Pet Spotlight: Sophie Littlefield

brid eyesA PROPER DOG

Name: Bridget
Breed: red beagle
Age: 3

I have a favorite picture of my childhood dog. Macduff was a big, happy collie, named by my brother when his class was reading Shakespeare. We all loved that dog, but it was my sister for whom he became a best friend, a source of comfort during her growing-up years.

In the picture, my sister – about seven at the time – has her arms wrapped around his big, shaggy head, her tear-stained face pressed to his long snout. I don’t remember what had caused her sadness that day, but I do remember that whatever the hurt, Macduff would sit patiently with her until she felt better, occasionally sniffing her face or putting a paw on her knee.

I arrived at adulthood believing that the one critical feature of a dog is steadfastness: a dog who won’t be your pal when you’re down is no dog for me.

We got Bridget for my son’s 17th birthday. I don’t know if you remember being 17 – but it’s a difficult time for many of us. Insecurities collide with hormones and everything seems both dramatic and incomprehensible. It took my son five tries to name her; he went through Millie and Darla and several others, but when he got to “Bridget,” it stuck.

Bridget was an entertaining dog from the start. Her favorite toy was a stolen toilet brush. She got her head stuck in a Kleenex box; she ate a soda can. She ate books and clothes and packages and a plastic wastebasket.

But I knew she was the right dog the day I got home and found my son lying on the floor, his face a study in misery. Some disappointment or other had felled him. But there, tucked under his chin, was Bridget, laid out across his chest like a muffler. And she stayed until she got the job done: by the time they both got up, he felt better.

Sophie Littlefield headshotNow that’s a proper dog for you.

Sophie Littlefield is an award-winning, bestselling, and highly-acclaimed author of novels for both teens and adults. She grew up in rural Missouri, attended college in Indiana, and now lives in Northern California, where she writes full time. GARDEN OF STONE, her latest, will be released on February 26th.