#ExcerptReveal One Careful Owner (Love Me, Love My Dog) by Jane Harvey-Berrick #OneCarefulOwner #LoveMeLoveMyDog #January2 #JaneHarveyBerrick

Posted December 21, 2016 by Anja in 2016, Excerpt, Exclusives, Standalone / 0 Comments

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ÔÇ£Take me, all of me, broken and in pieces, or say to hell with me.ÔÇØ

WARNING!
This book will break your heart!
From the best-selling romance author of THE EDUCATION OF SEBASTIAN comes a sexy, heart-breaking and heart-warming story about one man and his dog. (Standalone)


Alex is lost and alone, with only his dog, Stan for company. He doesnÔÇÖt expect kindness from anyone anymore, but sometimes hope can be found in the most unlikely places. He has a second chance at happiness, but thereÔÇÖs a dark side to Alex, and a reason that more than one person has called him crazy.
Single mother Dawn is doing just fine. Except that her ex- is a pain in the ass, her sister isnÔÇÖt speaking to her, and her love life is on the endangered list.
At least her job as a veterinarian is going well. Until a crazy-looking guy arrives at her office accompanied by an aging dog with toothache. Or maybe Alex Winters isnt so crazy after all, just  different.
Dawn realizes that sheÔÇÖs treated him the same way that all the gossips in town have treated herÔÇöpeople can be very cruel.

Contains scenes of an adult nature.

This is a standalone novel with no cliff-hanger.

TannerÔÇÖs hooves kicked up small spirals of dirt as he ambled through the forest, picking his own path. It was peaceful and a deep sense of calm spread through me. It had been too long since IÔÇÖd come out for an early morning ride. I rarely had the chance anymoreÔÇölife always seemed to get so busy.
Even though it wasnÔÇÖt more than half-an-hour after sunrise, humidity was beginning to climb. I felt sweat trickle down my back and armpits, but I didnÔÇÖt care. It was too beautiful out here to worry about anything.
The lakeÔÇÖs surface was quiet, stretching glassily toward the horizon, and I watched the tiny ripples reach the muddy bank as lazy clouds drifted across the sky.
As I rode into the small clearing, the quality of the light changed from the deep green of the forest to the soft glow of the rising sun.
I breathed deeply, enjoying the muted sounds and sense of being utterly alone. It was a rare moment to be carefree.
But as Tanner neared the lake, I spotted a bundle of old rags on the ground. God, I hated that! How could people toss their trash somewhere so beautiful? Sadly, I was used to seeing discarded bottles, cans and sandwich wrappers on the trails.
I was going to pick them up and dump them in the garbage at home, so I dismounted and poked my riding crop through them. But they werenÔÇÖt rags exactlyÔÇöinstead, I found a tattered pair of jeans, a faded t-shirt and a washed-out plaid shirt.
That was odd. Who would have left them here? Someone camping maybe? I sighed wearily and picked up the clothes. I hated people littering in this beautiful forest.
Suddenly, Tanner shifted next to me and the hairs on the back of my neck prickled. I had the unpleasant sensation of being watched, and when I looked up, my breath stuttered in my throat.
A man was standing in the lake, waist-deep in the water, and he was glaring at me. Instinctively, I tightened my grip on TannerÔÇÖs reins.
ÔÇ£Oh, crap! You startled me!ÔÇØ
He didnÔÇÖt reply, and his icy stare made me nervous.
He was a big man, tall and strong, with broad shoulders and clearly defined muscles. His unkempt beard was thick, and long tangled hair matted against his skullÔÇöhe looked like one of the fabled Mountain Men.
He made no attempt to speak and his eyes narrowed as anger rolled from him in heavy waves.
I swallowed nervously and took a step back, but then my heel caught in a pile of leaves, and I dropped the clothes IÔÇÖd been carrying.
He glared, his lips peeled back so he was baring his teeth.
It took everything in me to keep calm while I mounted. TannerÔÇÖs large presence was a huge comfort. I borrowed him from my employer and he was usually a skittish horse, but right now he stood happily chomping on grass and ignoring the stand-off.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm going now,ÔÇØ I said weakly, trying to keep my voice from shaking. ÔÇ£Yes, IÔÇÖm riding away.ÔÇØ
The continued silence was unnerving, but at least he hadnÔÇÖt come any closer. I began to wonder if he understood English.
Close up, he seemed younger than IÔÇÖd first thought. His hair was dark blonde, his beard a light brown tinged with red. I couldnÔÇÖt tell what color his eyes were from this distance. Maybe he was Eastern European?
Finally, the man spoke.
ÔÇ£M-m-mine.ÔÇØ
I blinked, surprised.
ÔÇ£What?ÔÇØ
He screwed his eyes shut, took a slow breath and tried again.
ÔÇ£M-m-mine!ÔÇØ
I stared back, not having a clue what he was talking about, then my eyes dropped to the pile of clothes on the ground.
ÔÇ£Oh, these are yours?ÔÇØ
He scowled at me, folding his arms across his chest. His body language was screaming at me to leave, but otherwise he was silent, menacing, and that scared me more.
My eyes followed the movement of his arms as he clamped them across his body, the biceps bulging, an unspoken warning that this man was bigger and stronger than me, and that I was alone in the forest, miles from help.
At least he wasnÔÇÖt coming closer.
Then my eyes dipped to the waterline rippling at his waist.
ÔÇ£Oh!ÔÇØ
My eyes widened with the realization that he was completely naked. The water was clear enough that IÔÇÖd seen everything. And I mean everything. As I glanced up, shocked, he met my gaze, raising an eyebrow suggestively, the implication that IÔÇÖd been checking him out. I shot him a filthy look, jerking the reins to get Tanner moving.
ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre trespassing on private property,ÔÇØ I snapped over my shoulder, just to show I wasnÔÇÖt really completely terrified. ÔÇ£You should leave.ÔÇØ
His lips twisted in a sneer and he took half a pace toward me, his demeanor threatening.
Sensing his mounting fury, I rode away. IÔÇÖd get the hell out of here and let Dan know that a crazy guy was camping illegally. I urged Tanner to go faster, only looking back once to make sure that the man wasnÔÇÖt following. But he was still standing in the lake, watching me.

