I’ve been away from the computer for several weeks. Just back from China with my husband Peter celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. This photo shows me standing by the Yangtze River. Catching up on publishing news after my return, I can share that my short story “Keep Me Posted” is now online in the April issue of the Scarlet Leaf Review. Here is the link. If you have comments, please share them on the magazine website. Thank you!
Thank you, everyone who has called, sent cards, stopped me on the street, and expressed their sadness and concern on hearing about Grace’s death. I still expect to see her standing in the front hallway when I put the key in the lock of the front door or hear the jingle of the tags clinking together that hung on her collar indicating she is coming down the stairs. My husband Peter told me this morning there is still her nose print on the glass back door and when I’m in the kitchen cooking and I look out into the backyard and I expect to see her standing in the patio waiting to get inside. Dogs are like that sometimes, always wanting to come in and when they are out and out when they are in—much like children, and Peter was always saying Grace was our last child. Now folks are asking when are we planning to get a new puppy? Are we going to get another golden? Are we going to get another dog?
At present, we are still grieving. In my family, my mother always emphasized the importance of spending time to mourn your losses. A psychiatric social worker, she counseled it is not wise to just rush out and get a replacement Every pet is special and should be remembered and mourned for several months. I don’t know if I can wait that long because I see so many dogs— big ones, small ones, puppies, middle-aged dogs— romping with their owners. Every time I take a walk, yes Peter and I are still walking morning and evening even if we don’t have a dog to walk, and we both point out and comment on the dogs we see. “Look a puppy!” We ooh and ah. This morning I saw a small puppy guide-dog-in-training with his trainer accompanied by a mature guide dog and a woman in a wheel chair. Wouldn’t that be a nice thing to do, to train a guide dog. A noble thing to do, although I’d probably be so sad to part with the puppy I had trained. And then there is the question of time, training a puppy takes a lot of time and I’m not home very much. When Grace was a puppy, our daughter Alex was in fourth grade and I did my writing and editing from home. I could take her out for several walks a day to get her housebroken and Alex was home mid afternoon to walk her again and play with her. So I’m still thinking….
(If you are wondering about the photograph above, it was taken at Quiet Waters Park. The first couple of years after Grace had her nine puppies, we’d meet for a reunion with those owners who could attend. Grace is the dog on her hind legs being held by Peter and her mate Augie is the Golden wearing a red bandana.)