Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Author Spotlight - BJ Robinson talks about the Sunflower in her life

Since Sunflower is a character in LAST RESORT, here's the story of our we came to own our sweet blessing.

It’s not Puppy Love for
Sunflower my Golden Baby Girl

A golden cocker spaniel flew out of a play pen and nearly fell into the swimming pool. She jumped right for my husband’s arms, and he caught her and laughed. She captured my heart at once. “That’s her. She’s the one. She couldn’t wait for us to claim her.”

We were in Holly Hills, Florida, to look at puppies. After watching the paper and phoning about various advertisements, I finally found a golden cocker spaniel. Years ago, I owned a male named Buffy, and I always wanted another one. I'd found her. After she jumped out of the play pen to us, we simply couldn’t leave her behind. She rode home in my lap, and I named her Sunflower. She would soon live up to her name by being the sun in our lives.

As a puppy, Sunflower zipped with pep and energy. She raced through the house like a golden bullet. She had to make friends with the cats and a German shepherd named Dakota. We need not have worried; she and Dakota soon made fast friends and became like sisters. We hadn't thought about how well a puppy could chew. I had been lucky with Buffy, and I had never had a problem with him chewing, but Sunflower was a different story.

One day I came home from teaching school to find the new grandfather clock I bought my husband for his birthday attacked by her, the latest in a line of Sunflower victims. I worried that when my husband got home from work he would say Sunflower had to go. I could just imagine the words that would stream from his mouth, “That dog's history! I’ve always wanted a grandfather clock!”

My husband had fallen in love with the cuddly little puppy, so he let her stay. He calls her his baby girl, but I knew he would be upset with his baby girl when he got home and found that she lunched on his grandfather clock.

Sunflower always runs to meet us when we return from work. She sits in the window and watches for our vehicles to pull into the drive and dances around on her little short legs so happy to see us. When I let her out, she takes a run around the swimming pool and slides into home base. She glides on the ceramic tile and has to put on puppy-paw brakes to keep from running into the furniture. That evening was no different. She knows when it's time for us and waits and watches like an alarm clock ready to spring. As my husband opened the door, she leapt into action and flew into her daddy’s arms. He picked her up and cuddled her, happy to see her.

“You might not be as loving to Sunflower when you notice how she spent her time today," I warned.

“What did she do now?”

She'd already chewed slippers, socks, and even a cap. “See if you notice anything different in the living room.”

His eyes quickly darted around the small room taking everything in, and I saw his face when they landed on the bottom part of his grandfather clock. He always wanted a grandfather clock, and I bought him an imitation one since we couldn't afford the real thing. We got Sunflower the later part of August; it was only September, and his new clock was history. I waited dreading to hear what he'd say.

“Good thing it wasn’t the real thing. It’s a clock and can be replaced. Sunflower can’t.” He continued to cradle her in his arms and scolded her, “You’ve been a bad girl today and tried to make a meal of my clock.” She loved her daddy’s attention and kissed him.

I silently thanked God he hadn’t told me I had to get rid of Sunflower. She had already captured both our hearts, and she had us both wrapped around her little golden puppy paws. Good thing for Sunflower, her daddy had fallen in love with her before she decided to devour his clock.

The battle-worn clock still keeps time in our living room with little puppy teeth scars all around the edges and bottom. Every night Sunflower snuggles with her daddy and then gets in her favorite spot behind us on our bookcase headboard bed. She puts her sweet little puppy head on the pillow right between both our heads and sleeps. Did you know cocker spaniels snore? This one does sometimes. Her daddy says she's dreaming sweet puppy dreams.

Sunflower is the light in my life when I come home from a hard day’s work, just as she is for my husband. She is such a smart, pretty little dog. We both have spoiled her. She has to have a doggie cookie every time she comes in from outside. I have her trained, so I do not have to yell and wake the neighbors calling for her in the mornings. Quite by accident, I discovered that if I flip the light switch three times, wait a minute, and flip it again, Sunflower comes running to claim her doggie biscuit.

Sunflower is a golden-girl companion, and I hope we enjoy her company for many years to come. She has outgrown her puppy-chewing days. Thank God, but I hope she never outgrows her cuddly, loving ways. She follows my every step. If I go into another room, she is right behind me. As I work on my home computer taking college classes online or writing, Sunflower sleeps at my feet, as close as she can get. I can’t make a move without my Sunflower angel by my side, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She is a warm loving companion. The grandfather clock is just a chunk of wood, no company at all. My husband was right. A clock can be replaced, but Sunflower is one of a kind. It’s more important to have the enjoyment of a loyal pet. If you haven’t known the love of a pet, part of your heart and soul have not been awakened. She’s our golden baby girl, our stress reliever. It’s not puppy love for Sunflower!

My summer activities are reading and writing. I love to read on my Nook, and I can read faster and better since my husband gave it to me as a Christmas gift this past year.


  1. Steph, thanks so very much for the beautiful job you've done with the blog this week. Blessings, BJ

  2. Thanks for the smiles! I love hearing about Sunflower. Hugs!

  3. Thanks for visiting, Rita. Hugs right back at ya. BJ

  4. BJ, my husband and I have a nine-year-old English Springer Spaniel named BJ. :-) I don't miss the puppy days of training, but, oh my, are those cuddly things adorable.
    Your books sounds full of hard-hitting topics. Good job.

  5. I loved your Sunflower story! Once our beloved dogs capture our hearts..there is no turning back! Thank you for sharing!

  6. How adorable. Such a precious baby

  7. Gloira, how cool is that? You have a dog named BJ :) Yes, the puppy-training days aren't easy, and I'm going through it again now with a golden retriever named Honi. Thanks for the compliment about my book. Hope you read it. Blessings, BJ

  8. Judy, thanks for stopping by and visiting. I'm so glad you enjoyed my story. Blessings, BJ

  9. Thanks, Jillian. She's a sweetheart. Blessings, BJ

  10. I remember when you got Sunflower. That must mean we have known each other for over a year now. Can you believe that?

  11. We have known each other for over a year, Nan, but I've had Sunflower longer, seven years. You must be thinking about the other dog I had :) Blessings, BJ