From Wolf to Pug: The Jagged Line of Evolution – Lori Windsor Mohr
Why do people have a hard time believing little dogs have the same wolf heritage as big dogs? When Lori volunteers with the Search Dog Foundation, her pug Lucy in tow, the search dogs and their handlers treat the pug like a little dog. Lucy sets makes it clear that, just like the Labs and Border Collies, she has instincts as a genetically programmed hunter and killer.
Pugs linked to wolves? You’ve got to be kidding, right? Anyone who’s ever watched the Westminster Dog Show knows dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, from hunting dogs to lap dogs, working dogs to toys. Of course the wide variation in breed is relatively recent and not a product of nature. That was man’s doing—taking the raw material of domestic dog and coming up with a Labradoodle. But they all share a link to the same genetic heritage—the gray wolf.
Opposable Thumbs Don’t Count – Lori Windsor Mohr
Lori and Lucy enroll in basic obedience class. But Lucy is less than willing to cooperate and is persnickety about treats until Lori finds the magic bullet. With her own version of behavior shaping, Lori inadvertently chisels Lucy into a masterpiece of comedy. In the process, she has become a slave to the pug.
“Boy, you must really like this stuff!” If you only knew the half of it, I thought, watching the cashier scan five packs of Healthy Choice 97% Fat Free Honey-Roasted and Smoked Turkey Breast. It wasn’t for me. The well-trained dog is a happy dog, that’s what the Pug book said. That sounded reasonable, and since my husband Larry and I had managed to raise two socialized kids, I figured Lucy deserved the same consideration.
Rattled! – Lori Windsor Mohr
When Lori volunteers for the Disaster Search Dog Foundation, she commits to helping at a fundraiser for rattlesnake avoidance training for dogs. She doesn’t want her pug Lucy to go through the training, but along with the other volunteers’ dogs, Lucy must participate. Will the pug be okay? Will Lori survive?
“Snakes! You mean real, live Rattlesnakes?” “Yes, real live rattlesnakes. It’s a good fund raising activity as well as valuable community service.” So said founder Wilma Melville, speaking to the all-volunteer staff of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a nonprofit training firefighters as dog handlers in urban search and rescue. I had decided that Step 2 in ‘Project Letting Go/feathering the empty nest’, would be volunteering, a sort of diversion therapy. Only the dynamic that emerged in Step 2 reached far beyond diversion. If parenting is both protecting and nurturing offspring, why wouldn’t the emotional dynamic be the same with dogs, species differentiation notwithstanding. Hadn’t that been my goal, to let go of my soon-to-be adult son, and transfer that maternal hovering to my pug, Lucy?
The Fire – Lori Windsor Mohr
The Winning Entry in the Alfie Dog Fiction Short Story Competition
2000 words General Fiction
A wildfire burns out control on the other side of the mountain from Ava’s Malibu home. When Geoff and Grace beg their mother to let them sleep in the guest house, she hesitates but remembers the fire is fifteen miles away. Ava doesn’t realize she’s making a life or death decision.
The Devil Winds slam into town by two in the afternoon, pounding the shop like an angry customer demanding entrance. Ava shudders. She still isn’t used to California’s seasonal winds. Static electricity bites her fingertips opening a shipment of Poodle skirts, a must-have item in the winter of ’58. Ava works fast and checks the clock. Hiring a nanny was a concession to Cal in buying the dress shop. But a nanny needs a day off. Ava argued that, at eight and ten years old, Grace and Geoff could stay home alone a few hours. The closest neighbor, Cal said, was a quarter mile away.
The Pearl – Lori Windsor Mohr
Facing an empty nest, Lori decides she needs a pug as the new recipient of her maternal affection. Clueless about AKC breeders or rescue groups, Lori answers an ad for a puppy who turns out to be a far cry from the breed standard, as Lori finds out in comical fashion. But she has fallen in love with her pug, Lucy.
Technically I’m old. That is, sixty, the age at which mid-life bunches up against retirement age and suddenly, there’s your name in the little plastic window of a government envelope packing information on social security benefits Medicare coverage. My grandmother at sixty was a white-haired little old lady. Times have changed of course. Baby boomers refuse to die, so naturally we don’t dress the part. I color my hair, Zumba four days a week, and now that I’m retired, spend most of my waking hours in jeans and flip flops. And where my grandmother had a life expectancy of fifty-one, mine is well into the eighties.
The Pug as Ambassador – Lori Windsor Mohr
Lori wasn’t about to go on vacation without her pug, Lucy. But what resort would have four-star amenities, seaside bungalows, quality surfing and allow a dog? Mexico. Larry balked at the idea, saying he’d feel like an ugly American. But where Lucy is concerned, Lori always finds a way. How does she win Larry over? And what happens in the ugly-American-moment Larry faces once there? Find out what Lori and Larry discover in addition to silver jewelry and Talavera pottery.
Summer vacation was a problem. Once Lucy became part of our family, I no longer had any interest in the four-star resorts where dogs—even pugs!—weren’t welcome. A road trip to Mexico…now there was a destination vacation. How many times had Larry and I listened to our friends rave about family vacations at half the cost of Hawaii, and without the hassle of flying. Lucy might pass the loosey-goosey “service dog” criteria outlined by Amtrac—what dog didn’t “enhance a sense of well-being”?—but that wouldn’t fly with the airlines, I was mighty sure of that. And there’s no way I would send her cargo class, unless I went that way too.
The Road at My Door – Lori Windsor Mohr
80,000 words General Fiction *** 40 – 5 Star reviews on Amazon***
A secret has the power to kill. Reese Cavanaugh is about to find that out the hard way. Her family is living the American Dream in 1960’s Southern California. Reese and her older sister are about to start their new parochial school, Dad has landed a job in the aerospace industry, Mom has the status she has craved, but under the surface tension is brewing. When Reese discovers her mother’s secret, everything begins to unravel. The girl must choose between saving herself or the family she loves. Her decision becomes a matter of life and death. No one can help. Reese must find her own way.
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“Lori Windsor Mohr has created in young Reese Cavanaugh a heroine with much, much more than a unique voice. Yes, she’s instantly likable. Yes, she has pluck and wit and the hapless charm of vulnerable youth. But through a series of harrowing ordeals and misplaced allegiances that would break most young women her age – all in the pursuit of just one person she can trust – Reese also demonstrates such an irresistible combination of spine and heart, insight and sheer humanity, that I dare you to pick up this book and not fall in love. Add to that a menagerie of equally unforgettable characters – a scandalously charismatic mom, a runaway sister, a dashing priest, a sphinx-like shrink, plus an army of psychologically fragile wunderkinds – and you have one of the most engaging coming-of-age tales you could ever hope to encounter. Buy it, read it. Now.” David Corbett, award-winning author of The Mercy of the Night.