The Ladies Who Love the Bryant Brothers. Meet Clara
In the first installment of The Ladies Who Love the Bryant Brothers, we met Colleen. She and her son, Greg, started everything with only the words “Beachy Keen” in my mind. It was never meant as a series, and Jack’s character came later. The experiment was the first time the title came before the story, a whimsical thing to see if I could. Now almost two years later, with three other books in the series, apparently, it worked.
Creating Clara Bishop was far different. She was born of Dan as he needed a gal to complete him, much like Adam and Eve in the Genesis story, though admittedly not as religious or significant.
But who is Clara, the main female lead in “The Cake Maker’s Dog?” We know two things from the get-go: she loves cake and dogs. What a coincidence! I love cake and dogs.
So which should we start with? Cake? Dogs? Cake?
You already know my obsession with cake and probably don’t want to hear anymore.
Oh, wait. Do you?
This guy says no.
But...do I see someone waving in the background? Could it be another cake fan who can’t hear enough about the spongy, yummy confection?
Okay. You want to talk dogs. And I can do that.
The first dog I ever loved was my brother’s dog, Budweiser. He was a black cockapoo who slept in a bed made of a cardboard Budweiser box. My memories are few, as I was four when we had him, but they are deep.
Hard times for Budweiser
My hands-down favorite pastime was playing wheelbarrow rides with him. Anytime my mother got distracted with my younger sister or a phone call, I’d race down the hall where the pup was sleeping. He’d wake, groggy and alarmed, as I quickly closed the door behind me. Speed was of the essence. For not only would my mother intuit what I was doing before things got fun, the poor pup hated it.
I’d pick up his two hind legs and walk him around the room on his front paws. He’d get vicious and try to bite, so I had to keep him moving.
It was never long before I heard, “What are you doing in there?” To which I’d reply, “Nothing,” in a sweet voice. My mother always knew, and if I didn’t stop immediately, I’d get a well-deserved swat.
I hope he knows of my regret and forgives me from wherever he is.
We owned other dogs throughout my childhood, but the wish to have my own as an adult someday never waned until it was attained. Dogs are why I volunteered at an animal shelter and ran the same rescue as director for five years. And why I've moonlighted as a pet sitter and dog walker for the past fifteen. I may not want to home every dog, but I do enjoy meeting them all.
Side note: If it's any consolation, no other dog has been subjected to a wheelbarrow ride by me, though I'd still be willing if they permitted me.
Clara developed from my love of dogs, as did Kristof, her canine sidekick. He has the personality I like most. The dog that doesn’t love everyone. Kristof is selective. He finds a faithful human companion (or companions) and holds on tight. Dogs like Kristof live for you and would, without hesitation, die for you. But owners like Clara never require that of them.
Clara and Kristof - best friends to the end - love that Bryant Brother, Dan, because he’s loyal, trustworthy, and true.