Thursday, 27 December 2018

I am a dog mom.

Sam the Schnauzer is my best furry friend. But three years ago, our family decided (with much convincing) that 8-year-old Sam needed a brother. Not a puppy. An older dog. A calm dog to show our very barky, anxious guy the joys of being chilled out.

I went to the animal shelter. Crashed out on the office floor was an overweight older beagle, snoring away like he owned the place That afternoon, we brought Rudy home.

If you’d like to hear more of Rudy’s story — and meet Rudy himself, the Oscar to Sam’s Felix — check out this video.

When I was working on my middle grade novel, Takedown, I couldn’t help myself. Rudy is such a funny, weird, lovable dog, I had to put him in the book. That’s how one of my main characters, eleven-year-old wrestler Lev Sofer, ended up with a lazy, chubby old beagle named Grover.

We first meet Grover in Chapter 4. Lev describes him like this: Grover waddles into the hall, snuffling my backpack. He sounds more like a pig than a dog. I pat his soft ears.

Beagle plushies and the actual champion of doggie chill, Rudy.

When I found these adorable beagle baby plushies, I had to pick up a basket full. And now I have a special offer!

I am selling “A Book and a Beagle” for just $20 plus shipping. You’ll get a signed copy of Takedown (read a review) and a Grover beagle plushie to love. Leave a comment if you’re interested.

Since it’s Poetry Friday, I went hunting for a beagle poem to go with the book and toy. Kenn Nesbitt didn’t let me down.

I love the closing stanza of “Gabby’s Baby Beagle” because it’s so true. Beagles are totally pig-like. They are obsessed with food. And the snuffly sounds they make when they’re sniffing around, hoping to find a dropped morsel — not to mention their big tummies — earn the title of pig-dog.

Gabby’s Baby Beagle

A Tongue Twister
From the book The Tighty-Whitey Spider

Gabby bought a baby beagle
at the beagle baby store.
Gabby gave her beagle kibble,
but he begged for bagels more.

Gabby loved her baby beagle;
gladly Gabby gave him one,
but her beagle grabbed the bag and
gulped them down till there were none.

So she took her baby beagle
to the bagel baker’s store,
where the beagle gobbled bagels,
bags of bagels by the score.

Gabby’s beagle gorged on bagels,
bigger bagels than before,
till he’d gobbled every bagel
in the baker’s bagel store.

Gulping bagels bulges baby
beagles’ bellies really big.
Say goodbye to baby beagle;
Gabby’s beagle’s now a pig.

–Kenn Nesbitt

Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved.

You’ll find the poem here at Kenn’s website. It’s worth visiting. There’s an audio file where you can listen to the poem being read!

Thanks to Donna Smith at Mainely Write for hosting Poetry Friday this week. You’ll find the link up at her blog.

Donna Smith is hosting Poetry Friday at Mainely Write this week.

20 responses to “A Book and a Beagle — Special Offer”

  1. Grover is a wonderful character, always there to love you and be loved! And your beagles are so cute, I’m almost tempted to get another book from you. I’m just 20 pages away from finishing “Takedown” and I’m loving it–such a moving story chock-full of emotions and growth in all areas, and I haven’t wanted to put it down! Love the “Gabby” poem here, I read it a couple of times out loud and chuckled at the end. Thanks for all Laura, and Happy New Year!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Michelle. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the book. Grover really is a sweet pet for Lev, just like Rudy is a sweetie pie at home.

  2. Linda Mitchell says:

    What a wonderful story behind the story! And, Kenn Nesbitt’s poem….made me laugh. Those beagles do love to nibble don’t they? Great post. Great offer! Thank you so much for following and updating friends on the despicable wrestling story. We’ve got such a long way to go in our society.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I had to laugh at Kenn’s poem because Rudy really does make pig noises.

      Thanks for mentioning the wrestling story out of New Jersey. Look for my guest post at the Pragmatic Mom blog about that — sometime in January.

  3. Molly Hogan says:

    I never knew anything about beagles, but I can now see why you find them irresistible. Sadly, I’m on a book buying hiatus, but have Takedown on “order” at the library. I’m hoping to get my hands on it any day now! Thanks for rounding things up with Kenn Nesbitt’s poem. It’s a hoot and begs to be read aloud!

  4. Much to howl about here, Laura. What sweet friends you have shared with us on this Poetry Friday. Happy new year!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Christie. Rudy wasn’t much of a talker until he met Sam. Now he bays at the door — with encouragement from his barky friend.

  5. Laura, that tongue twister poem is such a funny one. Thanks for sharing the audio file. I will probably share it with Middle School teachers and let them know about your MS books.

  6. Linda Baie says:

    Dear friends had a beagle for years. I don’t remember him loving food so much but he did like to run away! Fun post, Laura & wonderful poem by Kenn. If every dog had a poem showing their personalities, that would be great, wouldn’t it? I do love Grover in your story, a little side love interest!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Linda, I have heard that too. Apparently, beagles will follow their noses to the point where they lose their way. Maybe that’s what happened to Rudy in his previous life.

  7. Laura,
    What a joy your blog was to read tonight! It is so friendly and welcoming that it drew me right in to your story about being “dog people” (I am a cat person.) and how it relates to Poetry Friday! You and the poem you shared brought a big smile to my face! Thanks!

  8. Hi Laura, You blog post brought a smile to my face tonight! Your writing is so friendly and welcoming, as if we were having a conversation! The story of your beagles and how you fit one of them into your novel is inspiring and funny! What a great character addition to your middle grade novel. And, I loved the poem you shared, as well. So, glad I stopped by your page! Thanks!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Carol. I absolutely adore my dogs. Sam is going to make an appearance in my next middle grade novel, which comes out in 2020.

  9. Laura, you are a very committed dog mom (as indeed a kid mom). I love dogs best as characters in books where they can’t sniff my crotch. Your gift offer is very delightful….now who do I know that needs that gift?
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Happy New Year, Heidi. Alas — both of my dogs must have a sniff of any people or packages that pass through our door.

  10. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    HA! After listening to your story, this is the PERFECT poem! And so fun to read!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I agree! And I’m grateful that Kenn allows people to share his poems (smart of him to put details about that on his website!)

  11. We lost our 14 year old beagle in September and I still miss her terribly. Kenn’s poem brought a smile to my face, though, remembering Lucy’s love of food and her bulging belly. Happy New Year, Laura!

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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