Thursday, March 08, 2012

Supernatural Friday: Gracie, The Ghost Dog—Guest Blogger Sofie Couch

Welcome my guest blogger for today’s Supernatural Friday as she blogs about “Gracie the Ghost Dog.”

True story. When one of my kids asked for a dog, I naively made the bargain whereby if she saved enough money to fence in our entire one acre yard, I would buy the dog. A year later, the eleven year old came back to cash in on the bargain. Of course, I thought the dog-shopping process would be protracted. (I hoped it would be.) Her list of dog qualities were pretty steep. She wanted a large breed, a female, but the runt of the litter. It was a karmic joke when the first Great Pyrenees breeder I called had only one puppy left – a female, but the runt of the litter.

I had my own list of demands too. Puppy training was a must! So with our new puppy, we headed off to the local PetSmart puppy bootcamp. Gracie, as the wee-one had been dubbed, was miss mellow from the get-go. Truly, we could not have found a better dog for our family. She was easy to train, quiet, rode well in the car – everything you could ask for in a dog. On the way to puppy training every week, she was content to ride in the back of the car, only standing to look about when we stopped at intersections… with the exception of one intersection. The first time I stopped at the light at PetSmart, she stood, looked to the left, her little question-mark tail at attention, and barked her little head off. (Not literally. That would be a whole different sort of “ghost dog” story.) How odd?

The light changed to a green arrow, we moved off, and she stopped barking. The next week on our trek to puppy bootcamp, Gracie rode in the back of the car, standing to look around at all of the intersections, and at the one light next to PetSmart, she focused on the left side of the road and started barking her head off again. I’m a slow study. It took the full six-weeks of puppy boot camp for me to finally try to figure out what she might be barking at. On the left side of the highway at that particular intersection is Holly Memorial cemetery. Still a slow study, I looked for the fluttery flag, or family of squirrels that could be drawing her attention. We drew-up alongside family cars with squealing children. We pulled up beside other pets in cars. We tried to draw her out with pedestrians and bicyclists – nothing. Only the Holly Memorial Cemetery, and only when we were stopped long enough for her to glance to the left.

So we decided to put the fun theory to the test. (I was still resistant to the notion that the dog could be barking at anything other than a wreathe or a tombstone shadow, despite the fact that Holly Memorial has no tombstones and flowers are all mounted in small, matching bronze vases on each grave.) It was on a lark that I indulged the kids and pulled into the local churchyard. We sat in the car, motor running, with the graveyard off to the side. The puppy stood up in the back when we stopped, casually looked around, focused on something in the church cemetery, and started barking her head off!

Nope. Can’t be. We drove a few miles further, (the dog settled down as soon as we pulled out of the parking lot,) and we headed for the next church, and I instructed the kids, no one was to look around in any direction. Everyone eyes forward. Don’t speak, don’t react. At the next church, we had to pull onto the gravel drive that circled the graveyard. Sure enough, the dog stood, focused on the graveyard and started barking her head off.

Since that time, we entice the dog to perform her “parlor trick” for anyone in the car with us when we have to stop near a graveyard. We draw the dog into her routine on purpose with an accuracy rating of about 8 out of 10 times. The wee puppy is now nearly a hundred pounds. She is still considered small for her breed. And sure, we might be, unconsciously, giving her some sort of cue to “perform”, but maybe, just maybe, she’s trying to teach us a thing or two about what she sees that we don’t.

Book Blurbs:

MOONSHINE: The Prequel

Rivanna Rivers wants to find the father who left her saddled with the same name as a local tributary.

Matt Maddox wants to avoid going to jail, but that's hard to do when your family invites scandal, your brother drops dead in the arms of a minor, and you produce moonshine to support your family.

Annabelle Freeman just wants to get through "back-to-school" night without anyone discovering that she buried her grandfather in the garden.

With a little help from those in the next realm, they learn they all have three things in common: family, moonshine, and murder.

Excerpt from MOONSHINE:

A voice pounded in my head, wanting to have his story revealed… through me!
And then I felt it again.
The man’s spirit drifted up from his body and hovered from some spot overhead. He came down, brushed past Mama, then settled inside my body. I could sense him stretching his fingers, like he was trying to fit himself into a tight glove, his chest pressing behind my chest, his neck stretching inside of mine before moving out again.
And he whispered.
“Tell him. Theresa is alive. Acknowledge the child.”
Then repeated the words, then repeated them again, then again, and again…

Find Moonshine on KINDLE


Grace Breeden sees dead people. But why then can't she see her late mother? "Blue guys" as Grace refers to them, roam the earth searching for their opportunity to transcend, but one particularly persistent blue guy is shadowing Grace, involving her in near misses that lead her to surmise that there's something a bit "grim" about this specter. Keeping her friends close and the angel of death closer, she tries to save her living family from the reaper, but someone, or something is threatened by her gifts... and wants her dead, because she knows, sometimes, “dead men do tell tales.”

Find Angels Unawares on Kindle and in paperback at AMAZON

About Sofie Couch:

Sofie Couch is raising a “para normal” young adults… and writes in the same genre. Her latest release, MOONSHINE: The Prequel, is part of a three book series, preceded by ANGELS UNAWARES: Fall for Grace. She is also published in sweet, contemporary romance as Annette Couch-Jareb. When not following the mystic muse, she can most often be found at, being distracted by little sparkly things.


Nara Malone said...

Wow, a ghost hunting dog! Probably a best selling series in that. ;)

The books sound intriguing.

Nara Malone said...

Wow, a ghost hunting dog! Probably a best selling series in that. ;)

The books sound intriguing.

Nara Malone said...

Wow, a ghost hunting dog! Has to be a bestselling series in that. ;)

The books sound intriguing.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Ghost Hunting dog-- now that's interesting. I love ghost stories.

Denise said...

Wow, cool story! Gracie sounds like a special dog indeed. Doesn't surprise me that animals can see ghosts. Certainly your testing process seems to cinch the deal. Thanks, Pam, for having Sofie over to share her Supernatural Story.

Denise Golinowski

Monti said...

Love your story about your dog. The Moonshine book sounds fascinating. You've really given a great presentation of the series here. Congratulations!

Thanks, Pam, for having Sofie/Annette as your guest.

Mary Montague Sikes

Sofie Couch said...

Thanks all for visiting! Gracie the Ghost Dog is barking right now and looking warily over her shoulder. Should I be concerned?