Where do I begin to tell you about Reilly?

Since my wife and I don't know much about her beginning in life, I will tell you what we do know, and how we got her.

We know that she was a victim of Hurricane Katrina, and survived for at least a month if not longer. We do know that she is a cross between a border collie and a Louisiana Leopard dog (Catahoula Hound only found in Louisiana). We also know that when they rescued her, she was terribly ill from the water and food she had been eating. Thanks to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), she was well taken care of and treated for all her problems.

One of the things that impressed me was the way that the HSUS made sure that any owners were given every opportunity to find their pets and claim them. TV, web, and advertising was used to try and find the owners so every possibility was exhaustively used to reunite loved ones.

Reilly was never claimed and eventually wound up in Cincinnati. This was around September or November, I'm not quite sure. Suffice it to say that we were soon to meet.

In December of 2005, our dog Brownie suffered a stroke and was unable to move. We were devastated and, after 13 great years, had to release him. We got a call from a friend about a week later asking if we would be interested in another dog. Of course we thought it might be a little too soon and, at first, declined the offer. Then after some thought we decided what could be the harm in just looking.

The following Saturday we drove over to the friend's house and walked to the neighbor's across the street. First KissOur friend's neighbor's granddaughter had adopted some dogs from Katrina and was unable to keep all of them in her small apartment. She had asked her grandmother if she knew anyone that might be interested in a new dog. That is where we came in.

The minute that Reilly (who had been named something else) came into the room, I knew that she was for us. Her kiss was immediate.

It was as if we had known each other for years. When we eventually left, Reilly jumped into the front seat of the van and my wife sat in the back. That is where she (Reilly and my wife Gayl respectively) have been ever since

After a while I began to notice that she was a very smart dog and also had some peculiar habits she had acquired while in the wild so to speak. These are what eventually led me to write about them in these books. Even though the books are fictitious, the Reilly in the books will always be about her character and the sometimes strange, but always wonderful, things that she does.

Now for more news about Reilly. She just turned 10 years old on April 1st! Wow! Ten already. It just seems like yesterday that she came to live with this family. She still does some strange and wonderful things though. The other day while walking, I just happened to say we need to go left, and she turned...You guessed it, left! Just to be sure I said turn right and she did.

Amazing dog.

So now to the real story. I wrote a book not about her, but her character. You can find the book here.

On Barnes and Noble it is here in paperback and here electronically for NOOK.