Dog Grief

Dog Grief

I had this cute little red poodle, Ronnie, for nearly 18 years. He was a steady and loyal companion, sitting with me through the writing of my 2 big books. He served to keep my older son from becoming more afraid of dogs after a scary incident when Scott was 2. Ronnie was such a sturdy little gentleman guardian, making sure the whole house knew when there was a dog in our front yard, which was a city park. Imagine the number of times a day he was incensed by the presence of a dog out there in HIS YARD—alllllll summer long when the door was open. LOL.

We got the second dog, Taffy, for Ron–to give him a canine pack, maybe help him chill. Of course, we didn’t know that the very scared girl dog we brought home from the shelter would very soon take over Ronnie’s ALPHA DOG status in many realms, quite blithely and with wonderful humor and verve, making Ron a frustrated little guy. But he trucked on like a trooper with his “sister,” humping said “sister” regularly to show her who was boss. (He was never really boss again.) She didn’t even notice his concern. She was such a love that she got her way all the time, but she’d join him enthusiastically if he got barking loudly at some supposed invader. They were a team. They pulled me on walks like a couple of tiny reindeer on their leashes. Yeah, Ron never learned to heel until we put him on a leash that fastened in front due to painful shoulder muscle pulls. Then for several years, he had to follow instead of lead. We were still a pack, though: 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs–or near-dogs, if you are not a small poodle fan. (Hey, they DO NOT SHED.)

Then the kids left to go to college and live their lives. Taf, by then a socialite mentioned in Irvine Women’s Who’s Who, eventually got pretty sick. One day when I was giving Taffy her heart meds last year, Ron was nearby and I reached down to pet him.

He ducked.

Crap. Not a Ronnie thing, ever. Ronnie loved human attention–my attention.


You could blame his near-blindness or his doggy dementia, but I really felt I had lost him right then. Taffy died not long after that. Ron was just a shell, really, but we babied him along for 8 more months. Let him ride part of our daily walks in his stroller. Gave him beef and cheese. He lived for burgers. Picked him up when he fell and couldn’t get up. Then Eveready Doggy’s batteries finally ran down.

And now an era has ended. Now our pack is 2 senior humans and a fresh dog, Jack, who never pulls on the leash–except to lunge at an occasional squirrel. He loves everyone and has nothing to prove. The only thing he humps is old dog beds. He’s the dog I always wanted–happy and content, no barking, no fuss. But the change … Change is good, right? Yeah. Change is good. Sniff.

Ronnie 2015 OBRon cute in bed

After Christmas

After Christmas


It’s come and gone again.

Since November 17, Peter and I got a new dog, Jack. He’s very cute and mellow and happy. Good boy, Jack.Jack 7

We also did 2 turkey dinners in quick succession–10 days apart. That was after the turkey dinner we took part in on November 13 during our trip to Freezing Michigan.

I published a new holiday book (Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks) which is a very good book. It got some great reviews:

And I promoed the heck out of. It got 5288 downloads on its free days in December with the help of Freebooksy and ENT and Kindle Nation Daily.  Also got help from Lola at Lola’s Blog Tours with getting exposure. I was part of a big FB Christmas hop and I even started a mailing list. I also had 34 actual purchases of my books. W00T!

I sent over 100 Christmas cards and I shopped a lot online and I picked out a tree and decorated it with our great homestay student, Mizuki after the hubs and son put it up. Christmas tree 2017 AThen I said a reluctant goodbye to  Mizuki, who had to go back to Japan to work.  I listened to a friend with a looming divorce and played many games of Words with Friends with a bunch of word addicts like myself.

I produced and directed (and wrote and coached and was the costume girl and prop boy for) our Reader’s Theater play at the Atria Golden Creek Assited Living; Let it Snow. We had a blast. My 70-90 year-olds all read very well. A Father Knows Best episode from 1953 was the basis for the play, but I had to fluff it up quite a bit to make it funny and Christmas shiny. Whew. RT show Christmas Let it Snow 2017 1

I wrapped a bunch of gifts. Thank you, Amazon, for quick delivery. Plus your wish list system is the bomb. My son loved his board game and the other one loved his Instant Pot.

