Hello pet lovers and CANIDAE food fans!
Since you’re reading my first post to this blog, you’re probably as crazy about dogs and cats as I am. Not only do I live with pets, I earn my living by writing about them. What better subject than talking about or helping our canine and feline companions?
My love affair with animals started at the age of eight when I coaxed the neighbor’s kitten out of their yard and into my parent’s house. Because the kitten wasn’t well taken care of, a visiting relative convinced my mother to let me keep the cat. “Princess” lived to be 19.
In the years that followed I have loved and lived with many dogs and cats, and horses (but not in the house!). My husband and I have volunteered with rescue groups, shown in AKC conformation, participated in obedience and agility, and taken our dogs on therapy visits. Today, we have three dogs and six cats, including rescues, Elkhounds, Eskies, and Ragdolls.
Although I’ve been working in graphic arts and publishing for more years than I like to acknowledge, I didn’t start pet writing until later in my career. One day while writing a community news column for a local paper, there was no news to cover. Instead, I wrote a story about my dogs. It was a hit, drawing requests for more pet columns, and my pet writing career took off from there.
I’ve published a couple books, and had articles in most of the major pet publications, received multiple awards, and spoken to groups about pet care, the human-animal bond and our role as stewards of these amazing creatures.
My work is writing, but my life is about animals. In the weeks to come, I hope to offer you interesting, educating, uplifting and entertaining words here about our pets and the love and concern we share for them. Let me know what you’d like to see! And in the meantime, below is one of my first columns about why I write about pets.
Looking forward to blogging for you, from my pack to yours,
All I Do
All I do is take care of dogs and cats, and write, about dogs and cats mostly. I work at home, because I’m a writer, and, because I have several pets, or they have me, I’m not sure which. Another thing about which I’m uncertain is which came first – the dogs and cats, or the writing that evolved into writing about dogs and cats. Either way, my hobby is my profession and my profession is my hobby. That’s my life and I can’t get away from who and what I am.
In the mind of a dog, little events are met with great emotion. On the other side of this character coin is that cats meet great events with little emotion. Maybe this is because in the mind of a dog and particularly a cat, an event focusing on human drama is not considered to be a great event. But even outstanding incidents revolving around one of the dogs are still met by members of our pack with a nonchalant attitude.
One of our dogs was awarded Best-in-Show Puppy at the age of six months. For us, the win was a tremendous thrill. We jumped and screamed and hugged the strangers surrounding us, acting rather like our dogs when someone comes to visit. Our pup’s response was to look at us as if to say, “Well, now that this silliness is over let’s go home and eat with the rest of the pack.”
To our pets, a sense of community is of the utmost importance. This greater fellowship encompasses the little, daily necessities of life, including urination, which is an activity they seem to feel is more enjoyable when done together.
I turn to my personal pet community for relief when I need a break from the tedium of my nevertheless gratifying work. I walk away from the keyboard and we play a game of catch-the-ball-tag-you’re-it-chase-the-fuzzy-mouse-hide-’n-go-seek. Afterwards they take a nap and I return to work.
Somehow, I think the dogs and cats are the ones keeping their priorities in the proper perspective. At least I’ve learned from them not to leap out of bed and race to retrieve e-mail. Instead, I snuggle with as many dogs and cats as can fit on the bed with me. The main problem is that with nine animals, two arms are not enough to pet them all as much as they – or I – would like. Except for the fur I later have to pick out of my coffee beans, it’s a perfect way to start the day in this hurry-up, hectic world.
I have to agree with the four-legged members of my family, that life’s greatest emotional rewards are found in little, everyday events. When I behold the sight of my beloved dogs and cats, my heart is filled with joy, even if only for a moment.
For a short while there are no bills, no deadlines. There is no stress, no anger, no sorrow. My sins are washed clean by the gentle lapping of a dog’s tongue on my cheek or the purr of a cat in my ear. Each lick, each head-butt is a blessing, the moment inviolate, like communion.
Ah, the amazing grace of animals; I once was lost and now am found, by living for, writing about and loving my pack of pets.