There are two big, black dogs in my life.
Oh, yeah, I have two teenage daughters and a husband as well – but somehow they never seem to take up nearly as much space as our dogs.
My dogs don’t do lonely very well. Or to be honest, not at all.
You know those last precious minutes just before the alarm goes off in the morning? That’s when one, or both of them, puts their snout under my sheets and snorts, repeatedly. I’m not a morning person, but just about any attention is amazing to them, so they simply laugh at my angry growls and keep at it until I get up.
They’re the kind of dogs that won’t leave my side, and that’s wonderfully, breathtakingly heartwarming. Until I have to visit the bathroom, and they sit there in front of me, staring curiously.
It’s also a really weird feeling to walk out of the shower to find both of them staring at my naked body. What’s even weirder is that I still get embarrassed by it, and cover up with a towel. Also, you know how it’s nicer to let your body lotion dry off before putting clothes on? Well, my dogs love lotion, so either I hurry getting dressed, or they’ll lick it off.
Cooking is an interesting experience, with them trailing behind me between sink, counter, and stove. Did I mention that they’re big? I’m sure you can imagine what it’s like when I’m in a hurry, rushing around in the kitchen with a blur of black dogs around my feet.
One of them likes to keep his head on my lap when I sit at the kitchen table, and he can stand there through a whole meal, just resting his big head softly on my leg. Looking down, I invariably find him watching me, and there’s such endless adoration in those eyes that most of the time I can’t make myself push him away, even though they’re not allowed at the table when we eat.
I’m convinced that they have one big brain-cell each, and it’s either on… or it’s off.
When it comes to finding or obtaining food, they’re incredibly clever. Suddenly, they can open doors and drawers without any problems at all, and we have yet to find a puzzle-toy that they haven’t figured out in no time at all.
Then when I pretend to toss a ball without releasing it, they run like crazy through our back yard, searching frantically for it. Finally, they come back looking happily at my hand holding the ball. “Fantastic, there it is!” they seem to think. So I fake-throw again, and off they go…
They’re certainly not the kind of dogs that fits everyone, but I can’t imagine life without them, and there’s one thing I know for sure – life is never boring when you have dogs like ours.
About Lena North
“The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.
Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…
Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say). Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.”
It’s the annual midwinter gathering, and Sissa Raudulfsdatter is locked into a shed – bound, gagged and waiting to be led out to the altar where she will be sacrificed.
There has never been any human sacrifice in the village before, but this year Jarl Ingolf decided that the gods require one to give their good graces back.
Sissa is determined to face her fate with dignity and courage but as she waits for them to bring her out to the altar, the herbs her mother has put in her final meal makes her dizzy and finally, she faints.
The morning after the sacrifice she wakes up, still alive and still in the shed. After shouting for help, Sissa’s brother opens the door, but he’s shocked to see her because they all thought Sissa was killed the evening before. It’s soon discovered that another girl was sacrificed instead. The village is in uproar and Jarl Ingolf, who performed the sacrifice himself, is devastated.
The Jarl’s brother, Einarr, is given the task to find out what has happened and because of her ability to figure things out, and since she’s the only one clearly innocent, he asks Sissa to help him. One of the suspects is Einarr’s only son Josteinn, the boy Sissa has had her eyes on her whole life, but there are others who could be guilty, and as Sissa and Einarr learn more, things start to become dangerous.
When Josteinn starts to pay her attention, Sissa has to decide how she wants to live her life. Can she be content living her life in the village as Josteinn’s thrall, his property? Or have the gods carved different runes of fate into the roots of Yggdrasil for her?
Fantasy Urban [Author Self-Published, On Sale: June 28, 2016, e-Book, / ]