Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Eesha Baby Girl

It's been almost 2 months, and I still catch myself looking at the spot between the refrigerator and the kitchen table to see if she has food or water. Or, I will move the computer chair in front of the garbage can so she won't be tempted to get into it and make a mess. Old habits are hard to break when your heart is already broken. I sometimes don't even realize I do these things, but when a dog as special as she was is in your life for 12 years, well, it's just hard.

I have had a hard time coming to grips with what happened in the days leading up to August 31, 2006. It started with my BF telling me that Eesha was thin, and that her ribs were showing. She was already showing signs of aging in her hips. She had problems getting up off the linoleum floor and we had rugs all over so she wouldn't slip, fall and hurt herself. But thin? Eesha was lab/husky/German Shepard mix. Large black dog, white spot on her chest and thick husky fur that if you caught her in the right light you could see the "saddle bag" so distinct in shepards, just an outline of it. She had been overweight (much like her family), and I had changed her food and tried to make sure she didn't overeat. Each visit to the vet brought news of "more exercise, only feed her once a day..." I realized that I had to bring her in, it could be worms, because she was eating and drinking regularly. I didn't think there was a problem, or if there was, it was fixable.

In to the vet we went on a Monday. They did an exam, drew some blood, gave her treats and we both waited in the exam room while they did the tests. I remember there was a cat growling somewhere in that office and he/she didn't sound happy! We waited, I petted her to keep her calm. Then the vet came in with a look on her face and I just knew before she spoke. "The results show she is anemic, and the blood cells are attacking each other. It's probably leukemia..." I think all the blood ran out of my face and I felt sick. "Are you ok?" she asked concerned.

"What...What can you do?" I tried to say, but it came out shaky and in a whisper.

"We can do more tests to be sure, but she may only last two weeks...a month at most. She will be in a lot of pain.." and her voice faded off. I knew this was the day I had been dreading since Dad and I picked her out at the Humane Society.

I had other dogs in my life, but they either were hit by cars, ran off or died of natural causes. I loved her and I didn't want to let her go, but I knew that I couldn't put her through all of that suffering. She would have hung on forever for me, if she could have, I know she loved me that much. But I loved her enough to stop the pain. So, I brought her home, and I let everyone say goodbye. She ate all the things she wanted to eat and then my sister Kelley and I went to the vet that morning of August 31, 2006. I can honestly say, it was quick. I felt her spirit leave and when I looked into her eyes I saw a look of thanks, not betrayal or confusion or fear. In a small way that was comforting. She is now buried under the willow tree, where she played as a puppy.

I have had people say that I should get another dog, that it will help me "get over" her death. I'm just not ready, and I'm not sure I ever will be ready. All I know is there will never be another dog like her and I miss her terribly.

The future's so bright...!

I haven't been getting much sleep lately, but I feel that sleep is sometimes overrated. I have been too busy trying to find a way to kick my writing career into high gear that sleep has gone by the wayside.

I still have a job that pays the bills, but I feel like it's sucking the creative essence out of me and I need to get going on writing as a profession instead of a hobby if I am truly going to live my dream. Also, I feel the writing is on the wall, so to speak and I am expendable there. It's also no fun anymore! I need challenges, variety, and a schedule where I can see my family more than just the 2-day weekend catch-up! More money wouldn't be bad either!

So, I have been doing a lot of homework, reading up on my options and the one option that seems to make sense is for me to go into the copywriting business. I started taking a course through American Artists and Writers Institute (AWAI) a year ago, but I stopped because life was getting in the way of me completing it. Last year we had 2 weddings in the family, my sister Kelley's in June and my brother Andy's in October. Plus, I was working weekends and then dayshift, then back to weekends, then to second shift, then...well, you get the picture. I also hadn't considered that it would actually be something I could do, until I learned about Beth Ann Erickson.

Who is Beth Ann Erickson? She is a writer who lives in Kandiyohi, Minnesota, which is basically just down the road from me. She is a copywriter and she OWNS HER OWN PUBLISHING COMPANY!! Yes, she owns and operates Filbert Publishing. She writes books geared to help writers in the business or wanting to start in the business, and as she puts it, the copywriting and the publishing help pay for her fiction addiction. She is able to make a living in a small town in Minnesota as a writer AND write what she wants and gets it published too!! I have read/devoured both of her books on writing and a huge light bulb went on over my head!! Where was she in 1987 when I graduated from high school and I really didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up? Ok, I secretly wanted to become a writer, a successful writer, live in New York, marry John Taylor of DuranDuran, live happily ever after...sigh. I guess it's true, "Life happens while your making other plans".

My homework also revealed a gentleman by the name of Peter Bowerman who has written a couple of successful books on copywriting and the business entitled "The Well-Fed Writer" and "Back for Seconds". I finished TWFW and I am almost done with Back for Seconds. I am eagerly anticipating is new book entitled, "The Well-Fed Publisher" which is to be released soon. These books have opened my eyes to the fact that writers are needed everywhere, and they should be paid well for their skills and that this is a career that anyone can do anywhere. Possibilities, possibilities.

But this has become more than just a possibility for me. This WILL BE a reality! I am already making plans to begin this business venture and I also plan to document my rise to success and write a book about it. I want the world to know that it is possible to make your dreams come true if you do your homework, work towards that goal and let nothing stop you! I am in a perfect position to be a case study for both Beth Ann Erickson and Peter Bowerman and the AWAI school. I want to be their poster child. I will be the one wearing the sunglasses because the future's so bright...I gotta wear shades!!