My life is intricately bound up with dogs. Well, currently it’s just one dog—we lost our beautiful 3-year-old Belle to lymphoma in February 2017. (I know! So young! She was diagnosed when she was 2, and our vet told us it was the youngest case he had ever seen. Sadly, the younger they are at the time of diagnosis, the more quickly the disease takes over. We did chemotherapy, but there was no lasting remission.)
We adopted Roxie a few weeks after Belle was diagnosed. Our hope was that Roxie would learn how to be a great dog from Belle’s wonderful example, and that Belle might benefit from having puppy energy around. As it turned out, both those things happened just as we had hoped.
Belle’s diagnosis and Roxie’s adoption both took place while I was working on deadline for my upcoming book, Balance. Between dogs and book, I had to learn a new way to cope with some overwhelming emotions and to focus my energy where it was needed most. Now that I have had a few months to reflect, here are some thoughts I had about how dogs affect my work as a writer: