Wednesday, October 5, 2016

When Good Dogs Do Bad Things

It's true. What's a writer to do?

A few years ago, Thistle destroyed our son's required reading. I guess you could say Thistle really sank his teeth into The Scarlet Letter and pretty much devoured The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Yep, our dog ate our son's homework.

Thistle, Thistle, Thistle.

To Thistle's credit he has good taste. He thoroughly enjoyed classic literature, after all.

Shall we say he's well-read because of this, or well-fed?

Here's the deal: Thistle loves paper. He loves to walk on it, lie on it--things we're filing, manuscript pages, whatever. Unfortunately, he also loves shredding it. That said, he, until recently, hadn't destroyed any books in years. Magazines, yes, but no books.

Well, there was that one boring-looking business book my husband was reading. Thistle ripped the cover, but nothing else. Apparently, you can sometimes judge a book by its cover.

Moving on! Here's where my story gets sad. Feel free to get a tissue and come back. I'll wait for you.

Comfy? Okay, good.

Looking forward to the release of Cheryl Klein's The Magic Words, I pre-ordered it. When I got the call in early September that the book had arrived at the bookstore, I zipped right over to get it. I even took a picture of the book when I got home, in case I wanted to write a post about it. (Little did I know what the subject of said post would be.)

 Note: if this photo were a scratch-n-sniff sticker, it would smell like happy anticipation.

My husband and I went out to dinner the night I bought the book, the night of the crime. As I left the house, I was looking forward to a bit of pre-bedtime reading. The book sat on the kitchen counter, probably a foot from where my son's stack of classics had been.

Insert dramatic music here!

You know what happened next. No tape, no glue, no magic words could put my beautiful new book, The Magic Words, back together.

Told you to get a tissue. So. Sad.

Looking back, I can't blame only Thistle. Years ago, I, trying to be helpful, moved my son's books to that counter. I'm also the one who left The Magic Words in the same spot, unprotected, knowing Thistle's history. (I could note that he has also shoplifted cookies from a local pet food store--multiple times--and even taken dog cookies from a woman's purse, all while on-leash! That should be inadmissible, though, because everything he stole was at nose level, we're terrible dog trainers, and--most importantly--he, like me, has a weakness for cookies.)

Fortunately, I was able to order a new copy of the book right away.

See? Looks just like the first one!

Okay, I'm lying. It's the same picture because I'm too lazy to take another one, but trust me: the new book looks just like the old one.

Thistle, a proven book murderer, will never be trusted with books again.

Pepper (above) says, "When my brother eats books, I become Mommy's favorite."
(Though I promise: I don't have a favorite!)

So! While there's no question about Thistle's book crimes...

He curls up near my chair when I write. He's here now. My sweet Pepper does it, too, but not as often. I guess you could say she's not as hungry for the written word. Right now, she's downstairs watching TV.

Thistle's my wingman

and occasionally my critic.

He's a cookie thief and a book eater, but I forgive him.