A busy editor shoves aside a writing project to make time for his dog, Gracie.
Posted in , Feb 26, 2016
The weekend is here again. Woo-hoo! Mine have been jammed full lately. I’m working on a new book about the dogs in my life and the spiritual life-lessons they have taught me, sometimes received reluctantly by yours truly.
Why that subject? Well, apart from the fact that it’s dear to my heart, you Guideposts Facebook fans have always responded rousingly to my posts about dogs and their unconditional love and loyalty, their crazy antics. That tells me something.
Which means I’m spending every spare minute of my week writing, including Saturdays and Sundays. Some of these hours would usually be spent with our 11-month-old golden retriever puppy, Gracie, and I sense she’s feeling a bit neglected.
Case in point: I came home from work late last night and flopped down on the couch to catch the news. Usually Gracie settles in with me, resting her chin on my knee. Instead she energetically shoved a much slobbered on toy in my face. “Play with me, play with me.” She wouldn’t let up until I threw the thing and engaged in a perfunctory game of tug.
After I called a halt to the proceedings she gave me a plaintive look that bordered on reproach. Later coming in from our walk she stopped in front of our building as if to say, “So quick?” Inside she threw herself on her bed with what I can only call a discontented sigh.
“I’m writing a book about you,” I say by way of explanation. Gracie just turns her head away. My dog reads me so well. How can I forgive myself for disappointing her?
This weekend she’ll want to go to the dog run. It’s the uncontested highlight of her week. I’ve never had a dog who loved being with other dogs so much. She will shadow me every step I take until I comply. And I will, but only within the time I can spare. Or at least that’s what I was thinking.
But I’m reconsidering after last night. The fact that God has blessed me with a dog to whom I can bring such joy just by letting her play to her heart’s content is a sacred responsibility. Who am I to deny her this singular pleasure? Who am I to put my work first?
These creatures are with us for such a short time. Why regret missing out on any hour of it? Gracie has waited all week for this. She loves the weekends as much as the rest of us. And the weather is supposed to be good.
My new book (out this fall) is called Always by My Side. This weekend I’m going to live up to that title. When Gracie gives me that pleading, hopeful look they’ll be no time limit on her fun. She will come first. And, well, maybe I’ll get some material for my book out it, or at least some pictures to share with you.
What are you going to do this weekend to make the pets in your life happy? To fulfill their greatest desires? Remember, you have the power!