Friday, January 31, 2014


I will be having knee replacement surgery on Tuesday, February 4. 

When that knee heals well enough, I will have the same surgery on my other knee, but there's no way to know exactly when that will take place.  I do know that I am looking forward to walking without pain for the first time in many years!

Your prayers are appreciated, and I will return as soon as I can, because I will miss the opportunity to talk about "our" favorite dawgs and anything else that comes to mind :).

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Our granddawg Shadow, like all doxies, gets an "A" in relaxing, and he doesn't care who relaxes with him!

Granddawg Shadow with human "sister"

With human "brother"

With kitty "brother" Piper

Just chillin'

With kitty "brother" Aslan

Sunday, January 26, 2014



A stolen kiss in the front sitting room . . .

With the resounding success of the Masterpiece series, DOWNTON ABBEY, I began to ponder what a DACHSHUND ABBEY might look like:

Nigel Longback, Lord of Dachshund Abbey

Lady Elizabeth Longback, wife of Lord Longback


Which of these fine young males will be the heir
to DACHSHUND ABBEY?  Watch next week's episode
to find out!

Only dachshund lovers would get a laugh out of this, I am sure--but I did so while thinking up captions :).

Friday, January 24, 2014


"Another picture, Mom??"

"Actually, this 'driving thing' isn't that difficult"

"I do NOT like my new ear-do"

"One of my favorite spots:  Mom and Dad's bed"

"My human buddy, Asher"

"Is that another pesky squirrel in my yard?"

"I am Duke, the Dawg Hero"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Yes, people, today is our doxie granddawg Shadow's 13th birthday!  As the "elder statesman" of the animals in our family, we salute him and wish him a fabulous birthday.  His compadres include Duke and five grandkitties:  Tate, Joey, Winston, Aslan, and Piper, all of which also wish him a happy birthday, I am sure!

Here they are:

Tate, aka "Fuzz Ball" - in AZ
with Kurt & Bethany

Joey, aka "Mr. Slick" - also in AZ

Piper, sweet Norwegian Forest cat "brother"
Aslan, playful Flame point Siamese "brother"
who both live with Shadow's family
Winston, newest family member recently
adopted by Kurt & Bethany
And last, but certainly not least, our Duke

If your family is anything like ours, we love our fur children and want to take care of them.  Why even have animals if we don't?  They add so much joy to our lives!

Shadow outdates even the grandchildren, being the first "grandchild" in our family.  And the grandchildren look upon him as a family member as well.  We wouldn't have it any other way! 


Friday, January 17, 2014


When my first novel was released back in 2006, many friends and acquaintances told me I had "made it" because the book was on Amazon and other websites!  What these well-meaning folks did not realize is the fact that millions of unknown authors stay that way despite their best efforts to the contrary.
I have had book signings in various places, asked to be featured on blogs and websites (reluctantly, I admit, because I am NO salesman!).  I have business cards and bookmarks made up touting my books, donated books to libraries, even advertised them on places like craigslist. I have also created a couple of "Amazon Blitz" days as well.  Authors today cannot just sit back and wait for publishers to do all the marketing, because that is simply not the nature of publishing these days.
I have enjoyed writing THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES books.  I initially wrote them as a legacy for my grandchildren so that they could know more about their great grandparents (my parents, Nana and Papa Duke) as well as other friends, notably Sellars and Renata, my parents' best friends from Alaska.  And, most of the adventures in my books happened just they way they were portrayed, minus the fact that the dachshund Sarge was there when they happened.
With that said, it is still nice when people I don't know read my books, post positive reviews online, or share my information elsewhere.  Word of mouth is still one of the best ways for books to get noticed, even these days with exploding technology!
Some Facebook friends often share my posts about my books or my page (Mavis Duke Hinton's Books), and that is appreciated.  I merely wanted, however, to set the record straight:  it is quite an uphill battle for most fledgling authors to get their books noticed, even in small part.  We can't all write blockbusters that are later made into movies . . . but we always have hope!
I wish to thank my family and friends who have helped me along the way.  To those reading this post, if you feel led to share it elsewhere, thank you in advance.  If not, well--that's fine, too.  At least you have read this far!
At this point in my writing career, I have written five novels with two still awaiting publication, along with a few magazine articles published (the latest in the August issue of MATURE LIVING, entitled "The Pursuit of Happiness"), and have been featured in several newspapers and on a number of blogs and websites.  I have enjoyed the ride, too.  I tend to take my writing as a hobby--not "do or die" at all.  I want it to continue being fun, and if people happen to enjoy what I write, that's icing on the cake--because it fulfills a long-held dream of mine since I was a child.
So--where do I go from here?  With  several book ideas floating around in my brain, I maintain two blogs:  this one as well as - plus my aforementioned Facebook page, a Twitter account @writer4dawg, and my website,  Since retiring from teaching in December, where decorating my room and bulletin boards was one of my most enjoyable activities (apart from actually teaching, of course), these websites are a great outlet for my creative energy!

