While writing Chapter One of Piper Tales ™ – The Adventures of a Very Lucky Black and White Dog – I never imagined I’d be hearing a horror story like this one:McINTOSH COUNTY, Ga.A mother dog was found on the side of a dirt road, pulling a crate filled with her puppies. She was tied to a small crate with a blue belt—her four puppies crammed inside. “There was barely any room for them to turn around.” A father and son found them in Townsend and brought them into the shelter. “They were covered with fleas, with ticks and feces. They smelled really, really bad,” Animal services volunteers bathed, fed and treated each of the dogs, who are now on the road to recovery.Thank heaven for those good Samaritans! And shame upon shame to whoever did this terrible thing. I hope they’re caught soon and appropriately punished.Piper’s story also begins with a crate, but in a very different way.Here’s a sneak peek of the opening pages:

Saved and Abandoned

No one saw or heard the rusty red pickup come to a stop in front of Sandhills Elementary. Its driver, wearing a shirt too thin for the night, shivered as he opened the door and stepped from the cab. He paused and listened for any sound that signaled he was being watched. Confident he was alone, he lifted a wood peach crate from the seat. Inside it, a pile of sleepy black, white and gray puppies began to stir.“Shhh, shhh,” he whispered, and gently lowered the crate to a patch of grass near the playground fence. “You’ll be alright, little ones. There’s lots of young’uns come here every day. They’ll find you real quick. You’ll see. You won’t be alone long. It’ll be all right.”The cold dampness of the late spring night crept through the slots of the crate. The puppies began to cry. They longed for the warmth of their mother and the sweet milk she gave them. The man pulled a blanket from beneath the worn leather seat, and squatted to pet the pups. They nibbled at his fingers, and a deep, sad sigh escaped his lips. He draped the blanket over the crate, tucked in the edges, and stood.“That’s better,” he said. “Better for sure than what the boss would do if he ever laid eyes on you. They don’t cotton to mutts at the Blue Ribbon Border Collies Kennel, even sweet ones like you. You’d be goners for sure. And I can’t keep you neither. This is better—much better.”Back in the truck, he tugged an oil-stained handkerchief from the pocket of his overalls. He wiped his eyes and blew his nose. Through the trees, lights from an oncoming car blinked in the distance. He shoved the handkerchief inside his pocket, drove forward, and was swallowed by the dark night.Piper Tales ™ The Adventures of a Very Lucky Black and White DogComing later this year …

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