Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wagmore, A Real Life Ringer For Spot

I was recently chatting up readers when I was exhibiting books at an art & wine festival. Somebody asked about Spot, the 170-pound Harlequin Great Dane in my books. As I began to answer, I noticed a crowd of people across the street. They were all congregating around something I couldn't see. Whatever it was, it had people excited. I heard shouts of, "Oh, my God, look at that dog!"

Some people shifted, and I finally saw what all the fuss was about. A huge Harlequin Great Dane.

So of course, I had to go over and meet Wagmore, a gorgeous two-year-old Dane who, it turns out, just happens to weigh 170 pounds.

Wagmore is a Therapy Dog In Training, and it was easy to see that he would calm and soothe anyone suffering any kind of stress or anxiety. In the course of 30 minutes, I watched as several dozens of people pet him and hugged him, all while he performed his magic of giving everyone loving attention completely free of any hint that he was a substantially bigger carnivore than a mountain lion and he had huge teeth to match. 

The collective blood pressure of the entire crowd dropped in Wagmore's presence. The smallest children ran to him and reached up to pull on his jowls or yank on his tail. The largest men wrapped their arms around him as if they'd known him since he was born instead of having seen him for the first time seconds before. Women leaned on him and didn't want to leave even after they'd had multiple photos taken.

I spoke to Wagmore's owner, who told me that these street events were part of the socialization of a therapy dog. As a result, Wagmore was comfortable in any size crowd for any length of time. Because Wagmore was calm under all circumstances, he brought out the calm in people. 

Getting to meet Wagmore was a gift. If you want to know more, Wagmore has his own Facebooks page here.


  1. Hi Todd,

    Thanks for writing such nice things about me in your blog; would it be okay if I posted a link to your blog on my Facebook?

    My Mom and Dad have also noticed the behavior you talk about when people meet me--they get all calm and relaxed and happy. It's true I am calm around people, but I can be really energetic with my friends! Have you seen the video on my Facebook of me playing with my Great Dane friends at Fort Funston? Dad says it's like watching heavyweight boxers!

    My Mom laughed out loud when she read that you have a character named Spot; she often tells me, "we should have named you Spot!" I *think* she's joking, because then she says that Wagmore fits me better.

    One day we hope that I can start visiting with Veterans at the VA hospital; that's what I'm in training for. Mom and Dad think I would really brighten their day.

    I do have one confession to make: people aren't the ones that do the's me! I'm a leaner.

    Thanks again for your blog and the photos! WOOF!

    1. Hey Wagmore,

      Great to hear from you!

      Of course you can link to my blog.

      I knew that you had plenty of energy, but you're so well trained that you keep it in check around people. And yes, I've seen your videos. They're great! I also knew you were a "leaner" because you're a Dane! We've had three Danes, and they all leaned on us and other people whenever they got the chance. Spot, the dog in my books, is a learner, too. Spot's personality is a combination of our three Danes. Although he is a little better trained than they were, because I found out it's easier to train a fictional dog than a real dog!!

      Thanks again,


    2. Hi Todd,
      Sheila here, Wagmore's mom. We truly enjoyed your comments about Wags; it was good to hear from another's perspective what a healing creature he is. Of course we see his impact on people and find it remarkable, but you know how it is with your own "kids!"

      I've purchased your first two books and am enjoying Death Fall enough that it's impacted my study time. Shame on me! Seriously, thanks for a fun series of books that incorporate a super-cool dog. It's fun to read the differences and similarities between Wags and Spot.

    3. Thanks, Sheila! Enjoy the books!