Today our Holiday Happenings giveaway is a wonderful book called Sleeping With The Beast.
We read it & just loved it and we were lucky enough to get the author Dale Ryan to write a post about the book.
I decided to write “Sleeping With The Beast” when I walked into my bedroom and saw three dogs asleep with my husband, cuddled up with our eldest dog Buddha gently snoring on a cold wintry afternoon. The sight, peaceful beasts in slumber land, was so heartwarming, and the angle so dramatic that I went looking for a small utility ladder and my camera. Best bit, I only disrupted Rupert, who was put out with my presence.
“Sleeping With The Beast” was actually conceived in the Cotswolds of England. Quentin and I were on holiday looking for odds and ends for our farm “do over”. After rummaging through shops, we decided to catch a bite to eat and came upon a very boisterous tavern. As we walked in, an enormous Great Dane was sprawled out in front of an immense 16th century hearth. Within minutes, dogs on leads came in with their two- legged companions and went to the water bowls and patiently waited for remnants of sandwiches. As we watched, the sad reality hit me that dogs in the United States did not have the luxury of dining in restaurants, unlike our European friends. At that single moment, I decided our home, gardens, barns, and greenhouse would take care of all our needs. Therefore, I had to consider everything from furniture, paint, fences, to thinking on a sustainable level, in terms of the food we grew and ate. Mind you, I had 5 dogs to take into account, as well as two young sons. The dogs ranged from seven years of age to puppies and they were 3 different breeds. And our sons, like all curious creatures, had a lot in common with the dogs. They like to roam, eat lots of food and a never-ending need to test the boundaries that surrounded them. Like children, dogs have medical issues. We found ourselves having to make a rough decision with regards to our terrier aka the terrorist. Sam liked to bully the other dogs and we had to put her on medication for behavioral problems. Whether in the park or the boardroom, someone always wants to be the alpha.
Animals and humans are so much alike. It is unfortunate dogs cannot verbally express their discontent; though like people, they have a way of letting you know what their needs are. As I researched, I had to make decisions about everything from leather vs. taffeta, to carpet in bedrooms to hardwood floors in public spaces. The list was growing by leaps and bounds with an equal tempo with our dogs and kids. Once again, I turned to my European friends, and for centuries they had limited trouble when mixing antiques and fabric with their best friend. As the years went by, with the house intact, some of my dogs were now facing health issues. We could no longer take for granted that our dogs’ everyday behavior would remain the same. We now had to be far more vigilant with their healthcare. We all have been taught that dogs are man’s best friends but my love for them grew stronger with each day. They are our friend, defender, companion, and as they age, they begin to take on parental attributes. Dogs have a way of laying out the design of both animal and human realities without having to say a word. We as humans are constantly bombarded with the changes we are to endure and yet by watching a dog, one can figure so much out without the glossy magazines, the tough nose bankers, to those who preach the consequences of our age and behavior.
Whether you live in an urban apartment or a country home, “Sleeping With The Beast” helps to enlighten the reader through photos, stories, and creative ideas, to take the frustration out of living with animals and people. From my perspective, a “pack” is a family of lovely beasts, who guide me every day.
Winning this one is easy, just leave a comment telling me why you would like this book.
This contest is open internationally & ends on 12/3 at midnight EST.