Puppy Countdown

Auggie Practices Terrorizing

Tomorrow is Meet the Puppy Day. Neither he nor our dogs at home have any idea what’s about to happen.

My husband keeps telling Pete and Moses that The Black Terror is coming. Auggie looks pretty laid back for a Terror, but I will admit that I am in denial.

Let the puppy destruction commence.

St. Augustine the Younger; Foe of Coyote Pagans

So, for those of you who have been kind enough to enquire, Book 3 is coming along nicely. A small distraction will be developing soon, however. My husband and I will be traveling to Georgia next weekend to pick up our new puppy, St. Augustine. He is a cousin to Moses, and will, no doubt, be an annoyance to Pete.

My husband had had misgivings about a third dog until we caught a coyote stalking Pete, who, at 13, is spry and happy, but nearly stone deaf. Moses, a fearless opponent of coyotes, chased it off without missing a beat, with Pete being none the wiser. Coyote confrontation does not exactly make me happy, and I strive to prevent it, but it has worked out well for Pete. German Shepherds are often referred to as GSDs. In our house we use the term BSD, for Big Scary Dog.

Moses, however, needs a wingman.

Please Make Me Scary. But Not Yet.

The original St. Augustine, as you know, was the author of City of God Against the Pagans. At the moment, Auggie is more adorable than formidable, and can’t be allowed out by himself. But we think he may grow into his name. His father weighs 140 pounds.

Learning to Love Again

To the both of you who follow my blog: by now you are probably used to the reality that when I am writing a book, I don’t post many blogs. It’s a husbanding your resources thing.

Nevertheless, I interrupt this novel for a brief announcement:

We are in the queue again for a puppy. He has been born. He will be two weeks old tomorrow. We hope to pick him up and fly him home (on our laps) on May 6th. He is a cousin, of some sort, of Moses.

My husband insists that his name will be St. Augustine the Younger. He gets to pick, since I picked Moses, but I am still lobbying for St. George, the Dragon Slayer.

He will win.

So, watch this space for puppy pictures. Because my life needs a complication, albeit a delightful one.

Here is one of the puppies from the litter. Who knows? We may become friends.

 

One Tiny Light Goes Out

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We lost our two week old puppy today. It’s not exactly clear what happened, but he died a terrible death, crushed.

We never held him, or knew him beyond his photographs, but we had named him. He was real. And we were waiting to bring him home to us.

Loving anything means that you can be wounded by its loss, and we already loved this small creature, his soul shining with innocence.

I don’t believe that the universe is indifferent to miracles, no matter how small. His life seems, to me, wasted. But he lived. And somehow that matters.

I need to believe that for even the smallest life, the angels weep.

Big News!!!

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Pete and Moses are getting a baby brother. He is due to be born on January 11th, and we hope to pick him up in early March.

Oh, and there’s this book thing. Also a third of its kind: Book Three in the North of the Tension Line series. It’s still gestating. But it, too, is due in 2017.

Puppy might be cuter, but the book won’t require a bigger car.

Autumn Island

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God willing, and if I get my work done this week, I leave for the Island on Friday. It will be such a busy week that I will be packing today.

These escapes are not technically vacations, since I usually work twelve to fourteen hours a day. It’s all writing and walking. But this time reconnects the pieces for me so that I can keep going. It’s a renewal.

We’re having an odd fall here in Wisconsin. October 2nd and the trees are still green, and I am a bit disappointed that the full autumn glory will be missing on the Island–that golden light that suffuses and saturates.  But we have to go now, before bow season, since I don’t want big dogs crashing through the underbrush with hunters about.

We will bring the essentials ( in no particular order): the computer; the brown paper bag plot map that hangs on my office wall; the particular black spiral notebooks I cannot live without; colored sharpies for plot lines; The World’s Best Thesaurus; several books of poetry; several pairs of glasses; food for the first few days so I don’t have to interrupt my solitude; coffee; wine; dog food; dog equipment; Essential Dog 1 (Pete); Essential Dog 2 (Moses).

We’ll also bring all the accoutrements for long all-weather walking.

I have a few friends on the Island, now, and toward the end of the week, I will hope to see them.   But for the first half, it will just be the Island, me, the words, and the essential dogs.

We’re heading north of the tension line.

Joy.

 

 

 

Delayed Gratification

 

Pete and Baby Moses

We are expecting a new puppy: a companion for Moses, and a respite–and new pupil–for Pete. My husband has misgivings about a third dog, and–although I generally keep it to myself–so do I. But, sadly, we won’t have three forever, and I want Pete, the elder statesman, to help train the puppy.

The puppy will be a special one, like Moses, carefully bred to be healthy, smart, even-tempered, gentle, and sweet. Also long-lived. These German Shepherds often live to be 13 or 14 years old, which is long for a big dog. Every day I check the breeder’s website, to see the current puppies, and look for news of the coming event. But today I found out it won’t be late fall, but early spring.

I am a little disappointed, but it gives me time to continue my ruminations on names. Leading contenders for now are Marcus Aurelius (guess why); St. Augustine (remember Augie Doggie?); Herodotus (I know); and George.

Official dog names are usually kind of pompous, with the kennel name in the possessive first, followed by the particular dog’s name.  Still, it’s always possible to have fun with the form. With Peter and Moses we have New Testament and Old Testament represented. But the truth is that Moses’ name, although he is officially Moses, Prince of Egypt, was actually the result of my watching The Ten Commandments too frequently in my youth. I wanted to be able to shake my head sorrowfully and say, “Moses, Moses, Moses.”

I’m kind of leaning toward George. But I am open to suggestions. Drop me a line if you have a perfect name for a big, beautiful, new German Shepherd puppy. Did I mention that he’s expected to be 150 pounds? He’ll need something he can grow into.

If I pick your suggestion, I’ll send you a copy of my latest book.

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Moses, left, and Pete on Washington Island.