Writing, to me, is not work . . . most of the time.  There are times when the words flow freely of their own accord; in fact, I just sit back and watch amazed at what I see on my computer screen!  Then, at other times, it is a little more difficult to get the words to flow.  But isn't that the way it is with every creative endeavor?  Artists have times where paintings practically paint themselves, I am told.  And athletes, singers, accountants, or sculptors have good as well as bad days, too.
In any case, I am thankful that the Lord gave me the creative power to write at all, and He gave me the ability to enjoy doing so.  That, my friend, is one of the reasons I write.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Granddawg Shadow, like all dachshunds, not only enjoys sleeping, but he's extremely good at it.  Here's a montage of some of his most memorable snoozes:

Bat impression

With his human sister

Wth cat buddy Aslan

With toy in his mouth, thus
keeping it from others

Sleeping with abandon!


Under a blanket on the couch,
one of his favorite spots

And, his favorite spot of all, in
"Mom and Dad's bed"

Sunday, January 12, 2014


"I told you I hate tuna, Mom!"

I've always thought that dachshunds were comical.  I've also closely watched other dogs, and many breeds do have a well-developed sense of play, enjoy interacting with humans, and love dog toys.

However, none (in my humble estimation) even comes close to having as many comical facial expressions or actions as our beloved doxies do.  I've often said that Duke manages to make me laugh at least once a day, and if I ever had my cell phone handy at the right time, I could capture enough comical pics of him to fill a book!

Some of these pictures in this post were taken by accident, I am sure; but often, a dachshund just instinctively knows when to clown around, and boy, does he/she know how to lay it on! 

So . . . what about your doxie?  What's the latest zany thing he/she has done that would merit the "Dog Comedian of the Year" award?

Dachshunds . . . ya gotta love 'em.

"Ahhh . . . your bed is so much
more comfy than my ol' dawg bed."

"Do you know how many times you've
told me that story??  Geez."

"The sleep of innocence"

"What do you mean, we're
out of DOG TREATS??"

Wednesday, January 8, 2014



The other day, our eight-year-old granddaughter Alexa asked me, "Grandma, is that fishing story in I AM SARGE really true?"  That was music to my ears, because my first reason for writing THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES books was for the grandchildren to read about their great grandparents, Nana and Papa Duke.  They knew Nana, of course, who passed away one year ago today.  They only knew her after she was ill, and had no idea about the kind of life she led before.

So, I happily answered, "Yes, Alexa, it is a true story.  Of course, Sarge the dachshund wasn't there with Papa Duke and Sellars on that fishing trip, but it really did happen in Alaska like it is written in the book.  Sarge had to be there in order to tell about it."

She replied, "I'm glad I got to read about it, Grandma." 

So am I, Alexa.  So am I.

A Fishing Story
(Note:  words in red are Sarge's thoughts.)

In a short while, Papa stopped the truck and I looked out. There was the biggest swimming pool I had ever laid eyes on. It stretched quite a distance to the land on the other side. This must be the pond. Papa and Sellars got out. Papa reached back for the tackle box, and Sellars lifted me to the ground. I shook myself and stretched.

“Well, where’s your boat?” Sellars inquired of Papa. We walked a short distance, and there it was, covered with a tarp. Papa uncovered it, and they stepped off the dock and got in, but I sat down on the shore. I want no part of this huge stretch of water. Why, it’s worse than a swimming pool!

Papa reached back, picked me up, and set me down between the seats on the boat. “It will be okay, little pup. We’ll watch out for you, and I even brought some of your treats along if you are a good boy for us.” At the word treat, I perked up and barked. Well, since you put it that way. Papa shushed me, laughed, and gave me one. Then he pulled something else out of his pocket. “Hey, boy, lookie here at what I got for you now!” My eyes nearly popped when I saw what he had in his hand: a rawhide chew—my favorite thing in the whole world! He put it in my mouth, and I settled down between the seats so I could work on it. I will enjoy doing this for quite a while!

“Duke, I believe that chew thing is gonna do the trick with the dawg. Where’d you get that idea?” Sellars asked.

“Philip gave them to me before they left yesterday. He said if the dawg needed settling down, to give him one of those. He said Sarge would stay to himself and work on that chew for an hour or more.”

They pushed the boat out into the water. It was light by now, but very few people were around the dock area. They rowed out rather than start the motor so they wouldn’t scare the fish, I heard Sellars whisper to Papa. Sellars was sitting on the seat in the front of the boat. Papa was right behind him, and I was on the floor between them as they prepared their rods and began casting out. I chewed on.

Nothing happened for a while. There was only the sound of the fishing lines as they cast out into the water and then reeled them back in. No fish yet. Sellars said quietly, “Hey, Duke, we’re getting nowhere fast. Believe I’ll see how far out I can cast, so hold on!” He raised his arm up high and back, throwing the line and hook hard. I looked up when I heard a clink. I saw that Papa had a stunned expression—he also looked different, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. He merely sat there, staring ahead, not moving. Sellars said, “What was that noise—did you hear that clinking?” Papa still said nothing, but just sat there.