My early morning ride left me completely shaken, and I hated feeling so vulnerable. So I was in a foul mood by the time I got to work at Petz Pets, and AshleyÔÇÖs shrill voice was like a jack hammer in my head.
I tried to ignore her endless description of a new pair of shoes that were to die for apparently, while I quietly phoned my friend Dan, who also happened to be GirardÔÇÖs police officer, telling him about the crazy guy at the lake. Then I had to listen to Ashley for half an hour, catching me up on all the gossip that IÔÇÖd ÔÇÿmissedÔÇÖ over the weekend. Mostly it consisted of whoÔÇÖd slept with whom, who was having an affair, and how many Cosmopolitans sheÔÇÖd drunk.
I was trying not to listen, but it was impossible to ignore her piercing tone.
ÔÇ£Oh, thatÔÇÖs so sad!ÔÇØ she said suddenly, her voice falling for a moment.
ÔÇ£What is?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Mrs. Humphries emailed to ask if weÔÇÖve seen Missy.ÔÇØ
MissyÔÇöa two year-old black-and-white ball of fur with wicked long claws, as I knew from painful experience. She was also pregnant the last time IÔÇÖd seen her and the kittens were due any day. Come to think of it, IÔÇÖd expected to hear from Mrs. Humphries before now.
ÔÇ£When did she last see her?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Yesterday morning.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£SheÔÇÖs probably making a safe place to have her kittens. Tell Mrs. Humphries to check all her neighborsÔÇÖ outbuildings and any other places that she thinks Missy might go to. She wonÔÇÖt have gone far.ÔÇØ
Ashley frowned.
ÔÇ£Mrs. Humphries is out by the State Game Lands. She doesnÔÇÖt have many neighbors.ÔÇØ
I shivered, recalling the scary homeless man IÔÇÖd encountered. I wondered if Dan would have a chance to check into it today.
Ashley typed something, muttering under her breath and chewing on the inside of her mouth.
ÔÇ£Oh, youÔÇÖre going to love this,ÔÇØ she cackled as she worked her way through the overnight messages and todayÔÇÖs calendar. ÔÇ£A new client has emailed to make an appointment. ThatÔÇÖs weirdÔÇöpeople usually phone. Jeez, heÔÇÖs sent me his dogÔÇÖs entire life story! Whatever, but get thisÔÇöhe only wants a male veterinarian.ÔÇØ
I glanced up, frowning. ÔÇ£Seriously?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Yep. I had to read his message twice to check I wasnÔÇÖt seeing things. And guess what? His address is Tanglewood. ┬áHe must be the one who bought Old JoeÔÇÖs cabinÔÇöyou know, the place Bob Delaney was going to buy and develop. What do you want me to do?ÔÇØ
I was surprised. I didnt know that Bob had wanted to buy the place, but it made sense since he owned the adjoining property along the lake. Sort of. Joe had never minded me riding over his land, but I knew for a fact that Bob wouldnt like it. Mostly because he hated me. And as for Stellas opinion of me  I didnt want to think about that.
IÔÇÖd ridden past Old JoeÔÇÖs cabin many times. It was a dreary, depressing place, dank and dark and falling apart, deep in the woods. The kind of place you could imagine in a horror movie, except for its location by the lake, which was beautiful.
I gazed at Ashley, constantly amazed by the random information she had rattling around in her head. The FBI needed her on their team.
I redirected my thoughts back to the question. ÔÇ£Does Gary have any slots this afternoon?ÔÇØ
Gary was our chief veterinarian and also owned the business. He was good with prickly customers.
ÔÇ£Yes, three oÔÇÖclock.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Problem solved.ÔÇØ
Ashley gave me an overly-dramatic look of astonishment.
ÔÇ£It doesnÔÇÖt bother you that the new client is a sexist asshole?ÔÇØ
Yes, the request was irritating, but Ashley was something of a drama queen and I wasnÔÇÖt going to give her the satisfaction of a reaction.
