Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WHAT IS A DOG-RUN HOUSE?



by Molly Noble Bull

Last time, I told about Cinderella Texas, my new lighthearted Christian romance novel set on a ranch in Texas, and the following words are written in the dedication page of all my novels—To God Give the Glory. A Christian message is also found within the pages of Cinderella Texas.


But today, I would like to tell about the cover of Cinderella Texas because the cover came from an old photo of a dog-run house built by one of my ancestors.
And what is a dog-run house?
A dog-run house is one with a breezeway through the middle of it.
Though Cinderella Texas is pure fiction, the house on the cover is real with dog-runs on both the upper and lower floors.
I do not know when the house was actually built. I would guess around 1880, and as I said, it is especially meaningful to me because it came from an actual photo of a house built by one of my ancestors in Del Rio, Texas.
The house is quite unique. 
It was built by constructing two wooden walls about twelve inches apart, and my ancestor filled the spaces between the walls with adobe clay from the Rio Grande River. When the clay dried, the adobe walls turned the house into a sort of fortress.
I visited this house one summer as a small child, and I remember how cool it was inside without air conditioning. Every room opened onto one of the wooden wrap around porches, and I was told that it was always cool in summer and warm in winter. 
As an adult, my husband and I and our sons visited the house, and I discovered that it was still standing. However, the current owner had removed the wrap-around porches. I have not seen it since then, but perhaps the dog-runs will be filled in one day, giving the house two extra rooms.
I am disappointed that the house my ancestor built no longer has the historic western flavor it once had. But I will always remember the way it looked in the picture on the cover of this book. Memories of that summer in Del Rio so long ago will live with me forever.
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To find Cinderella Texas at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot.

5 comments:

Vickie McDonough said...

I have heard of a dog-run house before. But I have a question, is it the same thing as a dog-trot?

Your new series sounds like one I would love.

Merry Christmas!

Molly Noble Bull said...

I have never heard of a dog-trot house. However, I have a hunch that the Dog-Trot House and the Dog-Run House are one and the same.
Love,
Molly

Teresa Slack said...

Learned a lot about dog-run houses & everything else Texas related in James Michener's TEXAS. Easier to picture tho now with the cover of your book, Molly. Can't wait to read it & post a review. Wishing you all the success in the world.

Dawn M. Turner said...

Fascinating stuff, Molly! I'd never heard of a dog-run house before, so this was so cool. Learn something new every day. :-)

Molly Noble Bull said...

Thanks for writing, Teresa and Dawn. I hope you like Cinderella Texas, too.
Love,
Molly