Sellars turned around. “Duke, what’s the matter? You look like something’s wrong. What is it?”
Papa, still sitting there, finally replied, “Oh, nothing’s wrong. You just got my glasses.”

“What? How? I didn’t get your glasses, man—I have my own, so why would I get yours?”

“Yes, you did. Do you see me wearing them?”

“Well . . . no. But what in the world are you talking about?”

“When you gave that big push and cast out, your line and hook whipped back too far—and your hook caught my glasses and yanked them right off my nose!”

There was silence. Sellars was totally speechless, and so was I. When he found his voice, which was strangely quiet, he said, “Duke, are you sure? Didn’t they just fall off or something?”

“Nope! I was sitting here, and the next thing I know, you’re casting. Your hook came back, grabbed my glasses, and you threw them way out there in the pond! The funny part is, I don’t have a scratch on me!”

Sellars scratched his head. “Well, what should we do now? Are you sure you’re all right?”

“Reel it back in and see if my glasses are still on the hook. If not, I guess we’ll see some big ol’ fish wearin’ ’em one of these days!” By then, both of them were laughing, but Sellars reeled his line back in. Sure enough, Papa’s glasses were still attached but dripping wet. Sellars pulled the glasses off his hook and handed them to Papa, who wiped them off with his handkerchief and put them back on.

Sellars looked closely at Papa’s face. “That’s the wildest thing I’ve ever heard of in my life, Duke! What are the chances of something like that happening—one in a million? And your face ain’t even got a scratch on it, either.” He laughed again, but shook his head at the wonder of it all.

Papa said, “I’m sure glad you didn’t get one of my eyes, Sellars. I think the Lord was watching out for me. You know how people never believe fishing stories? Well, we will have a real hard time convincing folks that you really got my glasses right off my face with your fishing hook!” At that, they had a long, hard laugh. They were slapping their knees and exclaiming such things as “How about that?” and “That’s one for the record books!” I kept chewing, but I knew they were having a good time. So was I.

We stayed until I finished my chew, which according to my calculations, lasted about an hour and a half, and then we went back to shore. They did not catch a single fish, but their high spirits over “the glasses” incident kept them laughing.

*     *     *

We arrived back home before the ladies, so we went into the house and waited for them. Grandma and Renata arrived about thirty minutes later, with large shopping bags in each hand. Papa told Sellars, “Well, ol’ man, there goes my money, and yours, too, I’m afraid. Look at the size of those shopping bags!”

Sellars looked at Renata, then picking up her bags with difficulty, helped her bring them inside. “What have you got in there—bricks?” he exclaimed at the heaviness of the bags. Renata made a face at him but said nothing.

Papa piped up, “Where’s my lunch, woman? We men have been out catching your dinner, and you haven’t even fixed us our lunch!”

Grandma replied, “Oh? Did you catch as many fish this time as you did the last time you and Sellars went? If so, then we’ll all be starving at dinner tonight!” She and Renata thought that was an extremely humorous comment, and they laughed together. She continued, “Robert, face it—you and Sellars just aren’t world-class fishermen, even if you do enjoy going through the motions!”

Sellars retorted, “Well, ladies, I did catch one for the record books, so you’d better sit down and listen to my story.” They rolled their eyes but sat down, waiting for the “big-fish-that-got-away” story. Sellars cleared his throat, then related the incident about hooking Papa’s glasses onto his fish hook.

The women were incredulous. “Oh, come on! Do you expect us to believe something that far out? No way!” Renata looked at Sellars. “S.J., who in the world would believe something like that? Ramelle and I don’t even believe it!”

After a while, Papa and Sellars finally convinced them that the incident really happened. Papa even said, “Well, if you don’t believe us, ask Sarge—he was there and saw the whole thing, right, boy?” I immediately jumped up, barked, and licked his hand. Then I looked at Grandma and Renata and barked again. It’s true! I saw Sellars reel Papa’s glasses back in—they were still on his hook!

The women were speechless this time. Grandma said, “That dog does act like he knows something. Too bad he can’t talk and tell us all about it!” I am talking. You just don’t seem to understand my language.

A bit annoyed by now, Papa said, “We DID tell you all about it, and that’s what happened. Sellars’ hook caught my glasses, yanked them off my face, threw them out into the pond, then he reeled his line back in, and there they were—wet, but not scratched or broken. And I don’t have a scratch, either!”

Grandma said, “Okay, okay. We believe you. You’ll have to add this one to your repertoire of crazy-but-true stories. I believe it’s almost as good as the Purple Heart story!” With a smile, she hugged him. Then she and Renata went into the kitchen to prepare hot soup and sub sandwiches for their starving husbands.

I followed them into the kitchen, but my taste buds were sadly disappointed this time. Ladies just aren’t as clumsy with food as the men. They dropped nary a morsel for me.

"I, Sarge, declare this is a true story!"


Monday, January 6, 2014


"Er . . . what exactly are we looking for again??"
"What's the point of that thing in your mouth?"

"Hey, Ma!  It's kinda crowded in here!"

"Stop wiggling those piggies, I tell you!"

"See a prince charming anywhere yet?"

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