to miss what happens in this exciting story. Margaret Dominy
Published May 2011; ISBN: 9780972058551; Paperback; Pages 204; Price $7.50
The fun begins when Louise Knight, a Senior Manor retiree, discovers the body of a fellow resident, horrifically murdered. The Sheriff immediately labels her as a person of interest.
The murderer goes one step further. He or she not only labels Louise as a person of interest, but also decides she and her two dogs would be good killing trophies. You are guaranteed fingernail biting time as you follow ninety year old Louise in this bold and whimsical page turner when she becomes in the murder of sweet little old Maddie and tracks down the killer while in peril for her life!
Published October 2009; ISBN: 9780972058544; Paperback; Pages 384; Price $7.50
The Adventures of Janice, Melissa, and Andrew in Shattered Innocence will shatter your nerves on the struggles some young adults need to go through as they start out on their own. The son and two daughters of Marv Alicorn, who owns the Windy Hills Double Bar M ranch in Montana, are innocently plunged into dangerous adventures, after meeting our villain, John Territoni, a smooth-talking, despicable gangster-murderer. Their stories carry you from Montana, to Washington, to California, and to New York City.
Revised and Published October 2009; ISBN: 9780972058537; Paperback; Pages 270; Price $7.50
Rosa and the Prince is a racy and vibrant historical story of a passionate love affair between a celebrated Austrian prince, Prince Rudolph of Habsburg, and a Hungarian girl. It’s a totally engrossing page turner you won’t put down.
Each of the five novels above are sold with FREE shipping.
The Joyous Havanese and Devoted to Dogs are sold by Amazon.com. The two Dog Obedience Training Manuals can be found at the Second Editions Bookshop on Amazon Marketplace. The two PWD books are sold by Turner Publishing Company, Nashville, TN 372009 and/or PWDCA.
Devoted to Dogs
The Joyous Havanese
are sold by Amazon
How do we know if it’s love or mere infatuation? What is the difference? Infatuation is an ephemeral, hormonal attraction. Love is intense companionship in mind as well as in body. The explanation below is mine.
“Oh, how I love John!” Mary exclaimed to her friend, Nancy, as they sat eating lunch at Sardi’s Restaurant in New York City. Nancy took a big bite of her Taco salad before she acknowledged Mary’s words. Then she answered, shaking her head. “No, you are not in love with John, Mary. You just think you are. You are infatuated with him, that’s all.”
“I tingle all over whenever I see him, even just thinking about him,” Mary answered testily. “That’s not love?”
“You hardy know John,” said Nancy. “What you are feeling is a physical attraction that is infatuation. Love has depth.”
“What do you mean, depth?” askedMary. “Explain depth to me as it pertains to love.”
“Many people think they are falling in love because they are physically attracted to someone. The two may go out on dates and have great time together. But, if they do not share common interests, the dates became less frequent and the infatuation gradually dies out. Yes, the individual who still thinks he or she is in love is devastatingly bruised when the romance falls apart. If that individual could see him or herself, he or she would realize the experience was like eating icing on a cake without eating the cake. There was no depth to the romance. It consisted of wanting to be with someone to please one’s own emotions, even if that gratification was an unconscious desire.”
Nancy’s opinion was sound. Yet, one can be infatuated and develop, through mutual interests, love. Friendship is one of the first steps in learning to love another. The two people become as one in enjoying and sharing interests.
Infatuation belongs to the essence of nature. Nature insists on propagation from the lowest to the highest forms of life because without new life there will be no world. That is why you tingle when you are with the one with whom you are infatuated. Just as nature teaches us to try to survive bitter, freezing weather; violent, destroying storms; unbearable, shriveling heat; killing bacteria, viruses, insects and animals; it also unremittingly tempts us to add new life for the future.
Man, who has battled the vicissitudes of nature since his birth eons ago, has been forced to lay down rules to mitigate those perils. One of the unspoken rules frowns upon infatuation because it often causes unbearable distress, not only to the individuals involved, but also to others in the family group. The unspoken rules for celibacy until marriage are designed to save many young people from nature’s edict that reproduction is essential,regardless of the cost.
Infatuation can invigorate the dreams and hopes of both young and old. When we swoon to a picture or media show that depicts a famous crooner, a beautiful lady, an incredible dancer, a worthy writer; when we swoon over a celebrity who comes to perform in our own backyard; it is the sight of this individual doing things we can dream of doing that gives impetus to the young and lightens the reality of unfulfilled elders. These infatuations spur us upward, enriching our lives.
So – if we can keep our egos satiated during an infatuation, infatuation is a good thing. It is ego, not heart, that suffers over a lost infatuation; the temporary loss of pride is what devastates.
There are many vibrant shades of love since love is a primary emotion. Love fans out, like a tsunami. To encompass a few shades, there is love of family, love of children and love of country. In this essay we are defining the shades of meaning between infatuation and love of a man and a woman. Both have bad sides; infatuation can become obsession while love can twist into hate.
Love, as defined by Webster’s dictionary is, “based in part on sexual attraction.” It is much more than physical passion. True love imparts a sweet, almost anguished yearning to please its beloved. To love is to delight in each other’s companionship. It is affection without censure.
Love does not need to be repaid; love is payment in itself. Love is always ready to caress away the mind’s sores when unfortunate changes occur. And it is love that reaches out with a smile when the one that is loved is needy. If the one loved becomes ill, it is with joy that care is given. Loving husbands bathe and dress and feed and perform the necessary everyday chores, yet still shower gentle hugs to their ill wife. Loving wives do the same for their ailing husband.
Love turns a drab sunrise into beautiful splashes of color. It gives reason for moving forward with a dance in the every day step through life. Love imparts reason for laughing at nature’s essential character of change, for seeing the beauty and joy in both good and bad adventures of life.
Although infatuation and love have traits in common, they are different in intensity, in desire, in deed; they are also two primal drives of life that man would not be without.
It’s after eight in the evening of – August 24, 2018. It’s dark. I’ve been reminiscing. I’ve gone back in my memories to think of gladness. The year? It was 2003. Join me.
