Jill Weatherholt

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


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SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: COLIN CHAPPELL

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

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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.