Excerpt From The Next Book #2

Excerpt From The Next Book #2 – When Your Dog Is A Bad Dog To Your Date


There seems to be some curiosity regarding this next book in the “Life Before” series. To satisfy inquiring minds, there are currently twenty-three chapters written with the next book divided into five sections. A little disclaimer: please note that this next book is a work in progress, has not gone through editing, is subject to change at any moment, and is in no way meant to embarrass anyone but myself. All of the stories depicted of the incredibly charming and the not-so-charming are true, except of course for the ones that aren’t.

Aptly entitled Life Before Happily Ever After and filled with a compilation of entertaining stories of dates gone wrong and love gone right, I’d like to take a moment and dedicate the next few weeks to excerpts and a sneak preview of what’s to come in the next book. My goal is to reveal a story from each section in hopes to inspire, entertain, and even encourage those (both married or not) to live life off the couch no matter what stage or season of life you’re in and to engage in adventures even when you don’t know how they’re going to turn out. You don’t have to know the ending to have a beginning. There is life before happily ever after…there is also life after happily ever after.

Stay tuned for stories from the following sections of the next book, Life Before Happily Ever After.

1. Awkward first date bloopers
2. Relationship bloopers
3. Good dates - they're definitely out there!
4. Times where I'm the bad date


Excerpt from Section II: Awkward Dating Bloopers

CHAPTER SEVEN: Kamikaze Scottie.

Bad things happen to good people. That’s just a fact of life. This is the case with my poor date who had a run-in with my dog. Admittedly, this was an unfortunate experience that I just cannot tell without giggling.

One of the first times my date came over to my house to hang out, he brought a bottle of vino and some picnic goodies to enjoy by the river that runs through the property. A charming evening with a charming man. I had invited him over and was looking forward to enjoying an evening picnic at my abode as my way of introducing him to the piece of the world that at the time I called home. One of my favorite hang out locations on property was just across the way, involving a walk across the lawn to a cozy location with a fire pit that included a few Adirondack chairs perched on the riverbank with a view that was just waiting to be enjoyed. Perfect place for a glass of wine and a cute date.

It was on this particular evening and in this setting where “the incident” occurred.

As was customary, I had let the dogs out to run around and enjoy the outdoors with us, warning my date that the big one couldn’t corner very well as he was bounding around the yard in pure happiness with tongue hanging out, ready to play. In all fairness, my dog Scottie is a tank and although a sweet and loveable gentle giant, he’s sometimes just too big for his own good. Indoors he is a very mellow and lazy creature, but outdoors turns into a whole other creature that acts like every time he goes outside it’s for the first time. If you’re a dog person, you might understand this. If not, just know that this oversized mutt loves his freedom and gets excited to bound around the yard in pure joy, but ultimately is just too beefy and doesn’t have very much control in making tight turns.

I thought the casual warning would be enough and didn’t realize that perhaps I should’ve paid more attention and I really should’ve stressed that my dog is truly all beef and no brains, is wonderfully dumb, and should be treated as such.

The dogs were running around making their customary loop as I was walking several steps ahead leading Mr. Charming to our next location when I looked back just in time to see the aftermath of the collision. Not knowing exactly what happened in the few seconds before I turned back, all I can say is that I witnessed Scottie burst past me in all his thunder with everything else turning to a blur. In true slow motion movie fashion I spinned around just in time to watch my poor date being taken out at the knees as my dog collided into him with both bodies ending up in a pile on the ground. I think Scottie was just as surprised as my downed date! Both man and dog tumbled to the ground with limbs flying and bits of picnic, crackers, and cheese scattering everywhere.

Completely horrified and concerned for my date’s welfare after what I just witnessed–and yet somehow thoroughly amused at the carnage and comedy of the whole scenario–I couldn’t help but laugh as my date untangled himself from the four-legged fiasco.

I’m glad to announce that all parties involved are okay and that the only thing hurt was perhaps an ego and some downed cheese. More importantly, my ruffled date stood up, shook himself off, and in true hero fashion with a big grin proudly announced that he managed to save the wine. Good man.

(As for him, there were many more dates.)


Ashlee Bratton - Life Before The Lottery

Ashlee Bratton – author of the book “Life Before The Lottery: Living Beyond The Bucket” is a professional photographer, freelance writer, and inspirational speaker with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and master’s degree in business administration.

Along with completing 29 of the 30 things on her 30×30 list, her writing contributions include numerous publications such as Vail’s EAT magazine, creating a 56 page Visitor Guide for a mountain ski town, blogging and guest blogging, being featured in multiple newspapers and e-zines, and various other projects.

Currently, she keeps her camera in hand in Southern Colorado, is a complete and total foodie, and takes plane rides for fun. She likes things that go.

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