The months of July and August were awful. I sat in my husband’s chair for hours on end, unmoved by any gladness around me. Why? Alzheimer’s disease had grabbed my beloved husband and forced me to watch his body fail along with his – oh – so wonderful mind. He left me in July of 2003. It was difficult to move on. Alzheimer is a scary word. Scarier still are the terminal, mind-erasing characteristics that afflicts a victim of this slowly progressing yet completely mind-crushing disease. As you can tell, I was devastated. Sitting in my sorrow one early evening, needing something – I don’t know what – I rose and looked out the window. There was a beautiful, glowing but fading sunset in front of me. It was spectacular, I took the lovely view with me to bed. When I awoke in the morning, wondrous colors of the sunrise filled the sky. It seemed nature was talking to me, giving me an example to follow. Think about it. When we realize the sun never sets, but disappears from our view to be honed for the morning to come, you can visualize that the myriad sweet, yet sometimes gloomy sunset and sunrise describe our own emotions. Thanks to God, humans have a gift that enable us to look forward with a hopeful outlook. Nature is telling us to rest on a gloomy evening when clouds sweep over the nighttime sky, yet get up in the dawn like the beautiful sun, and start anew.
So I did. And what do you know. The sunsets and sunrises turned everything around. I remembered that Alzheimers, in spite of mental devastation, gives the afflicted happy moments. He may tell his caretaker(s) of a beautiful trip he just took, of a favorite song he just heard, of his mother’s voice calling him to dinner. You see, while the afflicted gradually loses touch with the present, he is able (at moments) to live in a past that unfolds a treasured memory. Even though this brutal disease can completely wither both mental and physical strength of the sufferer, there are memories of joy.
What do you know. I listened to nature. The sunrises turned everything around. I volunteered and became a Big Sister to a Little Sister. I joined a book club. I wrote a dog book and it became that breed’s best seller. I wrote another book. Life began anew for me just as the sun shines anew each morning.
It would have been easy to wallow in sadness the rest of my life, dwell only in my own problems. Stephen Post, PhD (Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics AT Stony Brook University in New York), says, “Volunteering is a giving activity which rewards donors a forty-four percent lower death rate than those who don’t volunteer.”
It would have been easy to not open the door so I could enjoy the sights of the trees and flowers and rain and snow. It would have been easy to no longer remember what joys life used to have. It is fact that when one holds on to negative emotions like overdone sorrow and bitterness, one’s health suffers. Dr. Post tells us that in a thirteen year study, people with “sunny dispositions” (there is the sun again) “had far less arterial narrowing” than those who complained. Many people enjoy complaining.
I found I could walk with the sun each day. Whenever I looked at a sunbeam I breathed in gladness. Gladness helped me stop moaning about the loss of my dear husband. That brought me to thoroughly enjoy each moment outside, which I had put behind me when my care taking duties took over. Then something – something – happened. I opened my bedroom closet door one morning and saw my husband’s favorite cap (I could not throw it away) had fallen on the closet floor. Lucky, my Portuguese Water Dog, who was beside me, leaned down and smelled it. He sniffed and sniffed it. He looked up at me, wagged his tail, grabbed the cap, and began carrying it proudly around the house. wagging and wagging his tail in joy. That night he laid his head on the cap before he went to sleep. His actions brought many, many tears to my eyes. The long-ago scent brought back joyful memories to the dog he left behind. Amazing.
The gladness I felt spread to a far-away friend who had lost her husband. She too, found it difficult to let go of her grief. When I told her about the glorious sunrises stimulating me because I found them an example of how wonderful tomorrow can be; when I told her the remarkable story of my dog’s emotional reaction to the scent of his master, she oh’d and ah’d . She thanked me for my suggestions. I encouraged her to hurry up and volunteer. “Join a book club,” (as I did), “Volunteer at a hospital,” (as I did). That was the beginning of her new gladness.
Life is really beautifull.
Continue reading “Kitty Braunds Books – 9”
It is now September 2018. Montana has had a long winter, a short Spring, a short but lovely Summer and this morning we had a taste of fall. . . 49 degrees. The day was also the beginning of a smoke-drenched sky from many of the western states fires. I typed this story yesterday, but lost it, so I am retyping it now. Enjoy. Here we go!~
In the heady days of the discovery of America, adventurous and hopeful human beings left their homelands and swarmed over the pristine and wild acres of their new land, settling down with one another in perfect harmony of being alive and productive in a land of opportunity. They were banded together as a great melting pot of humanity. Too soon the togetherness began to change – to evolve into cultures standing alone.
When my mother came to the United States in 1912 on the U.S.S. Cleveland, the ship’s manifest listed the destination point (and sponsorship) of each of the passengers. Most passengers knew only their native tongue and were sponsored by individuals who spoke that language primarily. A jumble of cultures grew. My mother was one of the few who had studied and was proficient in English before she stepped on the ship to America. As a pre-hired governess for five children in the San Francisco, California area, she earned her way into the melting pot section of America. She married in 1913 and began teaching her first-born High German. “Don’t do that,” warned her neighbors. “Germany is an enemy of the United States.” So as a good American she followed their advice.
When I lived in New York City in the early 1940s, I initially rented in the Scandinavian section in the East seventies. Most of the residents there lived in railroad type flats, called cold-weather flats. There was a communal bathroom on each floor and a bathtub in each kitchen. One put pots of cold water on the stove and heated the water to take a bath. These east-side streets were alive with the manners and clothes and songs and behaviors echoing Scandinavian old-time cultures. I went to many a dance and wedding when I lived in that section of New York City. My boyfriend at the time was part of that culture. I was almost claimed as one of their own. Oh, how I enjoyed the friendship and customs of these wonderful people.
I learned while I lived in the city (Manhattan), that many of the streets were open to only one culture – streets in which only Irish or Jewish or African-Americans lived with customs that spoke primarily of the ‘old’ or ‘native’ country. As I travelled around the middle and northern United States as an actress in the late 1940s and lived in the northern states in the 1960s and ’70s, I certainly saw the differences in speech and culture. North Dakota and Minnesota were developed by Danish and Swedish people.
Washington and California became home to those moving away from a single culture, moving to express themselves in a melting pot state. Since those years, sections of California have become one culture proud, particularly in the semi-arid deserts of southern California. When I lived in that area, Mexican nationals streamed there and filled the newly-built houses. Many restaurants and shops evolved into a Mexican culture.
One of my brothers, who lived in southern California, was for many years a radio spokesman for the celebrated Rose Parade. He also announced the horse races for this particular large-network station. But the station was sold. It became a Spanish speaking station to serve the distinct culture in that area. Of course, that was the end of that particular career for my brother.
As a resident of Washington state during the 1990s, I watched the exodus from California to Washington. Thousands of people left the many separate cultures of California for the melting pot area that was Washington State.
Other places with a diversity of cultural traditions are retirement homes. As a resident of a retirement Manor, I am back in a melting pot culture. The over one-hundred residents who live here came from every walk in life, each full of memories of the life they came from – educators, salespeople, scientists, housewives, electricians, plumbers. People from all over our country, full of the traditions they grew up with. Retirement homes generally belong to the melting pot culture.
