I love my family with all my heart. They’ve made me a better person and completed my life (I know that sounds a little hokey, but true). But there are times I just want to run away from them and everything, to the top of a mountain. Not forever, but for a little while. Maybe a week or so. Just me and the fresh air. And coffee. And wine. And lots of books.
And my dogs.
I have two dogs, and I would probably have more if I had a bigger plot of land (we live in a developed neighborhood, so about a quarter of an acre). My girls (yes, I have daughters AND girl dogs. My poor husband. We do have a male gecko, though) are older, and pretty much with me all day long. When I leave, they give me the forlorn, puppy dog eyes. Literally, puppy dog eyes.
Because they’re with me all day long, I take a lot of pictures of them. Because they’re my babies.
Dogs are some of the best people I know. My dogs are pretty good; they don’t use our house as a toilet and they like people. They bark a little too much, and Gigi (the one above, the pure boxer) likes to jump up on people (because attention, DUH!). Zoey (the other one) is not very smart, but she’s sweet and just wants love.
We’ve had one other dog in our married life. Barlow. Another boxer. As much as I love these dogs (Gigi is my favorite, because we’ve had her the longest and she’s smarter), no dog will ever be Barlow. She was mellow, never barked, and dealt with little, little girls with grace and dignity.
We adopted her when she was about 2; the vet guessed that she’d had at least four litters of puppies, probably more. That puppy mill mama was just so happy to be with us, and we were happy to have her. We got her about a week before we found out I was pregnant with my eldest, so she was our first baby, dealing with two pregnancies. She was a part of our family, and when she died it was a heart breaker.
I think you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their animals. I’m never sure about a person who doesn’t like dogs; if they’re cat people, I figure they’re okay (just different). Or horse people. If they can’t handle animals of any kind–those are the people I don’t fully trust.If you can’t love, or even like, an animal who really only wants your attention (and some food and water, and maybe a treat now and then), then I’m not sure I trust you.
This post is a little rambling, but I really just wanted to share my dog pictures with you. Here’s one more, of me and my first dog, Sus.
Now, onto a book that has nothing to do with dogs: The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows.
“If none of us can be objective, then the problem is intractable, and all history is suspect.”
. . . “Perhaps it is only the claim of objectivity that is suspect.”
Set in a small West Virginia town during the depression, this is a multi-layered story that includes the saga of a troubled but loving family, the underlying history of the town, and a young woman’s discovery of her true self.
In 1938, Layla Beck, a young DC socialite, is cut off by her father, the senator, and must rely on her Uncle, a New Deal bureaucrat, to find her a job within the agency. When he sends her to Macedonia, West Virginia as part of the Federal Writers’ Project, she is sure she is going to be dying of boredom within a day.
Sent to board with the Romeyn family and to write the history of Macedonia, Layla soon finds there is more to the family and the town, and to history in general, then she thought.
At the same time, 12 year-old Willa Romeyn is on a quest to learn all she can about her family, specifically her father. Using her keen observational skills and the ability of a child to stay undercover, Willa learns more than she bargained for.
Holding the stories together is Jottie Romeyn, Willa’s aunt and main caretaker. Jottie’s life isn’t all she wanted, but now she has a chance to grab what she wants and find a little happiness. Knowing she is setting the example for Willa and Willa’s younger sister, Jottie must decide if she wants to take life and love for her own, or to stay under her brother’s thumb.
The story of a once respectable family trying to find a happy balance, a town trying to stay relevant in a changing world, and two women searching for their places in a a new world, The Truth According to Us is a wonderful story.
This book took awhile to really hook me. But suddenly, at about half way through (51% on my Kindle), it grabbed me and didn’t let go. There are three or four different stories all happening at once, and they all mesh together nicely, like the best novels should.
Rich characters with real depth, scenes with great detail, and interwoven stories that catch and hold on, I loved The Truth According to Us. Pick it up and read it. You won’t regret it.