My younger Golden Retriever is about to deliver a litter. I have had dogs all my life, but never one who was pregnant. When I was pre-kindergarten we had a dog- a dachshund named Little Miss Muffet. My mother tried to breed her- nope, she had nothing to do with that kind of thing. Muffet and I spent lots of time together as I dressed her up in my dolls' clothes and wheeled her around in my doll carriage. Muffet took it all with good humor. The pictures my mother took prove it. Muffet on her back complete with bonnet, blanket and frilly dress tucked in the carriage.
My current two Goldens would never tolerate a baby carriage or a bonnet. Yet, they have their own expectations. We have the tennis balls, the flying squirrel toys, the soft beds and of course the neighbors who always bring doggy treats. Totally spoiled girls.
As we wait for the new puppies to arrive (not at my house at the breeder’s), I have been put on alert to be there. You know the drill if you have ever had a child or helped someone who’s been there. The simple clothes are set ready, the phone is by the bed, the family is on alert that if you are missing in the morning not to worry. We’re going to have six, or more, babies according to the ultrasound. Yep, ultrasound. This is totally out of my knowledge base- thank God for the breeder knowing what to do.
The connection here to our ongoing conversation about writing is conception, inception, production and acceptance. We have so many ideas. They spin in our heads. We talk to our characters out loud, not worrying who might overhear. We put the words on the page and hope they make sense. Many of those words are sent to the trash can, but we love everyone of them. Special children they are, even if we have to set them free.
The conversation we have with our imaginary, and not so imaginary friends, is real. I visited my Golden a few nights ago. We have a game where I ask her if she wants to snuggle. She does a belly crawl over to me and puts her head against my neck. Then she has a whole conversation with me that is her form of talking. I wouldn’t know how to type out the sounds. I say silly things back like, “Oh, really? Tell me again.” She continues, pauses, and waits for my responses. Visualize that we both are spread out on the floor on top of each other.
The point is, we all have stories. We all have audiences. And, we must not stop working at our craft. Even if it’s with a gorgeous Golden Retriever.