Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Letters, Darlene Foster and Dot

We haven’t had any Christmas cards yet. We don’t get many except the ones we get by email, The two-legs says there used to be loads of them when the boys were at home, and she’d have to make a special trip to recycle most of them afterwards.

She says that the email ones are probably better for the forests, but she sighs anyway. It isn’t easy giving up the things you enjoy, even when you know it is for the best. But she loves trees better than cards and they last longer. Except when she keeps them for years and years…

And she does keep some of them. Every year, when she gets the trimmings out for the tree, she takes them out of the box and I watch her. Sometimes she smiles, sometimes there is a stray tear, but she always goes all soft.

She likes letters. Not the ones with printed envelopes that make me hide under the desk while she says words she shouldn’t, but the nice kind. I am enjoying getting letters this Christmas too…  They have been coming from all over the world. One of them came from Dot, who looks after Darlene Foster in Spain!

Dot’s Christmas Newsletter

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already. Dad put up the lights outside and they look great. I especially like the blue ones around my palm tree. Everyone should have a palm tree in their yard. I love running around mine. Mom decorated the inside tree. I like it. It makes the house all warm and cozy and I don’t mind that I had to move my bed to make room for it. Now I get to sleep right in front of the fireplace. I wonder what I’ll get under the tree this year. Last year I got a teddy bear and a bone.

At least they didn’t make me wear those stupid antlers like last year. I sure didn’t like that.
It will be a different Christmas for me this year. Mom is going away and won’t be here. She wants to visit her mom in a faraway country. Her mom is having a birthday party because she will be ninety years old. What’s that in doggy years? And her birthday is on Christmas Day! I wonder if she will get two presents. I’ve met her mom on the computer. She seems nice and likes me.

I’ll miss mom because she gives me yummy treats but I’ll be OK ‘cause Dad will be here and I really love him. He takes me to the beach and the coffee shop and plays ball with me. I love to snuggle on the couch with him while he watches TV. He shares his snacks with me too. We’ll be all right. Maybe mom will bring us something back from Canada when she returns on January 1, 2019.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas or, as we say here in Spain, Feliz Navidad!!
Bow wow.

Find and follow Dot’s two-legs, Darlene Foster

Website: Darlene Foster    Facebook   Amazon author page

WordPress Blog     Goodreads      Twitter@supermegawoman

_mg_0158-edit-smAbout the two-legs

Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of children’s adventure books who divides her time between the west coast of Canada and Orihuela Costa, in Spain.

Click the titles or images to go to Amazon

Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

51s5-ybaql-_uy250_Amanda in Spain

Amanda Jane Ross is certainly becoming a world traveller; she’s now in sunny Spain on vacation with her friend Leah. While there, she encounters a mysterious young girl who looks eerily like the girl in a famous painting she saw in a Madrid museum. Even weirder, the girl keeps showing up wherever Amanda finds herself – Madrid, the remote mountains of rural Spain, the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, a lively fiesta and the busy streets of Barcelona. Amanda wants to help this sweet, young girl and her beloved pony escape the clutches of a mean horse-dealer. Come with Amanda on her next adventure as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind the Girl in the Painting while she treks across Spain – always one step ahead of danger!

Amanda in Alberta

51qqrgchsxl-_uy250_Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta during her visit from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, go on a cattle drive, visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, spend time with the dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and explore the crazy Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s important until everyone seems to want it – including a very ornery cowboy. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and placing them both in danger? Spend time with Amanda as she explores her own country while attempting to decipher the mysterious writing on the stone and keep it from those determined to take it from her.

51v70ddl03l-_uy250_Amanda on the Danube

Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her. Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy.  Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout though, wondering just who she can trust.

Amanda in Arabia5150g0flfrl-_uy250_

Amanda Ross is an average twelve year old Canadian girl. So what is she doing thousands of kilometres from home in the United Arab Emirates? It’s her own fault really, she wished for adventure and travel when she blew out those candles on her last birthday cake. Little did she know that a whole different world awaited her on the other side of the globe, one full of intrigue, mystery and folklore. A world with a beautiful princess, a dangerous desert and wonderful friends. Join Amanda on her first adventure as she discovers the secrets behind The Perfume Flask.