ÔÇ£Not my concern,ÔÇØ I answered, giving a firm look that bounced right off her.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖd be pissed as all hell because he obviously doesnÔÇÖt think women can be vets,ÔÇØ she said, not willing to let it drop.
I tuned her out after that, instead prepping the examination room and reading through my list of patients for the day.
Then our first customer arrived, a West Highland Terrier with eczema, and I didnÔÇÖt think about the new client again until after lunch when Gary got an emergency callout to a valuable stud animal with a suspected fractured tibia.
Ashley gave me a wide smile as GaryÔÇÖs Jeep disappeared in a cloud of dust and gravel.
So  since Gary has been called away  are you going to see this new client? The sexist asshole?
I sighed, but tried not to look too irritated as I glanced at the clock on the wall. It was just after 2.45PM so she might be able to catch the new client before he left his house.
ÔÇ£Call him and explain whatÔÇÖs happened. If he wants to see me, thatÔÇÖs fine, otherwise reschedule an appointment with Gary.ÔÇØ
She picked up her phone and started to place the call, but stopped suddenly.
ÔÇ£Too late,ÔÇØ she said, jerking her thumb at a battered pickup truck that had pulled into the parking lot.
I turned to look, but for a minute, there was no movement and I began to wonder if the new arrival would ever leave his truck. Finally, I saw the driverÔÇÖs door swing open and a man jumped out. For some reason, IÔÇÖd expected an older guy to be the sexist new client, but judging from the way he moved, I was wrong.
In fact, I could see that he was tall and muscular and  then I recognized him.
It was the man from the lake. The naked man whoÔÇÖd scared the crap out of me. IÔÇÖd been thoroughly rattled seeing him this morning. Being alone with him had made me realize again how vulnerable I was riding by myself and IÔÇÖd decided to rethink my regular route.
But now I was facing him for a second time. He still reminded me of a Mountain Man, and he appeared to be wearing the clothes that IÔÇÖd thought were rags. His long, shaggy brown hair and thick beard hid most of his face. A shudder of apprehension ran through me.
He seemed just as ill at ease as he had been by the lake, his eyes darting around restlessly, but then he walked around to the passenger door and I lost sight of him.
When he reappeared, he was carrying a large dog, one that easily weighed 80 or 90 pounds. He must have been strong because he carried the weight easily. I recalled the thick slabs of muscle that sculpted his chest and arms when IÔÇÖd seen him earlier. Yes, there was no doubt that he was strong, but as he held his pet, his hands were gentle.
I watched his chin bob, and I realized that he was talking to his dog.
Carefully, he set the animal on the ground and fixed a leash around its neck.
The dog immediately sat down and refused to budge. His coat was thick and looked glossy and healthy, his muzzle starting to gray. I guessed he was part retriever, part mastiffÔÇölarge and solid. And heavy.
Ashley giggled as the man tugged on the leash, but the dog still wouldnÔÇÖt move. The man stood still, looking at his pet, his hands on his hips, then he shook his head in defeat. Bending down, he scooped up the dog again and shouldered his way through the door into the office.
Now he was closer, I could study him in more detail.
His hair was a tangle of light brown with sun-blond lights, still uncombed, an off-putting mess of wild, crazy curls. His clothes were even worse now I could see him wearing them, unkempt and torn as if heÔÇÖd given up, but they were clean. And when he stopped in front of Ashley, I caught the faint scent of soap and laundry detergentÔÇöno cologne. This man was a paradox.
