About a year ago, we decided to add a member to our family: Kam. Kam is a dog…kinda. He is half Northwest Farm Terrier, half black lab, and 100% devil animal.
Kam likes to bite. Kam likes to eat wood. Kam likes to eat rocks. Kam tips over his water bowl. Kam tries to sit on the couch. Kam sits on the couch. Kam can’t be trusted.
In his year with us, Kam has done some good things too. He killed a vole…he did try to eat it, but hey, as Shakespeare wrote, “Every dog will have his day.” Kam also has about 30 minutes of good behavior within a 24-hour period. When he first arrived there were no minutes of good behavior, so at this rate he might be well behaved right about the time I hit 120 years old.
Part of Kam’s difficulty is that he followed our dog, Steffi. Steffi was the sweetest, mild-mannered dog I have ever known. She didn’t need much training. Sure, she dug craters in the backyard when she was a pup, but after about five years of digging we had a nice dirt pond for the kids to swim in when it rained.
It was a very sad day when we had to put Steffi down. Dylan had just finished chemo and we probably waited a little longer than we should have because Steffi had always been his favorite family member. Dylan sat on the floor with Steffi as the vet pushed the syringe of chemicals into her system. I sat behind him, looking at his shiny, bald, head as he petted Steffi until she stopped breathing. The vet asked if we wanted to keep her ashes, which seemed like a weird thing to do to me, but I guess people do that or she wouldn’t have asked. We took her collar and leash and left.
Kam became a family member a few months later. What we really wanted was a dog who had been rejected and needed love. We visited several animal shelters to find a replacement for Steffi, but we never found a dog that fit our needs and when we did, we were the ones who were rejected because we didn’t have a fence, or there were horses nearby, or people running the animal shelters thought we were bad dog parents. (I thought people running dog shelters should wear something other than their pajamas to work, but who am I to judge?)
Eventually, we found Kam through a friend who also had a Northwest Farm Terrier. Someday I will get revenge.
Actually, Kam is as good as we can expect at this point in his life. He certainly calmed down after we had his berries removed and now that I built a fence for him things are looking up. (The fence is possibly the worst fence ever built. The backside of the fence looks like a frozen scene from Inception or Interstellar. If it survives the winter I’ll be happy.) During my morning writing sessions, Kam will sit next to my feet while I write…and then he will begin chewing on my desk, or eating a rough draft of a short story, or suddenly jab his nose into my groin like a jackhammer. You know, acting like Kam.
While Kam has been growing, my blog has been sitting here on one of the long lost tubes of the interwebs. Being away from blogging has been good and bad. I miss my blogging friends, but I also love the solitude of working on editing and rewriting. In the past year, I have joined a couple writing groups, had a couple short stories published in local presses, and done a good deal of writing.
Now that summer is here and I’m going to be taking another epic European vacation, I will be back to filling this long lost empty tube with words. The words will be like regular words, the ideas will be stupid, and I will get lost at least 15 times. So join me on my Irresponsible Adult Trip if you have nothing better to do and you want to learn from my innumerable mistakes.