Contemporary Women's Fiction/61,000 words

Luke, an intelligent, 89-pound yellow Labrador retriever, has an odd ability to understand human conversations and actions. When his owner’s girlfriend, Sara Colson, discovers she has breast cancer Luke is the sole secret keeper of her disease. Not knowing if she’ll survive, Sara leaves her boyfriend, Ashlundt Jaynes, to shield him from the pain. Luke, knowing how to give unconditional love, is the catalyst bringing the two lovers back together and helps them stay together while Sara and Ashlundt overcome a series of life-changing events.   

At the heart of Luke’s Tale is the story of two lovers and their struggle with unforeseen disillusionment to build a lasting relationship—and the loving, furry creature who is devoted to them beyond all reason.

Other Books by Carol


Chapter One: The Deception – June 24, 2010

Ashlundt Jaynes didn’t know about the cancer, but I smelled it on Sara Colson from the beginning. I may just be a dog, but when she lied to him about it, I realized I had to help them.

I was born a large, blonde Labrador Retriever—a handsome, big-boned guy with a large square head and an unusually fine mind, so it was easy for me to reach the knobs and learn how to open doors… unless they were locked. Without too much exertion of my 87-pounds, I could just nudge them open with my nose and saunter in to be with my humans. They always seemed so pleased when I entered the room. Well, all except for this one time when I wandered into the master bathroom on that fateful day to find Sara, with her long dark hair tangled around her face, hunched over the edge of the bathtub crying.

I have to emphasize that I truly understand humans. I took great pride in my ability to comprehend the events surrounding me.

Since my birth, I had never seen Sara cry. It startled me. I plodded over to lick her face and hands, trying to wipe the tears away. She grabbed my head, slid to the marble tile floor and buried her face in my furry neck.

“Oh, Luke, what am I gonna do? I can’t add my problems to his,” she moaned.

I whined in Sara’s ear and plopped down next to her with my head in her lap. She cupped her arms around her left breast and rocked back and forth. “Your mommy needs an operation. Chemo too.” She rubbed the top of my head. “Ash can’t deal with me being sick.” Sara bent down and rested her cheek on my ear. “With the lawsuit and all this would be… too much. I need to go away for a while…” Her voice trailed off.

I pressed my nose closer to her mouth and smelled the disease on her breath. A dog’s olfactory senses are much greater than a human’s, or so I’ve overheard. I knew it was bad. It was very much like the last time I saw our old next door neighbor, Mrs. Simmons. She patted me on the head in front of her house one afternoon. She was so weak and sluggish. It was like all her strength had been taken away. A week later, the ambulance was taking her away for the last time. Now, as Sara held me tighter, my body began to tremble with hers at the fear of losing her.