Amanda in England51wdzbucljl-_uy250_

Amanda Ross is visiting England and taking in all the sights. She gets lost in the maze at Hampton Court, does some shopping at Harrods, meets the ravens in the Tower of London, explores Windsor Castle, and rides the London Eye. When she discovers a vintage book is missing from a collection, she is determined to find out who stole it. Amanda befriends a pair of tough teenagers from the streets of London, an elderly bookshop owner, and a big, friendly, clever, Maine Coon cat named Rupert. Follow Amanda through cobblestone streets, medieval castles, and underground tunnels in her quest to find the missing novel!

An Invitation from the Small Dog

If you would like to help Ani make her advent calendar this year, send your letters to Santa, festive memories, short stories, flash fiction or poems to the Small Dog. She will post them every day through December until Christmas…and there are still spaces left!

She would especially like to hear from her four-legged or feathered friends (she has a special place very close to her heart for turkeys)… but she says that two-legs are better than none, so she will accept submissions from humans too (and even no-legs if there is the odd literary snake out there…). To get in touch, please use the form on the contact page or email Ani at

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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42 Responses to Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Letters, Darlene Foster and Dot

  1. Darlene says:

    Thanks for featuring us on your blog. Darlene and Dot!! 😊🎄


  2. Ritu says:

    Aw Dot is a cutie!!! 😍

    Liked by 2 people

  3. TanGental says:

    We need Dot with antlers! Her public demands it. Lovely stuff mind.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. A lovely letter, Dot. I hope you Mom has a wonderful time in Canada with her Mother. Mother’s are very special.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Darlene says:

    Reblogged this on Darlene Foster's Blog and commented:
    Dot is featured on Ani’s Advent Calendar today. Read her letter and leave a comment. I will be away until the New Year bit will check in from time to time. Dot and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Diane Tibert says:

    I still get many cards a year, and I used to send out dozens. Now I only send a few. Still, I cherish them. I save them. When I look back through the years, I can see the cards that were sent for someone’s last Christmas. We often write personal messages in our cards, so it’s interesting to read the tidbits of information.

    I save cards because my mom always did. We’d string them around the doorways in the house. One year, I recall Mom stopping to read a card from her sister who lived in another province. She said, “Oh, my. Grace is pregnant again.” I looked closer and said, “Mom, that cards two years old.”

    We had a good laugh and continued on.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My humans are the same: they’re happy for the sake of the trees, but still sort of sad about not getting so many cards. We had one so far, and did send a couple out. But Mummy says not nearly as many as she used to send. I don’t know how many it was, but it was more than five (that’s the biggest number I can figure out, and even that I sometimes have trouble with… I’m best if we don’t count more than three).

    Hope Dot’s Mummy brings her something nice, and Santa Paws leaves her some nice stuff to enjoy in the meantime.

    Lots of licks,

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Merry Christmas, Dot, to you and your mom ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Darlene says:

    Thanks, I’ll pass that on to mom. I think she’ll like that. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jennie says:

    Hola, Dot! Hey, I learned a word in Spanish. I wish I had a palm tree in my yard. When your mom is gone, will your dad sneak you some turkey! Merry Christmas. Love, Rex.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh Dot, a Christmas without your mum. My heart goes out to you. I couldn’t EVER think about Christmas without mine. Your Dad sounds pretty special though. My person’s mum got to 94 so I know how important it is to celebrate. I met her once and had a brilliant time with her slippers. Perhaps you will get more than two presents this year, to compensate. Have a lovely time with your Dad. Love Ben ❤ 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Letters, Darlene Foster and Dot | Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws

  13. It seems Dot and Ani feel the same way about antlers. Nelly the Newfoundland had a set when she was younger, and wasn’t sad when they broke.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I am thinking in a doggish way, trying to come up with a story. I’ve been working on it for at least a week, but it hasn’t come together yet!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Letters, Darlene Foster and Dot – Where Genres Collide

  16. Hey, Dot. We’re sure you’ll have a great Christmas, even if mum is going to be away in Canada. I’m sure there will be plenty of walks on the beach and lots of Christmas TV to catch up with. She’ll soon be back.
    Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Natalie says:

    Hey Dot…You’re so cute, with or without the antlers although I prefer you without 🙂
    Safe travels, Darlene, and a very Happy birthday to your Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m sorry to hear that your mom won’t be home for Christmas, Dot. But it sounds like a great reason and I’m sure everyone will have a wonderful holiday on both sides of the ocean. 🙂 Thanks to Ani too for the sentimental journey through Christmas letters. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. dgkaye says:

    Oh, it’s a dog’s life I’ll tell ya! 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

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