Another repost. It’s a few days early for Coffey’s anniversary—June 18, 2005—but I’ve got a busy week next week, so I’m putting this up now. I will say, that after a rocky start, Coffey settled into a fine companion. She still has too much energy, but she’s a sweet animal and so good-natured as to be a model of canine affection. Anyway, on to the main thing…
It’s time. It’s been more than a year, hell, it’s been almost two
years, since our friend Kory passed away. The memorial
piece for her has been up…well, too long. I’ve been busy.It’s been
a hell of a time since Kory died.There’s no way to assess such a loss. You go on. It doesn’t feel good,
you can only deal with it. One of the ways I dealt with it—or tried
to—was through writing, but to be honest this past year or so has
been pretty rotten on that score. I’ve got a mountain of material that
needs polishing, finishing, mailing. I finished a first draft of an
alternate history, which needs rewriting, and I have a finished draft
of a new Secantis novel, which also needs attention. I have no new
contracts, I have nothing in any shape to actually submit, and all I
can say as excuse is that things have been not so good.
That only works for a while. Me, I get bored with too much self-pity
and frustration. I start doing other things. I became president of the
Missouri Center for the Book this year, a decision I’m still trying to
decide was worth while. It has, I’ll admit, been an education. I
started writing articles for local papers—not much, it’s terra
incognita for me—but it was something.
We paid off the house. That took a hell of a load off.
And we got a new dog.
That’s right. I would like to introduce you all to Coffey.
Before you conclude that “Coffey” is close to “Kory”, well, you’re
right, it is, but we didn’t pick the name. Or rather, I should say, we
stumbled on it and she responded so whole-heartedly to it that we
thought she must have been named something close to it.
But Coffey is appropriately named. That’s her color—coffee bean—with
some frothy cream-white mixed in here and there. We rescued her from
the Humane Society. As we went through the pens, she was the only one
who didn’t seem neurotic. She had a real “Yeah? Whadda you want?”
attitude, but she was very playful. After an hour of negotiation with
Donna—we hadn’t intended bringing one home on the first damn
visit—we picked her up.
I’ll be frank—I thought it was a mistake that first week. She’s 32
lbs, very strong, and aggressively playful. She had some trouble
differentiating between her tongue and her teeth. Mouthy, as Donna
said. Now, Donna had been volunteering at the Humane Society for a
long time. Consequently, she was more experienced than I with a wide
range of dogs. She wasn’t put off. And it seemed that we had gotten
lucky in some respects. Coffey was thoroughly house broken. She did
understand certain commands. But others…well, we’re still working on
“Stay!” and we’ve had her now for six months.
The label at the Humane Society claimed she was a “pointer mix”. Yeah.
Mixed with, I thought, boxer, but then I saw the pit bull in her. I
thought “Shit” and promptly started doing some research on pit bulls.
Turns out, I had bought into the myths like most people. Pit bulls
generally turn bad because there are so many owners who think they’ve
just bought the ultimate macho animal and proceed to train them that
way. Pit bulls are actually what could be termed “people crazy”. Love
Coffey’s day is made if she gets to meet a new people. She’s goofy and
playful and, as it has evolved, very affectionate. And about the right
Despite her inordinate strength. Oh, yes, she’s a handful, all right.
And I almost took her back. But we’ve stopped the mouthiness, we’ve
begun teaching her to walk properly, and she’s settling in nicely.
She’s younger than claimed, too, so we got more puppy than we wanted,
but it’s too late. We’ve got a relationship.
She doesn’t like my crazy work schedule (neither did Kory) and now
Donna has a new job and her hours are long and crazy, but Coffey is
adapting. I think this will be fine.
And the other day she brought one of her toys into my office and laid
under my desk while I worked. This can be a really good thing.
Oh, yeah, and I am working again. Imagine that. Maybe it’s connected.
Anyway, I wanted to introduce you all to the new Resident Alien Life
Since writing that, I’ve finished another novel, the historical mystery, but I still haven’t sold anything. I’m also into my fourth year now as president of the MCB, which, after long struggle, has turned a corner and will be Something. Also, I’m less sure about the pit bull I saw in Coffey. The older she gets, the more pointer she looks. She’s a beautiful dog, though, regardless.
Anyway, next post will be something new. Thanks for your time.