Farm dogs contributed to family farms back in the day. A friend named Dave tells stories about Big Mac, the boxer/bulldog mix that accompanied his younger brother and him all over the farm. Old Mac even leaped on the hayfork’s precarious load of hay or straw bales and hitched a ride up to the haymow during the harvest.
Their dad had a dilapidated 1948 de Soto he kept for doing chores, and when the boys were about ten, Dave started driving to various parts of the farm to check on crops or animals or to fetch something for his dad. Dave calls the de Soto’s doors “suicide doors” because they opened in the center, and if you leaned too hard on them, you could land on the ground.
One day, a story circulated around the nearby town about Big Mac driving that De Soto up and down the road. En route from one piece of property to another, Dave or his brother perched Big Mac in their laps, and scooched down in the seat. To the driver of an oncoming car, it did, indeed, seem that the dog was driving.
As Dave puts it, a nearby farmer who ‘wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer’ believed what his eyes told him and spread the story.
Big Mac reminds me a little of Old Brown, the farm dog in In Times Like These, the first of the Women of the Heartland series. Too old to attempt escapades like Big Mac’s, Old Brown still provided an alarm system when anybody approached the farmyard, companionship and a sense of comfort to Addie in her home-front battles with her unpredictable husband.
At that time, Addie would have been the last to believe what lay ahead for her—a trip across the mine-infested Atlantic in a Red Cross ship, a stenography position in a government office, and amazing second chances at happiness. The sequel to her story, With Each New Dawn, describes these, and readers can learn even more in book three, A Purpose True.
What a fun story, Gail! I love that Old Mac ‘drove the tractor’. We have four dogs here, but they are not much help with the farm animals or the machinery!
Southern France – Spring, 1944
German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.
Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens?
Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion – L’Invasion.
When Gail’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in one edit or another, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. She also facilitates writing workshops and classes, both in Iowa and Arizona, where winters find her enjoying the incredibly gorgeous Ponderosa forest under the Mogollon Rim. Favorites: walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.
Don’t you think Gail’s books sound so fascinating? I certainly do, and I hope you all will check them out on Amazon!
I will see you next week with the Thanksgiving edition of Farm Life from the Farmer’s Wife, where I’ll be talking about things to be thankful for on the farm. Beginning in December, I will be spotlighting Books to Beat the Winter Blues. I hope you’ll enjoy learning about new authors and new stories along with me! Thanks for being here. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, please do. I have some extra special announcements and secret spotlights coming in December just in time for the Christmas season! You can sign up here, and receive a free digital scrapbook detailing some real-life locations that inspired scenes in Callum’s Compass--available on Amazon now!