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I Owe A Lot To This Silly Dog Of Mine

Lori Ryan I love my dogs. Always have and always will. The one on the left was born right into my hands after we rescued his mother, so he’s always going to be close to my heart. But, the other one, Zeke, earned his place in my heart in another way. He brought my husband to me.

Before I began writing, I was a dog trainer and owned a dog daycare in Austin, Texas. In fact, I lived in the dog daycare in a little room in the back. I had nowhere to cook so I spent a lot of time getting takeout at the Thai restaurant we shared a parking lot with. I showered in the same shower we used for the dogs’ baths. It was, um … cozy.

One day, in walks this guy with his dog and he was adorable. The guy and the dog. Geeky glasses that looked hot in just the right way and a great smile. His dog was pretty freaking cute, too. Yup, that’s right. Zeke’s daddy had brought him in for daycare. Fast forward six months and we went on our first date. Wait? What! Six months, you say? Yes, well, perhaps I’d better back up a bit.

So, here I am getting dressed up and throwing on makeup every Friday when Zeke and his daddy are due to show up. And there he is with his friend—who also comes to daycare on Friday and a few other days of the week—telling him that I only dress up on Fridays. Yup. Busted. But, here’s the thing. My husband is shy. Oh, he’s got tons of friends, goes out all the time, has a life and whatnot, but still, the thought of asking out his doggy’s teacher then having to stand the humiliation if she said no was too much for him.

And, he wasn’t very good at taking clues. When I emailed him one day knowing he was a computer guy and asked him why my computer gave me the blue screen of death and was unresponsive now, he just replied: Turn it off and then back on again. It’ll be fine. And when we stayed and talked for half an hour after all the other dogs and parents had left, he’d end it with something along the lines of, “Well, I guess I should get going,” said super slowly in that way that says he’s thinking of asking you out, but then he’d stiffen up and leave.

So there we are six months later and despite realizing this guy is incredibly shy and might never be able to hold a conversation with me, I still wanted him. So, I called and asked him out. Yup. The stuff romance novels are made of. He said yes, thank goodness. And, it turns out, he was able to talk on the date, and we have a ton in common. Despite the fact that we both lived in Texas now, we had been born in the same hospital in New Jersey (five years apart—he loves to remind me that I’m older than him). We grew up two towns apart in New Jersey and our parents and aunts and uncles all grew up within five or so blocks of one another in New York. Our siblings were born on the same date (different year) and we both lived in the same apartment complex in Austin, but at different times. Weird, huh?

Anyway, there you have it. That’s why I owe my big lug of a dog Zeke a lot. How did you meet your husband/wife/partner?

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Lori Ryan is continuing her Sutton Capital On the Line series with a new book coming January 4, 2022! She’s writing with T.E. Evans on

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