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  • October 21st, 2009 | 11:00 PM
Of Dogs and Writing - happiness

Lately I've noticed a change in Cassie.

She doesn't coming running up the stairs as soon as she hears the bedroom door open. She's too busy keeping guard at the bottom of the stair while chomping on a bone or making a chorus of animal noises with all the squeaky toys. She stays awake longer in the evenings, playing with her egg babies, chasing them all over the house. She doesn't sleep in her crate as much as she used to, preferring instead to sprawl in front of one of the patio windows and keep an eye on the outside activities. She asks for attention when she wants it, nuzzling a nose under my hand at the computer and of course following anyone into the kitchen in the hopes that food will fall from the sky. She doesn't just run outside to take care of business and race back into the house. She takes her time and meanders around the yard, checking out the fence line, resting on the patio while she surveys her kingdom.

What's changed?

She's a much more confident dog now than she was a year ago. It's like she's shaken off a lot of the old ghosts that were hanging around in her head and realized  that where she was, here and now, was where she was supposed to be. And that thought made her happy. A dog that is happy doing what she is meant to do, being a part of the family.

What did we do to bring about this change?

We loved her. We loved her even when she was making us crazy. We loved her through and in spite of all the expensive medical proceedures and the expensive medicine she'll be on for life. We loved her when she chewed on a few things she wasn't supposed to and when she barked nonstop in the car, no matter where we went. We. Loved. Her. Free from whatever her life had been before we rescued her she has blossomed into what she was supposed to be.

At the end of this month it will be one year since I was laid off from my day job. My non-writing job. My job that was so left-brained that for days, weeks, months even, I forgot I had ever been a writer.

I've spent the past year saying yes to just about any writing job that came my way and I've been lucky that there have been a lot of them. On top of all the freelancing I've taken some writing classes and kept up with my part time work doing web editing for the Children's Literature Network. 

In other words, I've been immersed in the world I love. The world of words.

My neighbor came over the other night to visit Cassie. Before she left she looked at me and smiled and said, "You look different. Whatever you're doing, you look really good."

She had told me that a couple of times lately and each time I thanked her but I excused it away saying I had done my hair, put on make-up, some excuse. But this time I went back inside and told my husband what she had said. Then I asked him, this man who has lived with me for almost a dozen years, if I looked different to him.

He smiled at me in that way that someone who knows something you don't know does. And then he said, "You look happy. You're not used to it, but you look happy. And happy looks good on you."

My initial thought was to push his words away too, like I did with my neighbor. To deny the truth of them. But then I heard the squeak squeak squeak of the egg baby as Cassie chased it around the house. She brought it over and dropped it at my feet, this dog who just a year ago had no idea how to play, and looked up me with her half-open, tongue hanging out happy mouth. And of course when I bent down to pick it up she pounced on it and took off playing on her own, playing like the confident and happy puppy she is now, now that she is able to live the life she is meant to live.

I smiled back at my wonderful husband, the man who has given me this gift of being able to write full time, and said you're right. I AM happy. I intend to get used to it."

Lucky Cassie. Lucky me.
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 16 comments — Leave comment )
October 22nd, 2009 12:11 pm (UTC)
"Happy looks good on you." I love it. You should put it on a t-shirt! :)

Glad everything is coming together for you. I hope you continue to be blessed beyond measure!

October 22nd, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Excellent! *Virtual Happy-Hugs!*
October 22nd, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
I love the "You're not used to it." That guy is a keeper! :)

So glad you made these changes. So glad they're paying off!
October 22nd, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
Beautiful post, Susan. I'm so glad you get to spend your time doing what you love!!
October 22nd, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
This is lovely. I am so glad for you. And Cassie too!
October 22nd, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
Here's to happiness and all that brought it about! Hugs to you both :)
October 22nd, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
October 22nd, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
A Puppy and Writing
We were chosen the lucky recipients of an abandoned puppy about 4 months ago. For two years I had been writing away at my novel series. Now, however, I'm babysitting and my concentration is constantly shattered.

But he won't be a puppy forever and he has the promise of being a nice dog one day. The writing can wait.
October 22nd, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
Oh happiness happiness happiness...
This just warms my heart...
October 22nd, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
It is a gift to be able to do what you love full time--and you're using it well!!
October 22nd, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Yes!! Finally you have realised hat I have been trying to tell you for a long time. Even though I don't personally know you I feel that I do. You have been great for Cassie and Casie has been great for you. More importantly you are happy and more content with your life as it is flaws and all including green computers. Doing something that you love it is so important and I hope that I am lucky enough to find it one day as well.
Don't stop because "Happiness is the key to success" I am sure someone has said that sometime.

- Anne McKenna

October 22nd, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
It made me happy just to read this, Susan. Hooray for you and your husband and Cassie, and for the power in love and in words!
October 26th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful.
October 28th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
AWWWWWWWWW. You got a smile and a bit of happy tears from me. I needed that. Thanks.
October 30th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
Beautiful post, Susan. You wear happiness well. May it last and multiply.
October 30th, 2009 07:26 am (UTC)
Great post... It is good to see that you really love your dog...

Good work... keep sharing.

Term papers (http://www.flashpapers.com/)
( 16 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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