I have to conclude that America is both a jumble of world country traditions that is of fascinating interest. Americans celebrate a melting pot culture. Certainly holiday celebrations prove the fact that in this great country of ours we are both.
Photo taken June 2018
My dog story book, Devoted to Dogs, published in March 2002, contains fourteen short stories of dogs, mostly mine. I am repeating a story here, entitled America’s Wild Dog, all about the Coyote. You’ll enjoy it. Remember, it is copyrighted. Its ISBN number is 0-9720585-0-8. Please write to me, Kathryn Braund,at my address below, if you want to use it or parts of it. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.
Here we go.
In this wide, great country of ours, right in our own backyard, lives a fabulous wild dog more ingenious and intelligent and wily and crafty than any other dog in the world. He has to be to survive for his modern life is very tough. But although life’s a constant, difficult struggle for him, he appears to glory in this struggle. His will to endure is remarkable. And daily he sings a wonderfully strange, lonely, joyful song with which he heralds both the evening sky and the morning heaven.
His marvelous song, KI-YOO-00-00-00-00, is spine chilling and haunting. It is a never-to-be-forgotten wild sound, a soulful two-octave staccato howl punctuating the squalling prairie or hillside winds with special canine music. To the hundreds of cowboys who have stood lonely watch over cattle herds, this music of the coyote has been like the lulling poem of a love song from the throat and lips of some faraway dream girl.
Envision yourself stacking forest-gathered wood on a newly lit campfire in front of your tent at a wilderness site when out of the dusk, beyond the hillock, the cry of the coyote pierces the air – sharp, lusty yip yips rising and falling, a zigzag of extraordinary sound sending shivers running through your body (along with an immense loneliness for you know not what). Suddenly this animal song is answered by similar voices from distant scrubs or buttes; each note of the KI-YOU-OO-OO-OO-OO pitched separately and then “run after and bit into small pieces.”
And as you stand in the aura of the campfire, a burning twig snapping sparks into the night air, the eerie song fading into the blackness of the night, the OOO-OOO accenting the brilliance of the evening stars above, you reflect on all the legends and myths you have heard about this unique animal, this wild dog of America, and all the meanings he has had for the different peoples through the eternity of his life.
Back when the world was young and animals of all kinds lived in immense abundance on the great buffalo-grassed prairies of the Americas, the Indians and the little Medicine Wolf were friends.
Because this prairie wolf was an unusual form of wolf and indigenous only to a certain part of the world – the wide-open spaces of North America from Panama to Alaska and over the prairies of Canada – he was granted a special name by those who knew him best, the Indians of North America. Coyotl was the name the Nauatl Indians of Mexico chose for the Medicine Wolf. They named him after the Aztec god Coyotlinauatl. When the Spaniards infiltrated the Americas, names such as cdiote, coyote, college, kyoto, kayo and cayeute came into usage. The Spanish word coyote (pronounced ki-o’-te) gradually took hold and folklore about the curious and devious-minded creature spread all over the new world.
Indians knew him intimately. The Apaches believed the coyote gave both the gift of wit and gluttony to man, and those of the Apaches that were called Coyoteros were proud of their sub-name. It symbolized their wondrous ingenuity and cleverness. On the other hand, to a Pueblo Indian coyote meant coward.
The Blackfoot tribe gave the wild dog godlike powers and sang the ‘Coyote Prayer song’ when they despaired. The Flathead Indians called the coyote sinchlep (imitator) and regarded the dog as “most powerful and favorable to mankind.”
Whatever stories Indians spun about this animal when their campfires were blazing and when the moon was full, the coyote’s nightly song of distant greeting heralded the approach of friends or warned them when enemies crept near, sang with them to the rain, the moon, the sun, and lamented if death visited them.
Mexican Indian tales are often woven around the coyote’s friendship with the badger (a going-to-earth creature). As a matter of fact, the coyote’s head decorates a pre-Columbian piece of pottery found in the Cases Grandes region of Mexico. This piece is believed by archaeologists to date between 1250-1300 A.D., and it attests to the fact that the coyote-badger relationship is more than myth. On one side of the Casas Grandes pot is the head of the coyote shown in bas relief; spin the pot around, and on the other side his friend the badger appears. Support is given to the odd comradeship by western trappers and mountain men, many of whom wrote or spoke of their sighting the two animals together hunting, each pleased with the teamwork and friendship of the other.
Indians sometimes stole one of the coyote’s whelps from an unguarded den and tamed it, using it as a draught dog until it reached adulthood and became destructive and untrustworthy or ran off to follow the KI-YOO-OO-OO-OO of a kin. Other times, they crossed the small prairie wolf with larger types, and told white men they “always found that the resultant offspring were not only prolific, but also better and stronger beasts of burden.”
The first Spaniard to describe the coyote was Francisco Hernandez who, in 1651, wrote of the Coyote (or Indian Fox): “It is an animal unknown to the Old World, with a wolf-like head, lively large pale eyes, small sharp ears, a long dark muzzle and very thick tail. The coyote is midway between a fox and a wolf. It is a keen hunter. It may avenge an injury and exact a penalty from some troublesome man by finding its dwelling place with great perseverance and care and killing some of its domestic animals. But it is grateful to those who do well by it and commonly signifies its good will by sharing a bit of prey. Its food consists of weaker animals, maize and other kinds of corn and sugar-cane whenever it finds some. It is captured with traps and snares and killed with the arrow.”
As Spanish and American adventurers, explorers, trappers, mountain men, pioneers and wanderers encountered the coyote on their new world pathways, each told a different story about the wild dog, so adaptable were his ways.
John James Audubon, while on a Missouri River streamer voyage in 1843, wrote of the coyote in his Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. He said, “By its predatory and destructive habits this wolf is a great annoyance to the settlers in the new territories of the west. Travelers and hunters on the prairie dislike it for killing the deer, which supply these wanderers with their best meals and furnish them with part of their clothing.”
In the middle years of the 19th century, a Lt. J.W. Abert, on military reconnaissance across the plains, observed that the prairie wolves “congregate in large packs and hang on the heels of the buffalo to pick up the infirm and those the hunters have wounded, as well as to prey on what is left of the slaughtered.”
“There is now no way of computing what were the relative numbers of coyotes to numbers of rabbits, deer, antelopes, grouse and other accompanying species in North America before the advent of civilized man,” wrote the late J. Frank Dobie in The Voice of the Coyote. “We do know that where the coyote was most abundant, game animals he is now supposed to check were also most abundant.”
