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By Mireya Navarro

Stepdog is the hilarious and heartwarming story of a girl who has eventually met the fellow of her dreams—and the puppy of her nightmares. 

Winner of the June 2015 Elle Readers Prize

Lots of canines consume footwear, chunk humans, wreck furnishings . . . yet Eddie attempted to damage a marriage.

After greater than 3 a long time of chuffed unmarried womanhood, Mia Navarro wasn’t quite seeking to switch her dating prestige. the assumption of being a step-anything to somebody used to be international to her, whatever she by no means thought of. . . . until eventually she fell in love with Jim and agreed to marry him. because it seems, the wedding is lovely tremendous, the stepkids have been, good, commonplace pre-teens, the elements in la excellent. yet existence isn't spotless. The spots belong to Jim’s mutt, Eddie. Possessive and jealous, Eddie behaves like Jim’s mistress—if a mistress may possibly bark and compete for area on his beloved’s lap. As time is going on, a full-on battle ensues. Mia slams the door in Eddie’s face, cordons off the home into puppy- and wife-territories, and leaves the again door open . . . via, er, coincidence, in fact. She even attempts to go away Eddie at the back of in California whilst she and Jim by surprise relocate to ny.  But finally, it’s transparent that now not even a spouse can come among guy and puppy. As Eddie a long time, Mia softens, and as with all new kin suffering to mix, the 2 needs to make peace with one another. Ultimately, Stepdog is a effective tale approximately discovering love at an unforeseen level in existence and the numerous unexpected obstacles—not in simple terms of the four-legged variety—that can get within the approach at the street to fortunately ever after.

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Jim now stood within the kitchen jiggling the leash in useless, yet no Eddie got here barreling via to the kitchen realizing it used to be time for his stroll. Jim needed to pass rouse him. “Tsk-tsk, come on, large galoot. ” Eddie and that i now not ran jointly. in the future I wear my footwear and stated, “Okay, Eddie, we’re going to jog. ” yet we couldn’t. We went out and that i all started walking in the street, staying clear of the tempting smells of the sidewalk, yet Eddie was once slow and slowing me down, which used to be rather asserting whatever. I ran at a turtle’s velocity. Eddie struggled to take care of and regarded fatigued. He had misplaced it. We gave up operating. It felt just like the finish of an period. Eddie’s character, constantly bizarre, grew to become more strange. He switched allegiances and now barked at Jim. Gotcha! What fairly occurred was once that he was once extra cranky and clingy than ever. after we have been by myself and that i labored upstairs within the workplace, i may pay attention him whimpering downstairs. He had separation nervousness only one flooring away. It used to be tough to listen to the interviewee at the different finish of the road, or pay attention to writing the tale that was once due in below hours, with Mary Magdalene appearing up downstairs. Eddie grew to become irredeemably dense. He used to stick with instructions like staying clear of the kitchen after we have been cooking. occasionally he’d stroll the size of the kitchen to his water dish pretending to be thirsty, simply to fee what crumbs had fallen alongside the best way, yet often he’d wait and see and lie down within reach to observe us. Now I shooed him away and he got here correct again. i may do this ten instances and ten occasions he’d disregard to stick out. I moved his meals and water bowls from the kitchen to the corner among the kitchen and the eating room so he didn’t have an excuse to be in among our legs. No deal. He acted increasingly more like a senile grandpa, having a look disoriented, as though he had no inspiration what we have been conversing approximately and didn’t fairly care. Now every thing needed to be checked out during the prism of attainable senility. nonetheless, I couldn’t support yet be suspicious of Eddie’s “deafness” or “limp” (only interior) or “memory loss”—how handy! —as one more ploy to disregard my instructions, do what he sought after, and get yet one more scratch. How may well we all know that this was once rather senility? I didn’t completely purchase into the belief Eddie used to be wasting his marbles. He wasn’t constant adequate to persuade me but. He hobbled and limped, occasionally all he lacked used to be shackles to seem much more pathetic, however it might be all an act. The minute Jim seemed or pointed out “walk,” Eddie used to be younger back, galloping round like a pony. The onset of Eddie’s deterioration looked as if it would have occurred in a single day. i noticed simply how feeble he had develop into on a Sunday afternoon. i used to be upstairs and heard paws at the steps. They have been quiet paws, gingerly going up, getting nearer and nearer. I approached simply as carefully from my finish to satisfy him on the best of the steps and shock him. “Ha! stuck within the act! ” I gloated. “Eddie! return down! ” He was once located on steps and had difficulty turning round. while he attempted, his physique shook and he seemed scared.

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