Heather The Hound

Heather The HoundIn September of last year, our beloved Joe The Dog (sometimes known as JTD) was tragically and unexpectedly whisked off to the Great Doggy Park in the Sky. He was chasing a squirrel at the time, and failed to notice the SUV bearing down on him. We like to think that he was at least doing something he enjoyed when he died.

The thing is, I looked on Joe as a canine muse. Twice a day, he and I would walk the beach or stomp through forest trails. He would sniff out the delicious smells, forage for crunchy snacks and, occasionally, play fetch or wrestle a bit. I would wander into my alternate universe, peopled by the characters and the stories that I had created. Here was the ideal opportunity to chew on plot tangles, develop personalities and play out dialogue and action.

His departure didn’t stop me writing, but it certainly did slow things down. I thought I might continue the walks on my own, but the motivation was gone and I found it hard to be accompanied by JTD’s ghost everywhere I went.

Time past. We decided not to get another dog. “They are such a tie,” we said. “They take up so much time,” we said. “They are so expensive,” we said. And yet. Without any previous discussion, we discovered one day that we were both thinking that the time had come. Enter Heather The Hound (HTH). Heather’s early family history is a blank sheet. She was almost certainly bred as a hunting dog (she is a Harrier mix) and then dumped somewhere in North Carolina or Southern Virginia. She was rescued from an ignominious death at the Dog Pound by our local Animal Welfare League and then we happened along. So far, both parties in the arrangement are ecstatically happy. I get my dog-walking time back, we have a dog to keep us company on the sofa when we watch TV in the evening and Heather gets a new pack which offers her comfort, care, security and love.


Filed under Pets, Writing

10 responses to “Heather The Hound

  1. Sue

    HTH is a lucky dog! Let the writing begin!

  2. Christne Gibson

    What a lovely story so glad Heather has got a comfy home….If you google Hamish Ginger Tom St Andrews Cat..you will find a lovely article re a cat who wanders about the town of St Andrews…He (the cat) has actually written a book about his travels (he of course has a ghost writer) well worth a read…Hugs to Heather from Kirriemuir 🙂

    • Thanks, Christine, I’ve given Heather a hug from you. I’ll check out the St Andrew’s cat. Any feline that has managed to write a book has to be worth following! :-))

  3. David Wright

    Lovely piece. Written so beautifully. We’re not doggy people but occasionally dog sit, usually for a couple of days at a time, for our daughter’s dog. We love having him but are always to hand him back. Good luck with your new addition to the family.

    • Thank you, David! Hard to believe that we weren’t doggy people either, until Joe The Dog came into our lives unexpectedly. It was his good manners and charm that changed us. :-))

  4. kingdomcat

    So that’s why the slow sequel! Now you’ll be cookin’ with gas!

    • I was chatting to a friend of mine the other day who used to be a literary agent. I told her that I had managed only 60,000 words in just over a year. She thought that was pretty good going. Of course, there are folks who can write 10,000 words in a week. One draws one’s own conclusions about relative quality, of course (Coff!Coff!)…

  5. Stuart,

    A really lovely recount of your wonderful relationship with Joe. I felt that emptiness, which one would expect from having had such a loving pet and owner bond. It is great that you have found the right time to give a loving home to Heather. I expect Stuart, that you might be hoping to find some new thoughts; perhaps pertaining to either your walks with Heather, or indeed a stirring from above, with Joe both watching and ‘advising.’ You will certainly know Stuart, once the muse and those words start flowing!!!
    I certainly do believe in some external influences, with the presence of a muse or muses…nothing to do with any elixer!! Eileen

    • I am fond of the odd glass of elixir, I must admit, Eileen. But as to its impact on writing, I think that tends to be somewhat unpredictable. Walking with the dog on the beach, however, always works! Right now, Heather is sound asleep. She and I walked our little legs off today. I’m even now writing down the results of my musings… :-))

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