This is a Romance of another kind; Love stories come in many disguises. This time, for me, it began with a fall.
"Of course," I said, "I'll sleep over, make breakfast for CassidyRae, see that she's dressed, teeth brushed,and gets on the bus." Easy, right? Granny's do that after raising a batch of kids.
6 a.m. I woke up to the sound of garbage collectors. Dark outside as I peeked out the window to check my watch in light cast from the outside street lamp. And then I turned. "I'm falling", registered in my head. That was the end of life as I knew it for many months. I heard my 8 year old granddaughter scream,"Mommy, mommy, granny's on the floor and she's not moving." Daughter running with her cell phone calling her school- getting a sub, calling 911 for an ambulance, calling my husband.
And now the love story begins just like the song from South Pacific:"Some enchanted evening, you will meet your true love across a crowded room."
Picture a rehab hospital: me, a former actor, dancer, now an author of many books, slumped in a wheelchair amidst other folks in pain. Suddenly dogs wearing red jackets appear, they head toward me, their handlers smiling. "Are you Charmaine? Judy Audevard put the word out. Meet Cooper, He's here to give you some love." A Golden Lab laid his head in my lap, then gave me kisses, and leaned in close.
I straightened up, my hands stretched out to embrace the pooch; the healing began. With daily doses of a multitude of dogs, both small and large, my spirits rose and I grew determined to overcome a fractured pelvic, serious concussion and more. Daughter brought my computer and I was in business.
At Your Service is the title of my latest release. I wrote and wrote in my little corner of the world in a private room. So many Therapy dogs, trained, oh yes, they take a six month course before they get the diploma. Then the pooch wears a red jacket to show he or she is qualified and the handler, the dog's proud owner, are on their way. They are qualified to go to West Point where they comfort cadets before taking stressful tests, visit returning veterans, attend schools where children with learning difficulties improve when a therapy dog cuddles up to rest his head and so much more. Your heart will warm on a cold night to read these short tails/tales.
Thanks for your support, my friends. We appreciate reviews. All proceeds go to Paws for a Cause.
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About Charmaine: I was an actor for many years on daytime drama, One Life to Live, Another World, All My Children. Movies; my first was Working Girl where I sang Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith and shared a Hot Dog with Harrison Ford during the break. The Road to Wellness with Sir Anthony Hopkins,"call me Tony" he said and invited me to lunch at the special room for the leads and staff. What fun and delicious filet mignon. The sweet time in my life after caring for a large family in the loving days of momhood. Then my voice failed me and I began writing. How I love this career and my publisher, Kimberlee Williams, Vanilla Heart Publishing.