THE SANFORD HERALD newspaper
Sanford, North Carolina
A Review of I AM SARGE - 2008
Explaining that this doxie's story is "95% true," author Mavis Duke Hinton takes readers on the journey from day one to the present time, one that had a scary beginning for the tiny puppy. "My earliest memory is leaving my mother and all my brothers and sisters . . . I began to wonder where mama and the rest of my family were . . . Oh, I was so scared."
Fright doesn't last long, however, once this doxie finds he's "a super dog," has his very own home, a warm bowl of milk, two people lavishing adoring attention on his every antic and a wonderful room called the kitchen where bits of delicious food are occasionally "accidentally dropped." His only confusion comes when Holly stops playing ball and takes time to pray with Philip instead. Still, reasons Sarge, "Since this praying thing seemed so important to them, I barked and licked her hand to indicate that I understood. They were so good to me. The least a super dog could do was wait a little now and then."
As the days hurry on, life keeps getting better and better, and he finds his people family is growing larger and that visiting other homes, especially Grandma and Papa's house, can be a real treat. Bonding between our doxie and Papa takes about two seconds, and the sharp little dachshund figures out immediately that Papa is the most likely candidate for dropping food, even when a dog isn't supposed to be fed. Best of all, Shadow learns that he's to stay with Grandma and Papa while Philip and Holly go on a missionary trip to Guatemala. "I looked forward to being pampered and getting lots of attention. Life was good."
Back in his own home, Sarge hears that he's going to be a brother--whatever that means. Then, between the birth of Philip and Holly's baby Annika and experiencing his first Christmas, he discovers just how joyous life can be. "I am a lucky dog to have so many to love me," he thinks.
Hinton recently left her long-term teaching profession in high school and college, as well as serving as editor and writer for various Christian and secular publications, to pursue her dream of writing a novel. Raised in a military family, she lived abroad until her father retired from the Army.
Over the years, her parents owned and operated two local restaurants: Duke's Drive-In and Fastop Grill in Lemon Springs. Hinton graduated from Greenwood High School and from Campbell University. She was married at Tramway Baptist Church and her parents were members of Cool Springs Baptist Church.
After the death of her father, who is buried at Lee Memory Gardens, Hinton's mother moved to High Point to be near her daughter."Mother is still a member of Cool Springs Baptist," Hinton says. "Also, we have many friends and associates in Sanford, and enjoy visiting with them from time to time."