Ashley smiled tightly from her position behind the reception desk.
ÔÇ£Mr. Winters and Stan, is that right?ÔÇØ
He nodded but didnÔÇÖt speak, still holding his dog in his arms. His face was grim, as if heÔÇÖd never smiled, never thought of smiling.
So this was the man whoÔÇÖd bought Old JoeÔÇÖs place? I immediately felt guilty that IÔÇÖd assumed he was trespassing and camping illegally. I didnÔÇÖt know that somebody had already moved into the property. Technically, IÔÇÖd been the interloper this morning. I felt like such a judgmental bitch. But heÔÇÖd really scared me, and I hadnÔÇÖt been thinking clearly.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm so sorry,ÔÇØ Ashley said with fake sweetness, ÔÇ£but Dr. Petz, our male veterinarian, had to go out on an emergency visit. Dr. Andrews over there is available.ÔÇØ
He turned to stare at me and his body stiffened. I saw a flicker of recognition in his eyes before he dropped his gaze to the floor again. I thought for sure that heÔÇÖd turn and walk out, but then he glanced at his dog and I saw the expression soften in his curious golden-brown eyes as he peered up at me and nodded slowly.
Great! said Ashley, her gaze glancing across to me. Ive got basic information from your email, but if you could just fill out this form and
ÔÇ£Maybe youÔÇÖd like to bring Stan into the examination room, Mr. Winters,ÔÇØ I interrupted quickly. ÔÇ£He looks rather heavy.ÔÇØ
The man blinked twice, but carried the dog inside without commenting or even looking at Ashley.
ÔÇ£Rude!ÔÇØ Ashley said, not quietly enough, and although I agreed, I shot her a look and took the form from her.
She leaned toward me, her eyes wide as her voice dropped to an urgent whisper.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖll keep my ears open, Dawn. He looks kind of weird. You know, serial killer weird.ÔÇØ
I pressed my lips together and followed my new client.
The dog was sitting on the examination table, drooling heavily and panting. I could tell he was an older animal from the salt-and-pepper muzzle, and his breath was pretty bad. That usually indicated either a gastrointestinal problem or dental issues.
The man was standing in the furthest corner of the room with his hands in his pockets, his head hanging down, peering at me warily through the thick curtain of uncombed hair.
ÔÇ£So this is Stan,ÔÇØ I said, stroking the dogÔÇÖs head. ÔÇ£A reluctant patient?ÔÇØ
His tail thumped twice.
ÔÇ£I guess you donÔÇÖt like going to the vet, huh, boy?ÔÇØ I looked up again at his silent owner. ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt worry about it. We get a lot of animals like that on their first time here. HeÔÇÖll get used to us and weÔÇÖll take good care of him.ÔÇØ
He stared back at me, his face unreadable.
And, um, I really must apologize for this morning, I said, still stroking Stans head. Old Joe didnt mind me riding across his land. When I saw you, I didnt know that  well, I made assumptions. It wont happen again.
His head tilted to one side, but he didnÔÇÖt reply, and my cheeks flushed with annoyance and confusion.
ÔÇ£So, how can I help you today?ÔÇØ I asked briskly.
Stan stared at me docilely then yawned widely.
ÔÇ£Phew! ThatÔÇÖs some serious halitosis heÔÇÖs got there. What do you feed him?ÔÇØ
Mr. Winters blinked rapidly, crossed his arms across his chest the way he had this morning, then took several deep breaths. His eyes screwed shut and his whole face contorted. I was afraid he was having a seizure, but then his eyes opened wide and he coughed out a single word.
ÔÇ£B-b-acon.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Bacon?ÔÇØ
He nodded, then took another breath.
Eh  eh  eggs.
It took him three tries to aspirate the word, and a sudden ache twisted my heart.
My new client wasnÔÇÖt rudeÔÇöhe had a speech impediment. A severe one.