All who met the coyote agree he would eat almost anything – cowhide straps, watermelon, grasshoppers, snails, fish, dates, cactus fruit, berries, rabbits, mice, birds and their eggs, rattlesnakes and carrion (all kinds, even his own). His taste, they said, “was dammable catholic!” – particularly when times were lean. Everyone who met him discovered the coyote could hunt by himself, with a companion, a pack, with animals of other species; that he often followed the sky highways of buzzards or crows or magpies to carrion feasts; that he could sprint along plains at 45 miles per hour. Each human acquaintance lauded his intelligence in outwitting and ultimately gulping down the smallest morsel of live food; in his commonsense teamwork tactics in stalking game bigger than he; about his hatred of the big wolf and of the slinking bobcat.
Some men called the coyote a predatory thief, other men called him an opportunistic scavenger; all men called him crafty, wary, inexcusably curious, more cunning than the fox, and a wild animal infinitely wise and humorous.
Nature used the coyote as spawn in her law of balance. He unwittingly aided her with the law of the survival of the fittest by eating animals smaller than he and, in the case of the larger animals, dragging down the old, the sick, and at times the helpless young, making for the strong, healthy survivor.
Although Thomas Say, zoologist, labeled the prairie wolf with theme Canis latrans (barking dog) in 1823, the character and habits of this singing little wolf were not familiar to Easterners, except from the romanticized myth and lore that were rising about him.
In 1860, Worthington Hooker MD, a professor at Yale College, wrote of the wolf, presumably including the coyote in his description: “The wolf is a gaunt but strong animal with a skulking gait, and his aspect is marked by mingled ferocity, cunning and cowardice. There are several species of wolves, especially in America, but their habits and character are very much the same.”
The Canis latrans (barking dog) or prairie wolf or coyote stands about half the size of the wolf. He is as tall as a Shetland Sheepdog or a small Collie. He measures from 16 to 21 inches high and weighs from about 18 to 30 pounds (naturally there are variances). On the other hand, the smallest of the gray wolf forms (Sierra Madre) weighs between 60 and 90 pounds.
One of the most important physical differences between coyotes and wolves are skull proportions. Coyotes’ brain cases are large, their muzzles narrow and long, their teeth small, their expression foxy. Wolves (although bigger) have smaller brain cases but large jaws with bigger teeth and their expression is not foxy.
Colorwise, coyotes remain pretty much within the yellow-gray and yellow shades, variegated with black fur tips on their soft coats; underpants usually light or white and the tip of their tails dark or black tipped; when they live at higher elevations their color tends towards grey or black.Wolf color is wide-ranged and can be a mixture of basic white, brown, gray or black.
Psychophysical disposition is also different. The wolf is endowed with a much tenderer nervous system than is the coyote. Wolves cannot adapt to hiding out and surviving in contrived habitats as civilization encircles them. This is proven by the fact that wolves have been exterminated in most countries of the world as people have cut down the forests and refined the terrain. The wolf has been exterminated from England (1350), Scotland (1600), Ireland (1700), and remains only in certain unpopulated sections of Europe, Asia, Greenland and North America.
But Americans, although virtually eliminating the wolf, discovered they could not get rid of the adaptable, versatile coyote. Instead, he extended his territory. Once strictly a Western Plains dweller, the coyote now lines many mountain boundaries and is found in the eastern and northern United States and Canada, areas where once he was completely unknown.
The wild dog, centuries-old animal friend to the Indians, became more secretive and cunning with each advance of the white man. No longer was he seen standing in full daylight – sometimes alone, sometimes in packs of from four to twenty – standing on top of a ridge watching as Indians slew buffaloes and antelopes; then patiently waiting for their departure so that he could clean the bones of all meat.
As the white man moved across America, he shot and killed any creature he saw moving on the plains. “For the sport of it, five points for the man who shoots the most quail. Ten points for the man who shoots the most prairie dogs! Fifteen points for the man who shoots the most wolves! Twenty points for the man who shoots the most antelopes. And twenty-five points for the man who shoots the most buffaloes!” Thus, the coyote became more furtive, his song more plaintive, and his friends not so numerous.
He tasted cattle carrion for the first time when trail drivers in typical “get ’em to the cattle yards” zeal, daily killed the newborn calves that had been dropped during the night and left their remains lying on the camping grounds. He tasted infirm and dying sheep when they spread over his habitat and ate all the grasses and roots so that the ground became bare, and would not harbor his long-time favorite foods – rabbits, raccoons, skunks and other small field varmints.
As pioneers cut down the forests, cultivated fields and pastured livestock, the coyote adapted himself and became belly perceptive to the brand new kind of growing restaurant. He joined the farmer, and not always furtively. While man plucked weeds from the fields and harvested grain and vegetable crops, the coyote plucked up mice and rats from their furrowed farmland holes and harvested the destructive rabbits and gophers. Sometimes he nibbled vegetables and old-world fruit. He then voiced his appreciative thanks by drawing other yellow brethren away from distant dens and prairie sanctuaries into adjacent territories. When harvest was over and blizzards howled and his usual dinners lay under snow, he also ate barnyard fowl. So the once appreciative farmers decided to rid themselves of all varmints in civilized poisoning or coyote ’roundup’ extermination campaigns.
So the coyote left the farm. His KI-YOO-OO-OO-OO song was seldom heard echoed over ghostly hayfields or bottomland pastures. If alive, he was saddened but wiser and moved higher on the land into the mountains and out of the plains. He moved to the boundaries of the forests or wherever he could find food to sustain him.
Since 1825, when the first bounty was placed upon his head, the coyote has been slaughtered intensively. It is estimated that in one period alone, between 1860 and 1885, hundreds of thousands of coyotes were killed – poisoned, gunned, trapped. Then in 1915, the government began a systematic destruction of all predatory animals. While his bigger cousin, the wolf, never fully recovered from this grim onslaught of animal blood-letting and was truly extirpated, the coyote, more crafty than ever, continued living ever unmindful of the fact that his life usually ends tragically.
Until recently, the coyote was poisoned by eating poisoned meat or from feeding o is own dead brethren who have eaten of it. Strychnine was the first poison used, causing a horrible death, the animal burning, gasping, choking, until he died in a strangulating convulsion.
Cyanide came next, hidden in fur-covered scented bait in a device called the coyote ‘go-getter.’ This device, a cylindrical instrument that is hammered into the ground, explodes right into the scent-lured animal’s mouth, the poison pushing against all its insides and destroying the victim within minutes (other animals besides the coyote go for the ‘go-getter’). Now banned, is compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) a workhorse poison which proved to be extremely deadly all the way down the food line.
