Sunday, December 22, 2013


Happy Holidays to one and all!.

Wow! Another year is wrapping up. One of my favorite things this time of the year is gathering  up the memories of places I’ve visited and people I’ve met along this exciting road I’m traveling.

 Christmas Eve 2012. I fixated on the weather channel and thought of other childhood Christmas Eves when I listened with anticipation for the clatter on the roof top to see what was the matter. No hint of peppermint candy or stockings hung with care flavored my excitement this night, only dread clogged in my head. Santa was riding   on the winds of a tornado that night but   missed our campground in Summerdale, Alabama by thirty miles, touching down in Mobile instead.

Whoever or whatever controlled the winds and tides, spared Sportster and me the tornado experience saving it for a future date, perhaps?  2013 arrived on well paved roads and blue skies.

I consumed over fifteen hundred hours of 2013 researching and writing my next book, Invisible Heroes. I began, gung ho, ready to interview vets with service dogs and post-traumatic stress disorders, never considering these obvious facts: Most veterans acquired a service dog because strangers are discomforting and strangers wanting to discuss their personal feelings and wartime experiences are the worst. And I knew nothing about the military. Up until now, perhaps like many Americans, I had not given much thought to our veterans. When the subject came up, of course I was grateful for their sacrifice, just not aware of how great.

No matter how difficult the task, those who know me will say, “Judy’s no quitter.” Like the winds of fate amazing people have led me along this path of discovery.

In the beginning, Luis Carlos Montalvan , author of, Until Tuesday, affected me like a funnel cloud.

 Luis swept me up into this intense, heart wrenching subject and fused my determination to bring to the public’s attention   to this tragedy that is killing over twenty veterans a day after they return home.

I initiated my research, spending hours at The Laundered Mutt and Training Center. The owners, Kat and Mike, allowed me access to   hours of training classes. They introduced me to Mario Borregos, a veteran who had just acquired his service dog, Sierra.
 So honored to meet them, my emotions choked me and I was speechless.

Traveling in Florida I met Kevin Crowell and his dog Bella at an Elks club in St. Augustine. Kevin, like Mario, was eager to spread the word about the benefits of a service dog. 

 Now a year later, as a team, Kevin & Bella pose at their graduation.


 Kevin received Bella through the phenomenal efforts of Shari Duval, president of the K9s For Warriors  in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

During my endless hours of research, I attended an open house for the Canine Companions For Independence  located in Oceanside, Ca. Everyone knows New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz . Koontz jumped away from his normal genre and wrote A Big Little Life the story of Trixie a dog from Canine Companions For Independence or CCI for short. Koontz has donated millions over the years to CCI. Above is a photo of Jeanne and Heather, a hearing dog and graduate of CCi.

My book, Invisible Heroes,   is nearing completion. As the publishing date approaches, like every author I know, my stomach clenches with doubts and insecurities. Whoever said writing was easy?

My “service cat” Sportster, soothes my nerves and pushes the laptop lid closed when he senses I need a break from my own mind.  Whatever winds and tides sweep through these final months of completion, Sportster and I weathered 2013 and we
will persevere.

We are a team.




  1. Judy I already love this new book of yours. ! When will it be available ?

    1. A conservation estimate will be June 2014. I expect it March or April but I also had expected it be done by now.