Guest Blog! Ruth Perkinson!

The winner of a copy of “Piper’s Someday” is Jeanne Barrett. And yes, in honor of Ruth and River, my dog Taylor did the drawing. That is, I put the names in a canvas bag, shook ’em up, shook ’em up again, and then again, and then tossed the names out of the bag onto the floor. Taylor came over, walked around through the paper scraps, stopped, and Jeanne’s is the name she sniffed. So Jeanne, congrats!

And thanks everyone for stopping by.

Hi, folks. Today, author Ruth Perkinson is joining us here at Women and Words with something that’s dear to her heart. And it’s something that I can relate to, as well. As many of you know, I personally have an animal in my life–my dog Taylor. She’s pretty special, and she’s brought a lot of joy to my days.

So when I found out about Ruth and her dog, River, and the journey they’ve been forced to embark upon together, I of course cried like a baby first, and then when I was able to read the blog she set up for River and what she’s trying to accomplish after River’s leg was amputated because of cancer, well, I wanted her to stop by and let more people know what she’s up to. It hit a nerve with me, because Taylor is a shepherd mix and a cancer survivor. Taylor was lucky, in that her tumor was removed with little invasive surgery, but it was scary, so River’s story really has some extra meaning for me.

Ruth and River’s story deals quite a bit with a book Ruth wrote that has, in some ways, ended up being prescient to her own life. Keep in mind Ruth wrote Piper’s Someday years before River was diagnosed, years before River’s leg was amputated. Read on and you’ll see what I’m talking about in the brief synopsis below.


BUT FIRST. I’ll set one person up with one copy of Piper’s Someday in a drawing today. If you’d like your name entered, please leave a comment on the blog and please specify that you’d like to enter the drawing. I know some of you may want to just comment about Ruth’s work and River, without entering the drawing. So if you want to enter the drawing, make sure to say that in the comment. And please include an email address at the comment prompt. It won’t be shown publicly. I’ll do the drawing tonight, 10 PM EST.

Back to Ruth.

Ruth isn’t new to “causes” and working for what she believes is right. She taught for years in Virginia’s public school system. But she’s branched out, though she remains committed to advocacy. She’s taking her message of equality outside the schools, especially for young adults. Through her book writing and advocacy efforts, she is trying to raise the awareness and consciousness of people everywhere. One of her main issues is the belief that the teaching of GLBT sex education in the public classroom’s time has come.

She says, “Localities and local school boards need to recognize the urgent need to teach this subject as it will help end bullying, help end stereotypes, and help give young GLBT youth a chance to have a voice and be recognized.”

Ruth has written four books, but the book that Ruth is going to talk about here is called Piper’s Someday. A girl, Piper, her three-legged dog Someday, and a terrible tragedy send Piper and Someday to live with her boozed-up, abusive grandfather in a run-down apartment complex. Piper doesn’t find much hope, but she does find trouble. And then two women–a postal worker and a grad student–move in a few doors down and they forge an unlikely bond, despite Piper’s grandfather’s warnings to stay away from the women. And, indeed, all hell breaks loose. Can Piper find her way? What will she learn about love, loyalty, and life from a dog and the people who have come into her life?

I personally have learned a lot from my dog about life. How to live each day in the moment, how to be grateful for the small things, how to offer comfort when it’s needed, and how to ask for help when that’s needed, too. So let me turn this over to Ruth.


It’s been quite the journey for me and my eight-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd mix. She’s the talker, I’m just the writer.Here’s a bit of our story:

Her name is River and one month ago, she had her rear left leg removed and part of her pelvis. Today, we returned to the doctor and she is doing very well. She had a few more staples removed but her nature and spirit are that of “Lance Armstrong,” said my very sweet surgeon.

Chemo starts soon to make sure they got all of it. We were not expecting this news but know it is necessary.

So, I started my own blog about River’s journey to me and to the book that I wrote several years ago called Piper’s Someday. It is about a young heroine (very adroit) and her, ironically, three-legged dog, named “Someday.” It is about the incredible journey they undergo in search of each other, home, and what it means to lose faith and then find it again.

River just recently lived up to all of those soulful expressions. She does this by teaching me (her mom) what it means to be brave every day. The book is a prophetic one, indeed.

What our new journey is begins with you, the reader. Neither River nor I wanted her to get the kind of cancer that took her leg – that nearly took her life. She wants her story and the story of Piper’s Someday to make it to the big screen. Yes, a movie. Not out of ego but out of a sense of authenticity to our animals and their struggle with cancer. I know some of you reading this have been affected by canine or even feline cancer.

What River wants readers to know is that while she’s happy with three legs, she would have rather been quite satisfied keeping a useful fourth leg – that way she could hop fences and jump into mom’s vehicle.

She wants to raise awareness to the plight of dogs everywhere through the book that foreshadowed her future.

Now, to the present. If you want to read more about River, her journey, and how we can make Piper’s Someday into a movie, then please go to the following site:

Please forward this information to people you may know who could benefit from the story or even people who might be able to help.

Here’s to a great 2011.


Ruth and River

Andi here. And please read some of Ruth’s work. I guarantee her stories will suck you right in. If you’re interested in finding out more about her and her books, you can visit her at her website here. Ruth is published through Spinsters Ink. You can find them here. Her latest book, a follow-up to Piper’s Someday titled Breaking Spirit Bridge, has just been released.

And now, if you’d like to be entered in the drawing for Piper’s Someday, comment here and this time, make sure to let me know that you want to be entered. Thanks. And thanks, Ruth, for stopping by.

Happy Friday.



