Reflections on being a dog-owning writer: The first week

I’m writing this one-handed and very slowly because a certain young lady is using my other hand as a pillow. Sure enough, I’ve been up with her since 5:30 and after having a mad play session to use up some of that energy (hers, not mine. Definitely not mine) which has been building overnight I’ve finally got her back to sleep. But only on my lap.

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This first week has been one of discovery (on both sides) and compromise. Surprisingly, it’s been quite productive from a writing point of view.

Asha and I have slowly developed a routine we can both live with. I’ve moved my ‘office’ to the kitchen where she lives for most of the time. I get her up first thing in the morning and, as with all her sleeps, take outside to do a ‘wee wee’. Asha is hit and miss about this, initially not having a clue what was expected of her but assuming she was missing something terribly exciting inside and so wailing like a banshee rather than actually do a wee. Of course, as soon as I’d get her inside again she’d piddle on the kitchen floor. Then, mid-week, she got it. Life was great again. Yesterday, however, now she knew what to do, she chose not to do it for some of the time – but I know her game and I will win…

Anyway, after toileting, we always have a mad, fun playing session largely involving her chasing one of her chew toys as I drag it around me until she catches it and brings it on to my lap to chew. Gradually, the play lessens until Asha and I cuddle for a bit. Within minutes she is sleeping and then I transfer her to her bed. That’s the point when I can get work done. I rush to the laptop and get writing.

I never know whether I’ll have minutes or half an hour to write so every second it precious because once Asha’s awake the whole process of toilet-play-calm-sleep begins again.

As time goes on and her bladder gets bigger these time frames should get longer. Should. I hope so anyway. But for now it seems a routine we can both live with. She gets the attention she needs and I get time to write.

On top of this, the obedience training continues apace. The girl is getting very good at sitting and she will remain sitting with the instruction of ‘stay’ allowing me to walk to the other side of the kitchen until I tell her to ‘come’. I’m starting to work on ‘heel’ this next week so we’ll see how long that takes. She really is a clever little thing though.

The focused ‘heck-I’ve-got-to-get-this-written-fast’ sessions are suiting my ADHDness very well. As long as, that is, I don’t think ‘I’ll just check Facebook quickly first of all’ or ‘I’ll just have a quick look at my emails’. That’s always a disaster. A ‘quick’ look at Facebook before I begin writing usually means just as I come off and bring up my article-in-progress I’m greeted by a cheery wagging tail and bright shiny eyes saying ‘play with me! And do it quick because I need a wee!’

My other studies and music practice, however, have gone out of the window. That’s another thing I need to introduce to the routine: leaving Asha when she’s awake for ever-lengthening periods of time. I can go to the loo – just – but little else so far. Even then, the wails echo around the house and, I very much suspect, the neighbours house too. But I’m hoping to begin leaving for short bursts quite often until I can safely go and play a Debussy Prelude on the piano or something before coming back. However, this will all be a bonus. The important thing is that the writing is back on track.

It has to be said though, when Asha is asleep she is simply the cutest creature ever. This means, of course, that sometimes – sometimes – I don’t take her off my lap when she falls asleep and transfer her to her bed. She’s just too cute to go.

Hence, this one-handed post. At least it meant I kept it short.

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About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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5 Responses to Reflections on being a dog-owning writer: The first week

  1. Awww what a wonderful name! Asha! πŸ™‚ such a cute dog :* we have named our dog “kanna”. πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. ken-
    I think she nearly has you trained.
    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

  3. awwww.. such a cutie πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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