Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: COLIN CHAPPELL

134 Comments

What are some of the events in your life that made you who you are?

A sense of despair and depression led me to a man (Philip) who gave me a whole new perspective on life, and coached me through the transitional process. He was a volunteer and asked for nothing. He was a family man and gave freely of his time. He was an ordained minister (I found out many years later) but never broached religion with me. In later years I reciprocated by volunteering in various capacities, all of which involved direct, compassionate and supportive interactions. I look back on my life and am very satisfied with the way things turned out and, for that, I have to thank Philip.

I also heard a number of presentations by (the late) Leo Buscaglia and loved his views on life.

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?

That we think very carefully about how we would like to be treated by everybody… and then treat everybody accordingly.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve ever had to overcome?

Apart from the circumstances re question oneit was knowing that I was not going to be allowed to pursue my first career choice, and my second (and approved) career choice came to an abrupt end for medical reasons. “What to do now?” was a major obstacle for me in 1965.

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Me, Ray and a book!

I was bitten by a German Shepherd when I was14 years old and so, understandably, my perception of dogs was not too complimentary. I learned to just accept them, but did find them often annoying: soiled areas that I traveled on; chased almost anything that moved; smelled a little when dry, and smelled a lot when wet.

I did get to meet a few dogs that were amiable and, in a moment of weakness in November 2012, I started talking to our local Humane Society about  dog ownership with the view to maybe, just maybe, I might like to adopt one. I was starting to believe that it could be possible to have a really rewarding relationship with a canine.

Eventually I decided yes, and so started looking for a good size, sociable, even temperament, huggy kind of dog. The plan totally misfired because while I was planning on possibly adopting a dog, Ray was planning on adopting me. His strategy was clearly better than mine because he  moved in with us in March 2013.

I would describe him as 75lbs of attitude in a fur coat! He was neither sociable, nor of even temperament and did not like to be touched. In fact the only area where he met my criteria was in his size. He was certainly a good size dog!

Our first 18 months together were an emotional roller coaster as Ray presented so many challenges which had to be addressed. Those first 18 months also carved out a place for him in my heart. I felt so strongly that the “trials and tribulations” of those first 18 months of living with Ray should be somehow recorded, that I wrote the book  “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” which is available in Hard Cover, Paperback and eBook formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Good Reads, etc. etc.

Ray was rescued from a life as a stray by our local Humane Society, who then invested considerable time and effort into making him a feasible candidate for adoption. They have continually supported us 120%, and so all profits from the book sales will be directed to them.

The book is written not only from my perspective, but also how I envisaged Ray would see the various events as we journeyed together. The different perspectives of a given situation proved really interesting

.

Book reviews (amazon.com) have considered it to be an emotional read however, unlike so many dog stories, the hero is still alive at the end! Everything I learned about Ray and dogs in general, during those 18 months, is covered so there are many training details included which would be of interest to anybody contemplating inviting a dog into their life, or perhaps already have a challenge sharing their home with them!.

The ongoing saga of me and Ray is covered in the Dog Stories category of my Blog at meandray.com

Thank you so much Jill for providing this opportunity to introduce your readers to my beloved Ray, and of course to promote my/his book.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

134 thoughts on “SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: COLIN CHAPPELL

  1. Thank you again Jill for providing me with this opportunity, and I shall look forward to interacting with your readers. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice to meet you Colin! Love that whimsical photo of you and Ray. Ray sounds delightful. I’m glad he discovered his family. Did Ray finally get over his dislike of being touched? If so, how?

    Hope you have a good weekend.

    Thanks again, Jill, for hosting this series! Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi L. Marie. Ray had many (really many!) problems when he adopted us. In the context of your question, he slowly adjusted to us and would let us touch him, but initially only in specific areas, and very gently. Cross that boundary and we had a 75lbs lunging and barking Ray to deal with! It took him around 3 months before he would let us brush him, and perhaps around 6 months before he would accept a body hug. The “How?” was simply him getting used to us, our routines, and slowly acknowledging that we were on his side and that he could treat our home as his home.
      Many of his other issues dictated professional guidance and help, but the “touching business” was just a matter of time for him… and patience for us! Allowing other people to touch him was a whole new challenge! It is all explained in detail in his/my book, which covers the first 18 months of Ray’s life with us… an 18 month period that I shall never forget! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can see why you wrote a book about Ray. What a story of love!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The book was motivated by so many people commenting on “How well we had done”, ” How much patience we had shown” etc. which is all very nice, but missed a key component. All the time and effort in the world would have meant very little if Ray had not chosen to cooperate. We could assess various situations; get 2nd opinions; calculate strategies, and generally try and implement some changes in him, but all he had to work with were his instincts. He really did deserve a book about him! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • The print copy is sold out on Amazon, Colin! Yay you! Thankfully, I was able to get a Kindle copy.

