Excerpt from the Book
Chapter One: Summer At The Clinic
Twelve-year-old Maddison Conners could barely contain
her excitement as she pedaled her bike toward her father’s
veterinary clinic. Her tires bounced over the half-mile winding
dirt road that led from her two-story house to the log
cabin-styled clinic and stables nestled alongside the Little
Blue River on the edge of town.
Her blonde pigtails flew in the breeze, and a wide smile
pulled at her lips. Summer vacation stretched out ahead of her
like an exciting adventure.
Summer meant horseback riding, swimming, and hanging
out with friends. But even more thrilling, summer in Midland,
Nebraska meant three whole months working at her
father’s side as his youngest and most dedicated veterinarian
assistant. Dr. Mac Conners, also known as Dr. Mac to the
locals, was one of the kindest veterinarians in the area. Maddi
loved spending as much time as possible at the Conners Veterinary
Clinic with her dad.
She crossed the familiar rustic, narrow bridge, which
was her favorite part of the short journey. Later on in the summer,
she might stop here for a few minutes and watch the
water flow over the smooth rocks a few feet below the bridge,
but not today. Today was her first official day to work for the
summer and she didn’t want to miss one single thing.
Maddi pedaled across the front yard and then leaned her
bike against the large oak tree that shaded the clinic. She
skipped to the front door and burst into the reception area.
The waiting room was empty as the clinic had just opened,
and the morning activities were just beginning.
The thirty-something blonde receptionist and long time
family friend, glanced up in surprise, then smiled. “Well, good
morning, Maddi Moo. You’re up bright and early for your first
day of vacation.” She walked out from behind the chest-high
“Hi, Aubrey,” Maddi said, catching her breath. “I like
your belt buckle; it’s awesome!”
“Thanks, I won it at the Burwell Rodeo last week barrel
racing. The competition was pretty tough, but when you’re
riding barrels on a horse like Apache, the chances of winning
go up dramatically.”
“Dad says you are one of the best barrel racers he’s ever
seen, whether you’re riding Apache or any other horse.”
Pink crept up Aubrey’s cheeks, but her blue eyes
sparkled. She tugged one of Maddi’s pigtails. “By the way,
Mrs. Milhon is bringing in your favorite Labrador this morning.”
Maddi made a face. “He’s the orneriest old dog I’ve ever
“Me too,” Aubrey whispered with a teasing smile.
Aubrey rubbed the top of Maddi’s head then folded her
into a hug.
“Hey, where’s my dad?” Maddi asked.
“He’s out back in the large animal surgery area working
on Darrel Mill’s horse, Ellie.”
Concern tightened Maddi’s throat and she stepped out of
“Is she sick?”