  1. Wow! I think what Ruth and River are going through together is remarkable. I hope River continues to recover and improve and I also hope Ruth is able to get the story to the big screen.
    I would very much like to read Piper’s Someday and would appreciate being included in the drawing. Thanks.


  2. Thanks for sharing this story, Andi and Ruth. As a committed dog lover (and some have said I should be committed for the love of my dogs!), I am fascinated by your story and River’s. I also am a native Virginian and lived in Richmond for several years out of college, so nice to see a Richmond author on these pages. Thanks, again for sharing. I look forward to exploring Ruth’s work more.

    And yes, I would love to be considered for the drawing.


  3. I can sympathize with anyone who has a animal that has something,anything wrong with them. We have four dogs but we also have lost several more. It breaks your heart to know there is something wrong and they can’t tell you what it is and you yourself cannot fix it. I love my dogs,they ARE family.

    There is a dog that I see with it’s master here in our town. I don’t know what happened but this little one has no back legs,but has a cart on wheels. The gentleman walks him everyday,and it fills your heart to see the little fellow with his
    wheels for legs, walking proudly beside his owner. Aren’t Animals amazing.


  4. I am sending lots of love and healing thoughts to River and Ruth. We have gone through many illnesses with our ‘kids’, it is a long journey,but you have each other and that can make all the difference.
    I would like to be in the drawing for Piper’s Someday.


  5. As wonderful as the book sounds, I don’t think I can handle reading it at this time. We recently lost one of our dogs to cancer. She’d had a front leg removed in August and due to location/vet availability we didn’t start her on chemo. For two months she ran about on three legs as if she’d started life that way, even though she was over 11 years old. In November, however, the cancer returned with a vengence. Within a week of her seeming “off” we couldn’t get her to stand to go out.

    Blessings to Ruth and River and their amazing story. I’ll be able to read Piper’s Someday….someday 🙂


    • But Cathy, Piper’s Someday isn’t about a dog with cancer. It is about a 3-legged dog, but it’s more about Piper:

      “It couldn’t get any worse for feisty, young Piper Leigh Cliff and her three-legged dog, Someday. But, it does. After losing her parents and brother in a drunk driving accident, she and her dog are forced to live in what she calls the “grossest looking apartment complex” in Goochland County, Virginia. Soon after, she begins to deal with even more trauma as she’s swept up in a maelstrom that includes her neglectful, verbally abusive grandfather and his cross-eyed lackey friend, Clover – two old rednecks in love with booze, Nascar, and jaunts to the local bar. Left alone to fend for herself, Piper passes the time by shooting basketball, hanging out at her fort, and smoking stolen cigarettes from her grandfather.

      Her luck begins to change, however, when two women, a postal worker and a graduate student, move three doors down. All three begin to forge a relationship despite her grandfather’s warnings to stay away. Then, when someone attempts to have his way with Piper, the wheels of fate go into motion, leading everyone to the county pound, juvenile domestic court, and a revelation that will change the course of Piper’s life forever. When her own Amber Alert goes off, Lord knows what will happen next.

      Piper and Someday must learn the meaning of survival both with and without each other. And, along the way, she learns the lessons of shame, guilt, and what it means to be loyal.”


      • Andi, thanks for the clarification about Someday. All I really saw was the three-legged dog part and my brain fixated on it 🙂 Still a bit raw, I guess. That probably moves up my timeline in being able to read it without falling apart. I do enjoy a good “girl survives cruddy circumstances” stories 🙂


    • Cathy,

      My heart goes out to you and what you’ve been going through. When the time is right, perhaps you can take a look at the book. If it helps any, the dog in the book does not die. It has a very happy ending…

      Thank you for sharing your story…my other dog, Scout, died of bladder cancer in ’06…it is a crazy disease.

      Love to you and good luck!

      Woof from River,



  6. Thanks Andi for letting Ruth share her story with all of your followers via this forum. I read “Piper’s Someday” and found that while it wasn’t a romance it was very much a love story. I highly recommend it.

    Fancy seeing you here, Ruth. Does this qualify me as a stalker?



  7. Thanks Andi and Ruth for sharing this touching and personal story. I completely agree that this is a story ripe for telling on film. There are untold numbers of animal lovers who can identify with the heartache of a sick or injured *family* member. There are many beautiful dogs who’ve shared my life, each and every one a beautiful spirit that remains with me.
    Ruth and River, best wishes on your valiant journey.
    Andi, put my name in the hat.



  8. Two years ago one of my dogs had a tumor removed from a back leg. Luckily the cancer has not returned. I feel for Ruth and River and wish River my best. Best wishes also to Ruth in her efforts to make the movie.

    Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.


  9. Ruth,

    I’ve been following your blog about River and I’m sending tons of healing thoughts and prayers for her. I’m hoping that you find an outlet to tell Piper’s Someday.


    Please enter me in the drawing.

    Thanks, Ladies!


  10. I’m reading through all of these kind words…I believe in the magic of what River is trying to teach me through her journey. If we make our dreams come true, I’ll have the lot of you and some others to thank…


    Ruth and River


  11. I might be too late for the drawing , I would like to have been in it.

    Ruth.. I can too some extent, identify with River, I had my left fore foot amputated two years ago, fortunately if that is the right word not through cancer. But I have been following the story as a lover of animals, if not a dog owner. I can see River being a good listener and teacher for you Ruth.

    Reading your blog here, about your trying to get Pipers Someday made into a film. What are the possiblities of using “Kickmaster” to raise the money to make the movie, I certainly would contribute, through this means.


  12. I’m Thrilled! Thanks Ruth, River, Andi and Taylor. let’s put our big brains and big hearts together and let Hollywood’s time.



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