Yesterday I had the entire day set aside for working on my book. I have eight chapters outlined and 6 of them written. Two more chapters to go until I have my first draft of Love, Laugh, Woof ready for editing and eventual self-publishing. As much fun as it is to write my first book, to see it go from an idea to reality, finding the time to sit down and actually write is not always the easiest thing to do.
I had settled into my favorite chair with a fresh cup of coffee and my favorite essential oil blend of lemongrass and peppermint on the back of my neck to help me focus even more. The house was empty except for the dogs, our cat and me. With my laptop at 100% as well as my mental energy, I opened up Chapter 7 and positioned my fingers on the keyboard.
A few words into my chapter I heard the first groan. A second groan followed and then a third. I knew the sound very well but I tried to ignore it. It was time to write.
I heard another groan, this time closer, and then felt the nudge on my leg. I typed a few words and then felt another nudge.
Finally I looked down to see Jackson’s big beautiful Labrador head a half an inch from my leg. He groaned his distinctive Jax groan that we like to call his “moo” like a cow and moved his head so it rested on my head, staring up at me with his soulful brown eyes.
“Hi sweet boy,” I said to him and scratched him under his chin, one of his favorite places for a scratch. He leaned into it and made grunting noises of joy. “Ok, go lay down,” I told him, hoping to buy myself an hour or so. Instead of going to lay down he put his head back on my leg and groaned again.
Tinkerbell woke up from her afternoon nap and came to join him, staring at me from behind Jackson with her piercing brown stare. Tinkerbell’s eyes are a slightly different brown than Jackson’s. While his are deep and soulful hers are bright and almost mischievous, showing her boundless energy even when she is still.
After a few more valiant attempts to get them to continue their afternoon nap or amuse themselves with a toy or antler I finally could not resist them anymore. For a brief moment I was slightly annoyed as the biggest challenge in being a self-employed business owner and writer as well as a parent and wife was getting people to respect your work time. I had finally just started working around the other humans and had my heart set on spending the entire day being productive and now my beloved dogs were getting off of their normal schedule and routine.
Then I remembered the words of my Mom, sharing stories about my grandmother who had passed away when I was just two years old. Mom used to tell me that Nana was the type of woman who would be in the middle of cleaning the house on a summer day and stop in the middle and say, “it’s too beautiful to be doing this, let’s go to the beach” and stop right then and there and take my Mom for a beach day and then finish her work when they got back.
And so I shut my laptop and started to put on my shoes to take my dogs into the backyard to play. “You know, if you want Momma home with you, you have to let me work at some point,” I told them as they watched me tying the laces, “But you know I’m a pushover, don’t you!” Tinkerbell wiggled in and licked my face before running to the door to go outside and play. Jackson trotted along beside her.
Once outside they both leaped off the deck in a half-hearted attempt to chase a bunny, slowing down as they gained ground like always. I smiled as I watched them and grabbed the nearest ball to start a game of fetch with Tinkerbell. Eventually fetch turned into zoomies and they wore themselves out within the hour. After our play session we headed inside for some kale cookies and another nap for them and some more work on my book for me.
My dogs are only four and two, but not a day goes by that I don’t feel the rapid passing of time. Before I know it they will be fourteen and twelve, god willing, and I will be happy that I gave in so often to their requests to play, to spend time together and to enjoy the life that we have together. As always I marvel at the beauty of a friendship, a love, a family connection that spans our different species, and feel blessed that they want me to join in their games.