This Writer's Life · Up Close & Personal

Do You Have a Pet as a Writing Buddy?

After eight years, the time has finally come to get another writing buddy of the four-legged variety. It has been something I had put off for a while because I just wasn’t ready and I never thought I would get another dog after our last one, Dana, had to be put down.

We got Dana as a puppy, back in 1995 and after my son was born, they were great playmates. Both my children grew up with her and I wondered how they would take the news. Dana had become disorientated, blind, deaf, walked into walls and sometimes would fall off the back ramp. She was going downhill rapidly, and I had no wish to remember her that way. My son, being the eldest, took it pretty badly, which upset me even more. The night we put her down he wrote her an epitaph on a piece of paper: ‘3/1/11 Dana was and always has been a good FRIEND’.

It took all of us a long time to get over it (hence the eight years), and with an awful lot of pestering from our son, we have finally buckled.

We now have another dog of the same breed (a Pomeranian) and is a male puppy, which we have yet to name. The first few days had certainly been a bit chaotic, and in all honesty, I wondered if we had made the right decision. I can see the same or similar characteristics with this dog as Dana had so it may take me a bit longer to adjust as she was my baby (yeah, I’m a big softie). Perhaps once we get past the toilet training phrase, things might get better. 😉

My writing routine has certainly been put out of whack, but I think (I hope) things are beginning to settle down. As my kids are now older and this is really my son’s dog, it’s good to know that they can share some of the responsibilities.

If nothing else, it’s a good way for me to get some writing breaks. 😉

Do you have a pet as a writing buddy? Did it ever take you a while to adjust to a new pet?

Main image courtesy of Pixabay

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This Writer's Life

Our Pet, The Wayward Child.

danapupsmallSome years ago, when we arrived in this small country town, I felt I needed time to settle in before I went about meeting the neighbours. However, our dog had other ideas.

One morning after letting our dog, Dana (a Pomeranian) out the back yard, she snuck out of a small space and began to examine her new territory. A man three doors up the road was in his back yard cracking a whip and once she heard that she bolted. As it turns out, she ran an entire kilometre away. Of-course not knowing what exactly happened until some time later, our entire household was in an uproar.

My husband ran around in the street behind in search of her to no avail. I drove around the nearby streets. I did the door-to-door with a photo of Dana which produced no success. Images went through my head of her being hit by a car or truck from the main road on which we lived. Perhaps some complete stranger had picked her up in their car and drove off with her. Maybe I watched too much television, but in desperation, I even picked up the telephone and informed the local policeman. Why not? People get reported missing all the time to the police. I know it might sound ridiculous, but an important family member was missing and needed to be found. Was that bewilderment I could detect in his voice?

I began to walk a couple of blocks away before I was approached by a man in a red car. He pulled over to the side of the road and asked if I had lost a dog. He told me a friend of his further up the road found a small dog and had taken it in. He offered me a ride up there. Now, I’m not one to take a ride with complete strangers, but desperate times call for desperate measures. When we approached the property, I was surprised. I had driven this far earlier myself and turned around, feeling that she would never have got so far. I was completely fooled, for here she was hidden under cover in the back of the man’s truck. The wayward child looked up at me with a forlorn look upon her face. I had almost given up hope of seeing her again, that I eagerly picked her up and held her.

The moral of this story? Buy a goldfish!

Have you ever lost a family pet? Were you lucky enough to find them again? Have you experienced an unusual way of meeting your neighbours?

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Image © Debbie Johansson 2015

Up Close & Personal

Family Pets: Farewell, Old Friend.

The beginning of 2011 has not gone off with a good start.  Our dog, a member of this family for almost 16 years had to be put down.  My husband and I knew this day would come, but it did not make the situation any easier.

We got Dana as a puppy, back in 1995 and although she was technically my dog, it did not take her long to attach herself to my husband.  After my son was born, they were great playmates and competed against each other for the toys.  Both my children grew up with Dana and I wondered how they would take it.  My son, being the eldest, took it pretty badly, which upset me even more.  That night he wrote her an epitaph on a piece of paper: ‘3/1/11 Dana was and always has been a good FRIEND’. It now sits on our refrigerator door.

She had become disorientated, blind, deaf, walked into walls and fell off the back ramp.  She was going downhill rapidly and I don’t wish to remember her that way.  I wish to remember one crazy dog who loved to play, hated cats, and loved teasing magpies.  This past week I have looked for shadows that are no longer there and listened to night time noises, believing it is her.  I know time will ease the situation, but I will never get another dog.  There are some things that just can’t be replaced.  May you rest in peace, old friend.

Image by Debbie Johansson.