Death also came to this predator in buried snapping steel jaws. And if the coyote is caught in a grim steel trap and does not die by club or butter when the trapper returns, or of starvation wile waiting for his executioner, and if he was lucky or frantic enough and the trap small enough, he chews his foot off or drags the trap with him and escapes. The coyote can live remarkably well on three feet or two, as the case may be. If he is shot and survives the wound, although unarmed crippled in some way – a jaw torn off, a lung struck, a limb dragging, eyes blinded – he lives, again remarkably, hobbling or crawling to the easiest gained meal. Then he gives no quarter.
Where stock is fenced out, some ranchers use capable cultured dogs such as Greyhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, Irish Wolfhounds,Borzois or their cross-bred progeny to run the coyote to his death.
These dogs can usually win this type of “run him down and kill him” hunt.
“One dog leads, and the other two follow, one on each flank of the coyote,” wrote Leon V. Aimirall, a coursing and coyote hunting enthusiast. “Thus, if this nimble son of the West ducks to either side, the move will do him no good, for there will be a dog there to meet him.”
“Our Greyhounds, left loose on the ranch, protect our stock and poultry in this manner,” stated one western rancher. “We are the only ranch in the whole area which has not lost stock and certainly the hounds are to have credit for that. The coyotes stay away.”
Regardless of the hunting of the coyote, every waning winter packs of from three to ten coyotes congregate for mating season. When paired off, the male becomes a fond, devoted mate and while not remaining monogamous all of his twelve to twenty year life span (if he survives civilization’s death traps), he often shares a den with one female for several years.
From three to ten pups are born in a litter (gestation period is like that of cultured dogs, from 60 to 65 days). When the pups have begun to be weaned at about three weeks, the male as well as the female hunts for and regurgitates the food for them. Both parents feed the pups until weaning is complete and the offsprings’ attempts at hunting small game become successful. It is at this time of year, claim the sheepmen, that depredations of the murdering coyotes are the worst.
I reflect on the coyote, the wild dog of America, and I wonder how it was back in the days when herds of buffalo and deer and antelope roamed the plains and when the Indian walked softly over the earth and every plant and animal had its own natural changing place in nature’s balance. Perhaps like the mother who sits in her rocking chair and gazes at the photographs of her sons and daughters who have left their childhood home and gone out into the world to make their own way – I sit and hope the coyote will always, somehow, make his own way, whatever some men have said his crimes against civilization have been.
For if he should vanish, ah! I shall miss his lilting song that heralds the bright morning sun and I shall miss his lonely wail that tells of the evening’s shadows. Even though this may seems like only a sentimental and foolish reason, we have to keep firmly in mind what our scientists and wildlife experts have proven over and over – that to eliminate any species of wild animal upsets the balance of nature and can bring disastrous results on the livelihood of mankind as well as the propagation of wildlife in general.
KI-YOO-OO-OO-OO is the song of the fabulous and ingenious and opportunistic wild dog of America – the little coyote.
Photo taken June 2018
I’m excited. I’m also pensive. I’m going to give you a complete story – yes, it’s short – one I wrote a long time ago, long before I made it part of my book, entitled Devoted to Dogs, published in March 2002. Devoted contains fourteen dog stories written for the young and old and everybody in between.
The story’s title: Sirius The Dog Star. ISBN 0-9720588-0-8 Copyright. No parts of this story, in any form, may be published without permission
Here’s the story.
The sunrise was beautiful. From far away, beyond the junction where earth and sky meet, great shafts of colored light – pink, violet, amber, orange, yellow, red – tumbled through the heavens. Their descent was so swift that when they hit the earth they exploded into dazzling colors of light and then arched, rainbow-like and bounced brilliantly across the whole of the sky.
Sirius sat on the edge of the world and admired the dawning of the earth day. He watched the colors slide down the jagged, sparkling mountains, race across the remnants of churned and silver-flecked glaciers, and roll over the lush green plains. His eyes followed the morning as it awakened the land, caressing it with soft, warm sweet fingers of light.
When the colors came to the edges of the great forest, they halted. Only a few strong filaments ventured inside, several sliding down into the silent green depths from the topmost canopy of branches, others slithering in from the sides.
Sirius rose. He followed the bold swath of daylight until he came to a high place in front of the forest. There he paused. Looking over the tops of trees, his eyes searching the land beyond, he finally saw what he had been seeking – the cliffs bordering the sheltered valley where sunlight could not penetrate. That valley was his destination.
Climbing down from the high place on which he stood, he crossed into the forest. Yet, though he merged his image in harmony with the dense woods, several beasts threatened him. One in particular, a magnificent saber-toothed tiger, tried to jump on him. So Sirius traveled, if not in peace, in watchful quietude.
At last the forest thinned. He came out into a clearing. In front of him stretched an immense wilderness, honey-combed with remnants of recent glacial gouging. He recognized the boulder and gulley strewn wilderness as neighbor to the sunless valley that was his destination. He walked on. perceiving that the wilderness was a sweet, bursting land, rich in vegetation and animal life, massed with bushes and springing grasses. Streams of water nourished the whole of it, each winding rivulet gushing nosily at the luxurious array of blossoming plants that grew along their shallow banks.
Sirius followed one of these streams to the topmost edge of the alley. There the clear water dashed down the steep slopes to end its journey in a deep, fathomless, black pool. He walked under the humps of the cliffs, searching for the cave that the creature, man, lived in. Man, who had been put on earth to master the earth, had secluded himself in this sunless valley and did not venture out into the wilderness.
It was almost dusk when Sirius came, at last, upon an obscure narrow trail, recent footprints leading the way through a jagged split in a bush-clad cliff, back into dank shadows. He smiled triumphantly. He had found man’s hidden cave. Quickly, he changed his form so he could wait in front of the cave and yet observe unseen.
He waited tirelessly. It was only when night had shed the colors of the day and when the air was heavy with black that a man came out stealthily, afraid of what the blackness held, yet courageously, combating his fear. Sirius followed as the man crept down into the valley, his feet hardly breaking ground as he moved cautiously over the moist grass, making his way to the edge of the fathomless pool where he planned to hunt.
But the animals who had gathered there smelled him and avoided contact. And man, Sirius noted, did not smell the animals that brushed close by him on their way to quench their thirst at the water’s edge. Neither did his ears pick up the sound of bodies swiping quietly against the thick-bladed reeds as they moved near him. Never did he see their almost formless shadows cross in front of him in the brush.
When at last, after an interminable interval, he caught a small slimy water creature, his hands proved too clumsy to hold it. It wiggled adeptly out of them and fell, splashing into the shallows. Discouraged, and realizing that his crashing had chased all that were in the area away, the man turned around and wearily retraced his steps back up the cliff to his cave. Sirius heard sighs of disappointment greet his entrance. Then, although Sirius waited patiently for further action, silence, as cold and heavy as the dark night, lay over the cave.