        Like

      • Hi Jill – I believe that status at amazon is misleading. The book is setup for P.O.D. (Print on Demand) so it is highly unlikely that amazon would carry any in stock however, it really is readily available. I guess that’s just the way they work!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Boo Amazon! They need to correct that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi L. Marie! I love the photo of Colin and Ray too. I fell in love with Ray the moment I downloaded his photo….that face it’s adorable! I’m looking forward to your visit! Good luck with those edits. I’ll be struggling along with you this weekend. 🙂 I have a new writing t-shirt, it says, “The struggle is real.” LOL! I’ll be wearing it all weekend.

      Like

  3. Colin, I smiled as I read Jill’s post today. It’s so nice to meet you!

    Jill, thanks for introducing us to Colin and Ray.

    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

    • My pleasure Jackie. As all profits from my book about Ray are going to the Humane Society that rescued him, I love every opportunity to promote Ray, and to “meet” anybody who is even remotely interested in animals! Ray is my first dog… and what an impact he has made! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jackie! Oh, I smiled too…such a great post. The photos are fantastic too. Thanks so much for stopping by today. Enjoy your weekend!

      Like

  4. thanks Jill for introducing me to ray & colin…
    and thanks colin for being a ‘dogs best friend’ by sticking with him even if he wasn’t hugger-friendly!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh, Colin! Your Ray story sounds eerily similar to my Que! I visited the shelter looking for a puppy. But one look from Que tugged at my heart so much I convinced hubby we needed two dogs. He’s such a sweetheart and definitely holds my heart. So happy for you and Ray!! Great to meet you and happy weekend! Waving to Jill! 😍

    Liked by 3 people

  6. As a long time Ray reader, I was surprised to see Colin here today. For those who haven’t read it, his book is fabulous and seriously, it’s not sad. No one dies. I love the Ray’s perspective on events. Made me laugh!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Kate! I was so happy when Colin reached out to me after I made the announcement about the series. It’s been great getting to know him and Ray. I’ve got the book and I’m so looking forward to reading it. Thanks for stopping by today!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you so much Kate. Endorsements like that are invaluable, and make all the hours put into writing the book worthwhile! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A lovely introduction to Colin and Ray – I’m taken with their story! I love the sound of the book being partially written from Ray’s viewpoint and I can see that for making for entertaining and unusual reading. Great photo of the two of you…who’s winning?!😀

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This looks wonderful. I love dog stories where the dog is the main character. I’m going over to check on your book, Ray.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Jacqui – It is an interesting mix of non-fiction (the emotional roller coaster of adjusting to Ray), and fiction (as I tried to see Ray’s perspective on various events). By the way, and just a small point of clarification, Ray is the four-legged star of the book, while Colin (me) is just a mere human fumbling through some major issues with his first dog! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Doesn’t it, though? I can’t wait to read it. Thanks so much for stopping by to support my new pals, Jacqui.

      Like

  10. Great post. There are not enough people in the world who are kind to animals.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. This sounds like a must read for us dog lovers!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Love that pic of you…at the picnic table! We love G. Shepherds….have one now but he is mix border collie. He is a little too hyper for us at our age, but we are trying to handle him..lol.
    Would love to read your book!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Jackie. Ray has all the reservations re people, and the general attitude, of a GSD… mixed in with all the same reservations and attitude of a Rottweiler. He is “super protective” and with a huge attitude! I hope that you do get to read my/his book. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jackie! This is what I love about blogging…I didn’t know you own a German Shepherd/Border Collie. It sounds like he’s a good walking buddy for you. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by today! I’m so happy you’re feeling better!!!!