My heart softened as I stared at this rough-looking man. Then his gaze dropped to the floor, unable to meet my eyes.
But before he looked away, I saw pain and frustration as well as humiliation.
Was it always so hard for him, or was it me? Was this the reason he asked for a male veterinarian?
I couldnÔÇÖt imagine how hard it would be to go through life without that basic ability of human communication, of connection. I felt wretched that IÔÇÖd judged him so harshly when weÔÇÖd first met.
No wonder heÔÇÖd done everything to avoid speaking either to me or Ashley.
No wonder he hid behind his long hair and straggly beard.
How lonely that must be.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm guessing youÔÇÖre worried about StanÔÇÖs drooling?ÔÇØ I asked gently.
There was no doubt that he loved his dog. I could see the concern in his eyes when he looked my way, see it in the gentle way he handled his pet.
Two intelligent eyes blinked up at me and he nodded.
ÔÇ£Is Stan okay with me touching his mouth?ÔÇØ
He nodded again.
ÔÇ£Okay, letÔÇÖs have a look at those teeth, Stan.ÔÇØ
I saw the root of the problem right away: gum disease. His teeth were yellow and stained, and Stan also had a plaque issue. But the immediate problem was his inflamed gums. He must have been in a considerable amount of pain, but he didnÔÇÖt growl or pull away as I checked the rest of his mouth carefully.
ÔÇ£Oh dear, Stan, you should have brushed.ÔÇØ
After giving him a full examination and taking his temperature, which was slightly elevated, I gave his owner the news.
ÔÇ£Several of those teeth will have to come out eventually, and the rest need to be cleaned to get rid of residual plaque. But right now, I want to treat his gingivitisÔÇögum diseaseÔÇöitÔÇÖs an early stage of periodontal disease, although heÔÇÖs got quite a nasty infection. And IÔÇÖd like to schedule a procedure to remove the plaque build-up. Do you have insurance?ÔÇØ
I was already planning the lowest premium our practice could charge, and wondering whether or not Gary would agree to fund the procedure through our charitable program, when Mr. Winters nodded again and pulled a card out of his wallet.
The wallet looked new and expensive. My eyes narrowed with suspicion, but then I saw that it was embossed in gold A.W., and his pet insurance card appeared valid.
I couldnÔÇÖt figure him out.
ÔÇ£Also IÔÇÖll need you to fill out some forms. I noticed StanÔÇÖs never been neutered?ÔÇØ
He grimaced and shook his head. I had to hold back a smileÔÇömany men reacted like that. Besides, Stan was too old for the procedure now.
I glanced at my new client thoughtfully.
ÔÇ£And Mr. Winters, bacon and eggs is not a healthy daily diet for Stan. He needs suitable food for a senior dog. How old did you say he is?ÔÇØ
I winced at the word ÔÇÿsayÔÇÖ but covered it up quickly, turning to the wall-mounted computer screen to see what information Ashley had already entered.
ÔÇ£Ah, heÔÇÖs about nine or ten. A rescue dog. Where did you find him?ÔÇØ
I kicked myself for forgetting again that I needed to stick to questions that could be answered with a nod or a headshake. I moved on quickly.
ÔÇ£Well, he seems fine, given his age. But you really should improve his diet. IÔÇÖll give him a shot now. ItÔÇÖs a three-in-one: painkiller, anti-inflammatory and mild antibiotic. That will make him more comfortable until we can take care of those gums and teeth.ÔÇØ
I stroked StanÔÇÖs head and he nuzzled my hand.
For a second, I thought I saw the man smile, although it was hard to tell behind his bushy beard, but after IÔÇÖd given Stan his shot, he simply nodded at me and lifted him down from the examination table.
ÔÇ£HowÔÇÖd that go?ÔÇØ Ashley asked brightly as we walked out with Stan.
ÔÇ£Fine,ÔÇØ I said flatly, then scheduled the next appointment while Mr. Winters stood beside me, a silent, looming presence.

