Hogan's Hope, the book, with Design Team

On January 1, 2016 I set myself the goal of writing Hogan's inspirational life story.  Going into this amazing project, I didn't realize just how much I was going to learn.  Sure, I had many wonderful moments reminiscing the memories of living with Hogan and his siblings; but I experienced an enriched sense of understanding of what it must have been like for a deaf pup to go from "rags to riches."  Hogan gave far more than he received and I pray that his undying spirit of faith and accomplishment serves to help all of us realize that we can and we must become all that we can be.

Hogan's tale is with the design team for the final, finishing touches before going to print. Wow! Can this be true? Yep, it can and it is.  Because of my own personal team of family and friends who gave selflessly to help me navigate this adventure, I am about to realize my goal.

As a teaser, here is a short sampling of the beginning of Hogan's life:

Winter had persisted for so long and had been dreadfully cold, and the warmth of spring seemed as if it might never arrive. But it was now April 10, and the air rustled the new leaves on the trees that surrounded the fenced cages that held the dogs. The grass was turning green while the daffodils and tulips were appearing in the gardens around the house that was perched atop the hill. Springtime brought new life and Vicki’s puppies would soon be arriving. Vicki lay quietly in her cold, steel pen and sniffed the air. Instinctively, she was aware that something was changing. The temperature dropped and stray snowflakes announced a coming storm. Vicki knew she had to find shelter. She was alone and she was very cold.
Anna was the breeder’s little girl who loved Vicki. But Anna wasn’t home, so no one was coming to make sure that Vicki and her new puppies would be safely sheltered inside. Desperate to find cover, Vicki was relieved to discover that a hearty shove with her nose opened the little entrance to her outdoor run and allowed her to escape the wintry blast. Once inside, she pawed some rags into a soft cushion and settled down to await the birth of her puppies.
While the wind whistled and sleet pinged on the tin roof of the dog pen, the puppies were born. One by one nine wet and skinny puppies emerged. The tenth and final pup took much longer. It seemed he was reluctant to leave the safety of his mama’s womb to enter an icy, strange, new world. While his brothers and sisters frantically searched for their mother’s nipples, the tenth pup was content to snuggle close to the security of her body. She nuzzled him tenderly, and then licked him clean. Finally, Vicki rested while all of her babies blissfully suckled.
During the next few weeks Anna watched the puppies transform from wiggling, wrinkled newborns into soft, playful balls of white fur. Each day presented a new revelation. First, their eyes opened, and then as if by magic, the black markings that identified them as Dalmatians, began to appear. Anna must have delighted in their antics as they wrestled for position to nurse and chased one another’s tails.
Anna loved all ten puppies. However, there was something about the tenth pup that put a smile on her face or a frown on her brow. He was smaller than the others, yet it was more than his size. Her watchful eyes detected that something was different about him, but she couldn’t determine exactly what it was. She suspected that Vicki also sensed a difference because she watched over him more closely than she did the others. With maternal nudges of her nose, Vicki often encouraged him to join the other pups at play, yet he preferred to remain in the safety of her warmth. But his difference was apparent to Vicki and Anna.

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