I swam maybe 2-3 days a week all this time and walked most days as well. I watched too many Hallmark movies because I want happy endings. (Who doesn’t?) But man, the commercials on those things really want to prepare you for the worst life has to offer in medical issues and treatments that can kill you. And the annoying soundtracks of the movies, with unnecessary, stupid music during every scene–please, Hallmark. Please!!!! You make me crazy. Plus, many of your male leads look like underwear models from the 1970s. And your writing is just sketchy.

I made cookies and coffee cakes. Oh, man. I love fresh coffee cake. I sang carols and ate chili on Christmas Eve with my friend Rita and all her gang and mine. I made brunch for the family on the big day.

And now, I am pooped. I don’t want to prepare anything for anyone. Except this blog.

Happy New Year.

Join Thursday Night Book Club this week to discuss Deck the Malls!

Join Thursday Night Book Club this week to discuss Deck the Malls!

Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks is FREE today and tomorrow!!!! Grab your FREE copy at

And here’s the event site if you’d like to join our discussion of Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks this upcoming Thursday (which is also the winter solstice–cool).

There will be prizes at the discussion! Hope to see you there!

Thurs night book club ad Dec 21 2017

A great book review for my Christmas book!!!


In the spirit of this blog, I’m going to post a link to my other great book review of Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks (book to be found at )

NOTE: This book is FREE December 15-17.

Here’s the link to the Readers’ Favorite review, which is making me have happy feet!

I especially like this part of the review:

Amy Gettinger’s Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks has romance and comedy and it even has more Christmas cheer than most would ever dream of enjoying at this time of the year, but Gettinger makes it all work beautifully. She does all this while writing a moving and true-to-life story about a young woman whose eleven years working double shifts and paying taxes seem to mean nothing in today’s anti-immigrant fueled America. Gettinger exposes the irony of Quito’s Cuban ancestry making him of more value politically than Aracely with her Mexican heritage, and Aracely’s victimization by the companies that she works for rings sadly true. That said, Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks is a marvelous romp! I hadn’t read the first book in the series, but had no problem getting involved in the story and am looking forward to backtracking to the first book, Alice in Monologue Land. The Venus Warriors are prodigious and funny — and exactly who I’d want on my side if I’m ever in hot water. Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks is most highly recommended.” ~ Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Can you see me grinning from ear to ear? Have a merry mid-December!Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks Book cover OCT 2017 final

FREE Christmas book Dec. 9-10, 15-17


FREE this weekend!

It’s Christmas in Orange County, and the mall is full of purple peacock decorations. Department store employee Aracely Martinez has a goofy Cuban friend, Quito (who’s awfully cute in his mall Santa suit), distracting her from her night-shift restocking job. But Aracely has a long-held secret, which her supervisor at the store, Jacob Thinnes, is holding over her head to make her do his bidding.

Which is untenable.

Enter Aracely’s oldest friends: Alice Chalmers, Georgette Jones and Julie Bowers. The group’s “Venus Warrior” bond from the 2003 production of The Venus Monologues at Garden Beach Community College is still very strong, and these women are ready, willing, and able to kick some butt to help Aracely out of her difficult bind. Join Aracely’s “Three Wise Women” plus her ever-present trickster hunk, Quito, as they work against the odds to give Aracely a fabulous, nearly impossible Christmas gift: the life of her dreams.

Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks Book cover OCT 2017 final

99 Cent Sale this week–Dec. 8-14



Give this book some love–only 99 cents, and so worth it!!!

“if you are looking for a laugh-out-loud, completely crazy and definitely off-beat romantic tale with a touch of mystery and a whole lot of humiliation for the heroine, get in line for Amy Gettinger’s story of Rhonda Hamilton’s life, fall and emotional pummeling as she deals with her world’s problems head on.” ~ Dianne Bylo of Tome Tender Blog