Raising Rufus: A Maine Love Story by Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold is a tender and tragic love story about an older couple, their Newfoundland dog, and their passion for the coast of Maine. A romantic drama with a live action animal subplot, Raising Rufus is the tale of Gus and Maria Sundergaard, who realize their dream of building their retirement home in Midcoast Maine. Though deeply devoted to each other, their forty-year marriage has been sometimes plagued by demons and discord and by secrets hidden deep in Gus heart. Childless, they adopt a Newfoundland puppy, Rufus, and embark on a series of hilarious and heartwarming adventures together. Discovering Rufus extraordinary talent for water rescue, Gus and Maria train and compete with their dog at the national breed water trials, where Rufus becomes a true hero when he rescues Gus, who suffers a heart attack in the midst of the competition. Though tragedy looms ahead, Rufus helps to heal his family, celebrating with them a renewed love for each other and for the place they call their home. Written after the sudden death of the authors husband of forty years, this poignant novel will speak to anyone who has ever loved and lost a soul mate, to readers who cherish the bond between man and dog, and to all those captivated by Maines rugged beauty. Softcover, 131 pages. Autographed by Author.