Friday, May 25, 2018

The #DogBookBlogTour Giveaway — Announcing the Winners!

Wow, what a month it's been! Hectic, but really really good. The tour was fabulous, full of so many people who love animals and care about their well-being—and of incredible bloggers who made room for me & the Dog Book in spite of busy schedules and computer issues and personal stuff. And, as if that wasn't already above and beyond, they took the time to write lovely introductions, beautiful words in favor of rescue and animals in general, and some really really beautiful (and totally undeserved) things about me as well. I have the greatest blog friends, y'all. I can't thank you enough.

Okay. The giveaway. I'm sorry for posting so late; there was a certain writing deadline I missed (by, like, three weeks) and that piece absolutely had to go out today. Also, I wanted to include the commenters on Birgit's post, which she worked so hard to get out yesterday—technically no longer part of the tour, but... well, I thought it was only fair to include her readers.

With no further ado, here are the results:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Book, Tour, Dogs, and Gratitude for Everything #GratitudeCircle

Release day came and went, and it's been so hectic that I haven't even had time (or energy) to post an update. Vidya's Gratitude Circle linky for April is still open, and I've been wanting to join that hop since forever—and right now there is so, so much to be grateful for, especially this month, so I'm going to combine both.

First, one of our dogs, Panchita, had surgery last week and is healing marvelously. Some three years ago she was diagnosed with skin cancer, so two or three times a year the vet removes whatever growths she's sprouted in the hopes of preventing them from metastasizing. She's on the elderly side, though (turning 13 this year), which means that any surgical procedure, especially with general anaesthesia, is a risk. This is why we celebrate her coming through each surgery like it's 1999.

Panchita. Still going strong at 13.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Dog Book is a GO!

After almost exactly two years (off by 19 days) since I started writing it, we finally have a publication date for the 'Dog Book' (aka It's About the Dog: The A-to-Z Guide for Wannabe Dog Rescuers):

FI-NA-LLY! Nigh on two whole years after the fateful April A-to-Z that led to a dog rescue how-to series, which led to late-night conversations with my publisher (he's in Australia, so the 'late-night' bit only applies to me; for him it was probably like lunchtime, or something), which led to months of revisions to the original blog posts and research and interviews, both formal and informal, which produced a full manuscript, which then the publisher reviewed, which led to more revisions, which led to more changes, which then led to Proof Copy One, which led to more tweaks, which led to Proof Copy Two, which led to—

Friday, February 16, 2018

Best Response *EVER* to Idiots Who Want Purebred Dogs!

A friend just posted this article on Facebook, and I had to share. All rescuers are intimately familiar, unfortunately, with those racist bigots who only want to have 'purebred' dogs—yes, racist bigots; what else would you call someone who exhibits overt and shameless prejudice towards race, country of origin, or ancestry?

So... this happened in Brazil. One of these racist bigots was interested in adopting a dog—but it had to be a purebred, "preferably an English Cocker [Spaniel]", because she didn't like "vira latas" ('mutts') due to "aesthetic reasons".

(The story is in Portuguese, but I've translated, loosely, the gist here.)

Magno's response, in green: "Hi! Yes, I do have one available."

Racist bigot Claudia, probably feeling all warm and fuzzy at the prospect of soon having her purebred puppy at home, goes on to ask what the adoption requirements are.

And that's when the dream shattered.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Thing About Goodbyes...

In the predawn hours of Thursday, July 27th, our little Sasha died. Tiny Sasha, scared and shy Sasha, big-brown-eyed Sasha, fluffy toy-sized Sasha. I've been unable to write about it—hence the hiatus in posts. This is the fifth attempt at a draft, and quite honestly I'm not sure if I'm going to finish this time, either. Yes, of course it was my fault—isn't it always?—but I don't think that's the reason I find this so hard. Or not all of the reason. Maybe it has to do with the impossibility of quantifying loss. In a weird way, paying tribute to her like this, by writing about her death, by "announcing" it, so to speak, so publicly, feels like a lie. There is no way that the huge ways her little self impacted our lives can be translated into words. No way that I can capture the joy she gave us, the bottomless pit her absence left behind... No way I can do any of it justice.

But I must write about it. Until I do, I can write nothing else. Not on this blog, not (really) on the other one, not in my notebooks, not in my journal, not even a short story. I can't, no, because what happened to her left not just a hollow emptiness in the house, in the family, but also wreaked indelible, irreversible change on those of us still here. Powerful lessons that need to be assimilated. Learning on managing the ways our dogs relate to one another, and even to me. Observation skills that need to be developed. So, so much learning. And all of it needs to be processed and mulled over and, eventually, written—

But I cannot write about this, either. That is where every previous draft has fallen short. Fallen flat. Fallen away from the intention I set out to achieve, without ever taking the trouble to define it, even to myself. Every word I write, that is not about Sasha, feels like I am moving away from her. Every word I have written, that is about Sasha, feels like I'm reducing her death into a lesson, something practical and mundane. Every word I write, about or not about Sasha, has felt like I'm leaving her behind—without saying goodbye.

That is the intention I had, when I began that first draft two days after she died. That was the purpose. But in telling the story of her death, in explaining the hows and the whens and the (stupid, stupid) mistakes that led to it, the Goodbye fell further and further behind, until it shimmered so distant in the rear view mirror of the words as the mirage of water on a hot summer highway at noon.

Here it is, then. Goodbye, little Sasha. I did love you, much, much more than I was able to convey to you. And I'm glad you came to our lives, and to our house. I'm glad we didn't give you away back then. Maybe you would have lived longer if we had, so it's selfish of me to say this, but I really am glad you stayed.
So, we'll go no more a roving
   So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
   And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
   And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
   And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
   And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
   By the light of the moon.
(So We'll Go No More A-Roving, Lord Byron)