Sunday, March 26, 2006

Stella and Stones

It's been a good week.

jb and I lost our beloved Rosie 18 months ago. With little warning symptoms came from nowhere and one horrible morning 14 days later she walked on her own into the vet's office with us afterhours and we "put her to sleep". She trusted us to the end, then sent a golden retriever we did not know to seek us out on Commercial Street in Provincetown the next day and provide a message of comfort from her that was impossible to misinterpret.

jb and I went to the Dakin Animal Shelter last Sunday. There were very few dogs there waiting for adoption: two who were found on the street together and come as a package--an anxious huge black shag named Max, and an easy going pointer who was doing her best to stay calm, and two grey hounds, beautiful, not yet housebroken. And then there was our girl, a mutt by any standard--part german shepard, part coon--black and brown with soulful eyes that did not make contact, and a medical condition called spondylosis. She has a weak vertebrae and came to the shelter, a stray from Sturbridge, in severe pain. She had been there for 8 weeks, probably there so long because she is a special needs dog who will require some care to otherwise enjoy her playful and active life.

We named her Stella. Every day she has become a little more comfortable. She is so well behaved and eager to please that we wonder how and why she became separated from her family. She does not cower (meaning no serious abuse) but she knows not to hang the dinner table and she shook the second morning when she peed in the kitchen because I took too long to let her out. We think Stella is mourning the loss of someone(s) she loved. We know she will grow to love us too, because we will always be kind and appreciative of her--and our lives are fun--but you can't help but wonder from where she has come. I can't bear to think about some little kid who's lost this wonderful dog. She was starving when she was picked up, and then at Dakin for 2 months, so we've decided to simply accept she now belongs with us....

The second reason for this good week is that after sending a portion of my manuscript to my agent, she has called me to say the book is good--she thinks that when it is shopped around a publisher will likely pick it up. This is after three years of spinning in a circle trying to write the book proposal for my more precious book on happiness. I just couldn't get it right. So I made a decision that it turns out was a really good one for me: I put it aside and I started a second book, on a subject I know pretty well, and I finished that book before anyone else could tell me how to write it or what to do or not do.

So now I am writing a book proposal on a book I know intimately and it is much much easier. I am beginning to think of myself as a writer--it is an awesome feeling--and I can almost envision having a book in print. It somehow propels me to think about a future--what I have to say, how it might make a difference, how I might contribute in some real way to a world gone flat. I don't see myself as a political writer, but I am blown away by this president and the state of my country. I have opinions about this....

I end this by clarifying that a good week is no small matter to me. I have a good life but I am not sappy about the trials and tribulations of being human. To quote John Denver (another new interest--who was this guy??), "some days are diamonds, some days are stones".

I've begun to love stones. It makes it all a lot easier.


  1. I am so sad to learn about Rosie. Without her we would never have met and developed this strange and lovely friendship! Stella sounds like a blessing.
    Jenny - our Bulldog, is still kicking (10+ years), but at an even slower rate. She has a baby brother now - a pug named Sammy. It's a happy family (and it always surprises me how much my girls consider the dogs a part of the family).

  2. alicia, i agree totally about our friendship! what a summer week that was for both of us.

    we were heartbroken to lose rosie. i can still see her swimming in the bay.

    be well! karen