      Like

  13. I completely agree with that rule. If everyone practiced the Golden Rule, think of how much better a world this would be!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I do love animal stories! And I also was bitten by a German Shepherd, only I was 13, in 8th grade. A mean girl used to call me “Dog Bite” for months after that. She’d yell very loudly down the hall haha. So German Shepherds gave me pause for years, although I always loved dogs in general. But it wasn’t the dog’s fault. He was chained up out back all the time . . . . Thanks so much for giving the proceeds to the shelter! Their work is so important!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Our pets are rescues, and I admire your patience and steadfast dedication to Ray’s welfare. You said it well in saying it is not the dog’s fault. Thanks, Jill for the introduction.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. It is great to meet you, Colin and Ray! Great story, and I like your rule! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Love this Colin. Keep writing and sharing your stories 💕

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Hi Colin – I am delighted to meet both you and Ray at Jill’s site. My husband and I both regularly walk dogs for our local SPCA, so I can easily imagine Ray in those early months. Thanks for overcoming your initial fears, sticking with him, rescuing him….and maybe letting him rescue you right back!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Thank-you for introducing me to Colin and Ray, Jill. I love it that Ray chose you as his companion, Colin – he looks such a handsome dog. It was a brave decision of yours to overcome your indifference to dogs and to put aside your memory of being bitten.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I had a great time reading this. I love the picture of Colin and Ray. What a nice story. They make a great team.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. It’s nice to meet you, Colin. Your books sounds like a wonderful read and thank you for donating the profits of the sale to help other animals! Top picture… such a sweet face.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Best of luck to you, Ray, and your book! It’s nice when animals find Forever Homes.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. He does sound a character, Jill! Ray, of course, though I’m sure Colin is a bit of a character too. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Lovely story and I’m so glad Ray is still alive – I tend not to read animals stories as the sad parts upset me 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Thank you for introducing readers to Colin and Ray, Jill! That is a beautiful story, and I am glad to hear Ray is alive and well.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. How I love this post, Jill! Hello Colin-so nice to meet you and Ray. I was immersed in this post for and in many different ways. Number one, many years ago I worked as an editor with the publishing company Slack, Inc., which published Leo’s book Love. It was quite a coup back then, because Slack inc was a medical publishing company! I was able to meet Leo and go out for lunch with him and it was quite an experience.
    And speaking of love, you and Ray would not have made it during those 18 months without a lot of love. Oh the patience you both needed! I applaud you for sticking it out with Ray and for him sticking it out with you and finding a common bond. I can’t wait to read your book.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Oh my, Colin, a dog story …. after my own heart. From my perspective, dogs are gifts from heaven. For a person who was not knowledgeable about dogs, 18 months is a pretty good turnaround for training a stray dog. Sounds like you two were meant for one another. I adopted my second dog when he was three years old (Max). I had trained my first dog and two foster dogs before him, and Max was a challenge. He was actually quite trained for commands by his previous owners, but he was not socialized with people or dogs. He was left alone a lot and not happy being around people. After we took him into our home, I was with him all day, and he always gave me that sideways gaze that said, “Don’t bother me.” It also took about 18 months, but this precious boy is now my shadow and loves, loves, loves people. He still isn’t thrilled with other dogs, but he tolerates to some extent, unless a particular dog really annoys him. I look forward to reading about you and Ray. He certainly looks lovable from his picture. I’d love to give him a hug. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Lori – Yes it sounds like a very similar experience. Ray has been with us for just over 4 years now, and he is still a “work in progress”, but that does not surprise me. I have 2 children into their middle-age and they are also a continual “W.I.P”! Thanks so much for taking the time to Comment, and I really hope that you will enjoy reading all the details (in the book) of how a simple nose touch changed Ray’s life… and mine! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by to support Colin and Ray, Lori. Thanks for sharing your experience too!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Nice to meet you! That’s great that a mentor made such a difference in your life and now Ray is carrying on with that. It’s true that dogs choose us – it sounds like Ray made a perfect choice!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Hi Jill! At last I’m back! Oh how I’ve missed your posts! ❤ And Hi to Colin, lovely to meet you! I too was bitten by a German Shepherd a long time ago. But I love them, beautiful dogs. Isn't it wonderful when an animal adopts you? I found your story very inspiring Colin, both about your mentor and Ray. He's gorgeous 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I think anybody who has ever adopted an animal knows that humans do not adopt their pets… pets adopt their humans. I am a cat person. Whenever I have come home with a new feline the people in my life have said, but I thought you wanted to adopt a “fill in the blank.” Well, yes, but this cat decided to come home with me and I’m stuck with it! My feral cat Pharoah was probably my biggest challenge. After twelve years he finally decided he could sit on my lap! So glad to know that both Colin and Ray were able to overcome their fears. I could not contemplate life without an animal companion.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I just came across your blog this morning Jill. Was scrolling down and my eyes opened a little wider as I thought,” Hey, I know that handsome dog!” Colin and Ray are quite the crazy and charming pair! It has been a delight to get to know them and I can say that Colin’s book is a heart warming read! A true message of how the gifts of compassion, patience and love can work wonders with priceless rewards!

    Liked by 1 person

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