Selected Passages from Bullmina the Courageous Bulldog Comes Home
Bullmina the Courageous Bulldog Comes Home is the final book in Lita Eitner-England’s Bulldog trilogy. Readers don’t need to have read the first two books in order to enjoy this last installment. More than 130 years have passed since Trevor Sheffield, Lisette St. Germaine, Matthew Connors, and their friends said goodbye to the Duke of Chathamworthshire’s first Bullmina in London and embarked on new adventures. We are now in Redwood City, California, home to Carey Evers and her dysfunctional parents. Carey’s grandparents’ family has a history of raising Bulldogs, but Carey’s abusive father, Hank, refuses to let Carey adopt even a rescue dog. Carey’s grandmother, the indefatigable Nonna Beppa, is the only person keeping Carey sane until Bobbi Weinberg and her family move in with a station wagon full of champion and rescue English Bulldogs.
Carey and Bobbi become fast friends, bonding over the dogs. Even Carey’s mentally ill mother, Liz, finds new motivation to live while helping Bobbi’s mother, Lyndsey, take care of the new litters and tend to the rescue Bulldogs. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes twice. Liz comes down with a catastrophic illness, and Hank is convicted of felony vehicular manslaughter. With the help of Bobbi’s father, Dr. Josh Weinberg, and both Lyndsey and Bobbi, Carey must navigate these uncertain waters and build a new future. She discovers that her life and Bobbi’s are more intricately tied together than she could ever have imagined, bringing new conflicts that threaten to tear both families apart until the unconditional love of an abandoned rescue Bulldog saves the day, and Bullmina’s legacy lives on for more generations to come.
From Chapter 12: Another Setback… San Quentin Here I Come
My father was escorted into his side of the cubicle area from the right side. I sucked in my breath again, disgusted at the sight before me. He was cuffed. The guard led him to the chair opposite of mine and uncuffed him. He was visibly thinner. They had shaved all his hair off and he no longer had his signature sandy-colored mustache. He looked much older than I remembered. I guess prison will do that to a person.
My stomach clenched one final time as he sat down in front of me. He picked up the receiver and cleared his throat. “Finally decided to grace the old man with your presence. What took you so long, Carol Lee? Is Mom finally dead?” he asked with a sarcastic grin that immediately made my blood run cold.
What was once nausea turned into overwhelming, visceral hatred. I cleared my throat and leaned toward the glass. “Well, as a matter of fact, she was clinically dead for a few minutes,” I said, trying to keep my tone devoid of any detectable emotion. “She developed a bad infection, went into septic shock, and had a heart attack her third day in the hospital.”
He arched his eyebrows in surprise and licked his upper lip. “I didn’t know that.”
“Well, now you know.”
“You know I haven’t spoken to your mom in a while. I wonder why your grandmother didn’t say a word about this when I spoke to her on the phone a week and a half ago.”
“Mom wanted you to hear it in person. Plus, she wanted me to come and see you. So here I am.”
“You certainly don’t sound all that jazzed to see me.”
“Why should I be? This wasn’t my choice,” I declared, mentally cursing myself because I really didn’t want to engage him like this. I just wanted to keep it as neutral and business-like as possible.
Dad’s eyes narrowed, his voice dripping with sarcasm, “Well, thank you so much for making the effort. And I especially want to thank you for coming to my sentencing. I really appreciated all the moral support.”
I just stared back at him, holding my jaw clenched. I didn’t want to reveal any feelings, but I could feel my bowels grumbling as my colon cramped in revulsion. Thank God I put that sanitary pad on.
“You pleaded no contest. There was no point in me being there. I assume Mom and Nonna Beppa have brought you up to speed on the new game plan with the house,” I quickly changed the subject.
“I really don’t want to move, but we have no choice. We’ll be out of savings in a matter of months, and we want to get the place rented out before we completely run out of funds.”
“Nice to hear you’re burning through all my money.”
He could still be an asshole even when he wasn’t drinking, but I let it slide. “We’re doing the best we can…trying to stretch it as far as it will go. We visit food banks, and I got this year’s school wardrobe at the St. Vincent de Paul. My binder from last year is still passable. I just had to empty it and tape up the insides,” I said, looking over his head and making small talk so I wouldn’t just be sitting there looking like a moron.
“So, how is your mother?”
“She’s weak, but she’s slowly improving. I don’t know what type of chemo they’ll try next. She has to get her strength back before they can do anything else,” I kept it brief.
“Bep said she and Carlton are going to go back to New Mexico as soon as Liz’s out of the woods, and then you and Mom are moving in with that goddamn Jew boy and his family.”
“Why do you have to keep calling him that ‘goddamn Jew boy’? For criminy sakes, Dad, it’s the 1970’s! Dr. Weinberg’s a cardiologist at Stanford Hospital! You’re talking like we’re still in the 1950’s!” While I wanted to avoid any emotional outbursts, I couldn’t help but raise my voice in defense of Dr. Josh.
“Don’t you go off on me while I’m in here, little gal,” his knuckles turned white as he clenched the phone tighter. “I am who I am.”
“Yes, you certainly are, and you’ve always been a fucking racist asshole!”
From Chapter 15: Letters and Memories
I looked over at Lyndsey. Her mind must have been whirling a mile a minute. Nonna Beppa must have noticed it, too. She slowly got up out of her chair and walked over to Lyndsey and pulled her aside. "Can I see you in the kitchen, dear?"
Lyndsey tried to muffle a sigh and followed her over to the kitchen. Bobbi and I looked at each other as I leaned over in the direction of the kitchen so I could hear what she was saying.
"I suggest you check yourself, Mrs. Weinberg." Nonna Beppa's tone was a bit more stern than usual.
"Do we really have to get into this now?"
"Yes, we do. You think you know the whole truth about my family, but you don't. Carey says you're painting Matthew out to be some degenerate crook."
"I never said that!"
"Maybe you didn't say those exact words, but you were probably thinking it just the same. You won't know the truth about Matthew's intervention at that initial fight with the champion Pit Bull Cassius until you read all the letters. If Matthew hadn't been there to create a distraction, Bullmina might have died in the pit right then and there."
The third book also includes a bonus short story about an irresistible Siberian Husky named Payasito, “Little Clown”.
Thanks for all your patience...you don't realize how long it takes to write a book, especially one that is illustrated. Thanks to everyone is advance for their support. — Lita