Tag Archives: dog

You Before Me

16 May

I know, I know, you think I got that wrong and it’s Me Before You, but, I am not wrong.

Let me explain: a few days ago Patrick, my son and I  were walking the dog and were talking about what should I do now that he is done with college. I told him I feel like all that rush, all that forward moving we went through for the past 12 years of public education came to a halt. Ever since I gave birth to him I’ve been focusing on him, making him my # 1 priority. His education, his wellbeing, his manners, his foundation, all of that has been my work, my goal nothing and no one could ever stop me from reaching it. I had a path and each step brought me closer and closer to the finish line, which we crossed together the minute he held his diploma.

I kept telling him that now he is done with school and I am done worrying (or so I keep telling myself). He is on his path and I am on mine. He will soon start working and will continue chasing his dreams while I need to figure out what to do with my life, my focus, my time. What to fill it with, which direction should I go, what to do. (You can call it a crisis, but I won’t, because I don’t want to jinx it and make it sound even more dramatic than it is. But it is dramatic and anyone who went through what I am going now, will tell you it is a life-altering time in any parent’s life whose child/ren finish their education).

I kept talking while he kept listening. (That’s one of the things I love the most when I spent time with Patrick; he is a great listener). Eventually we turned a corner and I finally stopped talking, waiting for him to say something. And he did, saying, “It’s actually quite simple, Mom. You need to go back to you before me. You before you had me. Find that 24 yr. old woman and see what she’d like to do. Focus on her, help her find her dreams.”

I know his words will remain engraved in my mind for a long time, maybe forever (with my brain’s will) and, while I do not want to be 24 yr. old again, I’d like to rekindle with my old self and see what treasures I’ve buried…you before me: where are you?

 

 

Happy Dog Day!

26 Aug

As a kid I feared dogs and loved cats. I lost count how many times I got in trouble (to be read: butt too tender to sit on) for hiding cats under my bed or feed them milk from my own bowl. Let’s not go there, but go back to dogs because as I grew older, dogs no longer scared me, and I totally swapped camps: dogs rock! 

bella collage1

I know people love their pets and think of them as family members, so no one would think of me as crazy when I say Bella, my pooch is my daughter, right? She has two birthdays: one when her mommy gave birth  to her–April 22, and one when she became mine–August 8, and we’ve been together ever since, 14 years to be exact. A white fur ball with black button nose and coffee-bean eyes, a goofy personality and stubbornness galore, that’s my Bella, queen of the house, owner of the backyard and our hearts.

I have so many stories about her from the time she was a puppy chewing all shoes left unattended, to playing hide-and-seek, to learning tricks only if rewarded with popcorn, to falling in the pool, to hating being groomed, to eating dirt and the list can go on, but I will stop here. For a while I feared I won’t remember all the things she’d done, worried that once her time was up, time will dust her memories as it does will all our lives. Luckily I found a solution and added her to the “characters list” in my novel A World Apart; for as long as there will be books Bella will live on, not only touching my heart but that of anyone reading my book.

bella collage 2

I don’t think there is possible to love Bella more than I already do nor imagine a world without her, although I know her time with us will eventually come to an end. My biggest consolation is that I gave her a great life, took care of her, protected her, but above all: I loved her. Happy Dog Day, Bella!

bella4

Happy Birthday, Bella!

22 Apr

Ten years ago to the day the cutest, white fur ball was born. Bella. She’s the fourth member of our family and… she’s a VIP. Why?

Well, that’s a simple explanation: she’s a character in my second book A World Apart. A character that lives and breathes like you and I. Someone that’s playful and moody, stubborn and loving, loud and feisty. Someone that communicates without words, only looking at me and I know exactly what she wants.

Let me introduce you … Bella.  She is exactly how Cassandra describes her, “a white fur ball with black eyes and button nose.” She’s also, “A Bichon and Maltese, like two doggies in one,” as Maya explains.
And above all—she’s my very first pet. I loved Bella even before I met her. A friend of mine had a litter of four puppies, sold all of them except Bella. No one wanted Bella—not even her mommy who refused to feed her or even let her come nearby. I told my friend I’d buy her. And so, one August afternoon my friend knocked on my office door bringing Bella. I remember seeing this white fluffy thing middle of my office, her face covered completely in fur, moving toward me until she reached my chair. She smelled my shoes then plopped on the floor, stretching her head on her front paws. Dog’s Cupid hit me that very moment, his arrow still in my heart and will forever remain there. And so will Bella.
She’s extremely protective, thinking she’s a big dog, although she barely weighs 16 pounds. Her bark is ferocious, I have no idea where that deep, husky barking comes from but she sure keeps people away from our house. Neighbors call her Cujo—that should say it all.
And yet Bella is loving, smart, loyal and goofy in many ways. Bella knows how to trick daddy into giving her an extra treat (just placing her head on his knee, looking innocently). She knows how to ask for an extra massage (bowing her head into my chest letting me rub her ears. If I stop she paws at me). She knows how to ask for playtime (bringing her toys and chasing my son down the hallway). And for popcorn, oh boy! She’d do any trick you ask her—from dancing to shaking paws, to speaking and posing like a diva.
What Bella means to me is probably obvious; she’s part of me, part of our family, the daughter I never had but wished for my whole life. And I know her time with us is limited—she turned 10 today, and I had to do something to keep her alive forever and ever, not only in our hearts but in the eyes of the world. And so the idea of portraying her in the book sprouted in my head, becoming clearer that this was the way to go.

I don’t know if my readers will judge me for bringing real loved ones into my fiction work. But I hope they will forgive me and fall in love with Bella as Cassandra and Maya and David did … After all, who doesn’t love a white fur ball with black eyes and button nose?