Among my many character flaws, the one that has caused me the most grief over the years is probably my impulsiveness. I’m not good, even at the ripe old age of 65, at thinking through potential consequences before I act.
Because I’m so weak on the strategic side, I’ve developed a lot of skill at tactical reaction. Most of the time, no matter how poorly thought out my original plan, I can wrangle it into something less than a total failure.
But not always.
Last fall I decided I wanted a dog. Because of my age, and because of a strong need in the community, it seemed like a good idea to adopt a rescue dog. I’ve owned a couple of Australian shepherd mixes over that years, and I’ve always wanted a full-bred one, so I applied to an Aussie rescue group. They sent a flock of pictures and my husband and I picked one out and went to meet him the day after Thanksgiving.
If you want all the details, I wrote a series of posts about the experience on my personal blog, The Raisin Chronicles. What’s germane over here at Eight Ladies is that I haven’t written a new scene since the day we brought him home.
In retrospect, given that I had a pretty short timeline for completing Book 3 of my Touched by a Demon trilogy, it probably wasn’t a good idea to introduce a new member to our household. I missed my February slot with my content editor. The way things are going, the alternative slot she offered me in May is starting to look doubtful as well. If I miss my May spot, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to release The Demon Wore Stilettos in 2019, as planned. That makes the three-book box set a no-go as well.
One of the things I know about myself is that I can only write when my life is calm to the point of boring. Introducing a behaviorally challenged, super high-energy dog into our household was not a recipe for maintaining that kind of calm.
Sometime before the end of the month he will be moving on. (I’m not sure where at this point, but I’ll report back over at The Raisin Chronicles if you’re interested.) Once I get through grieving his loss, I’ll get back to writing.
Sometimes it feels like I keep getting older but I never get any smarter.
I’m sorry to hear the impact continues. You’ve done all you can to help doggo adjust from the rescue. I know it’ll be hard, but you tried your best. You’ve got to do what’s right for both of you. Hugs.
I’m sorry Kai didn’t work out for you. You did your best over many months. My friends who have dogs, even those that aren’t behaviorally challenged, seem to be under constant dog activity and surveillance, what with twice-daily walks and shots and the things they get into and how you can never go on vacation unless you can take the dog because you can’t leave it in a kennel. It sounds exhausting to me, although that says more about me than anything else. Maybe a cat? Or possibly a goldfish? 🙂
And on the upside, you found out what your limitations are on the pet front.
A dog I can’t keep from biting people–that’s a hard no for me. The no is just turning out to be harder than I expected.
So sorry he hasn’t worked out, but kudos to you for trying so hard with him, and for taking the tough decision to accept that it hasn’t worked out.
Maybe choosing this particular dog was impulsive, but I don’t think wanting a dog was. I know you’ve had dogs in the past that have enriched your life (and probably your writing), so I hope this won’t put you off trying again when you feel ready.
And for now, I hope he finds a home suitable for his behaviourally-challenged, super-high-energy self, that your harmony is restored and your writing mojo returns very soon!
One of the trainers we’ve worked with has offered to keep an eye out for the perfect dog for me. Since she knows what I want, that may be an option for adopting another not-a-puppy dog.
Oh, Jeanne, I can imagine how hard it is for you. To tell the truth, I thought you’d given up on Kai weeks ago, but it sounds like you gave him another chance. But you are right — you simply can’t have a biter, not with grandchildren visiting. I hope Kai can find the right home for him (it’s not your fault that you aren’t it!), and that you can find the right dog for you.
Pets become family members, and it’s really hard to write when a family member goes through a hard time — at least, it is for me. I think my story-mojo is all tied up in trying to figure out solutions for their problems (and often in vain — I’m no expert and don’t have all the information to fix things).
Thanks. I appreciate the empathy.