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Down Darby Lane

For the Love of Dog

Darby Lee Patterson

As you’ll read in the essay below – This is an important week for our best friends. I’m republishing this piece with the author’s permission because it’s the most perfect depiction of ‘for the love of Dog’ that I’ve ever read. And because one of ours, Ruby, the silver schnauzer in the artwork, is about 98 years old and quietly taking her leave of us. She was adopted from a neglectful home as a 5-month-old and, since that time, lived the life of a sterling princess. The best of soft pillows, treats, walks, care, and overflowing love. Mr. Lederer’s article is the best description of dog spirit and wisdom I’ve ever read. It’s our Ruby forever:

By Richard Lederer

Friday, Aug. 26, will mark National Dog Day. We give dogs what time we can spare, what space we can spare, what food we can spare, and what love we can spare. In return, dogs give us everything. It’s the best deal we human beings have ever made.

Part of that deal is that dogs teach us to live better lives:

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. Enjoy the simple things in life, like taking a long walk or riding in a car and feeling the wind blowing on your face. Run barefoot, romp, and play daily. Leave yourself breathless at least once every day.

Master the art of stretching. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. If it’s not wet and sloppy, it’s not a real kiss. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. Take time to stop and eat the roses.

Trust your instincts. Don’t go out without ID. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree. Life is hard, and then you nap. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory. Make your mark on the world.

Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you’re not. No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends. To err is human; to forgive canine.

If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains. If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles; If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it. If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you any time;

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment; If you can face the world without lies and deceit. If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills. If you can relax without liquor and sleep without the aid of drugs;

If you can find great happiness in the simplest things in life. If you can forgive any action in the blink of an eye. If you can repel intruders without using lethal weapons.

If you have no bias against creed, color, religion, politics, or gender. If you offer unconditional love as naturally as you breathe, then you are almost as good as your dog.

Blog note: Can I get an Amen?!


Thanks for letting me share both the good and hard times with you. This one comes under the 'tough' category.

Your thoughts always make me feel better about the world we’ve made – an assurance of the good in humanity. Let me hear from you at

The artwork in this blog is done by Terri Crisp, who specializes in animal portraits that capture the 'best' in our best friends. You can see more HERE

FREE COZY MYSTERIES - Find some air conditioning, or go sit by a lake and READ! Choose a free eBook from this week's promotion of indie authors! HERE!


Friends and Readers,

A note about most of us, for better and worse, in the Arts. I think we long to share our thoughts and creations - and without you, we are lonely. Imagine, you wrote a beautiful piece of music and no one but you (and perhaps your cat) ever got to hear it. Or painted a picture that no one else but you ever saw, or wrote a story that no one but you read. Sharing is everything for people in the arts and your support is fundamental to the continued creativity of all artists. So, Thank you! 

Hey! Check out this awesome article by popular columnist Ed Goldman - it's about moi! Also subscribe to his clever, witty and smart blog!  

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My Mountain Mystery

My book has gotten fab reviews on Amazon! I am so excited readers like the characters, the setting, the plot - minus lots of graphic violence. 

If you are fond of 'cozy' mysteries please read The Song of Jackass Creek. Check out Reviews HERE.

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Short Story Collection 

Twisted is - twisted! And Gypsy's Wedding - well, you just have to be there!  Click on the books to see more ... 

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Sample Amazon Reviews

This is an excellent writer!

Darby Patterson is truly a talented writer. She describes this little town sweetly without boring the reader with unimportant detail, and her descriptions are vivid. She also develops her characters fully through conversation and action so the reader becomes acquainted with the main players and can form pictures of them early in the book. Her characters' thoughts, interactions, and past activities combine to portray the culture of Redbud throughout the story, and the story itself is creative and holds surprises along the way. I too hope Ms Patterson continues to share her talents with us!

Sondra Jensen

Awaiting the next installment

An invitation to linger in this vanishing part of California which has so much history is writ on every page of this book. I've visited places like Redbud with a creek burbling in the background as gentle breezes sough through the pines and cedars. I've found them quaint and rich with fascinating local lore and history. Jesse, as publisher of the local weekly is very nicely sketched, the authors background as a journalist comes through clean and clear in developing him. This small California mining and logging town scrabbling to hang on, I liked very much as a setting. I wouldn't mind sitting down with Jesse and having a beer and help him solve his next mystery. The test of a good book is whether you'd be willing to read it again, later. This book passes that test and I can't wait for the next installment.

Jack Howard


Please let this be the first of a series!

Wonderful book; adult without being ‘R’ rated, complex story and well developed characters. The people of ‘Redbud’ ring true and, as a native Californian, the lumber, real estate and politics are spot on. I hope this is the beginning of a series because the author has created characters you want to know better.

D. Holmes

My other passion
Sculpting for bronze - See more HERE
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