I couldnÔÇÖt get Mr. Winters out of my head. When IÔÇÖd met him this morning by the lake, I was so certain that he was dangerous, but now I saw all his actions in a completely different light and I was ashamed of my assumptions and reactions.
Of course heÔÇÖd been angry when we first met. I was trespassing on his land and had even told him off for being there. IÔÇÖd misread his silence, too. And all the time, heÔÇÖd been stuck standing naked in the water because I was ridiculing his clothes.
My skin felt hot at the memory. I was ashamed of myself, but I couldnÔÇÖt quite dispel a quiver of interest at the hardness of his body, the obvious masculine strength. It had been a while since IÔÇÖd seen something that good in real life. Not since college, unless it was some actor on TV.
Everything about him was a contradiction. His expensive-looking wallet and premium pet insurance; his rusting truck and his ragged clothesÔÇöand the fact that heÔÇÖd apparently paid cash for Old JoeÔÇÖs cabinÔÇöno mortgage required, or so Ashley told me. SheÔÇÖd heard it from Jenny who worked for the townÔÇÖs only attorney Simeon Spender, the man whoÔÇÖd handled Old JoeÔÇÖs estate, so I guess it really was true.
No one knew what had brought him to Girard, Pennsylvania, population 3,065. On the few occasions he was seen in town, he hadnÔÇÖt spoken to anyone or even tried to. Of course, now I knew why, but the town had decided that he was ÔÇÿstrangeÔÇÖ, ÔÇÿa recluseÔÇÖ or even ÔÇÿcreepyÔÇÖ.
I wondered if anyone else had sensed his loneliness and isolation behind that forbidding appearance. Did he hide because of his stutter, or was there something else?
I dreamed about him that night. Totally inappropriate dreams for a respectable single mother who rarely dated and whose eight year-old daughter was sleeping in the next room.
I woke up ratty, in a bad mood and stupidly aroused. Not a great combination. So, I pushed the thoughts from my mind as I dropped Katie off at her friendÔÇÖs house, and then headed to work, thankful that I was only doing a half-day today. During school vacations, Gary let me work part-time as much as possible.
I arrived just as Ashley was parking her Honda, but she didnÔÇÖt get out of the car, instead she waved to catch my attention, pointed behind me, then ducked down, peering over her steering wheel.
I soon saw the reason. Mr. WintersÔÇÖ was climbing out of his rusting truck, a large cardboard box in his hands. He placed it by the office front door and then walked away. I saw him glance in our direction, and I felt hugely embarrassed that heÔÇÖd seen us cowering in the parking lot, but his long hair fell across his face, screening his expression, so I couldnÔÇÖt tell what he thought about our crazy behavior.
When he sped away in his battered pickup, I realized that IÔÇÖd been holding my breath.
Ashley gave a theatrical shudder as she climbed out of her car.
ÔÇ£Ugh, that guy gives me the creeps. What do you think is in the box? Oh God, donÔÇÖt open it! It might be a head!ÔÇØ
I didnÔÇÖt bother to answer, instead cautiously lifting one of the flaps.
I jumped back with a squeal, and Ashley shrieked. A sudden flutter of wings had startled me.
Sitting in a nest of torn up rags was a Golden Eagle, very young, its flight feathers still fluffy, and its left wing obviously broken as it trailed next to him, the poor bird crying loudly.
I sent Ashley to find a pet carrier and took my latest customer inside.
Some people think itÔÇÖs not possible to mend a birdÔÇÖs broken wing, but if youÔÇÖre careful and patient, they can make a full recovery.
Golden Eagles were rare around here and protected, but there were a few. Mr. Winters must have found this one in the forest.
I suppose I wasnÔÇÖt surprised that he hadnÔÇÖt stayed to speak to us, but I was taken aback to find a note in neat handwriting offering to pay for the young eagleÔÇÖs treatment.
The bird didnÔÇÖt have any other injuries, so I cut a 12 inch strip of veterinarian bandaging tape, a special type that doesnÔÇÖt stick to fur or feathers. Then, as gently as possible, given the birdÔÇÖs distressed squawks, I folded the broken wing against his side in the most natural position I could manage, while avoiding his sharp beak. Then I strapped the wing to his body and asked Ashley to call the aviary veterinarian in Pittsburg. In three or four weeks, the bird would be good as new. I hoped.
It was lucky that Mr. Winters had found him. He wouldnÔÇÖt have survived in the wild like that.
For such a big man, he was incredibly gentle.
And that intrigued me even more.

AP new -about the author.jpg

Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).
She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )
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