Monday, July 11, 2011

Games People Play

By Milo, Commander in Leash
From Dorothy St. James’s Flowerbed of State (White House Gardener Mysteries)

Everyone keeps telling me that I’m just a pup and that I don’t know better. I don’t know much about that. I’ve seen quite a lot in the past few months. My earliest memories are of life with my brothers and sisters living out on the streets. When it rained, we got wet. When it was cold, we shivered.

I thought this was going to be my life until a nice lady picked us up one day. Well, I didn’t think she was very nice at the time. She put us all, Mamma included, into a cage! I don’t like cages. Never have. Never will. Don’t care that it was warm and dry in there. Or that the food never ran short. Cages are cages. I wanted out.

The nice lady assured us that the cage was just a temporary thing. You know what? She was right. It didn’t take long before I was adopted. On the day I was let out of the cage, the lady patted my head and told me that I was the embodiment of “the American Dream.”

I don’t know what she meant by that. All I know is that now here I am, lounging in the Oval Office while my master, that’s Mister President to you, deals with what he calls “steak” business. It sounds delicious to me, but despite all the work he does in that office, no steak ever shows up. I think he should give up on that and spend more time playing with me.

It’s not too exciting in the Oval Office. I only stay there when I need a rest. My master rarely has time to toss a ball around. Fortunately, there are plenty of other happy hands in the White House for me to entice.

Let me tell you a secret way to get lots of attention around here. Dig up a plant.
When no one is willing to pay any heed to me, all I have to do is find my way into a garden and dig something up. That really gets the people excited around here. I take the plant in my mouth and run as fast as I can. You should see how many people I can get to join in the fun!

Games like that can really get my tail wagging.

Do you have a favorite pet? Where did he (or she) come from? What games does he (or she) play with you?


Dorothy St. James writes the White House Gardener Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Flowerbed of State is the first book in the series. Be sure to grab your copy while they're still available! Visit with Dorothy on the web or at Facebook. Or follow her on Twitter.

"Credible characters, a fast-paced plot, and a light look at political life in Washington, D.C., will delight cozy fans." ~ Publishers Weekly

"This spunky new romantic suspense series is an obvious pick for readers who enjoy Julie Hyzy's "White House Chef" series (Buffalo West Wing), but also think of gardening mystery series such as Rosemary Harris's (Slugfest)." ~ Library Journal

Order Flowerbed of State from your favorite bookseller.


  1. Milo, we remember being wet and cold, and very, very scared. We were all alone, just the two of us. We'd lost our mother and our siblings when a nice lady picked us up. And we didn't mind staying in a crate because we were together, and we were often taken to a big, fenced playground where we could run as much as we wanted.

    Now we live with Willow, and we don't need balls or frisbees. We herd each other around our yard. Would you like to pretend you are a sheep? We would chase you.

  2. Would I play chase with you? You bet your fuzzy tail I would! The other dogs here at the White House are no fun. They're all work and no play. I can't even get them to bark with me. I nipped one on the nose. And you know what? He did nothing!

  3. Hi Milo...sounds like you're having a great life!
    I have 2 Siamese cats -- they'd love to give you a scare. But their favorite game is the "I want to go I want in. No, I mean out. Wait a minute, that's in. No, out" game.
    It's the universal cat game!

  4. Truffle and Sweet Marie here from the Charlotte Adams mysteries. We hear you, Milo! We are lucky that some people rescued us too, just like you. Now, if only they'd let us do everything our way. Perhaps with training, they will come around.

  5. Cats? They're fun to chase! Where are they? Oh, they're on the other side of this computer? Ah, well.

    Isn't the in-out game fun, Erika? I enjoy playing it as well. It keeps my people entertained. Wouldn't want anyone to be bored. Besides, life is always more interesting on the other side of the door.

    You'll have to come visit. And bring your your cats.

  6. Hi Truffle and Sweet Marie. I'm wagging my tail at meeting so many new friends! Don't you agree with me that people are odd? They rescue us from the streets, which I appreciate. Really, truly, I do. But then they turn around and come up with all the arbitrary rules. Like I'm not supposed to jump up on the furniture. Can't understand that one. My people get on the furniture all the time. And someone is always washing my feet. Don't they know that mud is good for the skin?

    They do give me some wonderful treats, and lots of back rubs. So I can't really complain too much. I love living at the White House!

  7. No one put me in a cage, but my stepmother, Natasha, shuts me in my dad's home office. It's not too bad, because it smells like him and there's a window. I actually saw a murder from there once! Besides, when I can, I dash out into Natasha's garden just to see how red her face can get. Dad runs with me, which is fun, but I'm always glad to go home to my mom, even if she's not much of a runner.

    ~ Daisy Winston
    Domestic Diva Mysteries

  8. My favorite was fluffy because when we went to the shelter, she meowed at me and I just had to have her. She was my first friend and I loved that I could talk to her and share my secrets knowing it would stay between me and her. She loved sitting in my lap while I read to her and on those days when she wanted to play, we'd play ball.

  9. Isn't wonderful when our animal friends pick us, Dru? Growing up our family had a cat who just decided to move in one day. He was the best cat. Would come with us when we walked the dog around the neighborhood. He wouldn't fetch though. I've seen cats that would play fetch. Your Fluffy must have been one talented cat!