featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Note: This site uses Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Jessie the Therapy Dog
Charmaine Gordon spread her wings at age fifty-four to drive alone to New York City and find a career as an actor. She worked on One Life to Live for eleven years, All My Children for two, and Another World. She also has roles in many movies, including Working Girl and When Harry Met Sally. She had fun with Harrison Ford, lunched with Anthony Hopkins, and sang with Carrie Fisher. Then one day while performing on stage, she noticed her voice felt odd. The next day, a voice specialist confirmed she had spasmodic dysphonia, which put an end to her acting career. That’s when Charmaine started writing. Today she stops to talk about a special someone in her life. Learn more about her and her books at her website/blog

Of course our Jessie had to have a weird background. She spent the first two years of her life in the Seeing Eye Dog Program. Why you may ask? Jessie was supposed to be a guide dog for a blind person. However, Jessie gets excited and sometimes barks a bit when she sees other dogs. Let’s say over-excited. She went into the program, stayed for two years and was released. Fired, let go. Poor Jessie couldn’t hold a job. She was a failure at her first effort.

A convent of nuns ran a soup kitchen in Newark and needed a strong dog to keep bad guys away. The high crime area required a German Shepherd, one who barked. Our Jessie licked hands through the fence instead of barking. So Jessie failed yet again at her second job.

Now here comes the good news. There has to be good news, right? A friend of mine who volunteers at the soup kitchen searched for a home for the big dog. Talk about eating out of your hand, Jessie ran right over to me and placed her beautiful head in my hand. Suddenly she was mine. Lucky us. Now she is a therapy dog with an important job visiting nursing homes, special needs kids in school, distressed cadets at West Point, and wounded warrior with PTSD. I placed a colorful collar around her neck so irresistible I’d like one myself.

Our Jessie succeeded big time after many attempts.

My closest friend is Judy Audevard, head of Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause. She's received many awards for her work, organizing programs where therapy dogs attend West Point to aid returning veterans, the READ programs to assist children in reading, and many more programs for people in need. I've written stories about therapy dogs many times. They warm your heart. When I spent seven weeks recovering from a traumatic fall, Judy spread the word, and everyday therapy dogs came to my room to give love and comfort.

Since Larry Died
Those Left Behind series, Book 1

Joan finds herself alone after the death of her husband of 37 years. Determined that she will not become a recluse confined to her home, she forces herself to take part in life as a single woman. The work she does helping others with her therapy dogs becomes part of the strength that propels her to move forward in life and quit blaming her husband for dying.

Newly widowed, Joan refused to let life pass her by. Angered by the sudden death of her spouse, she’s determined to carry on and starts by taking their motorcycle for a spin. His friends are surprised to see her riding, but happy that she is living life by her rules. All of them are hoping to win her over, but will they pass the test?

Her daughter also needs her help as she struggles with her own issues. Joan knows her inner strength will help her daughter better know how to deal with life as each of them move on since Larry died.


Charmaine Gordon said...

Lois, it's my pleasure to be your guest this week. Survive and Thrive became my motto ever since my first husband passed. I hope my stories help other widows to carry on. Life's a joy. Give it a chance.

Best to all of you with my whole heart.

Charmaine Gordon

Angela Adams said...

Yay, Jessie! I bet this fur-baby gives the nursing home residents lots of love and joy!!!

Charmaine Gordon said...

Angela, thanks for stopping by. When I fell and had to be in a rehab hospital for seven-plus months, I was inundated with Therapy Dogs. Kisses galore, they would lick my arms and face, whatever they could touch or lay a face under my chin for solace. My spirits lifted despite the handicap and by the time I left, I knew there was a future for me. Never give up. Every day I used my computer and wrote stories. In a wheelchair or propped in bed, the dogs helped me come back to a real life. Bless them all, the short and the tall.


Always happy to have stop by, Charmaine!