Doggedness

I was contemplating what to write about this morning, and thinking that I haven’t been writing enough, the last few weeks. I’ve been shoving stuff off the counter of my mind, like a cat: this brings me no joy. It is chaos. I shall eliminate it from my sight… paw. Tinkle, tinkle, crash… Only with life tasks. Because I have to decide which spoons I can use, and not run out of spoons before the day is done, and the writing spoon isn’t one of them. Well, that metaphor is certainly well-scrambled now!

Dogs are awesome. They don’t go around delicately tapping fragile items off tall places with a velvet paw, then looking supremely indifferent at their humans on discovery. Dogs look penitent, even if they didn’t do it. And dogs don’t give up on you.

The very image of endless patience.

We have a sweet old girl. Her name is Tricksy, and she was never meant to be my husband’s dog. In this photo, she sat still for me, which is rare. She doesn’t like cameras. But I had a plate of food in front of me, and there is nothing so dogged as a dog who thinks they are going to get a treat.

Tricksy is not really a one-man dog. She likes people. She just expects there to always be one person, who her life revolves around. If he is sleeping, she will wake him up because… because. Dog. Who knows? of course, I’ve said of her that she’s catlike – a closed door is an affront to her. It must be opened, so she can pass through it at will. The funny thing about this is that he didn’t want her. Now? She gets jealous if he pats the cat (it’s hilarious, actually, and he will chortle as he give the cat a pet, then the dog, then the cat…) It’s slightly less funny than when she’s jealous of him ‘patting’ me, and he will do the same to tease her.

To bring it back to writing… it’s a story. The puppy was a literal street puppy, maybe eight weeks old. The little mote of soft blackness made her way into my First Reader’s home a few years before we got involved. At the time, he was living with a houseful of people. His late girlfriend’s adult children, their children, and then there was this dog. I think you can see where we are going, here. He said no. The girlfriend of one of the adult children pleaded, ‘just for a couple of weeks while I find a pet-friendly apartment…’ He said no. The woman of the house said ‘sure, honey.’ The girlfriend evaporated, as these relationships do, but the dog was dogged.

He didn’t want her, but he wouldn’t see her mistreated. And puppies need to go for walks. He refused to feed her, or give her treats – others did that, and he felt it would reduce her chances to bond with him. Fast forward a few years… She ate a wall. I do have to mention this. She ate a wall, leather motorcycle gear, a heavy electrical cord that really ought to have killed her, and an entire bulk pack of toilet paper. I was still finding scraps of that happy puppy confetti when I joined their household.

She was dogged, and she decided this man who walked her was hers. He describes the time when he pulled up, having moved out of the house of chaos into his own small, serene bachelor pad. His windows were down, and he didn’t even have time to turn off the engine before she was flying into the car through the window, delirious with joy. Still… she wasn’t his dog then. It wasn’t until they announced they were moving, and would be putting her into the pound, that the man put his foot down.

She was, finally, his dog.

Doggedness gets you places. Places no one but you saw as possible.

I think I’ll take a page from Tricksy’s book. I’ll keep on trying. Eventually? I’ll get there again. I’m meant to be a writer, and this season in life will pass. Then I’ll get the treat of worlds coming to life in my head again. And, since the girl is snoring behind me happily, maybe later we will take her on a nice walk. She can’t go as far or as fast as she could when she was a pup, but she still loves to get out of her usual rut and smell all the smells.

7 comments

  1. Doggedness is a virtue — cue the “try, try again” macro — but it’s not an unconditional virtue. As Thomas Sowell once quipped about the massive failure we call the War on Drugs, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again — then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”

    There’s also Robert A. Heinlein’s observation about the unwisdom of trying to force creative work. Sometimes you can, and sometimes you can’t…and sometimes you can hurt yourself by trying. Be careful.

    1. I’m not forcing the writing. Which is why I’ve been doing so little of it. I could. But then what I produce feels dull and lifeless. So I am working through some of the other life stuff that is eating my brain. Hopefully on the other side of that will be some clarity and room for imagination.

  2. Once upon a time, Mom fell in love with this two year old female Beagle named Lilly.

    Mom couldn’t stop talking about wanting Lilly to me but was sure that Dad say no to Mom getting Lilly.

    Since I happened to know that Dad believed that Mom would say no to another dog, I told Mom to talk to Dad and Lilly came home to my parents house.

    Then I had to return to my parents house and as part of my “earning my keep” I started walking Lilly (and otherwise helping out with Lilly).

    So while Lilly loved Mom, Lilly decided that I was “her people”.

    Since both parents are gone, Lilly lives with me and I’m still Her People. 😀

  3. Dottie decided I was hers when we met. The local Humane Society was having an adoption event that we went to, intending to just look (It was to soon after Lucky was gone). We walked up, Dottie was sitting with a volunteer. She saw me and came over and that was that. We adopted her that day. She follows me around, sits on my lap (she weighs 60 lbs), and sleeps next to me. Her less than good habits from living as a feral are slowly dissolving.

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