When I put down the pen...

If I'm not writing or reading, you can probably find me talking, fishing or playing with my adorable puppy, Annabelle.annabelle

I love people. I love talking to them, hearing about them and observing them. Even though many have told me otherwise, I knew my gift of gab would pay off someday. Apparently good conversationalists make excellent journalists. So, I have found a way to incorporate one of my hobbies into my career. I find that I get my best story ideas from simply conversing with friends and strangers and interpreting the concerns and experiences in their lives. After all, aren't journalists are supposed to be the voice of the people?

But as much as I love peole, it's animals that steal my heart and time.abtiltedhead

Annabelle is a Brussell-Poo, a mix of a toy Poodle and a Brussells Griffon. Although the white fur patch on her face might indicate otherwise, she is only 1 year old. Weighing in at 6.4 pounds, Annabelle is quite the contrary to many of her lap dog counterparts. She loves to swim, chase tennis balls, chew anything she can find and get as dirty as possible.

Annabelle was my 21st birthday present and very special to me. When I went to the breeder to choose a puppy, I had the selection of Annabelle or her sister, who appeared identical.

"What's the difference between them?" I asked the breeder.

"Well, they're basically the same," the breeder said. "But one has a birth defect."

"Oh no," I said, "what's wrong with her?"

"She has a severe underbite," he said. Defect? I was ecstatic.

"Sold," I said.

But Annabelle isn't the only animal who consumes my time- a lot goes to the fish.

Now, unfortunately for the fish, I'm not talking about colorful, trpoical fish I keep in a well-maintained, saltwater tank in my house. I like to go fishing. I have been a lady angler on the Hydra-Sports professional sport-fishing team since I was 16 and fished as a junior angler 10 years before then. But of all the tournaments in all the waters I have fished, nothing compares to Venice, Louisiana.

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