Burnsville author releases ‘Sit Stay Pray’
They’re back. The latest odds, ends and adventures of Lina the dog and her sometimes bewildered “Momma,” Burnsville resident Robin Kelleher, are collected in a new book.
Nearly 1,000 book buyers and thousands more readers of LinasDogBlog.com already know Lina the toy Australian shepherd and her doting but difficult owner.
Their first book, “Lina Unleashed,” was self-published in 2017 by Beaver’s Pond Press and nearly sold out its initial press run.
Their second, “Sit Stay Pray,” came out in October, with more of Kelleher’s chronicles written from Lina’s perspective.
Think of Lina as the observant “co-author” who critiques how her human navigates life.
“She’s still alive, as she says in the second book. And things are maybe getting better,” said Kelleher, 69, a lifelong dog lover who bought Lina from a Florida breeder five years ago. “They work together, Lina and Momma, to overcome difficulties. She would say she’s caring for Momma. She dedicates the book to dogs everywhere who, like me, are busy caring for their humans.”
Kelleher, a retired labor and employment law attorney and Realtor, bought Lina as a pup four years after her beloved Brittany spaniel Ben died.
“Momma was happy with her,” Kelleher said. “She adores her.”
Kelleher is a longtime homeowner on Crystal Lake who winters in Florida’s San Marco Island.
Lina “hates water, and she goes from one place with 10,000 lakes to another place which is one of the 10,000 islands of Florida,” Kelleher said. “She’s like, ‘What are the chances that that would happen?’ She will not put her little paws in the water.”
Kelleher imagines the odd couple differing on politics as well.
“Early on, Lina observed that Momma was just obsessed with politics and always listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio, and Fox News was always on,” said Kelleher, who hosted a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Jason Lewis at her home. “She wanted Momma to turn on CNN, but Momma refused, so they kind of go paw to toe in that area.”
The 47 bite-sized chapters in “Sit Stay Pray” cover the usual events in one’s life, such as shopping in Naples, Florida; winning an indie book award for “Lina Unleashed;” doggie birthday parties; vet bills and touchy stomachs; book appearances; surviving a home-fire scare; learning technology; playing golf on the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland, and making lefse annually with family.
“Lina says only a human being would be stupid enough to even try this,” Kelleher said of the exacting demands of lefse making.
Somehow Kelleher managed to set Lina up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Lina is fond of saying that Momma doesn’t know a hashtag from a dog tag, and that’s probably true, but Momma’s trying,” Kelleher said.
Lina can be distant at times, resisting petting or holding if there’s something or someone else to hold her attention, Kelleher said.
“But when she needs something, she gives me that look. When she needs something, then I’m good enough for her.”
And it’s on to another story.
“When someone gives Lina and me a compliment on the blog or the book, it makes my day,” Kelleher said. “I think I’ve found my passion.”
All proceeds from sales of “Sit Stay Pray” will benefit the Animal Humane Society and Helping Paws of Minnesota, which breeds, trains and places assistance dogs to help disabled people, and veterans and first responders with PTSD.