"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Dog

Two years ago today I drove to Windham--in the aftermath of an ice storm--to meet the doggie transport from Tennessee that brought Jewel to us. Here she is, headed down the gangplank leading to her new life.

Now, of course, I can't imagine life without her. She and Ruth are amazing, together and individually.

She is a capital-F Fun dog. With a wonderful disposition.

For me, the miracle of Jewel is that she survived at all. Her backstory is pretty grim. WARNING--not for the squeamish!

Jewel's birth mother in Tennessee bore an unwanted litter. Her owner was a horrible person who got drunk one night and decided to eliminate the pups one by one, bashing them on the head with a beer bottle. The neighbours heard the yelps and intervened. Two pups were rescued, only a few weeks old. They were taken in by a woman who fostered dogs. She named one pup Jasmine and the other Jewel. Eventually both were put up for adoption through Petfinder.

As Lola aged, young Ruth needed a playmate. When I spotted Jewel on the website, her resemblance to the late, great Shadow and her profile convinced me that she was our next dream dog.

On this St. Patrick's Day, as well as acknowledging the arrival of our Jewel of a dog, I also honour my many Irish forbears. I admire my birthday shamrocks. I crave of Bewley's tea. I dream of swilling Bulmer's cider in the snug at Dick Mac's or imbibing Manger's in a B&B in Kinsale. I remember crying throughout a London to Shannon flight after learning that dear Shadow had died suddenly, and holding her wake in a pub as soon as we landed. I can't help but consider a return to Eire next time we cross the Pond just so I can offer up special prayer at a favourite Holy Well way out West...

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