Happy Birthday, "Amadeus"
"The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (pronounced peh-TEE bah-SAY grih-FON von-day-ON, and nicknamed the PBGV) has a rough, scruffy outline and distinctive long eyebrows, beard, and moustache. They are generally 13 to 15 inches tall, and their bodies are longer than they are tall. PBGVs were bred to hunt small game, such as rabbits, in rough terrain." More About Amadeus
In honour of his birthday, I have a special excerpt from the novel below. Pulse and Prejudice is the paranormal adaptation of Jane Austen's classic romance, which tells the story of Mr. Darcy - vampire.
To say Darcy did not care for animals would not have been wholly correct. He simply did not think much of them at all beyond their utilitarian purpose. He despised the recent fad of bear-baiting. His present condition notwithstanding, he found nothing entertaining in this gruesome blood sport. To horses, he attributed the spread of civilization; for without them man certainly would be constrained to a tribal existence. He also appreciated them on an aesthetic level, noting the strength and grace of a well-bred stallion and enjoying the hardened muscles against his legs when he rode. Dogs certainly had their place, in the hunt. He kept a variety of breeds—harriers, spaniels, and hounds—at Pemberley to assist him in various sport. Beyond that, he gave them little thought.
Thus it was that Darcy did not recognize the sound of rapid claws on parquet, which rang out when the butler opened the door at Calmet House. Following the play, the Comtesse had suggested they all return to her Mayfair mansion for a taste of her fine French brandy. Darcy stood in perfect astonishment as a short, wiry ragamuffin of a dog barrelled around the staircase and slid to a quivering stop at their feet.
"Amadeus!" proclaimed the Comtesse, at which point the animal immediately began barking in a loud and impassioned bale at the strangers before him. Darcy at first recoiled then felt foolish and composed himself. "Amadeus—être tranquille!"
Indeed, the dog appeared to understand, as the ear-splitting noise ceased and he sat on his rump, his white wiry tail sweeping semi-circles on the floor behind him. Darcy gaped in disbelief as the Comtesse de Calmet bent down to the animal and allowed him to lick her chin as she smiled and whispered odd French phrases.
"What manner of beast is this?" asked Fitzwilliam, a laugh in his voice. "He looks like a cross between a beagle and a...bristle brush." He and Georgiana both crouched down and scratched the dog on the head and behind the ears.
The Comtesse stood and gave up her cape and gloves to her butler. "He is a basset griffon vendéen."
"I am surprised she will even admit to you that he is an animal," said her son. "She behaves as though he is an infant."
After shedding their outer clothes, they followed the Comtesse into the saloon with Amadeus at their ankles. The Comtesse took her position on the settee, and the dog jumped up beside her. She bade her guests to sit then returned her attention to Amadeus, rubbing his head and neck, kissing his face, and accepting his quick licks on her cheeks.
Darcy took a chair across from her and knew not how to react. "Will not its claws harm the upholstery?" he asked.
"That would mean naught to Mamá," said the young Lord Calmet as he served the brandy. "He has eaten it once before, and she merely had it recovered." She ignored her son and continued to coo at Amadeus, who seemed to purr in response. "You know she allows him to sleep in her bed with her, on his own pillow."
"Pay him no attention, mon chéri," the Comtesse said to her dog. "Your brother is just jealous."
"You cannot call him my brother just because you love him more than you love me," he whined with feigned offense.
"Do not be silly, Monty. I love you and Amadeus the same," she said to the amusement of Fitzwilliam and Georgiana.
"And why do you call him Amadeus?" asked Fitzwilliam.
The Comtesse ruffled the fur on the dog's head then turned him to face the others so they could see his hair sticking out in all directions. "Does he not look like Monsieur Mozart?" Georgiana and Fitzwilliam broke into peals of laughter at the sight, and Darcy could not suppress a smile.
Although his mistress continued to bestow affection upon him, Amadeus must have sensed when the topic of conversation shifted from him to the play they had seen, and he jumped off the settee to investigate the strangers. He first stopped at Georgiana and allowed her to rub him about the head and face, his mouth in an apparent smile. A few minutes later, Darcy realized he was the next target.
Amadeus sat with expectation at Darcy's knee and peered at him through a fringe of fur, his black eyes edged with improbably long eyelashes. The silver and blond of his face spilled into golden hair on his head and ears, although the long ears were trimmed in dark brown. His elongated body, supported by comically condensed legs, was a patchwork of white and brown; and his tail, a long plume of white.
Amadeus stared at him with such intensity, Darcy began to wonder if he would need to entrance the animal to be rid of it. Before action became necessary, Comtesse de Calmet called to her pet. "Amadeus, leave Mr. Darcy alone." With a turn and a hop, he returned to his mistress for a scratch before launching himself up onto the sofa to seize a position next to Fitzwilliam. Finding success in eliciting an ear rub from Fitzwilliam, Amadeus settled down and fell asleep lying against the Colonel's leg; but even in slumber, he seemed to Darcy to keep an eye open.
This is not a typical "romance" type excerpt, but you can find those here .
(Check out the new 5-star review from Amazon Hall of Fame #13 top reviewer: "Mr. Darcy Makes the Perfect Vampire Hero" )