He opened his record book and wrote in it. When he had finished, he closed the book, put it away, and turned around and left the valley.
The next day Sirius sat on Canis Major reporting to those who had gathered on the great white cloud of wisdom.
“It is my belief,” Sirius began, “that man does not know of the wondrous powers he has bestowed upon him. He sees no reflection of them anywhere. Therefore, he is caught on the edge of the valley of darkness, where he lives with fear and loneliness. Until he can free himself from these obstacles, he cannot go out into the bright meadowland of the world and seek his rich future.
“I suggest,” Sirius went on, “that we give man a support which he can grasp and carry with him to help him realize and achieve his potential.”
“That we cannot do,” was the answer. “Man has many powers. We need not add more.”
“But man does not know his powers,” argued Sirius. “There is no sunlight in this valley and he cannot see the reflection of his greatness in its fathomless pool. He must have help to start him on his way.
“There are also gifts man does not possess which he truly needs to survive in the world of the earth,” pleaded Sirius. “For instance, he does not have the gift of sharp, sensitive scent as do all other earth creatures. Neither does he possess a keen ear, nor sight for movement. He has little ability for bodily stealth and drive. These are things that were not given him. These he must have to some degree to survive in the wild land of the earth.”
There was agreement from all who had gathered on the cloud.
“I observed a creature in the forest,” Sirius continued, “which I believe could be given to man as a helpmate. For a time this creature followed me almost as if he wanted to go along my route as my companion. Once, he even forewarned me that a saber-toothed tiger was tracking me. When the tiger appeared, this small creature held it at bay with proud whines and threatening fangs until I vanished from sight. It was not the least bit afraid of the tiger’s extraordinarily long curved upper teeth which were capable of slashing him into two with one downward sweep. I was very moved by this little animal’s attempt to protect me.
“Once he came quite close to me and lay down on the earth and turned on his back in supplication. When I left the forest and went out into the wilderness, he watched me and he appeared only as a tawny finger of color at the edge of the forest. I met him again on my way home when traveling through the woods in the black night. On this second encounter he preceded me along the tracks as if he wanted to guide me.”
“Let us look at the scroll of creation,” said a voice from the cloud. “Read aloud what is written about this creature.”
The scroll was brought and opened, and many lengths were unrolled before the voice read off the list of qualities created in the animal Sirius had met. Many qualities were similar to those of other animals of the world.
“Except here, at the bottom,” spoke the quiet reader, “lies a trait that was not blotted well from the entry of man. Its tracings now sit close beside this creature’s record on the scroll.”
“What trait is that?”
“The trait of love. It is the only animal besides man that has this label added so exactly right next to its name.”
“Love is the reason the creature followed me so eagerly,” exclaimed Sirius.
“Then let us give this creature to man to be his animal friend. He can lead man out of the valley of darkness. Man will look at him and be able to see, by reflection, the wonderful qualities of love and resultant strength and courage he has inside himself.”
The next dawn Sirius traveled once again to earth. He went directly into the green forest seeking the creature who shared man’s given trait of love.
But when he reached the grove where he had first encountered the creature, the earth appeared still and fresh as if it had never been visited by any living thing. He listened to hollow silence. But then, as he turned to leave to search elsewhere, a small sound brought him full about. Sirius knelt down. He caught his breath. Lying under a fallen tree limb on a bed of leaves and needles, he saw several balls of fluffed fur. Petting them soothingly, excitedly, Sirius gathered the small and tender bodies unto his arm. As he did so, he felt a nudge against his elbow. Without turning, he knew the soft, wet nose belonged to the creature he had come to find. Sirius set her young down tenderly, turned and outstretched his hands. The tawny creature met them and moved against him until enclosed in the circle of his gentle embrace.
If there were young, thought Sirius, there must be another large one. Turning slowly, he espied two burning eyes watching him from the edge of the clearing. Again, Sirius stretched out his arms. A deep growl echoed his action. Sirius remained motionless – his whole being intent and eager and beckoning. The eyes came forward. A touch and this one was also ready for man’s company.
Then together, in mute yet eloquent trust, Sirius and the two large creatures hurried through the forest and traveled across the wilderness, Sirius carrying the sleeping young while the two parents trotted along, one taking the lead, the other trailing.
When they reached the valley of darkness, the three stole soundlessly down the track to the entrance of the cave. There, on the stubbed ground, Sirius placed the little bodies still curled in slumber. The two large ones retreated as Sirius retreated. The three crouched in the shadows. Sirius rose from the earth to where he could watch and send down a slender shining ray of protective light until the young were found.
After darkness welled up from the ground and covered the whole of the valley with its night blanket, man came out of the cave. Sirius’ ribbon of silver pointed at the tiny creatures. Man drew back afraid of the strange light. His sounds awakened hunger pangs in the tiny creatures and they opened their eyes and began crying. Man stopped to see what lay on the ground. Uttering soft cries, he picked up the creatures. Other forms came out of the cave and blended with the first. Soon, they began cradling the little animal bodies, giving them new life. Sirius smiled. Man looked up at the widening wash of silver light in wonder. Then he turned his attention back to the tiny creatures. As he did, the two large parents approached from where they had lain nearby and made it known that they were friends.
Sirius stood guard in his place patiently. Spreading timelessly over the valley came the recurring pattern of day and night, inexorably repeating, until at last as Sirius was blinking from the brightness of another new day, the man and creatures came out of the cave.
Only now, the small creatures were no longer leg unsteady and helpless, but romped happily in the clearing. They jumped, they ran, they sniffed the earth, alternately lifting black noses into the wind that tumbled down from the wilderness and swept past them deep into the valley. In the midst of playing, their parents disappeared.
Suddenly, the young halted. Lifting their noses high in the air, they at first stood stock still. Then, with a shrill whine, bodies quivering in excitement, they leapt and ran upward along the track Sirius had once trod down, cup and over the cliffs. Men followed, sprinting, at times unsure and hesitant in their newfound strides, yet loathe to slacken pace lest they should lose sight of the swift footed creature friends.
Near the top of the highest rise, standing over a large antlered animal were the two adults, demonstrating to man how they could hunt food for him. They showed man that they could be his eyes, ears, and scent at the times his ability was inadequate.
Sirius moved down to the horizon of the wilderness where he could observe at better range. After the men and the creatures had eaten, he saw them climb over the top of the highest cliff. There, spread before them was the sweet, wonderful wilderness and the endless beauty of the sunlit earth. He saw their faces illuminated not only with reflected sunlight but also with humility and awe as they looked at the absolute glory of the world.
