Friday, June 03, 2016

Elation and Despair

This week has brought both emotional highs and lows in my life. The high point? The publication of DREADNOUGHT AND SHUTTLE, my 6th novel to date and book 3 of my SF/Space Opera series.

Halcyone Space, books 1,2, and 3!

While there is always an inevitable let-down after a book is published, this week was made significantly more difficult by getting sad news about Tigger, the pup pictured below.

She was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer after several weeks of her not seeming well and multiple trips to the local animal hospital. It is not treatable and we will face the loss of our sweet friend in the near future.

The day we brought Tigger home, April 2005
A dog and her boy

Tigger was part of my writing career from the start. She was there in 2005 when I finished my first novel. She has had her place in my office for every book since. I'd like to say she loves to inspire me when I'm at the computer, but the truth is, the room has radiant heat in the flooring, so I suspect that's the more likely reason.

"Good dog" and "other dog" keeping me company in my office

For 11 1/2 years, she has been part of our family and for as long as she has left, we will make sure she is loved and spoiled and comfortable. She has brought so much love - not just to us, but to hundreds of others: Tigger and I spent years visiting hospitals, nursing homes, pre-schools, and psychiatric facilities as a visiting therapy-dog team with Caring Canines. She seemed to have an instinctive understanding when someone needed her comforting presence. She still does.

We have no idea how long she has, but maybe that's not important. Dogs seem to innately understand that we have the now. And now is always a good time to chase a ball, or go for a walk, or get petted.

So my wish for you, on behalf of Tigger, is to celebrate your 'now', with those that you love.

p.s. If you're wondering what kind of dog Tigger is, her mother was a black lab. She was the only one of the litter to be brindled. We suspect dad was a Plott hound. We consider her an American Shelter Hound. :)


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