There’s something important missing from my first Crimson Romance novel, Lab Test. It’s an acknowledgement page. I was so excited to have sold the book that I literally forgot to write one.
Considering that as a reader I always read the acknowledgement page of a book, it’s startling that I would forget to write one. I like acknowledgement pages because they provide interesting background information on the book, its author, inspiration and on editors and agents.
I’ve felt bad about this and want to make it right, even though only in a blog.
Lab Test exists because of my dear, beloved late dog, Ebony. Prior to Ebony, I had a Bearded Collie and together with my husband had tri-color Collies. Ebony was a rescue who tried our patience but stole our hearts.
Ebony’s story began when we visited a local amusement park, Geauga Lake. It was the annual picnic for a hospital where I had volunteered. Most people come home with a stuffed animal. Of course, being different, we came home with a real one.
In the far reaches of the parking lot, we had noticed the scrawny black dog tied to a picnic table when we arrived in the morning. We thought that she was someone’s pet. When we were going to our car after the long day, the park was closing and it was growing dark and rainy. The dog was still there. She was barking to get our attention, looked hungry and forlorn. A park employee said that she was found wandering the lot and that the area was known as an animal dump for unwanted pets. My husband and I looked at each other and at the dog. She seemed to be desperately crying for help. Okay. We untied her and she leapt into the backseat of our car.
Driving home, we discussed phone calls to make and places and people where she could live. After all, we already had a lovely five-year old Collie at home. This dog appeared to be a young black Lab.
Of course, we took her home. We made some phone calls and she seemed abandoned. Our Collie and she got along famously and she was so cute that we decided to keep her. I named her Ebony.
As with most dogs, they are angels during the first couple weeks, nature’s way of making you fall in love with them and keep them. After the trial period, all hell breaks lose. With Ebony, it was a nightmare. She wouldn’t be housetrained, chewed everything, barked, growled and was out of control. Only lessons with a strict trainer turned her around. Also, time. When she turned three, she became perfect. The vet also determined that she was a black Lab-Pointer mix. Ebony was an alpha dog and very smart. We grew to love her and though she died at sixteen and a half years, the loss was devastating.
I drew on experiences with dear Ebony to create Lab Test. It was therapy to overcome her loss. Not being hunters, I consulted with a neighbor (the late Tim Doer) who was an avid duck hunter for advice. He provided the humorous hunting stories for my book. The location was selected because my brother and his family had lived in Rochester, Michigan for years and I had visited the area many times and loved it.
This book pays homage to many fine memories. I would be remiss in not offering an acknowledgement, albeit a late one. Better late than never.