Clouds passed by. When they had moved on, Sirius could see the men hurrying through the green meadows where the clear water rushed and the herbage was lush. The tawny creatures, in turn, ran joyously around their feet, then rushed ahead, making trails for the masters of the world.
Night came. Sirius moved high in the sky. His silver eyes searched the glistening moonlight. At last he saw what he was looking for. The group of men was contentedly sleeping on a bed of grasses under the open sky, the tawny creatures circling them on guard.
At that moment, Sirius knew the gift to man of the creature of sight, smell, sound and love was the gift that would encourage man to have little fear of the future. So Sirius, forever afterwards called the Dog Star, stood in the sky, his soul tenderly twinkling until the wind quickened and the great shafts of colored light gathered beyond the junction where earth and sky meet and heralded the approach of a bright new day.
Hi again. Love having you read my blogs. Right now, I’m thinking about my favorite, Rosa and the Prince. I hope you will too, after you finish reading it.
All kinds of novels feature love stories. They certainly make up many pages in historical novels. After all, women are the spinal cords of men. Men cannot maneuver without them. Since everything in life has, in part, a factual history, the love story you’ll read in Rosa and the Prince, is half truth and half fiction.
It took me four years to write Rosa. First, I had to become familiar with the customs that existed in the 1880s in and around the exquisite city of Vienna, Austria. I had to know about the interests of royalty, and how (or if) the politics of the time affected my story.. Acquainting myself with the land was easier, for I had often sat with my mother, Louisa, daughter of Rosa, her arms enfolding me closely, listening to her lovingly describe the nountains and woods of the little village in which she grew up.
I also read and studied many non-fiction books about Austria, the Balkins – all the countries surrounding that remarkable city, Vienna. My mother was not very open about her early life in the village. For some reason, she kept her childhood history to herself. She did share a photograph of herself as a young girl and a picture of the innkeepers. The Habsburgs (the royal family) gave them Rosa’s baby to raise. Rosa (my grandmother), shortly after her baby was born, had been banished o Hungary, her original home.
Abused by her uncle and disowned by her father, sixteen year old Rosa is given to Henry, a forester, who is travelling from Budapest, Hungary, to the Austrian alpine to work for the Royals, the Habsburgs. There she meets Crown Prince Rudolph of Habsburg and his cousin, Archduke Otto.
Crown Prince Rudolph and Rosa begin their romance after her husband’s accidental death. Rudolph takes Rosa to Vienna, where he places her under the protection of a Countess. The story of their love affair is a passionate, unforgettable and heart-wrenching story. It will deeply affect anyone who has suffered love and subsequent loss.
Chronology – the Habsburgs
The Habsburg family ruled much of Europe from the mid-thirteenth century until the early twentieth century when the heir presumptive to the throne of Austria, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Duchess of Hohenberg, were murdered in Sarajevo, 28 June 1914, precipitating World War I
The first Habsburg ruler was King Rudolph of Habsburg. He was crowned Holy Emperor in 1273. At that particular period in history, the Holy Roman Empire encompassed most of Europe, excluding France on the west and Prussia, Poland, Hungary and Serbia on the east.
The Habsburg’ strategies to power and honor throughout the ensuing centuries depended in part on their supposed “imperial descent” from Noah and the House of David. It also depended on their opportunistic marriages. Habsburg marriages were always made to further the Royals’ hunger for the acquisition of land and/or large dowries.
Each Habsburg ruler celebrated the family’s legendary godly Christian heritage in magnificent ceremonials, artworks and music. Archduke Maximilian, who became Emperor of Mexico, expressed the Habsburg’ precepts well.
He said, before being executed by a Mexican firing squad, “Men of my class and race are created by God to be the happiness of nations or their martyrs. I die in the faith, both of the Holy Church and of our lineage.”
“Rosa’s story is a simple story, written eloquently. Kathryn Braund’s descriptions allow the reader to feel what it’s like to be there beside Rosa, and to feel what Rosa is feeling. The foreshadowing and suspense is effective. Butterflies invaded my own stomach . . . thank you for writing it.”
“A wonderful book. I couldn’t put Rosa down. The book has more sex in it than I’m used to reading, but I recognize that it is part of the story. I’m eager to read the author’s next book.”
“This book is more than a love story. It allows the reader to explore the depths of many different kinds of human relationships. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Rosa and the Prince is a must read.”
“It is a fascinating story and Kathryn Braund writes beautifully.”
“Great story and writing in an interesting setting. I did find Rosa was taken in by a scoundrel and the Prince was not an upright person. He would take advantage of anyone he could. From what I have read in history, Royalty was that way in all aspects of experience. Braund did write a tale of human beings reactions to their environment which sometimes does strange things to them when influenced by their own feelings whether right or wrong. Braund wrote the way it was at that time.”
“Oh God, I knew he was going to die, butI didn’t want it to happen to him. I wanted her to live for many years in that hut with her woodcutter. I wanted her to love him, to feel safe in his arms. I wanted him to know passion from her. It is a compelling book.”
After reading my Shattered book, the FBI mailed me an FBI patch that I could place on a jacket. Instead, I placed it inside a frame with a copy of the cover of my second novel, Shattered Innocence; The Adventures of Janice, Melissa & Andrew, and proudly hung it on a wall, Someone in the FBI liked my story about the most awful scourge of mankind, slavery. In this book, human sex trafficking!
Sex slavery is the most depraved, evil, monstrous, unspeakable byproduct of human mentality. Sexual depravity is commonly called a mental disorder, a psychopathic disorder. In my opinion, it’s been around before the beginning of recorded time. From what I’ve learned about life on our planet, the vanquished often became a slave of the victor doing his bidding in one way or another. Every human, every animal, every microscopic being has the ability to become a predator. We are all connected. What twist of fate has given us that hideous power, I don’t believe we know.
Today, sex trafficking is as common in a small town as in a big city. But most of us do not even know about sex-trafficking and/or why it is so invasive. We do not look for things that are disgusting. That’s why I wrote this book.
