Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dog Days Indeed!

So I have a new dog and she thinks Fetch is a full contact sport.

Maybe that needs a little context.

I had an old dog. He died and because I prefer to write about fictional misery instead of my own, I didn't mention it in my blog. This was about two years ago, give or take.

Of course, I didn't mention much of anything in those two years because I was caring for an infant and vainly trying to keep the Donovan Schist series alive. I succeeded at one of those things and I'm pretty sure it was the more important one but frankly I don't feel very accomplished about it, though I'm told I should. And as is often the case when I am told, they are probably right.

Anyway, we were talking about dogs. Or more precisely, the new dog that earnestly believes she is a linebacker and that I have the ball which will win the game even though it is she in fact that has the ball in her jaws at the very moment she tackles me.

I've had dogs that made Fetch unpleasant before. I've gotten fingers gnashed and elbows nipped. But never have I had a dog who thinks the ball is a token which allows her to run back full-tilt and body-check me in the thigh or the stomach or--God forbid--another place entirely.

Now I am a reasonably fit guy. Or at least a guy that is fit enough to keep three small children out of traffic and away from matches. But when that slavering locomotive of a dog comes barreling towards me, I find that I must knuckle down, grit my teeth and use every ounce of muscle I have not to get bowled over. She's only sixty pounds, but it's sixty pounds with a considerable amount of velocity behind it, increasing the force considerably, which is really just a fancy physics way of saying it feels like I am in a Sumo match with a grizzly bear--and not one of those sleek Yellowstone jobs, either but a big fat Alaskan Kodiak right after the annual salmon buffet.

It's surprising I survive at all, but thankfully I live in Miami, a place Dante would've used for a tenth circle if he'd known about it. The dog generally overheats before she can finish me off.

Which should tell you how serious this has gotten: I am reduced to thanking the broiling summer, my hated nemesis, for delivery from her.


This being a blog about writing (or my writing, anyway), an update is probably in order: as mentioned before, I have been doing some paternal stuff which has kept me fairly busy. But that has not kept me away from my computer. So let me say that I have been on a publishing hiatus but not a writing hiatus--there are about three and a half novels in the editing process which I hope to find a home for in the near future.