Shattered is about a family; a widowed father, son, and two daughters. They live in the county of Cascade, in Montana, on the father’s large ranch. The three children have been raised well, if somewhat isolated by the ranch’s distance from city life. The eldest girl, Janice, now twenty-one, meets in a restaurant John Territori, a suave New York hoodlum who is checking on his Montana sex holdings. He invites this beautiful young girl to New York City. He says he will star her in one of his movies (he produces porn movies). Thank God, the ranch’s housekeeper accompanies Janice to New York. Thank God, Janice is saved from the infamous Territoni who would captivatingly introduce her to sexual slavery. She is discovered (before she meets with him) by the owner of a famous model agency. The family’s housekeeper, Merry, is able to return to Montana knowing Janice will be protected while learning and working as a magazine cover model
Andrew, her brother, is studying at a college in Spokane, Washington. He becomes smitten with a pretty blond girl, not knowing she is a sex slave. She had been introduced to that life by the villain of our story, John Territoni. She is one of his paid workers. After several bold, awful incidents, he is rescued by his sister, Melissa, who drove to Spokane to find her missing brother.
Janice, in New York, narrowly escapes dangerous situations, protected by both Ms. Patsy, owner of the famous modeling agency, and Bill Smith of the FBI. You’ll agree this is an exciting book, happily with a good ending, yet with terror traveling with you through the pages.
Just remember, the majority of sex workers (of both sexes) are “sex slaves.” forced to service men and women by threat, abuse, deception, false affection, clothes, drugs or abduction. The criminal organizations that head up these operations profit in the multi-billions each year off the girls and boys and women and men they treat as commodities, not human beings.
Many Americans have read about or listened to some of the horrifying stories told by a few escaped slaves, but as yet we, because of lack of human outcry, do not take these stories to heart. We do not believe anything like that could happen to a member of our family.
It can and does.
“Don’t be put off by the slow opening pages of this story. This book is based on a wealthy father and his three children. Each of the children’s personality is typical of children today. The book shows that it is not just the children like these three young adults, growing up in a sheltered environment, who are ill prepared to deal with a sinister population, rather that all children and young adults are vulnerable.
“The story involves the drug trade, human trafficking, high fashion modeling and life on the ranch. The fast paced story will keep you busy as each of the young adults emerges safely from their adventures. Even adult readers will wonder if they, themselves, would have used the writer’s hints to survive in these situations. These practical survival aids are written into the story in such a way that readers can remember but hopefully never have to apply.”
“This novel was an eye opener. I recommend it for all teenagers and parents. Loved the Montana setting and flow of the story. I did not realize the horror of things that happen or could happen to the youth in the U.S.”
“This novel flows beautifully through the Montana Big Sky country and beyond, with endearing characters and a good storyline that keeps the reader glued to the pages. At the same time, this valuable book tackles the issue of child trafficking in a realistic way – opening the readers eyes to a problem that stays fairly quiet in our society. A must read – kudos to the author.”
“This novel grabbed my attention from the first line and never let go; it’s because the characters are is interesting and the Montana setting so wonderful. Kathryn Braund is a very good writer. Many thanks to Kathryn for exposing the horrific business of trafficking children, teens and young adults into the world of cruel sexual ordeals. This holocaust is global and most children, teens and adults who are rescued may never recover from their experiences. These young people do not even know what a normal life is. My hat is off to you, Kathryn, for taking up the challenge of researching and writing this book. A must for parents, teens and young adults.”
384 pages. Available at amazon.com, amazon kindle.com and from the author. Kindle (digital) $1.99; amazon.com $9.99; Kathryn Braund, 1501 9th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405. 406-454-0537. $9.99 (postage, handling, free).
Hello Again! I’m so glad you are back!
Murder in the Senior Manor was my third novel. I had moved, willingly yet unexpectantly, into a Great Falls, Montana, Senior Manor on January 2, 2009. Naturally, the sudden necessary health decision to leave my wonderful five acre country home on December 28, 2008 put me in a state of shock.
I soon fell in love with my ‘new home. The residents; the staff; the healthy, positive atmosphere; the nice looking single and double room studio apartments – one wall in each facing either wide open, tree-line street-scapes or a vast uncultivated acreage that led the onlooker’s eyes to views of the distant beautifully forested mountains.
I put aside the loss of my wonderful home. I could not put aside the loss of six of my eight show dogs. I know you believe me when I say my heart was broken. I cried myself to sleep many a night. I was allowed to take two dogs into my one room apartment. In the beginning it was tough on all three of us; my dogs missed the rest of their family and the expanse they had to run and play on. I had not taken my beautiful home-bred Havanese show dog. I had not taken my beloved show active Portuguese Water Dogs or my sweet, happy-hearted Havanese. I took two who had problems, both Havanese. One had hips that said she shouldn’t enter any type of training. That she should be able to move about in her lifetime in her taste and her time; the other was too little and ill-equipped in lower body strength to jump on to anything higher than a big, fat pillow. Although her overall health was good, I worried that a new owner might not abide with that lack of jumping-up characteristic.
Along with other senior activities, I began teaching a writing class. Doing so told me I should put some of the seniors’ life adventures inside a book because every one of us (and that includes you) have had multi-colored happenings in our lives that makes memory treasures both good and bad. And nobody ever wants to be someone else.
I devoted five chapters in Murder in the Senior Manor to resident stories. Stories that gave meaty glimpses into the great depression of the 1930s, how settlers and wild animals learned to deal with one another, and the development of some towns along with the exit of others in this uncorrupted, pristine state of Montana.
I set the book scenes lightly. And the fun begins when Louise Knight, a retiree, discovers the body of a fellow resident, horrifically murdered. The Sheriff immediately labels her as a person of interest. The murderer goes one step further. He or she not only labels Louise as a person of interest, but also decides she and her two dogs would be good killing trophies.
You are guaranteed fingernail biting time as you follow several residents help ninety-year old Louise track down the killer while in peril for their lives. This book is a bold and whimsical page turner.
The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) awarded Murder in the Senior Manorthe Best Mystery Book of the Year (2011). Kathryn has won numerous writing awards from her peers. Among them, her first breed book on the Portuguese Water Dog was awarded Best Book of the Year (DWAA) in 1996.
“The characters are likable and fun; the plot is complex enough to hold your interest and there’s plenty of action – yes, action – along with some rich snippets of American history thrown in by the seniors.”
“Recommended Reading: Murder in the Senior Manor is a cleverly crafted, fun, romp of a read by Kathryn Braund.”
“The author weaves a murder mystery into this novel which gives a realistic glimpse into life at a retirement home. And should be read by anyone considering living in one.”
“If you are looking for some pure enjoyment for a day at the beach, or a light read on a flight somewhere, this is the book for you. You can’t help but enjoy the quest for Maddie’s killer by several residents along with Louise.”
204 pages, Times type. Available at Amazon.com, AmazonKindle.com, and from the author. Kindle (digital), $1.99; Amazon.com, $9.99; Kathryn Braund, 1501 9th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405 406-454-0537. $9.99.